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When I first got on my new monster, I lurched across the (fortunately) empty parking lot. Previously, I had driven a Honda Nighthawk 750 and I was thinking - whoooh Nellie, slow down. THe reason, I figured out later, for my lurching, was the fact that the M695 has a first gear with a ratio of 2.4 (e.g. roughly speaking, the drive shaft is turning 2.4 times for every spin of the wheel (if your front sproket and rear sproket were the same size, but you get the idea). The Honda, and most other bikes, have a first gear in the 3.0 range, and many dirt bikes can go as high as 4.0.

I've now come to like the first gear on the Monster, but I'm wondering how hard it is to adjust? Has anyone tried changing out a particular gear to increase (or decrease) its ratio? THis would be referred to as "shortening" a gear, although the number of sprokets would go up.

Anyway, it got me into the mindset of trying to optimize my six gears as I like them. I'll bet it's not that hard to do; any ideas? Just as I have an overdrive with a .8 ratio, I wouldn't mind having an underdrive of 3.0 for big hills, or starting out going uphill, or whatever. I've learned to carefully, slowly release the clutch while carefully, slowly turning the throttle, but all my friends have the same initial experience -- they lurch off to a fast start.

Now, real racing motorcycles for which Ducati made its name (before starting the Monster line), have first gears that start at TWO...yikes...they just JUMP forward (or maybe their riders like popping wheelies). Whereas even on the monster I've got to shift twice to get below 2.

The M695 was criticized in some reviews for having "too tall" gearing, particularly in the lower gears. Do y'all agree?

Devin
 

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Yes, it's pretty common for people to shorten the ratio on Ducs by chaning either the drive sprocket or wheel-side sprocket. Mosnt common is the '14t' mod. Replacing the 15 tooth drive with a 14 tooth. This is a more common practice than adding 3 teeth to the rear, since chaing the front doesn't require a new chain, nor removal of the wheel.
 

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Certainly some monsters are geared very tall, but that is not the direct cause of your "lurching" off to a fast start. A lower first gear will make a smoother start easier, but this is about clutch modulation (and now we're in riding technique).

A smoother launch may be harder with a tall first gear because you have to slip the clutch longer, but it's still possible. Good practice for this is to creap across a parking lot below walking pace at higher revs. Hard on the clutch but worth it for the practice. You should be able to crawl at under walking pace at any revs you choose. Do the MSF-type drills at just above idle and then again at 4K.

This skill is absolutely important for the ability to launch cleanly and positively when you are turning from a stop, but need to keep the clutch slipping to modulate your speed so you're not running too far to the outside of the turn.

And in terms of wheelies due to taller gearing you have it backwards. The shorter the gearing the easier the front will come up. The race bikes are powerfull enough that it's a different story.

Have fun.

Chris
 

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I think that probably every Ducati made in the past 15 years came stock with gearing that was too tall. I've had to lower the gearing on all four of the Ducatis that I've owned.

I only half-way agree with Statler about the cause of rough starts. With the lower gearing, it's so much easier to make a smooth start that the lurching almost completely goes away. It's a much bigger change than the 7% difference in gearing would imply. It makes the bike much, much easier to live with.

Switching to a 14-tooth front sprocket is cheap and easy, plus it's easily reversible if you want to go back. Last time I made such a switch, it took me a total of 20 minutes and cost less than $30.

Just do it. You'll be glad you did.
 

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I remember the lurching on my s2r800 when I first got it. Partly due to poor clutch modulation also because everything on the bike was so damn tight. Engine breaking was fierce, the clutch was really touchy, and the gear box was notchy.

I don't know how many miles you have, but things seem to loosen up after the first service.
 

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devin911 said:
I'll bet it's not that hard to do; any ideas?
I'll take you up on that bet! :)

Changing individual gear pairs inside the gearbox would be spectacularly expensive unless you happened to find the right bits from a bike with the same engine but different gear ratios. I've never spoken to anyone who's had a gear cluster custom made, but if I had to guess I reckon the 12 gears you need for a 6 speed box custom made would probably cost you more than the bike did to start with...

Brad's got some great stuff about Ducati gearing here though its old enough to not cover your 695, it'll give you some background and indications of what parts are available from various Ducati models.

Like others have said, Monsters are geared tall - probably to help them meet noise regulations - dropping a tooth on the front sprocket or going up a few at the rear sprocket is probably the most often recommended modification amongst owners.

big
 
M

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Devin,

+ 1 on what everyone has already stated.

I bought a 695 September 1, and also found the bike hard to launch (I started riding when I was 11, and am 43 now, you do the math). This, however, was my first Ducati. Ducati gears there bikes tall, so that they can meet the Drive By Noise Requirements at the specified RPM, of which is getting harder to do with an air cooled engine (liquid cooled damps the noise), and of which, by Golley, depends on gearing. Hence, the 695 is geared tall, and meets Euro III Emisions to boot - of which is why the under 3,500 rpm powerband stinks.

Couple things:

- It will get better with practice and breaking the bike in.
- Stock clutch lever engagement point sucks. I drilled / scrapped the plastic goo out of the stock clutch lever adjustment screw, and backed the screw out a little so that it engages the same place as all my prevous bikes (A little closer to the grip - NO JOKES ABOUT SMALL HANDS, or other parts). The bike was much easer to luanch after this mod, of which was free, and only took, maybe 20 minutes.
- You could change the internal gearing, but it would be overkill, and expensive. Suggest you buy a 14 tooth contershaft sprocket. Cheap, and uses the stock chain, etc. Santa was sopposed to bring me a 14 t sprocket, but brought me a wide screan TV instead, so I am not complaining, at least not TOO loud. I plan pick up a 14 tooth sprocket soon, and install, as I have been told it is defenitly the e ticket.

I think it is halarous that Ducati gears there bikes tall and runs the engines lean, to get through government regulations, and then turns around and sells 14 tooth sprockets, and modified ECUs and pipes. I am sure it prpbably says for off road use somewhere, but this is halarous.

Anyway, the M695 is a nice ride - Enjoy your bike. Its the finest bike I have ever owned.

Plus, Ducati's require a little attention to get them just like you like. My wife thinks its a male bonding thing.


Brian Frymaire


2007 M695
Speedy Moto Frame Sliders
Black Gen Mar Handle Bar Risers
14 Tooth Countershaft Sprocket Coming

One Happy Guy with a new Toy
 
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