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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I've been lurking for a few months, (yes, I read the FAQ's and the kiddie boards!) and I am close to pulling the trigger on my first bike, and I thought I'd run some of my thoughts up the flagpole here - and see what the experts think.

So I'm 36, about to be divorced, living in NYC, and I at least did the right thing a few weeks ago and attended (and passed) the MSF Rider-Ed class. I've wanted a bike forever, and now that I'm (almost) single, I get to live the dream.

I have my heart set on a Monster 695 - in red - but I have a few questions that may lead someone here to think - no, you should not get a Monster.

1 - I live and work in New York City. I see Monsters all the time, but I'm still a relative Newbie and know exactly what this city is like on the roads.
2 - My goal is to take trips out of the city to the Princeton area (abt 65 miles) to see my kids, to the Jersey Shore (abt 90 miles) to see my parents and then just anywhere else I want to ride. The problem is those two routes are easily done on the NJ Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway - two roads I don't imagine are the best roads for motorcyclists. I may be wrong, but that's why I'm asking.
3 - I'm 5'10", and over 200lbs - I don't need a super-fast bike, I just want to have fun and be in control. There's no modest way to ask this, but should I be thinking of an entirely different kind of bike than a naked streetfighter for someone my size?
4 - I'm used to rough rides. My "daily driver" cage is a '97 Jeep Wrangler (120k+ miles), and my fun car is a restored '67 Mustang. I know what noise, wind and the feeling that EVERYONE wants to hit me is like.

I've liked Harleys and cruisers for a long time, but they're not for me at this stage in my life. I also just can't see myself buying a Japanese bike. I can't see myself walking into a Honda or Suzuki dealer. I don't like being a dime a dozen, sorry.

I checked out the 695 in the dealer before my Rider-Ed class, and since then I've checked out a few other bikes, but I keep coming back to the red Monster. I know you all know this, but they're just so cool...!

Anyway, there's a lot of crap here, and I appreciate your thoughts and experience as I get closer to pulling out the wallet for this. I can walk to Ducati NY from my place, so now it's a matter of time.
 

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Sounds like you are the same boat I was this summer:
- I hadn't ridden/owned a motorcycle for a very long time
- I took the MSF to get rid of the bad habits and improve my riding skills
- I have a 3 year old daughter - I never put myself in position where I will let her down if I wreck (I drive the cage to work when I pick her up)
- I purchased a S2R 800 - haven't had any problems with it - the powerband on my monster is wonderful - its responsive without being unruly.
- So far, I've spent $1.5k on gear - the only money I've spent on mods is a frame slide
 

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Hi, welcome to the DML. It's a great resource of info as I'm sure you already know. I live in Brooklyn, work in Soho and commute on my bike everyday. As you also probably already know, there are a ton of folks on here that live and work in and around the city also. Get the Monster. You won't regret it, as it's almost the perfect bike for the city.
By almost I mean that the bike tends to run hot especially when caught in traffic trying to get out of town in August! Also, lots of folks tend to change their stock gearing from a 15t front sprocket to a 14t sprocket. I haven't done it but those who do swear by it's improved manners in the city. Other than that, it's perfect.
I haven't had any problems... knock on wood... with parking while at work or home, aside from people feeling the need to touch the tank while leaving their greasy fingerprints behind. I'm also an avid cyclist (used to be a messenger) so riding in traffic is no problem as long as you ride like you're invisible and everyone's trying to kill you. Watch out for potholes and oil patches, the streets are alive and there's new one everyday. No matter what bike you get you'd still have to deal with riding in NYC so you might as well get what your lusting after or you might regret it later on. Another great part of of getting the Duc is that you get to meet new folks from this forum and go riding! There's nothing like the sound of a pack of Ducs waiting at a red light!! You might also want to post this on the local NYMMC forum to get other local folks input.
Gus, Fabian, Marcos and the whole gang are pure gold over at Ducati Soho and they wouldn't steer you wrong (pun not intended) so do yourself a favor and buy yourself a celebratory Monster!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
goldenchild said:
Hi, welcome to the DML.

You might also want to post this on the local NYMMC forum to get other local folks input.
Gus, Fabian, Marcos and the whole gang are pure gold over at Ducati Soho and they wouldn't steer you wrong (pun not intended) so do yourself a favor and buy yourself a celebratory Monster!!
Thanks for your thoughts - will post over in the NYMMC area as well! I don't know your rules about reposting.
 

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Get the monster, your small enough. ;) I'm 6'2", 230lbs, my monster is quite comfy for anywhere one tank of gas will take me. It's fast enough to be fun and the power delivery is very nice for semi sane city riding, but not to where things can quicky get out of hand.
 

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I don't live in NYC anymore, but the Monster is the perfect bike to get around there and still attract the new future ex's. Just remember to be a little on the aggressive side or the drivers out there will eat you alive. I would buy the 695, some good riding gear, frame sliders, and a $500 beater. At 5' 10" you will be comfortable on the bike for rides like you mention and also tall enough to flat foot it which adds confidence for a new rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow! Thanks for all the responses.

I tend to over-think some things, but I guess when it comes right down to it...

Life's too short - do what you want.

I think that pretty much sums up what you (all) have said.

Thanks, glad to know I'm in like-minded company! [thumbsup]
 

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i don't know the area, but I don't think the bike is wrong for you...maybe go to an 800??
 

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tommys67 said:
I've liked Harleys and cruisers for a long time, but they're not for me at this stage in my life. I also just can't see myself buying a Japanese bike. I can't see myself walking into a Honda or Suzuki dealer. I don't like being a dime a dozen, sorry.
Welcome to DML. As someone has already mentioned, check out local club NYMMC. I live in Edgewater, NJ and work in NYC midtown.

I purchased my first bike several months ago, and went through the same thinking process as you are going through now.
I chose to go with red/white S2R because I really like the ducati red color, and also love the racing stripes.

695 is also a great choice, and I don't think you can go wrong with it. Have fun!
 

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Hey there,

I don't own a monster yet but intend to. I commute from Queens to Soho every possible day on my ninja 500 hotness. I've been at ducati nyc many times now and I think I'm definately going with a Monster also. Only question is s2r or s2r1000. Riding around the city is and jersey ain't that bad at all. I ride out to princeton often to visit family and it's a decent ride, especially once you get deeper in jersey and away from the highways. But yeah so far I find the secret to riding in manhattan is to assume everyone is blind and will hit you if you don't move. But think of it as the ultimate bike safety training because I think once you become acustomed to riding in nyc with the tons of aggressive and blind drivers teamed up with the deadly potholes and random nonsense like edges of streets that bank toward the curb (invisible to eye mind you). I'm just touchy on that one cause it gave me quite a scare yesterday.

The guys at ducati nyc have been nothing but great and I definately look forward to owning my first monster >:D
Looking foward to meet some other ducati riders around my area also.
 

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Here is something I noticed from racing YSR's this season. A lot of the more seasoned racers with a great amount of skill can go just as fast on a stock machine as some of the more tricked out, powerful bikes. These guys know how to RIDE. Some of the less experienced racers get frustrated because they are unable to get to the front of the pack, so they go out and buy a more powerful machine. Suddenly they are out there in front racing for the top spots. The new bike hasnt suddenly honed their skills; they arent riding any better than before. Simply, speed makes up for lack of skill. And the racer stops learning because now they dont need to try as hard to get up front.

You are a brand new rider... start smaller and work your way up. Im really surprised some are encouraging you to get something even BIGGER than a 695. A smaller bike (smaller than a 695) forces you to learn how to ride. And I dont just mean the basics like they teach you in the MSF. The MSF gives you a pretty decent platform to build upon, but it definately doesnt teach you to ride. I guess the way I think of it, riding isnt just moving on two wheels and not falling over. Its being able to handle yourself in a variety of situations. Stop and go traffic, highway, rain, Mr. Magoo changing lanes into you, gravel strewn curves, blind turns with some asshat coming your way in your lane...etc. After my first season of riding, I had met with all of these. My first bike was extremely forgiving, so whatever mistakes I made, and I made a bunch, hadnt caused any real damage. I can think of a number of instances, had I been on something as powerful, torquey, and speedy as a larger bike (like the Monster I have now), that I would have been on the ground rather than riding along afterward thinking "that was dumb". Instead I just learned a great deal and I think I will be a much better rider for it. You are new, you have no prior experience, everything you do, every situation on the road will be new, and you WILL make mistakes!!

I really suggest getting something used and inexpensive as your first bike.
It is a little less traumatic to drop or have a low speed off on something you dont care too much about. What is more important: having a gorgeous bike right off the bat or taking some time to learn how to really RIDE? Its a lot more fun to make a slow bike go fast too, IMO. I had my first bike for a season and sold it for about what I paid for it and I am a much better rider for it.

This is my take on it, but in the end you will do what you want. Good luck.
 

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I agree with mangeldbug. I'm really happy I rode my ninja 500 for a season before checking out something meaner. A friend of mine picked up an r6 as his first bike (same time as I got the 500) and let me tell you, thanks to the forgiving nature of my bike, I've been able to experience more on my bike and as a result become a better rider if that makes sense. I think the keyword to motorcycle riding, and most other unnatural sports like snowboarding, is progression. No one is born with a drop of innate ability to ride. It's the riders that go out and make it a point to progress their abilities. And there's no skipping "levels" if you know what I mean.

So basically I think if one is to make riding a life long thing, take it nice and slow and in several years you might be hard pressed to find someone on the road that can match your abilities. With this in mind i think I'm going to pick the 800 s2r rather than the 1000. This might sound dumb to many but the intense clutch lever of the 1000 is the deal breaker. That thing is not nyc friendly. I don't want to have a freakishly jacked left hand :)
 

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This is why I'm looking at 620s and 750 Monsters....I've ridden, but not extensively, and it was on a faster bike. BUT....I'd rather learn the right way and have fun on a more capable bike than ride like a tard on a faster bike.
 

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Monsters are wonderful machines.. all of em. People I know with 695 Monsters (spain) have had some rough running and stalling issues here.. BUT that doesn't mean that it'll be the same in the USA. Just thought I'd let you know so there are no surprises!

In any case, I think the best thing you can do is take a demo-ride on a 695 through the city and on roads you will use to get a really good idea of the bike.

Once you're hooked you WILL end up buying one - guaranteed!
 

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People, you all have missed a very important point: "I'm 36, about to be divorced, living in NYC..."

BUY A MONSTER, women (w/ teeth, unlike HD [laugh]) LOVE this bike!!!!! [thumbsup]
 

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I picked up the 695 as my first bike. I didnt want a fast bike either but something that I could enjoy the twisties on. This bike is completely the right choice and more so. It is definitely fast when I need to be (faster than my Supercharged M3) and handles like a dream to me. I love just cruising around on it. This is the one bike you dont have to show off on to be noticed. Ive modified it a bit and that helps enjoy it more. Just go with your gut and you will be fine. Ive ridden mine on the PA turnpike several times and I feel safer on faster flat roads with other cars than I do around town with intersections. I can see what other cars are doing much easier than a car running a stop or redlight.

Regardless, If you venture down to Princeton, Im right there so we should definitely meet up.
 
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