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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thinking about a Monster 796 or 821 for my next bike.

First bike was a Yamaha FZ6... it was a great bike to learn on, and I loved a lot of things about it. Seemed like the perfect "swiss army knife" bike.

For my next bike, I'd like to keep the good aspects of the FZ6 (nimbleness, ease of riding, ease of maintenance, comfort etc.) while adding a few things it lacked (grit, character... general sexiness).

So a Monster seems like it might fit the bill. Or maybe an FZ8.

Any major differences between the 796 and 821 in terms of reliability, performance etc.? The 796 is probably more similar to the FZ6 for power, though it will have more torque at lower RPMs. The 821 is a little intimidating.

Appreciate any advice!

edit: or maybe 797? They don't seem to get as much love as the 796... but it could be a good place to start with Ducati.
 

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I’m a big fan of the 696/797 era bikes. Enough brains to have some nice safety features (ABS, etc) but still simple enough to wrench on. Most importantly, they ride like a dream and are super lightweight for their power delivery.

I like them so much, I own two 696s. One with clip-ons and the Ducati Performance (DP) kit with Termis. The other with taller bars and TKC80 tires for a more scrambler feel.

Both are so fun. Took the DP bike to the track earlier this year at Thunderhill and she did amazingly well. Took the scrambler bike to Babes Ride Out and once there did some dual sport/ADV riding through creek crossings and rutty dirt and she did great too. Really versatile bikes.

AFAICT, the 696 and 797 are near-identical except for the rear swingarm and the slight cc displacement. But effectively they’re the same bike.
 

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AFAICT, the 696 and 797 are near-identical except for the rear swingarm and the slight cc displacement. But effectively they’re the same bike.
I had a 797, and now a 796.

I can tell you the 797 felt less nimble and more "brute" ish. The 796 feels so much lighter and more maneuverable, and the power delivery comes on much harder, making it feel like a different bike in many ways. The only thing that I prefer the 797 on is the suspension over bumps. The 796 feels like your intestines are getting rearranged on the highway over a freeway bump. 797 took those more gracefully. Granted, you were comparing the 696, but the handling should be the same on the 796/696.

OP, I have not ridden a 821 so I offer you little help :) other than to say it looks like after market parts right now are much more affordable for the last gen than the current gen!
 

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Thinking about a Monster 796 or 821 for my next bike.
... but it could be a good place to start with Ducati.
Honestly, my opinion here, but Ducati service is pricey as f*ck. If this is your second bike, and you plan to put some miles on it, then you can get the "Ducati" experience just the same by buying used and spending that extra money on upgrades and future service.
 

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Honestly, my opinion here, but Ducati service is pricey as f*ck. If this is your second bike, and you plan to put some miles on it, then you can get the "Ducati" experience just the same by buying used and spending that extra money on upgrades and future service.
Agree. Planning to go used either way.
 

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I had a 2008 FZ6 for three years and 11.5k miles. As you said, great Swiss army bike. The tracer 900 I rented for a week was the same only better and with more character.

I had a 696 and it was excellent. Got bored after 8k miles and got something else. Eventually went back to an 1100evo. Gearing on the 696 and 796 is very different with the 796 much taller. That is easy to change. The 796 engine is smooth, torque filled and very economical. It’s essentially what I have in my scrambler. The 1100evo has the safety pack and better suspension. The engine has a lot more torque but is less smooth in the city. The 821 I have never ridden but it is physically bigger and should be more comfortable. The hyperstrada is more like the fz6 in some ways...
 

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Awesome choices OP! I ride a Monster 795... essentially it is a mashup of the M696 and M796... it has the 696's frame and has the 796's engine, dash, exhaust system etc. you get the idea. Monster 795 and 796 are very similar and handles similar as well. The difference would be the seat height, M796 is slightly higher, has a single sided swing arm and larger rear tire.

Haven't ridden an FZ6, I have ridden a friend's 2012 FZ1 however, and I can tell you by experience that the FZ1's torque is very similar to my monster. The difference being the FZ1's power delivery is very linear and progressive kinda' like you have to work for it a bit, got bored with inline 4s very quickly. In contrast, the M795's power delivery is very raw, the power is given to you right away, and for me this is very fun, exhilarating and makes me feel very much alive! That engine is just delicious!:grin

I have also ridden a friend's Monster 797+, there is a significant difference compared to the Monster 795. First is the seating position. M797 is very upright and "standard" seating position. M795 is sporty and a bit aggressive, you're leaned over a bit and your feet are slightly raised. Seat height - M797 is a bit higher, and there is more room for your bum to move around. Engine and power wise - on paper, M797 has less power compared the M796/M795. I'd say in stock form - yes it is, but after we changed my buddy's exhaust and air filter it felt the same to the M795's power. The delivery and engine sound however is very different, M797 is much more refined - the engine character is still there, don't worry, it's just more "controllable" I'd say on the lower RPMs. The engine and exhaust note is different as well since the cam profiles were refined too, also M797's engine is similar to the Scramblers so this would apply to that lineup as well in case you'd want to take a look at those as well.

About the Monster 821 haven't tried it, one the guys in our group has one though and he said that 821's "powerband is up top" so I'm assuming you'd have to rev it a bit higher as well. That's all I can say about that. :grin

As for the maintenance... yes it can be expensive - if you bring it to a dealer, and it would be very similar to the japanese brands as well. You can save a lot of money if you can do the basic maintenance on your ducati though. Monsters are relatively easy to work on - I do all of the maintenance on mine.

Test ride the bikes that you are targeting if you can, you'll know which one to get, that's for sure! :wink

At the end of the day though I still love my M795, there's just something about older ducatis that appeals to me.

Anyway, I hope this would somehow help you in your decision, good luck!:smile
 

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I just got an M821, I like the handling also the low and mid-range torque. I use to ride an R6 and a CBR 1000 back years ago, for now, I just want something can commute comfortably with reasoning mpg and be able to runs canyon occasionally. I was also considering SV650, however, the dealer gave me a good deal on the M821. I have not had a chance to try on the 796 but I tired the Scrambler 800, they all are awesome bikes with different characters. I take M821 over 796 because I want a liquid cool engine, so I can get that extra 6000miles on DESMOSERVICE. Additional, I like yellow in 821.
 
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