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Hi,

I'm new here and joined as my wife has been searching for a bike to replace her 2008 Kawasaki ZZR600. It has been a great bike but she is 5'2" and we had to lower it almost 3 inches for her to ride it. In her search of trying to find something that would fit her stock, the 696 has been the best fit so far. We have never owned a Ducati or a twin before so I am hoping that someone has some experience with both of these bikes and can help us out.

She handles the ZZR600 very well and her original intent was to step up to the GSX-R 600 but the 696 feels better and is more upright. Her major concern is how will the 696 feel compared to the performance of the ZZR600. Any new bike she buys has to at least have comparable performance. Anyone with experience on both that can give some real world comparisons of what she could expect?

The other concern is that while it does fit her pretty well and better than any other bike, we still might have to lower it an inch. It's just a fact of life that we have to deal with. Can this bike be lowered easily and how do you lower it? I was looking at the rear shock and it looks like it could be adjusted some but I need to be able to set the sag correctly as she is going to be doing track days on it. That is the major reason she is looking for a new bike as hers is so low, she drags the side of her boot very easily in the corners.

We love the looks of the bike and Ducati speaks for itself so no issues about the bike personally, but if it does not have the power and performance she is used to, she is not going to be happy with it.

Thanks for any help you can pass along. I really appreciate it!
 

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Ducati actually has a "Low" seat for the 696, which will drop it about one inch. I don't know her weight, but the bike is basically set-up for a rider of approx 160 lbs, so it could be adjusted to compensate for a lighter weight. I'm sure she will love the bike. The 696 is so light and flickable that it is a pure joy to ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ducati actually has a "Low" seat for the 696, which will drop it about one inch. I don't know her weight, but the bike is basically set-up for a rider of approx 160 lbs, so it could be adjusted to compensate for a lighter weight. I'm sure she will love the bike. The 696 is so light and flickable that it is a pure joy to ride.
I didn't know that and the dealer never mentioned it even knowing that was the reason we came to see it. I'll have to check into that. Being lower, I hope it's still comfortable.

She fell in love with the bike in how it felt and how it looks. Just a tad bit tall and we will need to get a riser for the bars. Being short comes with short arms unfortunately and comfort is a big part of this purchase.

Thanks for the reply and the information!
 

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not sure if this is going to be tracked that the 696 is going to keep her happy. as a road bike i think it's great and she will love it, but you can't expect an air-cooled 700cc twin to run with 600cc in-line fours at the track..

have you tried a daytona 675? other than that i would check out a CBR 600, but have no idea about seat height compatibility.
 

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not sure if this is going to be tracked that the 696 is going to keep her happy. as a road bike i think it's great and she will love it, but you can't expect an air-cooled 700cc twin to run with 600cc in-line fours at the track..

have you tried a daytona 675? other than that i would check out a CBR 600, but have no idea about seat height compatibility.
She's not looking to do any racing, but just enjoy track days. I'm a Honda loyal and I ride an 06 1000RR Track bike and an 08 1000RR street bike so the 600RR was the first bike we tried. Way too high with a 33 inch seat height. The Suzuki 600 GSXR is the best fitting 600 that fits her and is another option but street comfort is more important to her and the Monster wins no contest. We are most likely going to pick up a used late model 600 gsxr for a dedicated track bike for her. It's definitely a trade off so just trying to get an idea of how it would compare to what she has which is not as fast as the race ready versions. The ZZR600 is actually the rebranded 1998 to 2002 zx6-r and around 110 hp.

I did check out the lower seat and they may get her all she needs for being lowered with a 20mm lower height.
 

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one thing is for sure, the ducati will make her feel special when she rides it.

for all the things monsters don't do very well, they ooze character. i'm quite happy just riding a monster without having to risk losing my licence just so the bike feels happy.

we're leaving for a 260-mile round day trip to the coast in about an hour :)
 

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I don't know if this helps, but here is the part number for the Ducati Low seat that is listed on my dealer's website (Commonwealth Motorcycles, Louisville, KY) 96776009B. The list price is $233, but I suspect that you can get a pretty good discount on the piece if you buy it from the same dealer that you bought the bike. I know that my dealer offers a pretty good discount (10-15%) on any items that I buy from them.
 

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I checked out the low seat from Ducati and didn't like the material it was made from. On this particular one, the material was "fuzzy" rather than smooth. Not fuzzy like shag carpet, but, well, rougher than the stock seat. Perhaps they make a different one, I'm not sure.

Getting back to the purpose of this thread, the M696 is not that easy to lower unless you have the shock shortened. You can drop the bike about 5mm in the front forks, and set the pre-load on soft. That might help a bit for the vertically challenged.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I checked out the low seat from Ducati and didn't like the material it was made from. On this particular one, the material was "fuzzy" rather than smooth. Not fuzzy like shag carpet, but, well, rougher than the stock seat. Perhaps they make a different one, I'm not sure.

Getting back to the purpose of this thread, the M696 is not that easy to lower unless you have the shock shortened. You can drop the bike about 5mm in the front forks, and set the pre-load on soft. That might help a bit for the vertically challenged.
Very interesting. Never saw a fuzzy seat unless it was a sheep cover. As long as my wife has been searching for a bike that fits though, short of the thing being pink, it would probably be ok.
 

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No, not "fuzzy" as in sheepskin, but a different type of material that has a texture to it. I'm trying to think of something around the house that looks like that, but the closest thing I can come up with is a suede jacket that I have. That's pretty close. Hope I didn't mislead you with the "fuzzy" . . . . .
 

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No, not "fuzzy" as in sheepskin, but a different type of material that has a texture to it. I'm trying to think of something around the house that looks like that, but the closest thing I can come up with is a suede jacket that I have. That's pretty close. Hope I didn't mislead you with the "fuzzy" . . . . .
No, not at all. I was just trying a feeble attempt at humor. I was guessing something similar to what you said. I think it would be fine for the benefit it should offer if she goes with the bike. Provided it's comfortable.
 

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Unforgiven,
I went from the Kawasaki to the Monster 696 last fall and has enjoyed the bike tremendously.
My hubby surprised me with the Termi Exhaust, ECU and Air Filter at 600 mile service and the bike has never sounded or performed better.
Check out my photo album, I am about the same size as your wife and the bike fits me very well.
Make sure they adjust the rear shock for her. Mine started out way too stiff, but after adjusting suits me much better.
 

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the ducati low seat material is like an alancarta leather. it makes for a much better ride as is makes your bottom stay planted instead of sliding around like you do on the slippery stock seat. i would say this matters more to men as your not sliding forward with your "manhood" smashed against the tank. plus it looks much better. i always thought the stock seat was one of the few parts on the 696 that actually looks cheap. as for actually lowering the bike, i am very skeptical as i think there is no difference in height from the stock seat...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Great information guys! This is very helpful and much appreciated. Ducachic, I will check out your pictures. Did you come from the ZZR600? If so, what are the things you like and dislike about both?
 

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Not the ZZR, the Ninja.
Other than the obvious Naked Bike vs. Sport Bike appearance I think the biggest performance difference is the V-Twin vs. the In-Line 4. Power comes on much earlier, better controlled and with the slipper clutch, starting and shifting is a dream.
Adding the Termi Exhaust with ECU and Hi-Flow filter substantially improved the bikes performance and sound. I ride w/o the db killers and I just love the sound of the bike now. If not at delivery, I would certainly recommend adding it at the 600 mile service. My photo album: http://www.ducatimonster.org/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=2561
 

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Not the ZZR, the Ninja.
Other than the obvious Naked Bike vs. Sport Bike appearance I think the biggest performance difference is the V-Twin vs. the In-Line 4. Power comes on much earlier, better controlled and with the slipper clutch, starting and shifting is a dream.
Adding the Termi Exhaust with ECU and Hi-Flow filter substantially improved the bikes performance and sound. I ride w/o the db killers and I just love the sound of the bike now. If not at delivery, I would certainly recommend adding it at the 600 mile service. My photo album: http://www.ducatimonster.org/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=2561
Sounds very promising. If your ZX6R was a 98-02, then is was the exact same bike as the ZZR600 was just a rebrand of that bike. If it was a newer model, then if would have had even more power. I think they are going to let me take out their use 09 this weekend and I'll get a better idea. Thank you so much for the reply and I enjoyed your pictures.
 

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I'm assuming the ZZR would have quite a bit more power. I know my Bandit 650 (also inline 4) had quite a bit more power than my 696.

As far as the old twin vs inline 4 argument, I guess it is personal preference. She would have to try both. I still prefer the inline 4's.

Does she do a lot of highway/freeway? If so she may miss her full fairing on the ZZR. I get a fair amount of windblast on my 696. The riding position is interesting on the Monster because there is very little fairing in front of you. It is hard to describe until you ride it.

Have you thought about getting her boots built up instead of lowering the bike?
 

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I can corroborate that "low rearset" comment. I commute about 15miles on surface streets and I regularly clip my rearsets. Nothing like taking a tight left and getting an inadvertent upshift through the apex. I've got Rizomas ordered!
 

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As for the wind - I pulled the stock bikini fairing and at around 80 you'll want to flatten out on the tank. At 90+ the road better be smooth or you'll have a hard time reading freeway signs. 120's been my max so far and drag was a major part of it. It's a great workout for the neck though!
 
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