I have loved Ducati Monsters since I was in high school, there was a Harley thing or two and a few Lego bikes laying around growing up but then I got a 1:12 diecast of a 1999 red-over-bronze trellis M900 and I loved it. It wasn't a big cruiser nor a plastic liter bike of death, so I then spent the last 20 years wanting one because my Mom wouldn't let me get one, I couldn't afford one in college, I got the TT, I met my now wife and we finally got a house last year. The Subaru, aside from a couple bushings and a wheel bearing is "done," and the TT is its own project that'll happen soon enough, but I've always been on the lookout for a good, cheap pre-2008 Monster. It'd come up a few times a year, in the spring because of the weather and in the fall because of the end-of-season deals (and the weather), it is really hard to not want to ride on a crisp day or warm night whenever winter is on the brain.
I've done my research over the years and know a lot of the generalities about the bike, early engines were more problematic and require valve checks twice as often as 1999+ engines (7k intervals), and fuel injection and 6-speeds spread across the line up to the second-gen was released in 2008. I would like to get a proper S2R eventually but since the earlier 750s and 900s were what evolved into the S2R 800 and 1000 I went with those instead since they're less manic. I wasn't really picky with carbs or injection but wanted bigger than a 600 or 620 so I could grow into the bike a little, I've seen enough of the valve adjustment procedure to know I'm totally comfortable doing it at home, and the bike I'm looking at has the better, rebuildable Showa forks. It is specifically a carb'd 750 so 63hp, 5spd, single disc front and rear, and from what I can tell stock as hell with 21k on the clock.
The 750 is basically the middle child since its a bored-out 600, it uses the smaller cases so its not happy to swap stuff with the bigger bikes but it has a lot of 900SS parts swapability where it counts, I've already realized I can install a set of SS gears to convert it to a 6spd to help with longer distance riding. I've joined the forums and bookmarked the go-to n00b links, next is booking a motorcycle class ASAP. I just installed a new 2" hitchball on the Outback after having to Dremel off the rusty old one, I'm getting the trailer from UHaul Saturday, then I'm driving to finally buy a motorcycle! I'll update this weekend, time to start shopping for some riding equipment