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I'm an inexperienced rider who would love to get a 695 with no desire to ride a cruiser. Main problem, I'm only 4' 10. I've talked to several people who frown upon this idea. I've been all over this board and read about mods that may help; I discussed these options with dealerships, but they're still very hesitant to sell me a bike. Should i really just let go of the hope of getting a Ducati?
 

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No. Contact Ducati of Seattle and talk to Dave Roosevelt. Not sure where you're located but they can talk you through the myriad of things that can be done to accomodate you.
 
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While there are alot of things that can be done to a bike to make it lower and there are a lot of work arounds for riders that are on tippy toes. I would suggest learning to ride on a bike that is lower.

There is a big difference between making a bike functional for someone thats 5' 2" vs some one that is 4'10" Please understand I'm not saying to give up on the Ducati but I think getting the learning stuff out of the way on a lower bike might be a wiser choice. I've been riding 4 years now and back in the beggining being on a bike that I could barely touch down on would have been a big problem for me. I have more experience now and I can and have ridden bikes that are significantly taller than my Monster.

A Buell Blast might be a good choice to start with, not a cruiser but they can be super low. Once you've gotten the mechanics of riding down, then look for the Ducati that you want.
 

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4'-10" is pretty short. Ducatis can get low, but I think it would be difficult to get one low enough for you to flat-foot it. I personally think that's just a much safer way to start riding. When and if you drop your starter bike, you'll be sooooo happy that it wasn't the Duc that you just dumped! [cheeky] It'll be safer and more fun, too. [thumbsup]

That said...I started out riding motorcycles a few years ago and I didn't know that you could lower them. My first bike was so tall that I could only get one foot down on my tippy toes. Sometimes I would get the engine going and the bike rolling and hop on. Yes, I fell a lot. My first bike was a 1989 ratted out GS500 though--not a several thousand dollar investment like a brand-spankin' new 695. The worst damage I ever did totaled up to about $75 and a giant bruise on my right hip.
 

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buy UUUUUSED! After dropping the bike, my used Monster was lowered, then lowered even more. I got comfortable for about 4,000 miles. I had the bike raised to just below stock height...I love it. It's a much better and tighter ride.
 

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It's certainly easier and much less intimidating to start on a bike that fits you comfortably. I don't think it's necessary to be able to flatfoot a bike (I've never owned one that I could do that with) but it really helps, as a beginner, to be able to put the balls of both feet down solidly. Something else to consider is that Monsters are relatively heavy for their size, and it's not going to be easy to pick the bike up when you drop it. I say when rather than if because I've never known a short rider who didn't drop the bike a few times. I still do it occasionally, after 12 years.

I'd recommend getting a bike that is low enough without a lot of modification, even if it's something you don't like much, and gaining experience and confidence before getting a Monster. Once you've had some practice, and have learned some specialized techniques for riding a bike that's taller than you are, it's not hard to do. But added onto trying to master the basics of riding, it's a huge challenge.

You might consider something like a Yamaha XT225 or TW200 to start with; they're both small and light. As long as you don't trash the bike, you should be able to sell it and recoup most of what you paid for it.
 

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4'10" is pretty short, but there are things you can do. Riding boots with a big thick sole/heel, set your suspension, get the lowering dogbone, raise the forks in the triples a smidge, shave down your seat or get a lower seat from somewhere. Im sure there are other things I am forgetting.

You dont need to flat foot a Ducati. I can only get the balls of my feet on each side down (I am 5'1") and I ride just fine. And this is after shaving my seat down and setting the suspension for me. If I wear my non-flexing SIDI B-2s then I can only get a toe tip down one foot at a time, but I still ride just fine. You are an inexperienced rider by your own words. GET SOME EXPERIENCE! :D [thumbsup] (not yelling; excited! This is the fun part.) Get a little USED starter bike and thrash the crap out of it for a season. Then move on to your Ducati.

Before I started riding, I always had the Monster in mind. But I didnt want it as my first bike because I didnt want to drop my baby or wreck it making some newbie mistake. You WILL drop your bike while you are learning and you WILL make mistakes. You will need a bike forgiving enough that you wont seriously hurt yourself because of those mistakes. My first bike was a 1981 Honda CB400T. I made a lot of mistakes while learning, but since I had a bike with not a lot of power I didnt get myself into any trouble and just learned from it. After a season of getting comfortable, I was wringing it out and scraping pegs everywhere I went (not really that crazy considering top speed was 70 on a good day and the pegs didnt have much clearance) but its fun riding a slow bike fast and it gave me a GREAT platform of riding skills to build upon. Once you are comfortable and have a great base knowledge of skills, it doesnt really matter if you can flat foot the bike.
 

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I am probably 4'11" or so. I don't ride yet, but am looking into a basic riders course to remedy this situation. My BF has a Monster, and I can't even touch both feet down when he has the seat off, sitting on the frame. As much as I would love a Monster, I know this isn't realistic for me to start out. My plan - a Buell Blast. It certainly doesn't scream 'sexy' like a monster does, but I can touch the balls of my feet down on both sides, and can move the bike back and forth between my legs without being intimidated by the weight. It's a 500, so it wouldn't be painful to ride once you gain experience, and if you find one that has been dropped, you'd only be looking at maybe $1,800 or so. The one I sat on had been dropped on both sides, and they look like they take a fall amazingly well.

I spoke to a guy at BCM one day who said he saw a girl my size race on a superbike - she had to get on using a crate and off she went. :)
 

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why not start on a Ninja 250? at any rate, get used. A Blast isnt the smoothest bike to start out on anyway... Ive heard some bad things about reliability on the Buell Blasts. Like they just quit on you.
 

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I'm not sure someone who's 4"11" could start on a Ninja 250 without modifying it. The Blast is a lot shorter.
 

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ro-monster said:
I'm not sure someone who's 4"11" could start on a Ninja 250 without modifying it. The Blast is a lot shorter.
I am 4'11" and there is no way I could ride a stock Ninja (not with confidence anyway)... would definitely need to do the lowering link and shave the seat, at the very least. Life can be tricky when you have a 28" inseam...
 

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Kimi

Hi I am a shorty too 5 1 I am not sure where you are from but here in Aus my first bike was a little Honda Rebel 250 thats what they call them here, it looks like a little cruiser, then I went to a Honda CB250 they are a great 1st bike to get confidence on. I have done all the Mods, Lowering, forks lowered, seat shaved and boots built up, side stand bent a bit.....................a bit scary at first but then you get confident on it after a while. [thumbsup]

Egas
 

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ro-monster said:
Something else to consider is that Monsters are relatively heavy for their size, and it's not going to be easy to pick the bike up when you drop it. I say when rather than if because I've never known a short rider who didn't drop the bike a few times. I still do it occasionally, after 12 years.
It's amazing what kind of strength you find when you drop your bike...say when you're alone in the garage with no one around, just trying to get it off the rear stand. I couldn't believe I uprighted the bike all by myself...although I do chalk it up to sheer anger for hurting my boy (rear brake peg).

Granted I'm 5'2", but I'm sure most of us could get our bikes up in that type of situation.

Tanya
 

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T-byrd said:
It's amazing what kind of strength you find when you drop your bike...say when you're alone in the garage with no one around, just trying to get it off the rear stand. I couldn't believe I uprighted the bike all by myself...although I do chalk it up to sheer anger for hurting my boy (rear brake peg).
Granted I'm 5'2", but I'm sure most of us could get our bikes up in that type of situation.
So am I, but you must be a lot stronger than I am, because I can't do it. I did finally come across a method that I can use to pick up my DR650, but that's nearly 100 lbs. lighter than my Monster.
 

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egas said:
Kimi

Hi I am a shorty too 5 1 I am not sure where you are from but here in Aus my first bike was a little Honda Rebel 250 thats what they call them here, it looks like a little cruiser, then I went to a Honda CB250 they are a great 1st bike to get confidence on. I have done all the Mods, Lowering, forks lowered, seat shaved and boots built up, side stand bent a bit.....................a bit scary at first but then you get confident on it after a while. [thumbsup]

Egas
I am almost 5ft 1in, and I started off on a Rebel too. In fact, if it was the same model I learned on in the safety course, which helped immensely. I then upgraded to a Harley Sportster 883 Low last summer, and I was just able to flat foot it on that one. I just bought the bike I originally wanted but was afraid, due to my size, to buy which is my 07 Monster. Even with the suspension adjusted a little and the seat shaved, I am tip-toeing. However, because I have become pretty comfortable riding, and the Monster is close to 200 lbs lighter than the HD, I am ok with it. There is a bit of an adjustment going from a cruiser style bike to a sport bike though, but nothing too bad. It is sooooo nice to have a lighter bike though.

Good luck! Keep us posted!
 

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Kimi,
I'm pretty short, 5'1, and I just got my first Ducati. I'm waiting to get it lowered, but I would definately suggest buy a used smaller bike to learn the basics on, then move up to a larger bike. And if you have a used smaller bike, it's not going to matter as much if you drop it. I was heartbroken the other day when I dropped my Duc. I told my husband that I was probably going to be done riding until I can get it lowered. My first bike was an '88 Ninja 250, and it was a great ride, just enough power where you're going to have a great time learning, but not enough to get seriously hurt.
 

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Another way to add a little bit of height is to use insoles in your boots. I suggest insoles like Shock Doctors etc. that have a little bit more height toward the front (ball) of the foot, where you need it more. They cost anywhere from $25-45. (REI has them and most athletic shoe stores should too.) Also, instead of having my Monster lowered, the guys at the shop just softened the rear suspension. They said it was a better option for me since I weigh just under 100lbs. You can make that adjustment at home, the manual explains how. I still just touch with tip toes.

If you get your saddle customized, have some padding taken off the sides.

As others have probably said, once you get used to riding, the inability to flat-foot won't seem so bad.

Best of luck!
 

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A Buell Blast as people stated earlier would be great to start with. I'm short (5'2") and a beginner rider starting out on an '02 M620. I shaved my seat and got the seat height down to 28.5" which gave me enough to flat foot with riding boots on. Riding boots with a large heel are definitely a help, but at 4'10" flatfooting on the monster will be a stretch even with the seat shaved/lowering. I've come close to dropping the bike a few times now and without being able to flatfoot it would have definitely gone over. I think the Buell Blast's seat height is about 24" or 25" which is a good 3-4" lower than my monster with the seat modified. Starting out on the smaller bike would work well for you and then moving up to a modified/lowered monster would be easier. This coming from a beginner as well, and realizing now that as a short rider getting the basics down on a shorter bike would have been easier. Good luck! [thumbsup]
 
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