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Hey everyone, I’m a prior Monster owner, M750 Dark, and looking to get back to a monster, but there are so many options out there, all of which have more power than my old M750 had. A little background about the bikes I’ve had since then and my likes/dislikes.

-2006 Triumph Daytona 675- Loved it enough that I put 50k miles on it, but suspension on a full blown sport bike is a bit rough.
-2010 Ducati Streetfighter 1098- Insane power, both a pro and a con. Very light and nimble, incredible power, but really the only bike I’ve ever had that had “Too much” power.
-2002 Yamaha Warrior- Torquey and nimble for a cruiser, but ultimately still a cruiser.
-2002 Suzuki Vstrom- Probably a great commuting machine and very comfortable, but after owning the aforementioned bikes it’s just very lackluster in the suspension and braking department. Nice low end torque engine that’s rock solid.

Considering all that, I’m considering the 1100 EVO, or regular 1100, and also the 821 or possibly 1200. Wouldn’t rule out something like a S2R1000 either. I really think the 821 would have enough power for me, but there’s little to no difference in price between the two from a quick search. I remember reading that the 1200 is the more “Grown up adult” version and the 821 is more nimble with a shorter wheelbase. Both of my prior Ducati’s had dry clutches. I love the sound of a Ducati twin and the dry clutch is awesome. I’ve also heard that the newer generation of Monsters have more of a top heavy powerband compared to the old air cooled Monsters. I’ve also heard that the newer monsters handle better and feel more planted. So in my mind, it’s old dirty low end torque with a dry clutch vs newer faster and more nimble but less of the stump pulling torque. Also more complexity for maintenance purposes. Not sure when Ducati switched to the longer valve service intervals, but that’s a factor as well as fuel tank size, which seems to be lacking in most modern motorcycles. My commute is 60 miles, round trip and I’d
To finish up, most of my riding these days will be back and forth to work. I have an infant and a toddler now and I just don’t see myself ditching them very often to go ride. I know it seems ghastly to put such a beautiful machine to such duties, but it’s the reality of the situation and it doesn’t mean I can’t have fun on my commute!
Very curious to hear everyone’s thoughts, especially if you’ve had multiple Monsters. I looked for a thread on this but there was nothing recent (2014 was the most recent Monster comparison thread I found), so hopefully this will help others looking at the same prospects.
 

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Hey everyone, I’m a prior Monster owner, M750 Dark, and looking to get back to a monster, but there are so many options out there, all of which have more power than my old M750 had. A little background about the bikes I’ve had since then and my likes/dislikes.

-2006 Triumph Daytona 675- Loved it enough that I put 50k miles on it, but suspension on a full blown sport bike is a bit rough.
-2010 Ducati Streetfighter 1098- Insane power, both a pro and a con. Very light and nimble, incredible power, but really the only bike I’ve ever had that had “Too much” power.
-2002 Yamaha Warrior- Torquey and nimble for a cruiser, but ultimately still a cruiser.
-2002 Suzuki Vstrom- Probably a great commuting machine and very comfortable, but after owning the aforementioned bikes it’s just very lackluster in the suspension and braking department. Nice low end torque engine that’s rock solid.

Considering all that, I’m considering the 1100 EVO, or regular 1100, and also the 821 or possibly 1200. Wouldn’t rule out something like a S2R1000 either. I really think the 821 would have enough power for me, but there’s little to no difference in price between the two from a quick search. I remember reading that the 1200 is the more “Grown up adult” version and the 821 is more nimble with a shorter wheelbase. Both of my prior Ducati’s had dry clutches. I love the sound of a Ducati twin and the dry clutch is awesome. I’ve also heard that the newer generation of Monsters have more of a top heavy powerband compared to the old air cooled Monsters. I’ve also heard that the newer monsters handle better and feel more planted. So in my mind, it’s old dirty low end torque with a dry clutch vs newer faster and more nimble but less of the stump pulling torque. Also more complexity for maintenance purposes. Not sure when Ducati switched to the longer valve service intervals, but that’s a factor as well as fuel tank size, which seems to be lacking in most modern motorcycles. My commute is 60 miles, round trip and I’d
To finish up, most of my riding these days will be back and forth to work. I have an infant and a toddler now and I just don’t see myself ditching them very often to go ride. I know it seems ghastly to put such a beautiful machine to such duties, but it’s the reality of the situation and it doesn’t mean I can’t have fun on my commute!
Very curious to hear everyone’s thoughts, especially if you’ve had multiple Monsters. I looked for a thread on this but there was nothing recent (2014 was the most recent Monster comparison thread I found), so hopefully this will help others looking at the same prospects.
I think your instincts for an 1100 are spot on. Torquey, lots of bottom end grunt, simple to maintain and run. Valve intervals are still short, but an aircooled 2V is a lot cheaper/easier to do those on.

You might also consider a 796; also aircooled and grunty, less power than the 1100, but probably more range on a tank. That generation (696/796/1100) had better handling than previous Monsters, although the modern watercooled 4V Monsters handle still better. But you're right, the newer ones are higher revs and less bottom end.

The 821 has plenty of power, and really good balance. If I was to get a modern Monster, that would be pretty high on my list.

There's nothing wrong with commuting on a Monster; I've done it for years, often up to 100 miles round trip per day. They love being ridden every day. Find a couple good roads that are sort of on the way, and give yourself a quick treat coming and/or going. I've spent the last 28 years on a couple of M900 Monsters, putting almost 300K miles on them total, and they've done really well at being daily transportation. Most of that time I haven't even owned a car.

PhilB
 
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I have a 2014 Monster 1200. Tons of torque, lots of HP. Insane power, comfortable riding position.
I love the thing, but most of my riding in town is leaving to ride in the mountains or coming back home.
I have not ridden a smaller Monster, but suspect the 821 might be better in town.
Mine does not like to go less than 15 or 16 MPH in first gear. To go slower, I have to slip the clutch. Not a big deal really.
You could also use Urban mode, I guess.
 

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I did the first 15000 kms on my S4 commuting.
70% highway 30% town 100 km return trip in peakhour traffic, splitting lanes.
Once I got in the habit of finding neutral while still coasting to a stop it was great.
Enough noise to let motorists know you're there.
Enough grunt to have a little run with other bikes.
Enough ducati to enjoy the ride to work and love the ride home.
 

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I agree with OP. I had a 696 and now own my second 1100evo. Engine, torque, handling and weight are terrific. It’s very nimble and easier to ride fast than my previous Streetfighter 848. It’s also more comfortable. I like the 1100evo for its abs and traction control while still keeping a wet weight of 414 lbs. it’s smaller physically than an 821. for longer commutes, I would look at a 2018+ 821. My monster has a small fuel tank - have to fill up at 120 miles. It’s not the best commuter in town - I put a 14t front sprocket and have the termi/ecu tune which helps. My street triple r is smoother in town but less charismatic in general
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your input everyone. Pretty crazy to have put 300k on Monsters @philb !! Crazy but cool. @QLDs4 I don’t live in Cali anymore, so won’t be lane splitting but I do know what you’re talking about from my time in the Bay Area. I think I put about 10k miles on my Triumph in about 8mos commuting. @Monster4Lee I have no doubt the 1200 has incredible power. It has more power and torque than my Streetfighter had, which would make me not even consider it if it weren’t for the rider aids. I haven’t ruled out the 1200 but if I go that generation, I would want to at least ride both. I suspect the 821 might be the kind of power I could really have fun with, but the torque of the 1200 would be addicting. So in my quest for information, I’ve discovered a few things that might be factors. It looks like the earlier 1100 has a fuel capacity of 3.96gal vs 3.47 on the EVO. The EVO was also the sad part of history where Ducati went away from the dry clutch. The EVO does have the Ducati Safety Pack, which includes ABS, but it does add some extra weight. The 1100 is listed as 372lbs but that’s dry weight. The EVO is 414 wet, but when you subtract the fuel it comes down to 392, which gives you almost exactly the same power to weight ratio for both bikes but with a lighter chassis for the earlier 1100. All this kind of leans me towards the earlier 1100, but let me know if the EVO has other benefits I’m not thinking about. For the newer generation, fuel capacity is back to a reasonable 4.6gals, which should give it the best range. The dry weight on the 821 is 395 and the 1200 is almost the same. I would guess that despite a better power to weight ratio using horsepower the 1100 would still beat or at least equal the 821 and obviously the 1200 would be the fastest.
 

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I went with an Evo. This thing is absolutely a blast to ride. But be prepared for a suspension let down. Considerable amount of time and money has gone into my suspension, but I consider it well worth the effort, I was also shopping for an 1100s which would have come with Ohlins. I am sure I would have been just as happy, but have ended up with top shelf suspenders with much more adjustability.
I am a bit of a 2v fan, also having an '02 ss1000ds in the garage. I have owned and ridden several inline and 4's, but am a total sucker for the big displacement air cooled duc power delivery.
Ridiculous power is both awesome and addictive, but for me the older air cooled bikes are it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I went with an Evo. This thing is absolutely a blast to ride. But be prepared for a suspension let down. Considerable amount of time and money has gone into my suspension, but I consider it well worth the effort, I was also shopping for an 1100s which would have come with Ohlins. I am sure I would have been just as happy, but have ended up with top shelf suspenders with much more adjustability.
I am a bit of a 2v fan, also having an '02 ss1000ds in the garage. I have owned and ridden several inline and 4's, but am a total sucker for the big displacement air cooled duc power delivery.
Ridiculous power is both awesome and addictive, but for me the older air cooled bikes are it.
This a bit sounds a bit familiar. I like the idea of easy valve adjustments and I remember even my 750 feeling fast even if it wasn’t. The balance of the monsters always gets me. They feel practically weightless compared to other bikes. I did see that there is an S version of the 1100, but don’t know that I’ll hold out for that. I’ve never had too tier suspension on my bikes and other than the Vstrom, which is very low buck, the suspension has been sufficient for me. Add to that that I live in Florida now, which is extremely lacking in curves. That being said, I am curious what you did to your suspension.
 

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Why not something like an S4RS? Better intervals than the S4R with a punchy engine and the same ergonomics as your 750. Plus prices are at their lowest and I doubt you will suffer if you go to resell. I would say try to see if you can find the newer monsters and sit on them because you may not like the ergonomics without having to change out resets etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Why not something like an S4RS? Better intervals than the S4R with a punchy engine and the same ergonomics as your 750. Plus prices are at their lowest and I doubt you will suffer if you go to resell. I would say try to see if you can find the newer monsters and sit on them because you may not like the ergonomics without having to change out resets etc.
I haven’t entirely ruled those out either, but those are not easy to find. I found a s4r but it has high miles and is even older than the 1100’s would be. I am a big fan of the S4RS and I even had a centerfold of one hung up in my bedroom for years, but to find one, let alone one with low miles might be difficult.
 

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Worth noting the 1100 has a single pivot rear suspension setup. It's a step back from the multi-link suspension setup the first generation Monsters. I wouldn't be too concerned about one being newer. Ducati's are the Italian version of a Harley. The Desmo engine has been around for 40 years - the concept and principles of it haven't changed much with each generation having slightly different bore/stroke and some lightened bits.
 

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That being said, I am curious what you did to your suspension.
I ended up with GP suspension cartridges and a Nitron NTR3 shock. Haven't put alot of miles on it yet but it is noticeable by the first corner.

Perhaps I just have high expectations... my vfr had full Racetech gold valves F/R and the SS was resprung with a carefully set up Showa front fork and Ohlins rear.

I think respringing alone the EVO will have a huge benefit. And a little valve rework apparently does wonders for the stock Marzoochi internals. I am not sure there is much hope for the rear sachs shock tho...:ROFLMAO:
 

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I ended up with GP suspension cartridges and a Nitron NTR3 shock. Haven't put alot of miles on it yet but it is noticeable by the first corner.

Perhaps I just have high expectations... my vfr had full Racetech gold valves F/R and the SS was resprung with a carefully set up Showa front fork and Ohlins rear.

I think respringing alone the EVO will have a huge benefit. And a little valve rework apparently does wonders for the stock Marzoochi internals. I am not sure there is much hope for the rear sachs shock tho...:ROFLMAO:
Nah...not high expectations. I think it’s once you own a bike with a proper suspension setup that is tailored to your needs, it’s hard to ride any bike with stock suspension.

I did a demo on the R Nine T the other weekend and had to remind myself not to judge too quick since the suspension was not set up for myself. Otherwise great bike and sound.


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I think you have to decide what the bike must have’s are:
Dry clutch?
ABS?
single-sided swing arm, or dual sided is fine?
Easy up gas tank with one latch, or willing to deal with newer ones that have many pieces to disassemble?

Knowing you non-negotiables can help narrow the search.


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For pure commuting duties the 696 is the ideal candidate unless you are a heavy rider.
The 1100 hates going slow. You will be slipping the clutch in traffic crawling at less 20 km/h.
Remember the saying "it's more fun going fast on a slow bike than slow on a fast bike".
You will never go WOT with the 1100 if you want to keep your licence. So what's the point?
The reduced power is more forgiving with cold tires, wet road or when you are not totally awake.
It's easier on tires and chain. Having said that the 696 will have no problem outrunning 99% cars on the road.
With a 160 rear tire (vs 180 for 796/1100) it's very nimble and takes off quickly.
It doesn't suffer the cold start issue of its bigger sibling (same electricals, smaller pistons).

Get an early model 2008/2009 without ABS. More fuel capacity (15L vs 13.5L) which gives you 300-330kms range.
The ABS is an afterthought on these bikes. The air gets trapped in the ABS module and render the rear brake useless.
Rear brake gives you more control when riding slow (splitting lanes for instance).

However it's a wet clutch. But why would you want a dry clutch for commuting? You will quickly ruin the basket waiting at the light in neutral. More wear, more frequent maintenance and the cool factor dies out quickly.

For reference I used to commute with a 696 which I sold at 60.000+ kms and have a 1100S (75.000kms) for weekend and track days.
 

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For pure commuting duties the 696 is the ideal candidate unless you are a heavy rider.
The 1100 hates going slow. You will be slipping the clutch in traffic crawling at less 20 km/h.
Remember the saying "it's more fun going fast on a slow bike than slow on a fast bike".
You will never go WOT with the 1100 if you want to keep your licence. So what's the point?
The reduced power is more forgiving with cold tires, wet road or when you are not totally awake.
It's easier on tires and chain. Having said that the 696 will have no problem outrunning 99% cars on the road.
With a 160 rear tire (vs 180 for 796/1100) it's very nimble and takes off quickly.
It doesn't suffer the cold start issue of its bigger sibling (same electricals, smaller pistons).

Get an early model 2008/2009 without ABS. More fuel capacity (15L vs 13.5L) which gives you 300-330kms range.
The ABS is an afterthought on these bikes. The air gets trapped in the ABS module and render the rear brake useless.
Rear brake gives you more control when riding slow (splitting lanes for instance).

However it's a wet clutch. But why would you want a dry clutch for commuting? You will quickly ruin the basket waiting at the light in neutral. More wear, more frequent maintenance and the cool factor dies out quickly.

For reference I used to commute with a 696 which I sold at 60.000+ kms and have a 1100S (75.000kms) for weekend and track days.
This. The 696 does have a longer range. The eon is about the same weight as the older 1100. The 696 is about 8 pounds lighter
 

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This. The 696 does have a longer range. The eon is about the same weight as the older 1100. The 696 is about 8 pounds lighter
Yeah, it depends on balancing your needs.

The 696 is a bit lighter, mainly because of the double-sided swingarm, but if you really like the single-sider, that's heavier, and comes on the bigger bikes.

The 696 or 796 is plenty of bike, and has more range, but the 1100's mountain of torque is about the most fun in the motorcycling world that there is. I've been happy for 28 years with M900's, which are roughly similar to the 796. But then I was mighty tempted by the HM1100, because it was just the most fun bike I have ever ridden.

Someone else above talked about the dry clutch issue, and again that's your riding style. My M900's have dry clutches, and they are fine for general use, if you know how to shift. I usually got 40-60K miles out of a set of clutch plates. On my first one (a 1993 M900), the original clutch basket needed replacement at 140K; the second one only lasted 80K, and I was on my third when the bike was destroyed at 265K. I think that's adequate lifespan of parts. My second one (a 1995 M900) is only at 40K or so -- just broken in -- and hasn't needed any of that yet.

(A sidenote -- my car is a 2002 Mini-Cooper S. It needed a new clutch at 60K, which was a $3K engine-out job. We gulped, but had it done. It turned out that the first two owners just hadn't driven it well, and my (now-ex)wife and I do, That clutch we had put in is still there and doing fine with 225K on the car now.)

So, to sum up the whole thread above -- aircooled 2V is good, torquey, easy to maintain, and feels nice. The 696/796/1100 generation is newest and best handling of the aircooled options. An 1100 is most fun, but the 796 is a bit more practical.

PhilB
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Lots to digest here, but first, direct responses. @avocet It’s funny how despite different forums, you tend to see a lot of the same quality suspension brands everywhere. Sounds like you have a very high quality setup there. @SO FUN I hadn’t thought about the single pivot point suspension with the single sided swing arm, that that single sided swing arm is sexy!
So I feel like a bit of clarification is required about my commute. I see some are not from the US and even within the US, commuting can vary significantly. My commute is 40% 45-55mph roads, 30% 70mph roads and the remaining 30% city driving. I also work nights so traffic generally isn’t too bad. If it is I take tolls which makes my commute 80% 70mph and 20% 45-55mph roads. So stop and go traffic is rarely an issue so I’m not worried about the dry clutch and with the miles I put on my 750 in really bad traffic (sitting for an hour or more barely moving, the dry clutch wasn’t an issue.
For those suggesting the 696 or 796, I understand where you are coming from, but I just don’t think it would do it for me. I understand that they will have better range, but I don’t think I would be satisfied with the power output. My VStrom is rated at 98hp and 75ft/lbs of torque and the motor on it is great. Not too much, not too little. I know those are peak numbers and the bike is about 70lbs heavier and not as sporty as a Duc, but I feel that the similar numbers in an 1100 Duc or an 821 would be just right for me. I mean, those numbers are almost exactly the same between the Vstrom and the 1100, but I suspect that the Duc would rev faster and of course the weight of the motorcycles favors the Duc. As for never needing or getting to use the power, I beg to differ. An ‘85 Ford Escort can make it to the speed limit but it’s how you get there that makes it fun! Less shifting is always nice too. I remember doing a roll on at 60mph with my Streetfighter in 6th gear and being at 120mph. What makes that really impressive is that 60mph on that bike was that 6th gear on that bike was barely useable below 60mph because you would be lugging the engine.
So currently I think my top two choices are an early1100 or an 821, with me leaning more towards the 1100. The early 1100 has enough fuel capacity for my needs, a dry clutch, air cooled brute power and an incredibly light weight (20lbs less than my 750 to be exact) and also has the sexy single sided swing arm. I’d like to ride an 821 just to see if I’m missing anything with the water cooled engines, but the newer electronics, extra valves and coolant system add complexity that I don’t really need or want. I can see value in an ABS system, but I’ve never had it so I wouldn’t really miss it. The big caveat with the 821 is the longer valve service interval. Every 18k mi is significantly better than every 7500mi, even if it’s more of a complex job. As for some of the older water cooled monsters, like the S4RS, they will always hold a special place in my heart but if I went water cooled, I’d rather go with the 821 because it’s newer and offers close to the same power while being significantly easier to find plus those stretched out service intervals.
 

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Sounds like you have a fair idea of what you want now.
I had the S4 as the best choice for me due to
A. I wanted a 4 valve
B. Cheaper than S4R/S4RS
C. I was willing to settle for 101hp to avoid the single sided swing arm, I didn't want an exhaust under my arse due to heat while commuting.
D. The S4 916 is the same set-up as ST4 and not the super bike, so less top end orientated power with more bottom end torque.
E. I wanted an uprightish riding position.
Once you can list what you want in a bike the choices are simple.
Post pictures when you find the 1100 you seem to have your heart set on.
 
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