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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got a PM from a member on this topic, and we decided that it was good for a thread, so here goes:

Pizzadude2010 said:
Hello,
My name is Fred Thomas I was was reading the thread about a monster will full fairing. You mentioned that you rode your monster from I think San Diego to Cleveland which is pretty impressive. Back in aug 2010 I bought a 2010 696. I do mostly city driving just around town and on some back roads. I have a cousin and buddy that have touring bikes and are wanting me to take the occasional trip with them. I live in Indianapolis and they want me to take a road trip to Harrisburg PA.
Can you give me any feedback on what the Monster is like on a longer trip? Is taking a 500-600 mile trip on one of them something I would enjoy or would it be more of a hassle and an endurance test?
Any insight you could can me would be helpful and mad respect for making that long of a trip.
The pic of your set up with the sleeping bag etc was cool.
Fred
PhilB
 

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Discussion Starter #2
It really depends on how well your bike fits you. The Monster fits me really well, and I have found that 500 to 600 miles in a day is pretty easy. 700 takes some planning and intent; 900 is the most I've done in a day, and that was a long day. (Although I might just go for a Baby Iron Butt and do a certified 1000 mile day this year, just to be able to say I did.)

I have a good friend with a Monster 620, and she travels and goes camping and so on on it. She finds 500 miles in a day to be about her limit for comfort, although she has done more.

The first thing I would say is to work up to it. Don't run out with your buddies and try to keep up on those long days from scratch. There are muscles you will need to build up (especialy, on an unfaired bike, your neck muscles). I would do a bunch of 200 or 300 mile days first, and see how it goes for you.

On the topic of neck muscles, speed makes a difference, so it also depends on how fast the people you would be traveling with ride. For me, once I hit about 100mph, it really is a strain to keep the helmet and head up and stable, and I can't do that for a long time. So if I'm doing more than a couple hundred miles in a day, I have to keep it below 95mph except for short bursts like passing a garbage truck or something I really don't want to be behind.

The only modifications I have made to my bike for this are (a) a Crampbuster ($12 and totally worth it), and (b) I geared it down a bit -- went from a 39 rear sprocket stock to a 37 (which is the opposite of how most people regear their Monsters; they usually go shorter not taller).

With the colder weather here, I have bought a pair of dirtbike handguards, which I plan to fit to help protecft my hands from the wind on colder days. It's pretty much stopped snowing here, which was my limit for riding, but it's still cold. I started riding again last week, and the cold does show up in the hands first.

I found the original seat to be pretty good. When it wore out, I got a Corbin, which I was not really happy with. Whan that wore out, I got the original seat re-covered, and that's what I've got again now. The SD to Cleveland trip did leave me a little saddlesore -- I only had 4 days between jobs, so that was one 900 mile day, followed by three 600 mile days in a row. So if I was to take up touring seriously, I probably would research to find a better seat.

Do you mind if I make this into a thread? I think it would be interesting to get more people's input on touring on Monsters.

PhilB
 

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Discussion Starter #3
His response:

Pizzadude2010 said:
Hello Phil,
Thanks so much for the detailed response. I don't mind at all if you make it into a thread, I would love to hear other peoples input. I PMed you because I didn't want to hijack the other thread. The cramp buster is a great suggestion and also starting with shorter trips.
We are going to go down to Kentucky which is about a 200 mile trip which should be a good test. When I bought the bike I got whats called the "comfort" seat and it seems to be a nice seat. I rode quite a bit this winter as long as the roads were clear and get what you mean about the hands getting cold. It's usually my finger tips that get it the worst and I have a nice pair of winter riding gloves. Also should mention I'm a new rider just having started in July 2010. I've put 1700 miles on my bike so far.
Again thank you so much for taking the time and the quick answer and will look for it as a thread.
Fred
PhilB
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Anyone else have any input on doing long days on a Monster?

PhilB
 

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Longest day I have spent on my monster is about 400 miles and it worked out just fine. When I tour or more like go on longish rides, I usually avoid freeway's and try to take back roads wherever I can so don't have to deal with super high speeds, so no issues with the high speed winds.

My only issue with the Monster is the lack of any storage and the high mount exhaust on my 796 does not give me many choices when it comes to saddle bags. I have done some long rides with a backpack on and that is no fun.

On the high speed wind/ head bobbing, have you tried different helmets. I have a Scorpion and an Arai and even though my Scorpion is a bit heavier, it is much more comfortable to wear in high speeds- hardly any movement/ bobbing vs. the Arai.
 

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I have the ducati performance pack for the monster that fits over the rear of the seat. You get two small pouches for glasses, Ulock, spare ear plugs, basically stuff you always carry with you, then an 18 liter pack that zips onto the base for clothing etc.

I've done 3 days away (packing very lightly) without issue using just this pack, no need for a backpack or tank bag.

I ride without a fairing and have done 1000 miles over two days without issue. Although I am thinking of doing a longer trip later in the year and will invest in a decent fairing before doing that.

Biggest differences to long distance comfort: DP Touring seat and a Bar Riser.
 

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I've taken mine down into Norther Kentucky and done some 300-400 mile days myself. Usually just throw a pack on the back seat, but those rides always end up back at home so I don't have to take to much. I've debated getting the DP bags for my 696, but my Fz1 is my real touring bike so I always talk myself back out of it. We're talking about a weekend trip to the Dragon this year, and I could easily make that from Cincy on my 696.

Bar risers are a must in my opinion on this bike, and I good set of gel grips. Another thing, last year I broke down and bought riding pants, always thought they were a bit goofy. Man they're frickin AWESOME, well to wear..they kinda make you look like the marshmallow man. lol Full gear is required when touring, gotta keep all those elements off you so you can focus on riding.

Great post, hope to see more monsters out touring. Only saw one last year when riding the Blue Ridge Parkway...which is a must for motorcycle riders.;D
 

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I'll be doing a 750 mile day around Lake Erie this year. I'm hoping to squeeze in at least two 400+ days to prepare for it. I have adjustable rest sets and clip ons so it shouldn't be too bad. But then I used to do 500 miles on my 748 in a day.

Phil, I think an Iron Butt is about the only thing left for you to do on your Monster.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll be doing a 750 mile day around Lake Erie this year. I'm hoping to squeeze in at least two 400+ days to prepare for it. I have adjustable rest sets and clip ons so it shouldn't be too bad. But then I used to do 500 miles on my 748 in a day.

Phil, I think an Iron Butt is about the only thing left for you to do on your Monster.

Jason
I was planning on going on that very ride myself, if I was still working here when the time came. But I'll be missing that one.

PhilB
 

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I was planning on going on that very ride myself, if I was still working here when the time came. But I'll be missing that one.

PhilB

I know and I was hoping you would still be around. It looks like it may just be me and 1 or 2 other bikes. Some guys are worried about it being cold in the morning and maybe rain. OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I've done a lot of 300-400 mile days and a few up to 550 on my '99 M900. Biggest problem for me is my knees .... the seat to peg distance isn't enough for my 32" inseams especially with my leathers which bunch up a bit at the backs of my knees. Usually around 300 miles I start experimenting with the passenger pegs, standing up etc. I have a stock seat and a Corbin; the Corbin's a bit taller which helps the knees but I actually prefer the stocker. BTW, I'm getting very close to AARP age. I think if I were 20 younger I could ride 1000 miles on a Monster easily. My other bike is a VStrom 650 and I can't say it's any better for distance, just different.

-dman_900
 

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I have the ducati performance pack for the monster that fits over the rear of the seat. You get two small pouches for glasses, Ulock, spare ear plugs, basically stuff you always carry with you, then an 18 liter pack that zips onto the base for clothing etc.

I've done 3 days away (packing very lightly) without issue using just this pack, no need for a backpack or tank bag.

I ride without a fairing and have done 1000 miles over two days without issue. Although I am thinking of doing a longer trip later in the year and will invest in a decent fairing before doing that.

Biggest differences to long distance comfort: DP Touring seat and a Bar Riser.
What is the Performance Pack? Cant seem to find anything about it...
 

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Great tips by everyone. The two best "comfort" investments I have made were to get a Roho Airhawk seat cushion and a Crampbuster. I have tried the DP seat, the stock seat and my Corbin and all leave me squirming after the first 400 miles or so. That Airhawk cushion is THE ticket. I can ride non-stop for days on end with that thing and my rear end stays quite comfortable. When you get home and tool around town, just take it off. Easy as pie. The Crampbuster also helps a great deal though I think I'll be looking into a throttle lock of some sort for this season.
A couple other things....1.) I have quit using the bikini windscreen on the bike. I notice that the windscreen combats some of the airflow at chest level but in doing so creates a very compressed stream of air that hits me directly at my face shield. This leaves my neck aching in short order at constant freeway speeds. I am much more comfortable just battling the air spread out across my entire front than having it aimed right at my face. 2.) As far as packs go, I usually use a close and well-fitting backpack of some sort but I also use another soft pack mounted right below the headlight (kinda Harley-style) to carry my bike cover and various tools, rotor locks, etc. It's out of the way, you don't know it's even there and it doesn't affect the airflow to the engine much...maybe runs 5-8 degrees warmer than normal. I included a photo for reference. Just be sure to use a soft shell bag and pack any "hard" items on the outside (the ends) of the pack as to allow the front suspension to cycle unhindered in the middle of the pack in the event of a severe bottom out. Don't wanna crack your fender!
I travel extensively on my Monster. There are better bikes for huge slab riding but when you finally get off the freeway and get back into the mountains, you'll love having your Monster!
 

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I ride with a backpack and a tank bag. By backpack touches the rear cowl when I sit up so I would have to say no to both tail bag and backpack. I have gone 600 km in a day and found it tolerable, but really it is not a touring machine. My legs and shoulders get sore after a couple of hours and I need to go for a walk and stretch out every tank or so to keep fresh and feel safe. I'm sure a Harley electroglide would be a dream for long trips but hey that's not our poison now is it.
 

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I just got back from an 9 day trip round thailand and laos ,

covered 2650 miles some days i did over 400 no problems thats on an S4 .
 

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In January I rode my monster from St. George, Utah to Los Angeles California stopped in Vegas for a night then finished the rest of the way the next day you can see a video I made of the highlights with my helmet cam here.


I would definitely recommend some stretching before and whenever you stop for gas, I did it without a fairing so the wind was pretty taxing, also it was January so it was like 33 degrees when I started in Utah which was pretty cold for a while. Id say be prepared for adventure if you go looking for it.
 

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I did some 300 milers with my M620. It was ok, but for longer trips (especially highway) I wish I would have some more horse power. Head winds are certainly a pain, I am 6'2" and no fairings. Suggest to take as many alternative curvy roads as you can.
 
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