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Discussion Starter #1
At first sight, the new Monster screams "RIDE ME!" but I have some questions regarding this new Duc.

I couldn't believe that the '09 M1100S has less horsepower than the previous S4R and other competitors Q1. Does the fact that it only weighs 373 lbs make up for the 95hp, or is it seriously underpowered for a 1078cc bike?

While other naked sportbikes have 4, 5, and even 6 and change fuel tanks, the M1100 only has a 3.8g tank. Q2. Has Ducati done anything to enhance the fuel economy (like adding the fuel tank vents) or did Ducati decide to skimp on that?

Finally, Ducati's are notorious for being as high maintenance like a Hamptons Prima Donna, although I hear that Ducati resolved that by making scheduled maintenance every 7500 miles or so. Q3. Does that include the clearing of the valves that Ducati recommends every 2,000 miles, or is maintenance still a regular demand from the Monster?

I've read several reviews and first rides, but few have addressed these questions.
 

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.

You know its funny, I have motorcycle magazines from a little over 10 years ago that are talking about the miracle of the sub 500 lb superbike and how they don't know how the riding public is going to handle motorcycles with more than 100 HP. Remember the 101 hp 900RR and GSXR 1000's, remember how radical they where.

Now Ducati has an air cooled, 2-valve, 95 hp twin that weighs in under 400 lbs, and handles like a surgeons scalpel, and it's just ho hum.

When did American riders decide that if it doesn't have 150hp and go at least 150 mph that its underpowered ?

When I started serious riding I would have easily spent 30k worth of early 1980's dollars to match my then pure track bikes power and handling ability to that of my lowly 696.

No disresepect to the OP but when did straight line accelleration become what motorcycling is about ? Maybe we should all be riding 'busa's or ZX-14's ?

Time to take my meds now......

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Are you contemplating on buying one? If so, I don't think this is the right motorcycle for you. I have one and absolutely love it. Sounds like you have already done the research on the bike and are not happy with the numbers/results you have found.

Personally, I have found the power of the Monster 1100S to be enough if not more than I need. I'm not using it for racing or even track days. I use it for longer rides and canyon carving. In the five months I have owned the motorcycle, I have never once felt that the gas tank is too small. I don't have to stop any more frequently than my riding buddies and there is always a gas station within ten miles in the areas I ride. Maintenance will always be a regular demand for the Monster or any bike. It's just at longer intervals now.

To me, it doesn't sound like the Monster 1100 or 1100S will perform up to your expectations. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the replies. I own a 2006 Monster 620, and while I love the way it looks and the riding position, I feel I am outgrowing it and need to move on to something more powerful.

I am asking the questions based on the reviews and specifications provided from various sources. Yes, I have done research, but mainly to gague if there are better options for the Monster.

The 1100 looks fantastic! And while I don't want to get a bike that will allow me to get myself into trouble, I just want to make sure that the claimed 95hp will be sufficient power when I need it without having to twist the throttle more than necessary.

As for the fuel economy, I can generally do about 120 miles on one tank, which means that when commuting, I fuel up once a week. Fueling up is not expensive, but my commute may get extended, and I just want to know if I will be able to ride the distance without having to fuel up twice a week.

Maybe you're right, and the 1100S is not for me. There are other bikes that have more power, larger fuel capacity, and more detailed instruments that include fuel gagues and so on. But would they ride as smooth as the Monster and still look as good. One option I have been eyeballing is the BMW R1200R. It's got all the other items I mentioned, but would I get the same satisfaction? I don't know. I just figure that if I am going to drop <$10K for a bike instead of a new car, I may as well make the smart buy.

If anyone has thought or comments on the BMW R1200R vs the '09 Monster 1100S vs the S4R, please feel free to chime in.
 

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I get about 140 miles +/- out of a tank of gas on my 1100.

I too struggled with the decision of the "best bang for the buck"... and decided that it really wasn't about that. If it were, you wouldn't be getting rid of your 620. I debated between the 1100 at the Speed Triple. Though the S.T. makes more sense on paper, the 1100 was the one that put a smile on my face after riding both back to back. Which brings me to the next point... you NEED to ride the 1100 (or any other bike) to "get it". Yes, the ST had 35 more HP... but I felt connected to the Monster - like I could do anything on it. The lighter & thinner aspect helped, I'm sure. Also, it's the one I kept staring at!

Re: 95hp... keep in mind that's stock. You won't get another 40hp out of mods, but it is a noticeable difference. I just did a track day yesterday on my 1100. It was a blast! Yeah, I got passed a couple of times (on the straights) but I also did quite a bit of passing myself. Could I have used more power? Sure. But 126mph was fast enough to get my adrenaline going.

Keep in mind the 1100 wasn't designed to be the fastest, sharpest turning bike. It was designed for FUN in everyday riding situations... and in that regard, Ducati hit the mark. Go ride one!

Wouldn't it be something if we could be blindfolded, set on a bike, blindfold removed, and GO... and ride 4 suitable bikes in real live traffic, and see which one you went home with sight unseen? Get the right tool for the job and you'll be happy for a long time!
 

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I have been riding for about 7 years and have owned everything from HD's to sportbikes. Most recently I have owned a Yamaha R1 for about the last 7 months. I bought my M1100 about 4 weeks ago and love it. I am 6' tall and weigh 250lbs and the power is fine. The bike pulls hard from 0 - 6000rpm and handles much better then my R1 (especially with the addition of the BST wheels). I haven't noticed a huge difference in power until I get above 6000rpm. The M1100 is a wonderful bike, so much so that my R1 hasn't been ridden since June. I have to agree with Spencer696, why are people focusing on the HP so much? The bike has plenty of acceleration and will out run anything with more then 2 wheels. If your looking for the maximum speed then maybe a StreetFighter is where you should spend your money.
 

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This thread has my thoughts regarding power: http://www.ducatimonster.org/forums/general-monster-forum/192892-litrebike-monster-1100-one-man-s-experience.html

As for the service, I haven't had to pay for one yet, but the first major one out of my pocket isn't until 12000 kms. That's similar to my old Ninja, but they may surprise me with the price - we'll see next year.
Yep, I read that write up and that is what pushed me over the edge. I picked up my Monster 1100 this past Saturday, just having it in the garage is a thrill. Always wanted one and finally broke down and got one and it just happens to be one of the best performing, fun bikes I have ever owned and I haven't even put 100 miles on yet. ;D
 

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At-a-boy. I'm glad you're loving it.

I find the hardest thing about going to the monster is trying to explain it to friends. "Wow - an 1100? Must be alot more powerful than your old 900, eh?" "Uh, no. It's about 30% less, but uh..."

At this point, I'm trying to find a car analogy that will fit. "It's like maybe going from a 600 hp Dodge Viper to a 450 hp Ferrari Modena."

Anyways, enjoy the bike...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Love the Viper-Ferrari analogy. I may just have to borrow that sometime.

I agree about the whole straightline speed and overdependency for horsepower. I've never been one for excessive speed, especially given what I've seen some riders do here in the UK and back Stateside. I just don't want to be the one in the group who is struggling to keep up in a group going something about say 80mph.

In my "research" I keep going back between the Monster and the BMW. Again...all based on numbers and research. Once I get back State-side I'll take an opportunity to ride both. Until then, I appreciate everyone's comments and feedback, especially from the veteran riders in the forum.
 

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I can also offer an opinion as someone who's gone from a carbed 750cc monster to a S2R 800. I can't emphasize enough (and neither, apparently can the general motorcycle press) how good the new ducati motors are - the numbers don't tell the whole story. And I don't even have the latest dual spark. They are revy and torquey at the same time, with unbelievable throttle response and power everywhere. I have lots of second thoughts when I ride my monster (considering something with more wind protection) but of all the bikes i've ridden, i have never thought twice about the motor.

One thing I would suggest to both get a better idea about the 1100 ds motor and consider alternatives, is to read reviews of the multistrada and hypermoto. If you're leaning slightly to distance/sport touring, the multi gets amazing reviews. If you're slightly taller and inclined to the looks - the hyper is also, in my opinion, a stunningly original and good looking bike. But anyway - both have the same motor and when it is tested against all comers (triumph 3's, bmw and ktm 2's, japanese 4's) it universally and uniquivically comes out on top.

also - if you are at all inclined to do your own maintenance, the costs are trivial. On the 2v air cooled bikes everything is a breeze.
 

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hmmm....a little story (see sig line first).

i've owned many Ducati, and i consider myself fortunate for being able to do so. just last week I sold my 2003 999R, plenty of motorcycle one might say, but it was actually too much for me. i couldn't fault it for the world outside of how i felt each and every time off of it. i finally decided that it was more important to me to own a motorcycle i could ride well and get everything out of as opposed to a motorcycle that looked beautiful sitting in my garage. i ride a lot, and have put over 400 miles of canyon riding on my new 1100s in less than one week (it helps having Angeles Crest Highway in your backyard). the 1100 Monster offers plenty of power, and power that one can actually use, it suits me best. the suspension? i'm an ohlins fan, and i don't care if they're watered down versions or not. i've ridden plenty of non-ohlins equipped bikes and i personally can tell the difference. at the end of the day, buy what suits you. the Monster may not be the prettiest bike in the world but for what it might lack in looks in makes up in ridability.

take care and best success
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Your point on self-maintenance is well taken. Changing the tires and the chain is not much than a few hours in the garage, although anything beyond that seems to require special tools and good knowledge on how to remove the engine and put it back. BTW, are the cam-belts in the new Duc engines still required to be replaced every 12K miles, or has it been extended to 15K miles? Same question for the valves adjustments.

At 5'6'', I am limited as to how many bikes I get to choose from. The 620 is my first bike. When I first walked into the dealership (in 2005) I was looking at the Suzuki SV650, the Yamaha FZ6, and the Honda 599. I did notice the Monster off in the distance, but figured that an Italian machine would be maybe a little too much, and would likely require higher maintenance than the Japanese bikes. That being said, the moment I threw a leg over the Monster I was immediately sold on it.

Four years later on, and I still love the Monster. But having done some research to see what else is out there, and looking at the numbers, as well as reading several initial reviews, I began to question if I really wanted another Monster...I think I still do. I would still like to test ride the BMW, but I suppose I am also trying to explore all the possible reasons why I shouldn't get another Monster. I'm just naturally like that, which explains why my wife hates it when we go window shopping. Regardless of what I get next, I am keeping the 620 to get some maintenance experience, but also to pass on to my son as his first bike. Who knows, we may end up making owning Ducatis a family tradition.
 

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FYI the cam belts are insanely easy to change. i did it once, took it slow, read the manual etc, and it was super straightforward. next time i could literally do it in 20 minutes. the valves really aren't that much harder... you certainly don't need to take the engine apart to adjust the valves. if anything I'd do the belts/oil/chain myself and pay a mechanic to adjust the valves and double check the belt tension.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Really? I'll have to look into it. I figured the Trellis frame wouldn't give me full access to the belts. Thanks.
 

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There are some good videos on youtube on how to change the belts and adjust the valves.
and web sites like these: http://www.ducatisuite.com/home.html; http://www.ducatitech.com/

When I started tracking my C5 Z06 at the Nurburgring I learned a very good lesson about horsepower and skills. I learned that a professional cannot take modern machines to 10/10ths on public roads, and amateurs like myself can't get them to 10/10ths on a race track. I had one of the best bikes ever made the 1994 CBR 900 in 1994. It weighed around 400lbs and had 115HP, I never used all the HP, I never went to full throttle in the first 4 gears; it was just too much for the street. I have no desire to own the 1198, I'd like the 848 but decided the Monster 1100S was just what I need for the riding that I want to do.

I think that is the real question, what kind of riding do you want to do, answer that and then find a bike that matches. I'm going to be in Army Officer schools for the next two years so weekend canyon carving is the only riding I will be doing, and I had to scratch my Ducati itch, the Monster 1100S fit perfect. Light, thin, easy riding position, plenty of power, and it's a Ducati.
 

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I've never been one for excessive speed... I just don't want to be the one in the group who is struggling to keep up in a group going something about say 80mph.
Up to 80 or 90mph, you won't be left behind - especially if the road is anything other than a straight line. Above 90 though, the acceleration starts to slow down. I just did a track day Sunday and I can report that up to about 110mph comes pretty quickly... 110 to 126 was where it began to struggle.

One thing to keep in mind is gearing. A bike with 95hp geared for a top speed of 135mph "could" be as quick as a 140hp bike geared for a top speed of 155mph. A horsepower rating all by itself doesn't mean squat without taking other factors into consiseration (including, but not limited to: gearing, aerodynamics and weight).

But yeah, you'll have a hard time explaining that to "that guy" :rolleyes:
 

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Unfortunately, 'that guy' is the majority of people I know, mc riders included!

The car nuts in my crowd always cite hp and torque numbers when talking cars. That makes alot of sense to me, since most cars do not have enough power to blow our minds. You could add another 100 hp to almost any car, and your wife could still drop the hammer without looping it into the ditch.

Most of the bikers I know either have slower bikes (BMWs, classics, KLRs, mid-90s sport bikes). The only way they can correlate the difference between their 1978 KX750 and the 2009 Monster 1100 is based on stats - more power, lighter weight, etc.

I do have some friends with sport bikes, but most of them aren't very good riders. They can pull the loud handle in a straight line, so the HP numbers are all important to them, or at least they think they are all important.
 
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