Ducati Monster Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone.

I've been thinking about getting a Monster for awhile, but I followed the general advice of buying a used Japanese bike first. I started riding in May and bought a GS500. It's been a fun bike, but I'm thinking of getting a new bike this spring. I don't NEED a new bike, but I'd LIKE a new bike, that is under warranty, is fun to ride, handles well, looks nice, and isn't underpowered or overpowered. I'll mostly be riding in town, but I also want to be able to ride on 2 lane roads that have a 55-65 mph speed limit.

The local dealer has a 2003 620 silver dark. I noticed online that the 2004s have a slipper clutch and a "Power Torque Clutch system". What are these things? If I bought the 2003, would I later wish I had a slipper clutch and a Power Torque Clutch system? I suppose I could get a better deal on the 2003, but I'm willing to spend more money, if it will get me something I'm going to be happier with in the long run.

Also, if I bought a 620, are there modifications I would want to do right away to make the bike more functional? For example on the GS, the stock jetting is too lean, and the stock tires are crap, so many people buy new tires right away, and get the bikes rejetted. Are there any issues like this on the Monsters, or are they ready to go, as is? (I'm not talking about chopping off the fenders or putting carbon fiber on- I'm more interested in opinions on tires, suspension, jetting, and gearing.)

What do you think?

Thanks,
Laura
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I'll mostly be riding in town, but I also want to be able to ride on 2 lane roads that have a 55-65 mph speed limit.
The local dealer has a 2003 620 silver dark. I noticed online that the 2004s have a slipper clutch and a "Power Torque Clutch system". What are these things? If I bought the 2003, would I later wish I had a slipper clutch and a Power Torque Clutch system?
unless you're really riding the bike HARD, i don't think there's much benefit of a slipper clutch. its designed to let the clutch slip under hard downshifting to prevent the rear wheel lock-up while. if you're not banging down from 5th to 2nd during a hot approach for a turn, i don't think it would even kick in.

i'd recommend saving your money and going for the '03 d.

Also, if I bought a 620, are there modifications I would want to do right away to make the bike more functional? For example on the GS, the stock jetting is too lean, and the stock tires are crap, so many people buy new tires right away, and get the bikes rejetted. Are there any issues like this on the Monsters, or are they ready to go, as is? (I'm not talking about chopping off the fenders or putting carbon fiber on- I'm more interested in opinions on tires, suspension, jetting, and gearing.)
the bike comes with really tall gearing from the factory and the mirrors are truely awful. the only "must do" mods in my oppinion are a larger rear sprocket (by two teeth) or smaller front sprocket (by one tooth) and new mirrors. for the sprocket, swapping the front from 15 to 14's definately the less expensive and easier choise than swapping the rear (you don't even have to remove the rear tire - can easily to this yourself). for mirrors, the stock units not only look like crap, but seeing past your elbows is a challenge. i'd recommend napolean baren mirrors (you can find them at www.ca-cycleworks.com). they're cheap, have HUGE glass, are very flexible in how you'd like to adjust them. hands-down the most functional mirrors on the market i think (but they look a tad clunky cuz of their size).
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
If I bought the 2003, would I later wish I had a slipper clutch and a Power Torque Clutch system? .

Also, if I bought a 620, are there modifications I would want to do right away to make the bike more functional?
What do you think?
Not to disagree with Strati but...

I have an '03 620 Dark and the two things I wish I had are what comes on the '04, the slipper clutch and the 6th gear, which you didn't mention.

I get the rear wheel to chirp, or lock up for a second or two when I down shift from third to second when pushing hard. It will do that from 4th to 3rd also, if I had the slipper the clutch would just slip and no noise, no lockup. Everyone I ride with wants one, you get yours for free.

If you buy and '03 do not change the stock gearing if you want to go at freeway speeds for any length of time. I'm at 5000 to 6000 rpm on the freeway. If you change the gearing down you'll be screaming along.

The stock mirrors do suck however, no one disagrees with that. I went the cheap route and have one Third-Eye bicycle barend mirror. 10 bucks and you can see if you like the whole bar-end mirror thing or if you like something different.

The tires are ok. They won't let you down, but they won't let you push super hard either. My rear lasted 3k miles, the front 5k, so you've got plenty of time to save up for a new set or learn what the fast guys(gals) are running.

My monster was the best money I have ever spent. You don't just by a bike, you buy into the Ducati family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Personally if I was ready to step up from a 500 I would get something bigger than a 620. Maybe look at a M750 or a sport 600 like R6 or GSXR600 if your into that.
I have not ridden a GS500 but I dont think the 620 will feel like much more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
I have an 02 M620 (until 2006 and my GT1000 arrives - assuming the wife gives in).

I agree with the two previous posts. I'd love a 6th gear on the 620 for the highway. It needs a tad more on the slab. The 6th gear may also let you drop the sproket and still have a highway gear.

I'd also love the slipper clutch. I've hung the rear out while coming in hot. If I went for a 620 again, I'd buy the '04. I think the slipper is worth the cost if you are going to be doing any spirited riding.

That being said, since you've done the 500 thing, I'd think of a 750/800. Marginal power gain, but you may prefer the extra HP and Torque if you are going to keep it for more than a year. When people ask about my 620 and ask how fast it is, I walways compare it to a 4-cynclinder 500. I do love the 620 though and find it has more than enough power to keep me entertained.

You may want to look at a 03 M800. Duc is running the deal on the 03s so you may end up at roughly the same $$.
 
M

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
And I'll just throw my .02 in here. I've owned a gagillion bikes and bought an '02 620. I love it! The 6th gear might be nice on the highway but I'm not ready to sell mine just to get that little bit less rpm at highway speed. Besides, the 620 is pretty happy cruising at 75mph stock. While the gearing is slightly tall for around town riding, it's not unbearable, and it is a pretty good compromise that allows great highway cruising speeds. As far as the slipper clutch goes, I just don't ride mine hard enough to need it. If you're really jamming into corners and hammering downshifts it can be a big help. But if you're a fairly sane rider it just isn't all that necessary.

Must-do mods? Definitely do the kickstand switch bypass so you can start it on the stand and let it warm up. I'd also recommend Cycle Cat frame sliders so you stand a chance of saving the expensive gas tank if it tips over. Most mods are personal preference things like the fender eliminators that get rid of the large dangling appendage below the license plate. You can do a lot or a little, depending on your desires. The 620 and the 750 are only about 2hp apart so the 620 really runs very well and has plenty of hp stock. Gear it down if you ride mostly in town. Mainly just go for it! It's a great bike and you'll love it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Okay, my .02 cents here too, so that makes .04!

IMO you've already had your starter bike and by doing so have gone about things the right way. I think you'd not be happy for long with a 620 or 750, both of which are a negligble step up in engine performance. I'm sure both would probably run circles around the GS in the handling department and don't EVEN bring looks into the picture.

If you can swing it with the green you should look at moving into an 800 or even the 1000. What you're doing here is not only upping the HP, but also moving out of the starter bike market and into something that offers true suspension adjustability, better brake performance, better handling and a machine that's designed for performance instead of a better price point in a market segment. Don't be worried about the jump in performance; if you have good basic skills in the first place these bike will be easier to ride hard- if that's your thing- and more importantly will give years of fun without you outgrowing them. I wouldn't hesitate to buy new because of all the incentives being offered these days. And if money is an issue then used might be the way to go.

Good luck and have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
A suzuki gs500 is about 40hp paralel twin not a 4, and a Monster 620 is something like 60hp V twin. Not sure if I have ever seen a 4 cylinder 500, but sounds cool. That would be like a 30 percent increase in horsepower plus a better handling bike.

I am sure you could handle an 800 or 1000, but I think even the 620 would be a big step up. As for the slipper clutch, for me this would not be a big deal, but a 6th gear on the '04 would be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the info!

It sounds like the extra gear on the '04 might be nice to have, but it doesn't sound like I'd get much use out of the slipper clutch, since I'm not that aggressive of a rider. I still don't know what a "Power Torque Clutch" system is. I was at the motorcycle show in Chicago this weekend, and I forgot to ask them about it.

Now I'm also thinking about the 800 Monster. And I'm also thinking about the Suzuki VStrom 650, because it seems so practical, and it seems like you get a lot of bike for the money. It's quite ugly, though. I'm also considering the Breva 750. It doesn't have the horsepower or the suspension of the Monster, but the shaft drive is attractive to me. No more cleaning chains!

I'm no longer considering the smaller Buell Lightening, because the clutch hurt my hand.

Hopefully in a month or so the weather will be nice enough that I can test drive the Moto Guzzi and the Monsters. I don't think they will let me test drive the Suzuki.

Thanks again for the advice, and if you have any other insights, that would be great.

Laura
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Get the M620 2003 if you can get a good deal on it. I think you'll be very happy. I know I am with mine!! Slipper clutch, I think it's not so big a deal. As far as mods go, sky is the limit... Listen to the board members advice, they know what they're talking about. Me, I've learned quite a bit in the short time I've been on here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Laura,
I was in your shoes deciding last year between a leftover 2002 M750Dark and a (new) 2003 M620Dark. I opted for the 750. I saved money. Either bike would have been a good choice though.

My opinion....go and grab that new 620! You wont tire of it anytime soon. Save money and get your aftermarket exhaust system and replace the stock mirrors.

The beauty of it is that there is no wrong decision between Ducati's. Now if you settle on a bargain Japanese bike, and then kick yourself for buying it later...well, don't say I did'nt tell you so. ;)

All that I can say is that I have owned 15 motorcycles over the last 25 years. My Monster is by far my favorite.

Good luck and Ride Safe,
JJ
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
how about a 2001 monster S4 fully decked out for a little more with no sales tax ? contact me.....
 
A

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Monster and Guzzi? Si! 8) If you have contracted the Italian motorcycle flu like I have, you might as well face it and buy an Italian bike.

Vstrom? Questo dipende . . . :-/ It's tall and seems big and clunky to me. I am about 5'9" and 145 pounds, and I had to stand on tip-toe to balance it. Also, it is quite a different bike in "form" :p than the other bikes you are considering.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top