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    Thread: I'm finally going for it and buying my first bike...Duc, Duc, hopefully I don't end up like Goose

    1. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      09-12-2019 07:08 PM #1
      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

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    3. Member CruznMalibu's Avatar
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      09-13-2019 09:01 AM #2
      Congrats!
      How far do you have to travel to pick up the bike?

    4. Geriatric Member @McMike's Avatar
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      09-13-2019 09:22 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      I hope I don't end up like Goose
      Me neither



      Congrats on the bike. Post pictures!

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    6. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      09-14-2019 07:59 PM #4
      Well, finally got home and settled, it took me about two hours to get to Peoria, an hour to chat with the old owner and load it up, and another couple to get home. I picked the trailer from U-Haul this morning, killed a couple hours, and then left at 11. It was perfect weather being in low 80s, there was almost no traffic, and I couldn't have asked for a first towing experience to be better.

      The PO was really helpful, we chatted about the bike and he showed me all the little features I should know about, he mentioned that the carbs were cleaned in the spring and that it only needs a little bit of an idle adjustment, I don't think that'll be tough. It also came with the stock windscreen, it has a chopped tail, smaller signals, but otherwise it's stock as far as I can tell, even the exhaust. I will say, I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and these things sound so much better in real life, it has a glorious, bassy, guttural tone that sounds equal parts Harley and exotic.

      I am totally psyched, I really want to try it on the neighborhood streets but I feel like that's a recipe for me to **** my bike up the first day I have it. For now I'm going to be satisfied with signing up for an MSF class and going over this thing with soap, water, and a fine-tooth comb. I might pull a sleeping bag into the garage tonight, I don't want to not look at it!

      Here are a few pics, sorry my phone camera sucks, I'll keep updating as I do stuff and hopefully I'll get some better pictures soon.

    7. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      09-26-2019 10:41 PM #5
      Finally got a few things together and am waiting on some junk I bought, it has been impossible to get into an MSF course without dropping $350 at an approved dealer. I ordered an HJC RPHA70 ST for my first helmet but the matte titanium color I wanted was on backorder so I should get that next week, I got a set of waterproof Alpinestars boots that are as-new for about 35% the cost of new (can't remember what model), and just ordered a new Klim Drifter jacket on an end-of-season deal for $150, elbow/shoulder/back D30 armor and very abrasion-resistant. I also ordered a new pivot bolt and nut for the clutch lever since the nut is missing and it got replaced by a ziptie, I got new longer levers to replace my beat-up OEMs, and I'm waiting on a NOS carbon fiber windshield fairing (still bagged, $95!!!) and upgraded Dyna ignition coils since they were cheap and the stockers are known to be kind of weak. I've also looked into an ST4s rear shock (OEM remote adjustment) and an upgraded fork but those kind of mods need to wait until I can actually ride competently.

      I took some time last weekend to pull the cam belt covers and check stuff out, the belts are in great shape but I want to replace the pulleys since they're definitely worn, and after taking stock of the bike I basically have a three-part plan:

      1) Pass the written test and get my permit so I can practice all the basics in the empty lot a few blocks away, hopefully the weather will hold for another month or so
      2) Take the bike apart, check and clean everything, powdercoat the frame, and add/replace anything that I think it needs
      3) Sign up for an MSF course the second registration starts and get a class as early in the season as possible, and practice more next spring before the MSF so I don't fail the 3-day class in the last few hours on Sunday

      I am definitely going to be doing a mild restoration this winter, I know it might seem silly since it'll probably get dropped or whatever but I can't stand the small bit of frame corrosion, quick fixes, and the minor crap that has come from 19 years and 21k+ miles. Here are some pics of my "work" last weekend, most of what I've done to the bike is in lieu of just being able to ride the damn thing. I did re-gap the wide plugs and also swapped the bar-end mirrors, I like them better up instead of down. I've totally sat on it and just pretended to be riding, having a bike but no license is a setup for total frustration. I have some other stuff I want to buy and other work in mind, but at this point I've spent enough and would rather get the gear and just take it around so I can start developing some of the basics.

      There is not one unattractive angle on this thing, its just so brutally pretty


      The key to my heart


      Worn-the-****-out fuel filter hose on petcock, I plan to replace all the hosing this winter


      Scraped swingarm and can, you know this is an Italian bike since the exhaust is al dented


      Detail shot, the belt covers will be refinished with VHT Vinyl Dye when the timing stuff get updated


      Stock airbox, broken brake lever, ziptied clutch lever


      Hacked battery box, plug on the airbox from the evap delete, I'll clean these kinds of things up


      The tank and front fender will get touched up but for being ~20 years old I can't complain about the condition


      Illumination light for the rear wheel well, I was undecided on it but then turned the lights on at night, it makes the whole rear wheel well subtley glow, its actually pretty cool


      The oil cooler is straight and nice, it just needs a little TLC (and maybe some paint stripper)


      Needs a cleaning and the yellow stripped off the bar risers, but the forks are mint Showas


      Supershox rear sprocket and sealed chain, I have a 15F/41R tooth count rather than the 15/38 of stock; you can also see the rear fender got chopped (that'll probably get replaced with an OEM S4 carbon fiber piece)


      Rear suspension detail shot, even the old OEM stuff is cool and the coilover wrenches from my OBXT's Tein setup work just fit on the Ducati shock


      Lots of miles but no tachometer, yes I'm looking for a ~1998-2001 dual gauge cluster, not having a tach sucks


      Wrenching virginity ruined for a block breather and belt covers


      Timing belts


      It takes maybe 10 seconds to pop the seat and lift the tank, it has a glorious locking latch (and tank prop!) which makes this access stupidly easy


      Cleaned the garage a bit for more room, within the next few weeks the garage will get its third overhaul to fit the Monster and the TT in it for winter
      Last edited by l88m22vette; 10-03-2019 at 11:23 PM.

    8. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      09-29-2019 01:12 PM #6
      I've been doing a little work on the bike since it's been a rainy weekend, that's always a good reason to hang out in the garage. I finally got around to trying the front fairing on, it's mocked-up in that picture but I'm going to get it permanently mounted along with the signals after I finish my coffee and run out to Menards. I really like the look of it, I'm so torn on whether to buy a couple other parts like a new rear fender and a seat cowl, or keep the Monster as stripped down as possible.

      I also swapped in a set of Dyna ignition coils (green, 3ohm) and NGK wires I got off eBay, I think the red wires are just flashy enough to be cool. I'll grab a new set of plugs this week but it ran well after a little cold-start cranking. I also hacked up and drilled out the L-brackets of the mirrors, I really didn't like them up or down and I think shorty (Mickey?) version 3 looks the best.

      Last project was to ditch the old levers and grease/install my new extended and adjustable ones, they're much smoother and definitely an upgrade. I also think the metal finish gives the bike a more classic look but that's just being picky...
      Last edited by l88m22vette; 09-29-2019 at 01:15 PM.

    9. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      09-29-2019 04:24 PM #7
      Last update for the weekend, I was able to modify metal L-brackets I had in my tool chest, drill out a hole, and mount the blinkers on the front fairing. They tuck in the notches perfectly and the brackets mount using the existing cowl bracket bolt on either side. I left the bent tabs on the brackets, since they have a hole drilled in them I can use those for additional support or some sort of other utilitarian thing, who knows.

    10. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      10-16-2019 11:47 PM #8
      Futzed around a bit tonight, got a 2001 cluster from Canada and switched out the KPM speedo for imperialist pig units. The wiring matched perfectly except the tach itself doesn't work, I was under the impression that the tach wiring was already in the harness, I'll have to do some hunting, it should be literally 1 wire.

      I also deleted the sidepods but may put them back, I'm fighting crappy start-up and idle, that can cause those issues since they are carb ambient air reference, but its more likely from needing a proper tune-up. I really need to do the valve service and rebuild the carbs, I don't want to troubleshoot or throw any money at it until I know the basics are right.

    11. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      10-24-2019 04:28 PM #9
      Another update, probably the last decent one until I get going on the refresh this winter. I was able to score a set of Staintune peashooters (reverse bazookas? I can't seem to find the official name). I love that they have the retro look of an older Brit bike but I think they work really well with the lines of the Monster, the OEM cans are cool but kind of function over form whereas these look more distinct. I test-fitted them but didn't install yet, they're mint so I already squirreled them away, maybe on a boring afternoon I'll throw them on to see what they sound like


    12. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      10-29-2019 09:04 PM #10
      Painted the windshield but will probably refinish it eventually, I'd also like a bronze-tinted one for swapping, come on eBay!

      Made a start-up video with the pipes, turn up the system/speakers/coconuts, they're beastly





      Last edited by l88m22vette; 11-17-2019 at 02:38 PM.

    13. Member NailsInOurBacks's Avatar
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      01-04-2020 12:56 PM #11
      Love it love it love it. That swept back look with the staintunes really does make it look British.

      Have you had a chance to ride around the parking lot? Thoughts?

      Everyone will have their time on the soapbox to tell ya what to do, how to ride, yadda yadda yadda. So indulge me for a second; please, please, please hit that parking lot and practice. Practice whatever drills you guys do at MSF afterwards, too! Get some chalk or a few small cones and setup your markers. The only way split second decisions and muscle memory can be accomplished at speed is through experience and repetition.


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