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-   -   Touring on Monsters (https://www.ducatimonster.org/forums/general-monster-forum/200743-touring-monsters.html)

philb 02-20-2011 09:12 PM

Touring on Monsters
I got a PM from a member on this topic, and we decided that it was good for a thread, so here goes:


Originally Posted by Pizzadude2010
My name is Fred Thomas I was was reading the thread about a monster will full fairing. You mentioned that you rode your monster from I think San Diego to Cleveland which is pretty impressive. Back in aug 2010 I bought a 2010 696. I do mostly city driving just around town and on some back roads. I have a cousin and buddy that have touring bikes and are wanting me to take the occasional trip with them. I live in Indianapolis and they want me to take a road trip to Harrisburg PA.
Can you give me any feedback on what the Monster is like on a longer trip? Is taking a 500-600 mile trip on one of them something I would enjoy or would it be more of a hassle and an endurance test?
Any insight you could can me would be helpful and mad respect for making that long of a trip.
The pic of your set up with the sleeping bag etc was cool.


philb 02-20-2011 09:17 PM

It really depends on how well your bike fits you. The Monster fits me really well, and I have found that 500 to 600 miles in a day is pretty easy. 700 takes some planning and intent; 900 is the most I've done in a day, and that was a long day. (Although I might just go for a Baby Iron Butt and do a certified 1000 mile day this year, just to be able to say I did.)

I have a good friend with a Monster 620, and she travels and goes camping and so on on it. She finds 500 miles in a day to be about her limit for comfort, although she has done more.

The first thing I would say is to work up to it. Don't run out with your buddies and try to keep up on those long days from scratch. There are muscles you will need to build up (especialy, on an unfaired bike, your neck muscles). I would do a bunch of 200 or 300 mile days first, and see how it goes for you.

On the topic of neck muscles, speed makes a difference, so it also depends on how fast the people you would be traveling with ride. For me, once I hit about 100mph, it really is a strain to keep the helmet and head up and stable, and I can't do that for a long time. So if I'm doing more than a couple hundred miles in a day, I have to keep it below 95mph except for short bursts like passing a garbage truck or something I really don't want to be behind.

The only modifications I have made to my bike for this are (a) a Crampbuster ($12 and totally worth it), and (b) I geared it down a bit -- went from a 39 rear sprocket stock to a 37 (which is the opposite of how most people regear their Monsters; they usually go shorter not taller).

With the colder weather here, I have bought a pair of dirtbike handguards, which I plan to fit to help protecft my hands from the wind on colder days. It's pretty much stopped snowing here, which was my limit for riding, but it's still cold. I started riding again last week, and the cold does show up in the hands first.

I found the original seat to be pretty good. When it wore out, I got a Corbin, which I was not really happy with. Whan that wore out, I got the original seat re-covered, and that's what I've got again now. The SD to Cleveland trip did leave me a little saddlesore -- I only had 4 days between jobs, so that was one 900 mile day, followed by three 600 mile days in a row. So if I was to take up touring seriously, I probably would research to find a better seat.

Do you mind if I make this into a thread? I think it would be interesting to get more people's input on touring on Monsters.


philb 02-20-2011 09:17 PM

His response:


Originally Posted by Pizzadude2010
Hello Phil,
Thanks so much for the detailed response. I don't mind at all if you make it into a thread, I would love to hear other peoples input. I PMed you because I didn't want to hijack the other thread. The cramp buster is a great suggestion and also starting with shorter trips.
We are going to go down to Kentucky which is about a 200 mile trip which should be a good test. When I bought the bike I got whats called the "comfort" seat and it seems to be a nice seat. I rode quite a bit this winter as long as the roads were clear and get what you mean about the hands getting cold. It's usually my finger tips that get it the worst and I have a nice pair of winter riding gloves. Also should mention I'm a new rider just having started in July 2010. I've put 1700 miles on my bike so far.
Again thank you so much for taking the time and the quick answer and will look for it as a thread.


philb 02-20-2011 09:18 PM

Anyone else have any input on doing long days on a Monster?


vtwinryder 02-20-2011 09:29 PM

philb - I don't know how you do it but you're the MAN!!!!

uuu 02-20-2011 11:20 PM

Longest day I have spent on my monster is about 400 miles and it worked out just fine. When I tour or more like go on longish rides, I usually avoid freeway's and try to take back roads wherever I can so don't have to deal with super high speeds, so no issues with the high speed winds.

My only issue with the Monster is the lack of any storage and the high mount exhaust on my 796 does not give me many choices when it comes to saddle bags. I have done some long rides with a backpack on and that is no fun.

On the high speed wind/ head bobbing, have you tried different helmets. I have a Scorpion and an Arai and even though my Scorpion is a bit heavier, it is much more comfortable to wear in high speeds- hardly any movement/ bobbing vs. the Arai.

TaffyinLA 02-21-2011 02:04 PM

I have the ducati performance pack for the monster that fits over the rear of the seat. You get two small pouches for glasses, Ulock, spare ear plugs, basically stuff you always carry with you, then an 18 liter pack that zips onto the base for clothing etc.

I've done 3 days away (packing very lightly) without issue using just this pack, no need for a backpack or tank bag.

I ride without a fairing and have done 1000 miles over two days without issue. Although I am thinking of doing a longer trip later in the year and will invest in a decent fairing before doing that.

Biggest differences to long distance comfort: DP Touring seat and a Bar Riser.

Boris196 02-21-2011 03:17 PM

I've taken mine down into Norther Kentucky and done some 300-400 mile days myself. Usually just throw a pack on the back seat, but those rides always end up back at home so I don't have to take to much. I've debated getting the DP bags for my 696, but my Fz1 is my real touring bike so I always talk myself back out of it. We're talking about a weekend trip to the Dragon this year, and I could easily make that from Cincy on my 696.

Bar risers are a must in my opinion on this bike, and I good set of gel grips. Another thing, last year I broke down and bought riding pants, always thought they were a bit goofy. Man they're frickin AWESOME, well to wear..they kinda make you look like the marshmallow man. lol Full gear is required when touring, gotta keep all those elements off you so you can focus on riding.

Great post, hope to see more monsters out touring. Only saw one last year when riding the Blue Ridge Parkway...which is a must for motorcycle riders.;D

ducman491 02-21-2011 08:02 PM

I'll be doing a 750 mile day around Lake Erie this year. I'm hoping to squeeze in at least two 400+ days to prepare for it. I have adjustable rest sets and clip ons so it shouldn't be too bad. But then I used to do 500 miles on my 748 in a day.

Phil, I think an Iron Butt is about the only thing left for you to do on your Monster.


philb 02-21-2011 08:32 PM


Originally Posted by ducman491 (Post 2338161)
I'll be doing a 750 mile day around Lake Erie this year. I'm hoping to squeeze in at least two 400+ days to prepare for it. I have adjustable rest sets and clip ons so it shouldn't be too bad. But then I used to do 500 miles on my 748 in a day.

Phil, I think an Iron Butt is about the only thing left for you to do on your Monster.


I was planning on going on that very ride myself, if I was still working here when the time came. But I'll be missing that one.


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