Hi, i am thinking of purchasing a 696 and would like an opinion or two. I have owned a monster before ( 1999 m750 ) Enjoyed the bike, but a few issues caused me to sell it. I could not get over the stiff clutch, rough running carbs, faulty neutral light, some quirky electronics. Several bikes later and the appeal of the ducati twin is hard to resist. My last bike was a naked Honda 599 and in many ways was a great bike. I do miss the torque and feel of a twin motor though. Most of my riding consists of stop and go city traffic so a naked bike probably makes sense. My problem is I tend to read far too many bike magazine articles ( mainly British Bike Mags ) and as much as they love the monster a general consensus is that it's not that great of a city bike....reasons being ( non adjustable levers, taller gearing, engagement point of clutch is not adjustable, bars a bit too low, longer reach for shorter guy,bars too wide etc.... ) I test rode the monster 696 and the bike is a lot of fun to ride, and the twin sound and power delivery of the motor is great. My concern is being only 5'4" is the stretch to the lower bars. I also have a short inseam, but the lowered factory seat will work for me. i have read that with some sort of bar riser or Rizoma bars or older monster bars the handlebar issue will be solved. Bottom line is with a few minor adjustments, i can make the monster fit. Will i rerget buying the bike because i am coming off a japanese 4 cylinder bike that might be more of an all rounder or will the monster prove to be a logical move for me. I am 54 years old and a smaller lighter bike would make my riding experience more enjoyable. I thought of moving up to a 600 sport bike with a full fairing, but the riding position, extra weight and wind protection for longer trips would not offset the enjoyment of a smaller lighter bike. Besides i have read that some Monster 696 owners can handle lengthy days in the saddle. ( these would be rare for me ) plus there is an option of a windscreen of some sort. I hope i am not sounding too confused but I have owned 22 bikes since 1995 and i am looking for a bike that hopefully I will keep for a long time. Thanks for your in put in advance.