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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks,

I'm getting my pearl white M696 delivered to my house on April 1st...can't believe how fast it's coming!

I had a Honda CR60 growing up, so riding isn't a completely new thing to me. I am registered to take the motorcycle safety course at the end of March, so all the teachings and some minor experience will be fresh in my mind when I get rolling, but I can't help but feel a bit nervous rolling on the road with the Monster, especially that first ride.

I live on the outside of a larger tri-city area, so I plan to ride on some low-key paved roads and just get comfortable on the bike, work on getting the pads and rotors mated, getting a feel for the bike and it's responsiveness.

Can anyone else provide some tips and advice?
 

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Congrats,

The 696 is a very easy to ride bike, as long as you respect it. The first thing you will notice is that the clutch is very easy to engage and disengage. Pulling away for the first time and you will probably shutter the engine a bit and perhaps kill it. The main reason is that the bike is over geared in stock form. The front sprocket has 15 teeth, and the first thing you will want to do is change it to a 14 tooth. This will let the bike accelerate better off the start and give the " feel" of more power as the revs will be a little higher and more in the sweet spot of the power band. I have been riding for 15 years and I thought my skills have deteriorated with age as I first rode this bike. I found myself riding the clutch a lot in an effort to keep from killing in pulling away from stops. Turns out the gearing was the culprit and my skills are just fine.

Overall the 696 handles better than any other bike I have owned. The combo of low height and center of gravity, good power band, relaxed ergonomics and light weight make this a wonderful bike. Although down on power compared to Jap 4 cylinders, this bike will keep up with them in the corners.

The aftermarket for these bikes are growing quickly. There is plenty of cool things to spend your money on. Have fun coming up with a wish list and keep visiting the mods page of this board for ideas.

Some of the first thing people do to modify besides the sprocket change include: slip on exhaust, tail chop to make the back end look better, handlebar risers if the ergo's dont suit you, there are two options for seats as the stock one sucks. One of the seats is lower and the other a little higher but tons more comfortable. Lastly, bits like rizoma mirrors, turn signals, rear sets, ect will set your bike apart from the rest as you add carbon fiber and colored accessories.

Have fun and ride safe. Remember the bike will go wherever you want it to go. Stay smooth and look where you want to go and the bike will respond.

Jim
 

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All good advice from H2O. Personally, I like the 15 tooth sprocket, it makes first gear useful for something other than pulling away from a stop. As he mentioned, the bike is very easy to ride. I had been off of bikes for over 30 years. When I went back to riding the first bike I had was a Yamaha V-Star 650. Nice cruiser bike, but it didn't handle like the little Buell Blast that I used when I took the MSF rider course at the Harley dealer. When the new Monster 696 came out in lat 2008 I dropped by the Ducati dealer to look at the bike. They offered to let me take it out for a spin. One quick spin on that little Italian beauty sold me. The next day I had my wife drop me off at the dealer with checkbook in hand and the 696 went home with me. In the first year I put over 7000 miles on the bike. I've had zero trouble and still enjoy riding the bike. I'm older (63), so having such a light and agile bike is pure pleasure. If I'd had one of these when I was 16 (instead of the BSA 650) I would have had the hottest bike in the U.S. I would also recommend taking a sport bike rider course. If you are military or retired military (like me) these courses are offered for free at most large military bases. They are really a lot of fun and you can learn a lot about riding a sport bike. Like H2O says, there's lots of aftermaket goodies that you can add to personalize the bike. Have fun. I think that you will love the 696.
 

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A Monster was (and still is) my first bike. It's easy-peasy to ride so's long as you respect the power. I also took the MSF 3-day course and felt pretty readyfor riding after. They don't teach you how to really get past the second (maybe third) gear, though, so the first ride on the expressway for me was slightly scary but I got the hang of it so fast. For the period of a few months I road it every day to work and back (25 mins on the expressway) and after awhile you gradually get a feel of the bike; it's weight, dimensions, how low you can take a turn, how fast you can emergency stop, etc.

Above all be safe, wear your gear, and have fun!

Additionally, with such a pricey purchase think about investing in some frame sliders. Not only will they save you a ton of money if / when your bike goes down, but if you're like me, you just feel generally more at ease riding.
 

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My first ride on my first bike was 8 days ago when I picked up my 2009 M696. The ride home from the dealer was filled with a tiny bit of nervous energy but mostly all excitement. I also took the 3 day MSF course. Trust me, your Monster is going to be a complete dream compaired to what you had for course time at MSF course. I found the transmission to be pretty stiff and all clutch has a small "friction zone". I was a little rough on my first few starts, but it's smoothed out noticeably in the first 200 miles. Keep your eyes up, take your time and enjoy your new bike! I sure am!
 

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My new M696 should arrive next week. ;D

I'm moving up from a Ninja EX500 and the M696 is a very different beast from my test ride on a demo M696. Very powerful brakes, turns on a dime, and plenty of power. Very painful riding my Ninja back home after the test ride.

New bike == new brake pads, new tires, and different feel. Practice smooth braking at slow speed a few times before riding off.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey guys,

The bike is being delivered to my house tomorrow!

I did the 3 day safety course and got my M2 with a perfect score on the test! (for those of you in Ontario) So I feel pretty confident in my ability to operate the bike, but of course I'm going to take it easy, get used to it slowly and away from dense traffic areas.

I added a set of frame and fork sliders to the bike and also a trickle charger.

Can't wait to see that white Monster in my garage!!!
 

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If you really want to quicken your learning curve, try a track day in your area (I know they exist, I ride with a bunch of TO riders at the Gap).

You will become more comfortable with leaning the bike, and braking. More so in 1 day than you will learn on the street with hundreds of miles of riding.

Also, be careful to ride your own ride. In other words, never think you have to keep up with another rider who either has more skills than you do, or is just takes chances. If you are riding with another rider or a group, if they aren't willing to wait for you occasionally at turns, then you shouldn't be riding with them.

Most importantly, ATGATT (all the gear, all the time). It is not a matter of if you will go down, it is a matter of when.

Personally, I think the hardest thing to learn is where to look. Too many new riders ride the front tire. You have to look up as far as you can, the bike will go where you look, if you focus on a pot hole, you WILL hit the pot hole. Also, generally speaking, there is almost always more lean in the bike left than you think there is.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
WOW...bike was delivered today and i put 320kms on it. It took me everywhere. What a joy to ride...the handling and balance, engine sound and everything. I'm in love with my monster!!!
 

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Next week I too will take my first ride on the 696. Really looking forward to it, but a little nervous excitement too. Other than what has already been talked about, is there any other advice out there to offer? I bought it used with 52XX miles, so I'm definitely out of the break in period. I plan on finding some quiet streets and taking it easy the first couple weeks. I've been on dirtbikes (up to 250cc) growing up but I know this is a whole knew ballgame.

I am pretty knew to the motorcycle world, so any advice would me much appreciated.

Thanks,
Andy
 
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