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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
"Downgrading" from SS --> Ducati Monster... help a newb choose between 696/796

Ok, so it's not really downgrading but now that I got your attention...

... I'm a relatively new rider (~8-10 months of riding experience) - started with a Ninja 250R --> jumped to a Ninja ZX-636R. The ZX was pure sex but was hell on my wrists, back and my girl (shocking, supersports weren't designed for passenger comfort).

My criteria was that the bike must be light, flickable, sporty in appearance, and must have *ABS* (considering the Seattle weather).. basically narrowed it down to:

- Honda CBR600RR ABS
- Monster 696 ABS
- Monster 796 ABS

Not too fond of going onto another Supersport, *although* compared to my ZX, the 600rr ABS is relatively ergonomic and of course, it's got Honda's awesome Combined ABS system. Sounds shallow but I still LOVE the supersport look; not to mention the low maintenance of Hondas

The Ducati Monster seems to be the more practical choice but I'm having a hard time choosing between the 696 and the 796

I am 5'7", 155lb and have a short inseam of 29-30" so am worried that the 796 would be too big & tall for me. I'm also concerned that the seating position is TOO upright since the bars are raised higher on the 796 vs 696.... but that single sided swing-arm looks amazing.

The 696 might fit me better but I'm worried I'll get bored of the power (esp. riding 2-up) and when compared to the 796, the 696's looks like the pale, sickly cousin (don't get me wrong, it still looks GOOD).

Any advice would be appreciated...
 

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The fact that you want to ride 2 up would suggest that the 796 is the bike to go fore, it has a far bit more grunt and stiffer suspension. The bars on the 696 are lower and put more weight on your wrists but it's more flickable, the 796 bars are higher, you still lean forward, it turns a fraction slower but is way more comfortable. You could consider a second hand 1100, same size as 796 with the extra HP for 2 up riding. I have a 796 and it is such a laugh, looks fab, sounds like a single prop plane, holds it's line through corners etc.. the 696 I rode for a few days was also fantastic and turned me into a hooligan with it's easy handeling and revy engine, I actually ride more sedately on the 796.
 

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you should be able to change the ride height of the 796 or 1100 with a few minor mods
there is a pin that the rear shock mounts to, it is different from the 696 to 1100, that accounts for the rear. and the forks are slight shorter on the 696 or pulled through a bit (not sure cause never measured them directly) but you get the idea.
 

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I'd be inclined to say the 796. The ride height isn't much different and certainly isn't excessive. I'm 5'6" with a 28" inseam, and none of the Monsters give me any problems.

See if you can get a testride on both to see which handlebar setup you prefer, but I bet you can fit the lower bar from the 696 on the 796 if you want to.

This may be more difficult, but see if you can get e testride with your girl on the back. Although it's a bit better than the full supersports, the Monster is not exactly a paragon of passenger comfort either. Myself, I'd actually buy a HyperMotard over a Monster, due in part to it having a bigger and better passenger perch, although if you're concerned about the seat height on the Monster, going for the HM might not be your best bet.

PhilB
 

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My wife hated the seating on the Hyper. too narrow and high. the monster her biggest complaint is the lack of anything behind her. the 796 has available grab handles. not sure if the newer 696/1100 can use them, but my 2009 can't.

the 796 and 1100 share ride height components I think. the 796 seat is reshaped to make it a bit lower than the 1100. the 696 is lower due to parts not the seat.

so
a 696 with a 796 seat
or
a 796 with the 696 suspension setup
or
an 1100 with a 796 seat and 696 suspension setup
would be the lowest you could get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback everyone

SouthFrance --> The 1100 would be a bit large and out of my price range and I'm a puss, that's too much bike for me

raux --> Thanks man, I'm trying to keep everything as stock as possible; don't want to use the likes of lowering links or alter/mess up the steering geometry in any way

phil --> How would you describe the seating height between the 696 vs 796? As in, can you flat foot / tip toe?

I'm getting offers for around $10.7 ~ $10.9k OTD for a new 696 ABS; this is with no haggling.. thinking I can do a bit better.
 

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I'm 5'10 and on the 796 I can get the ball of my foot and toes down, at 5'7 you'll probably be able to get your toes down flat, on a 696 you will get your feet down easily.
 

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... phil --> How would you describe the seating height between the 696 vs 796? As in, can you flat foot / tip toe? ...
For me, 696 is flatfoot; 796 is solid balls of feet (but would certainly be flatfoot with a passenger on). But you've really got to sit on them yourself and see; everyone is proportioned a little different.

Go spend a little time and check them out. I wouldn't buy a new bike without a decent testride, much less without having sat on it. And in my experience, Ducati dealers are pretty good with testrides. I haven't actually testridden the Monster 696 or 796, just sat on them. I did testride the Monster 1100S once, and that was a heck of a fine bike. I testrode the 796 HM, so I've experienced that engine, and it's good and strong.

And I've spent some time on a friend's 2006 Monster 620, and was a bit surprised to find that it was amazingly capable of fast running. Going up Palomar Mountain on a group ride, I adjusted my riding a bit to a more smallbike style -- less braking, more cornerspeed, instead of the big bike brake/point/shoot -- and found that I was being held up by a lot of people on supposedly much bigger and faster bikes.

PhilB
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Phil, appreciate it. I def. will sit on the bikes prior to purchase but I know how I get when I walk into dealerships.. like ak id in a candy shop; so excited I rarely make rational decisions :) That's why I'll be going in with a FIRM idea on what I want to test ride and eventually get (and also why the lady will be coming in as well.. to keep me in check)
 

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Thanks Phil, appreciate it. I def. will sit on the bikes prior to purchase but I know how I get when I walk into dealerships.. like ak id in a candy shop; so excited I rarely make rational decisions :) That's why I'll be going in with a FIRM idea on what I want to test ride and eventually get (and also why the lady will be coming in as well.. to keep me in check)
I'm kind of the other way. I like to test and consider and compare, I find that fun in itself. I'm not even planning to replace my bike soon, but if I had to, I've got a pretty good idea with what, since I've testridden 37 different bikes in the last couple years, and some of my favorites more than once. And yep, some of those are pretty damn tempting. But after 17 years and 185,000 miles together so far, I'm also pretty damn attached to the Monster I've got.

PhilB
 

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Ok here's my 2 cents. I have a 696 with S.S termi's "racing ecu" k&n filter bla bla bla. Long story short I love my bike. I ride the crap out of it. I push it really hard and use all the throttle in all the gears when I can. I have gotten to ride a 796 stock. Its much better set up for riding pleasure and I feel starts corners smoother in a way. What I mean is it doesn't throw you into the bars as hard as a 696 can. The 796 is much more low speed friendly where as the 696 needs a alot of throttle and clutch work. The 796 is a little beefer in size, horse power and torque. But I gotta tell ya the 696 seems alot more responsive in the throttle at higher speeds. It thrives at high rpms. But I had to put a touring seat ( with added foam in the family jewels area ) and 1.12 in bar risers on it. Also like another guy said you had flip flop seats shock mounts tire size's handle bar height etc etc etc. So lets recap, 696= Lower stock ride, but stock seat is lacking. Motor loves high rpms not so much with the low rpms. Your able to push this bike really hard enjoying the whole package. 796= Better stock rider position with a different shape to the foam and higher handle bars ( but the seat it the big difference ). Its easy on the arms in turns compared to a stock 696 ( depending on your height and other stats. Its got a single sided swing arm the 696 does not ( But you can put on on a 696 for about a 1000.00 bucks ). And the 1100 is on of the easiest bikes i have ever pulled a wheelie on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ah, crap... I was so close to pulling the trigger on Duc, ~$10k OTD

but I found a mint, 2009 600rr ABS with under 1000 miles for $7200 OTD
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Then we can no longer speak to you. I say good day sir good day.
Kidding good luck with it.
Haha, sorry, I may have jumped the gun with my post; I haven't actually bought it - I'm trying to choose between the two ;D
 

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I have a 696 and my g/f has a CBR 600RR. We swap bikes very regularly and both agree they offer very different riding rewards.

Would I swap my Monster for a CBR6 - NO WAY!
Would my g/f swap her CBR for a Monster - Nope, no gonna happen either :)

They are both incredible bikes, one thing I will say though, when you own a Ducati, you don't buy a bike, you enter into a lifestyle, a family and that smug knowledge that you own one of the sexiest bikes on the planet :)
 

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I've female and about 5ft 5/6 inches. Got a 796 recently, with the lowered seat, which brings it down by 3cm, and I'm flat foot both feet. I'd be surprised if you have a problem as I dont.

With the regular seat I was balls of feet on ground but not heels.

796 feels beefier than the 696, I felt like I was riding a really small bike on a 696, which was nice for throwing around a bit and a real surprise given that it doesnt look like a small bike. Still went for a 796 for the extra grunt and loving it. And the single sided swing arm is bee-yootiful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You guys have been awesome, thanks rbjx. Pretty much settled on a 696 ABS - $10.4k OTD a good price (includes tax, title and license)?
 

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You guys have been awesome, thanks rbjx. Pretty much settled on a 696 ABS - $10.4k OTD a good price (includes tax, title and license)?
Yes its a good price otd with abs. But still dick them down a little more. Tell them 10,000 an they got a deal otd. That way you got more money for mods :cool:
 
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