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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all. I've been lurking here for a couple of days but decided that it's time to start posting so I can move forward with my plans to get a bike.

Just so we have it out of the way, I'll mention that I'm completely green when it comes to riding, but I'm going to the DMV to get my permit tomorrow and am going to sign up for the MSF course soon.


I think I've settled on the 620ie because being so new I don't want to end up with too much bike, but I think I'll be pissed off if I go with something other than the sexy italian (such as the ninja 500 or the other more highly recommended beginner bikes).

The only dealer I've been to so far (Honda Peninsula in Sunnyvale CA) has a 2003 yellow (which is the color I want) marked down "on sale" for $6200. Something I noticed while in there is that even though they're indicating that it's a 2003, there is a sticker on the right side of the frame which seems to indicate a 7/2002 build date. Wouldn't this bike be a 2002 in that case? Is $6200 a good price?

Also, another thing that I've noticed is that the ducati site claims that regular monster 620's have 6-speed transmissions. Has this been discussed here before? I did a search but didn't find anything that addressed it (probably used the wrong search terms). I think I'd be irritated if a bought a new bike only to have a 6 speed available a few months later, but then again I don't know if I could get a 2004 (assuming that I'm correct about the 6 speed) for less than msrp.

I'm trying to resist the temptation to go buy it already, so any advice or comments would be appreciated.

Thanks. Hope to join the ranks of monster owners soon.
 
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$6200's not bad for a new m620. somebody else may clarify on the build-date sticker vs. model year, but this flat-out isn't something the dealer could get away with if you think they're trying to con you.
as for it being a good first bike, the 620's definately a nice ride to learn on! but don't totally sell out the idea of one of the other "lesser" bikes. there's no shame in riding an ex500 or sv650 for a season or two while you're getting some experience. they're both great bikes and may be a better "bargain" if you'd be planning on stepping up to an m1000 a couple years off.
that also said, i can't recommend enough looking into getting a used m750 or m620 for your first bike. you may find just a season or so down the line that you DO want more power and getting shafted on a year old bike for a trade-in isn't fun financially. if you pickup a nice used m750 or m620, you'll likely be getting a bike with some aftermarket goodies already installed for a reasonable price. heck... a buddy of mine's selling an '02 m750 that's still under warranty for quite a loss since he opted to step upto an s4 after just one season with his "mini-monster".

EDIT!
forgot to mention that the 620 definately comes with a 5speed tranny. so did the 750 when it was available.
 

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The price for the 620 sounds good to me. If you follow Strati's advice and decide to go used, there are many Monster owners in the San Francisco Bay Area who would be willing to look over a use bike for you to help you spot any problems. I've done it for others in the past. A used 750 or even a 900 with a stock engine is not going to have uncontrollable power, so you might consider looking at the used market for all Monsters as well.

There's a pretty big waiting list for most MSF courses in the area right now. I would suggest getting in touch with those offering the courses to see if you can show up early to a course and get in to replace any no-shows. I've heard of several people who have managed to get in early that way.

If you need help looking at any used bikes, just post a note in the SFBMHA section of this site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
s4strati-

I hear you on the bargain aspect of the ex500, in fact that and its nearly universal recommendation as a good beginner ride are the only reasons why I still consider it. I'm not against it, other than the fact that when I looked at it in person I thought "hmm, that looks ok", but when I saw and sat on the Ducati I thought "oh yeah, this is what I want".

s4strati/Scott- I'm not entirely opposed to picking up a used monster, but I think that if I'm going to bother to finance something I'd almost rather it be a new bike so that I know that it was broken in and maintained properly. Another factor that discourages me slightly is that I haven't had much luck (checked ebay, here, craigslist.org) finding a large pool of used monsters to look from.

As far as getting a 750 or 900, I've been scared by reading a lot of comments on the cycle world forums and beginnerbikes.com that a total newbie is risking a little more trouble, indeed the little monster is barely given an "ok" whereas the ex500 and suzuki gs500 are much more recommended. When I first started looking at bikes though I was actually reading about the cbr600rr, which I'll no longer even consider, so I have learned a little. ;)

And as far as taking a hit with a trade in, I'm thinking that I'd want to have $1500-$2000 ready to put down so that I can hope to avoid being upside down on my loan and owe money on the bike even after trading it in or selling it.

Is the 620 a wuss? I
 
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an inline 4 cylinder 750cc engined bike would be seriously bad news for a new rider. not only do they make gobs of power, but what's particularly risky is HOW the power's delivered... inline 4 cylinder engines typically make pretty meak power in the lower revs and then the curve SPIKES abruptly giving quite a rush of power within very few revs. this kind of SURGE is what can take a new rider by surprise and get you into trouble.

that's why the ex500, sv650, m620, m750 (and even m900 in some cases) are more attractive. two cylinder bikes typically have a much flatter power-curve. the power increases pretty smoothly through the revs which makes it easier to control. the first bike i owned after some experience riding buddies' bikes was a 900ss. i got into a couple "hairy" situations, but never any real trouble.
 

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I think the 620 would be a good bike for you IMO. I also think that in the future/ no I guarantee in the future you will want more bike. I have spent my life on bikes, owning a 250 while my friends had 600's, man did I get left alot. But the first time I hit a curb while in a turn (self taught and 16 at that point) I was really glad I had a junk 250 than an expensive 600. Now 13 years later and 3 race bikes and 4 street bikes I can afford to buy that 13,000 dollar monster. I don't want to scare you but the odds are in your favor that you will -drop/ scratch/ ding/slide/"do something to" your bike in the first year. Now ask yourself what is it going to be? That expensive financed ducati or a used bike? Man we all got to start learning somewhere, when I was young junkers were just more acceptable. This is just my humble opinion which as always my wife tells me is shite.
 

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theres a 96 900 on the second page of this forum for sale 5000 obo???
 

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elpato is right that there is a better chance than not that at some point your bike will get damaged, be it your fault or not. i have a 2000 monster and its got a nice ding in the tank from where i was parked and somebody sat on it and fell over when i wasnt even there. things like that are out of your control, so think a while before jumping into a brand new bike.
 

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As a fellow hooligan-in-waiting, let me offer my observations, and let people attempt to punch holes in them as they may...

I've been looking at lots of bikes for a long time. I recently decided that I wanted to narrow my focus, and decided that a new 620ie is the way for me to go.

There's lots of factors going into this thought process. First, like Capt. Sanity, I figure a new bike will allow me to KNOW how the maintenance and breaking-in has gone. This makes my wife much less nervous about this sort of thing also. (Having the wife on your side is half the battle, right? ;D) I know I'm not the type of guy that trades up for the bigger better deal. I'm still driving the same car, etc etc.

I know the odds are I'll ding the Monster sooner or later...but then, sooner or later, you'll ding your second, third, fourth, nth bikes as well. In any case, I figure I'll freak out, beat myself up, and get over it. Yeah, the instant I hear the *crunch* I'll wish I had a '81 CB750. But if anybody has a problem with my newly scratched or golfballed Ducati, I'll tell 'em..."My Ducati may be dinged, but it's still a Ducati." 8)

Which brings me to the next point...I know I want a Monster, why blow the cash up front to buy a SV650, or EX500, or *insert beginner bike here* when that little nagging voice inside is going to keep telling me that I didn't buy the right bike, until I finally sell the thing and buy the Duc I wanted in the first place? Yes, maintenance may be more expensive, as will parts, etc. But still, I figure I'm saving myself a bit of money, and adding a lot of happiness, by flipping off the side of my brain that wants me to go cheap and soulless in the short term. Somebody on here said that buying a motorcycle is never a fully rational decision, and that hits the nail on the head.

I figure I'll ride the 620 for quite a while before I'm able to ride up to the bike's performance. In the meantime, it seems to me that the Ducs hold their value MUCH better than the SV650's I see advertised in the paper every week. If I decide to sell it, I think I'll get more out of it, especially if I hold it for more than two or three years. And as of right now, my plan is to ride it until I'm ready to move up, then pass the 620 to the lil' lady and get a 1000 for myself. [smiley=evil.gif]

I actually look at it like my guitars...sure, there are flashier models out there than my well-loved Gibson, but I know any limits I face now are my own, not the instrument's, and besides, it's just got soul. ;) When I can outplay the guitar, well, then maybe I'll trade up...but I've still gotta long way to go. Yeah, I freaked when I scratched my first brand-new guitar...but it's just a scratch. Still plays the same, and now it has a little more personality.

So, there's my partial case for buying the 620 off the bat, if it's the 620 that catches your eye. That said, I'm glad to see that next year's 620's will have 6 gears instead of 5, the better to switch out the front sprocket. You guys are bad influences, hehehe. ;D
 

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As far as getting a 750 or 900, I've been scared by reading a lot of comments on the cycle world forums and beginnerbikes.com that a total newbie is risking a little more trouble, indeed the little monster is barely given an "ok" whereas the ex500 and suzuki gs500 are much more recommended.
I've read a number of other forums and Ducatis never get rational reviews from people who don't own them. The big advantage of an EX500 or GS500 is price. You can get one much cheaper than a Monster. If you factor the price out, those two bikes don't have any other real advantages over an M620.

What we need to find you is an M620 or M750 that has already been dropped and has a dent in the tank. Take $1000 off of what it would otherwise be worth, ride it until you've put in your year and are likely to have enough experience to get a new bike and not be in serious danger of wadding it up, then sell the bike to some other beginner who needs to put their year in.

Maybe Daffe could offer his bike to start things off, since it still has the scrapes and dented tank from a few months ago. ;D
 

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hi there -

strati is right - the inline 4's deliver the power like a mofo at 7k and above...and will take you by surprise if you are not careful! i learned on a 1985 honda nighthawk S that was a dog up to 6.5k and then everything comes on at 7k. hitting a bump at 4k and forgeting to make sure the throttle was closed made for a memorable experience.

i thought the M900 was "slow" cuz it didn't smack me upside the head when the revs increased...then i realized that 80mph comes up a whole lot faster than my old honda.

also, i just started riding this season after a 10 year hiatus - 3700 miles since may 23rd - i have dropped the monster once at 5mph and had it tip over on the sidewalk. i would have cried if it was a $10k new one as opposed to a used 99 model.

put some miles on a beater beginner bike first - you will not mind putting the dings and dents that will occur.

still putting the monster back together after the last bump,
steve
 

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I've had my duc for a month or so and I don't regret having it at all. I read all the forums on the begginerbikes.com website and I listened to all the people advocate getting a Ninja 250 and the ex500, then I sat on all of them and decided that the duc just feels right. Do I worry about dropping it? Not really (it would only be a reason to upgrade). On the other hand - it seems like every time I go to the gas station someone tells me I have a nice bike and there's always someone checking out my bike when I'm stopped in traffic.

This is my first bike - ever. That being said - I've never felt like the bike was "to much to control". The power comes on smooth, no suprises. The dual front brembro brakes keep things confident in the braking area. The bike is fairly light and at the same time very stable at high speeds. Then you get that sweet Monster growl. What more could you ask for a begginer bike?

The way I see it you only live life once. Do you want to own the Ferrari of Motorcycles or the Toyota?
 
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I was going trying to make up my mind just like you about 2 months ago. I wasn't sure if I could handle a bigger bike, not sure if I should spend more on a ducati. I had no experience riding a bike and everyone was telling me I am going to crash it. Everyone was saying I should get a used sv, and I almost did.

I stopped by the ducati store one day and all logic went out the window. I bought the m800s. I now have 1000 miles and love my bike. I know now that if I would have bought the sv I would have regretted it.

travis
 

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First, M620s up to 2004 had 5-speed transmissions, now for 2004 the Ducati web site says they're 6-speed.

Second, like you I'm new to motorcycling. I got the bug last year, bought a perfect but slightly used '02 M620 (had only 14 miles on it) over the winter, and took the MSF course this spring. Also like you, I had visited beginnerbikes.com and read the advice there about starting out on a small, well-used bike. While I think that's the safest advice to follow, I was willing to take the chance I might ding the M620 in order to get a bike I really wanted. I also decided to keep my learning curve fairly flat over this season as a way of managing the risk, and I also got some "drop" insurance that would allow me to fix up any dings my inexperience might cause. So far, so good. While still very green, I do have a few thousand miles under my belt, and I'm very happy with my decision. One thing to consider is how much of a risk-taker you are. At 58 years old, I don't have the testosterone saturating my brain cells as when I was younger, and I've learned to be patient and more cautious. At 18, 28 or even 38, following the standard advice to start with a small, used bike would have been a wiser decision for me. I think it all boils down to making a very personal decision based on your skills, knowing your own limitations and temptations, your financial situation, and of course, that voice that whispers in your ear. Mine said, "Ducati, Ducati, Ducati...."
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the comments guys. It's nice to find other people who are/were in the same mental state I am; I understand the intellectual arguments for getting some beater jap bike, but I can't get the Ducati out of my brain.

But I've definitely decided that instead of buying a new '03 only to be pissed in 6 months when the '04's come with 6-speeds that I'm going to try to find a '02 or '03 yellow 620 with less than 5k miles for less than $5k. That would really suit my finances well because I think that I'm going to have about $3k to put down.
 
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Just to donate my .02...

Like you, it was only about 2 months ago that I pondered long and hard over which bike to get. I gleaned the Internet for every piece of beginner bike advice, talked to friends, lurked on the board, took an MSF course, got my M1 license, researched insurance, bought a jacket, helmet, gloves, lock, chain, cover, boots, ALL before deciding on and buying a bike! That said, after all the research, and after 2 months, I can happily say that it is the sweetest bike and perfect for my beginner riding a$$. I will qualify that statement by saying that I do possess elementary hand-eye motor coordination and knew how to ride a bike beforehand. No ding either! The bike is very, very stable, and even though I've had my chare of close calls and what not, I never felt that it was ready to fling out from under me or anything like that.

Also, as an aside, I don't/wouldn't miss a 6th gear that much. The 620 doesn't have gobs of power to start with, and I find myself shifting through gears pretty quickly as is...

Anyway, hope this helps... Good Luck!!!
 

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Let me put it in perspective; The slowest bike can SMOKE the fastest car. Being new to the bike scene, you have no idea how fun and exhilerating riding can be. That said, anything over 500 cc's will suffice for you now and in the future unless you develop "piston" envy from other bikes. The 620 is more than enough bike unless you plan on touring or carrying another body.
If you get one of those other bikes, you'll regret it. No one was ever disappointed they bought the best! I can't tell you how excited people get when I tell them I have a Ducati. They used to yawn when I told them I rode a Honda. The Ducks get a lot of respect; even from the Harley crowd. Right Deb? ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
See, I read what you guys have to say about them, then I read the following, which a friend of a friend (who races here in nor cal evidently) had to say about the 620 monster:

(from e-mail) :

Well, here's what I've read:

-The bike is grossly underpowered compared to it's competition (given dyno
numbers, it's true). My 400cc bike *easily* makes more power than this 620,
and it's 10 years old!
-It has horribly little ground clearance (this is definitely true), leading to
peg/exhaust grinding pretty early on. Again, while this may not be a concern
in the first few months, it could quickly become so. I was dragging the pegs
and exhaust on my CBR600 around after a few months, and it has a lot more
clearance than the Monster does...
-The suspension is crap. This exacerbates the problem above with ground
clearance. It's really too bad also, since Ducati's typically come with very
above-average suspension (at least in the superbike category).

On top of that, the Ducati will require more maintenance than something like an
SV650. That's just how it goes. Valve services on my 748 are every 6,000
miles; it's probably not quite so frequent on the air-cooled 2-valve motors,
but Japanese bikes are up at 16,000-20,000 mile valve adjustment intervals at
this point. Parts will be more expensive. Build quality just won't be as
high, no matter what anyone tells you. They're not bad by any means, but still
not up to Japanese spec. And, as he says, Ducatis can be tempermental - that's
just the nature of the Italian beast. If you know this up front, and are
willing to deal with it, that's fine. Just don't expect to be able to gas-n-go
like you can with a Suzuki/Honda/Yamaha/Kawasaki.

Don't get me wrong...I think the Monsters are really cool - I was looking for a
900cc version for a while. But, unless you know what you're getting into, it
may not be the best bet for a first bike. Either that, or you have a fair
bit of disposable income, and can afford to change your mind every 6-12 months.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


So what do you guys think about what he has to say? I have to admit, he's got me somewhat conflicted about it all. He obviously knows bikes, but I'm not sure he has his perspective on straight.
 
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