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I've had my new-to-me 94 M900 for about 6 months now, and it came with a bunch of spares for me to play with. When I bought the bike it had stock bars and a windscreen, which didn't suit my taste. "Clip-on's and rearsets are a must for a Monster" is what I had been hearing since I got into riding, so as soon as I rolled my bike into the garage I switched over to the clip-on's and scoffed at those silly lookin' stock bars hanging from the peg board.

Of course, clip-ons offer a really cool look as well as a really cool aggressive riding position, which is really cool. However, it makes a notoriously twitchy front end even more sensitive, at least for me. Great for the track when input can be precise. Not so hot for downtown San Francisco, bumpy goat trails or even freeway riding. For these past months I've been riding my Monster as best I could, attributing its tempermental tendencies to the Ducati "soul," convincing myself that if I treat my baby right, she'll treat me right, too. Harrumph. That bitch was just take take take.

On my ride today I noticed a fella in my group tearing it up in the hills. Aside from his great skill, I noticed how comfortable and rational his riding position was. I asked what kind of bars he had and he answered "stock." Well I'll be derned.

When I got home I grabbed my stock bars off the peg board, yanked off those evil, evil clip-ons, threw on the stockers, and "went out to get some gas." After an hour of pure joy I forced myself to return home. It was like I was riding a new bike and I was a new rider. I could turn! I could cut into turns and speed out effortlessly. I could dodge potholes, get around cars, all the things that once took careful negotiation became nearly subconscious. I couldn't believe how well the bike performed. Oh, and I could see! Being just a bit more upright seems to make my field of vision much much better. Sounds like hooey, but I'll take it.

I'm already looking forward to my commute over the Bay Bridge tomorrow.
 
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