Well, here we are with some sunny weather and some warmth. Ideal conditions for getting the 999 out and about.
Or so I thought...
Went out and the same stuttering issues took hold again. Most annoying especially as I've just had the MOT and annual service done.
Anyway the good chaps at Snell's have given me a 10-reg 696 Monster as a demo/courtesy bike for the last couple of days. In short what a cracking litle bike! I seriously want one! The way I feel about my 999 at the moment I'm seriously tempted to trade it for one of these instead!
It makes me think that basic bikes are still good for the soul. Yes, ESA/TPC/DTC/ABS et al are all well and good but an honest machine like this, providing it all works together well enough, is still all one needs.
Just thought I'd share that with you all!
Funny you should mention that... On the Bridgestone BT-023 launch a few weeks ago we had a whole range of bikes to ride, from ZX-10R to R1200RT and everything in between. I was a bit slow coming out of the coffee stop and ended up 'stuck' with the Monster 1100, the lowest powered bike of the lot. I tell you what, once I had that in my hands I wouldn't let it go again! I've even written something about it in my MCN column - published in a week or two - as it left such an impression. And it was that air-cooled engine that did it, which I reckon is one of the most characterful, satisfying to use of just about any current motorcycle engine. It's that good. The 696 is much the same, just a lovely engine, of course with less outright thrust but the feel is the same, and if that's the kind of thing you like, those air-cooled Ducati engines do it better than anything else.
It's funny how you've been moved to comment on it here, on the Bridgestone launch it was the same, I wouldn't shut up about the Monster 1100 once I'd ridden it. At first the others thought it was a bluff to get rid of it, but then they really couldn't get the keys off me!
Before you trade in the 999, give the M1100 a go first... And there'll be a third choice soon, with the new Monster 796 (which doesn't yet exist officially...) which I'm (not) riding in a couple of weeks.
I did get to ride Snell's 1100s Monster last year and really enjoyed that too. I have to say though that the price difference would point me in the direction of the 696. The 1100, good as it is, isn't worth the extra £2k+. Not to my mind at least.
You're right about the engine. I just love that feel and the sound. Even with the standard pipes on. You even get the odd pop on the overrun too. Lovely!
I'm currently looking after a mate's 900SS (An 2003 fuel-injected model) and that's much the same. Just sheer good fun to ride.
Mmm, time for some serious thought!
Well amen to all of the above, at least in sentiment if not purely model specific. I also have a 999 but I shall say that I don't have any of the issues that Navy Boy seems to have been suffering as mine is and always has been 100% reliable. Trouble is though that as much as I love it and I do, every time I ride it these days I more and more get the feeling that it is wasted on me. This is no reflection on what I still feel is an excellent bike but more on me. The fact is that I am forty six and I have to admit that I simply don't have what ever it is that I used to have inside me that let me ride something like that as it should be. I was never Troy Bayliss but I used to be pretty handy, now however if I crack it open on a quiet country road, I enjoy it for a few seconds then cack myself.
I was in at Ducati Prague, yesterday and was mentioning to my friends there that I was thinking about selling it but they have convinced me to give it a few more tries on the track, to see if I can get some of my mo-jo back. Perhaps I shall in that safe environment, at least compared to the road. As they pointed out to me the value of a used 999 is not high, so maybe it is best to keep it. We shall see. The point is, if I sold it what shall I replace it with. My old ST2 still goes well and covers most things and whilst i have been hanging on for ages waiting for the new MTS, there is also a part of me that wonders if something like a Monster would be really what I want. Perhaps the smaller Hypermotard would be fun, or the Sport Classic or ...? Damn I just don't know. I could just keep the money in my pocket and restore some of the other things lurking in the garage and be done with it but I still feel like there is another new Ducati in my future somewhere.
I have a 1100S, done nearly 10,000 miles on it now, including track days, fast Alps touring and Sunday brekky runs. It does it all brilliantly. As has been mentioned, the engine is a classic. I've got a Multi 1200 Sport coming next month and am in a quandary knowing what to do with the Monster. I think I will keep it....
I love the design of the Monster and to me a M1100 makes much more sense than a streetfighter, as you get a beating from the wind when you go a bit faster, thus the naked it is much more adapted for the cruising experience.
How many mpg do you get from your M1100?
I'm picking up the M1100 at the end of this week if I'm lucky, otherwise end of next week after I'm back from the FZ8 and not-the-Monster-796 launches. And I'm really looking forward to it!
A friend of mine went to Ducati to test the Hypermotard 796 he said that the engine vibrated strongly up to 4000RPM, the maximum bhp is at 8000, he didn't enjoy the bike because of this.
Can you check in your "not-the-Monster-796" launch if the bike presents this characteristic? I would guess that the bike will have longer gearing, thus more prone to the typical low RPM vibration.
Well, it's looking increasingly as though the ECU is going to need replacing on my 999s. Ouch!
Snell's have an 06-plate S2R Monster (800cc version) in at the moment which I should be able to swap for the 999s. Anybody had/ridden one of these?
It's in the red and white colour scheme and looks gorgeous. I'm thinking that the 800 engine will be the ideal size with the same power as the 696 I'm riding but with a bit more torque.
Talking of fuel economy I managed to get some 56 Mpg out of the 696. Impressive!
Wait! Before you splash out on a new ECU, give these people a try: www.ecuclinic.com/
A lot of people don't realise ECUs can be repaired, not always of course but surprisingly often. I had an MG ZT-T a while ago with a BMW turbodiesel and associated transmission and electronics (the only bits of the car which ever gave me trouble!) and the ECU on that failed through water ingress (MG Rover's design fault...). A new one was going to cost some £900, plus I'd need to have it recoded to the car and key fobs etc. Lots of hassle and cost in other words. I sent it off to an ECU repairer who took it apart, cleaned the circuit boards with some funky chemicals and put it back together, and it worked fine! Cost me £150 with no recoding needed.
The people above specifically say they repair Ducati ECUs too, so they'll be worth getting in touch with. And if you do, I'd like to write a feature about it if you don't mind, I think a lot of people would like to know this is an option.
By vibration does he mean the shuddering you get through the bike when you open the throttle at low revs? It's something that all twins do to a certain degree, Ducatis more than most. That's pretty much an inherent characteristic of V-twins and it can be a surprise to people brought up on fours. It's also why some people dislike twins and others love them!
Sounds like he's used to revving bikes hard to get the most from them too. You get more out of the air-cooled Ducati motors by using the mid-range really, and then you find you're going quicker than you realise. John W is finding the same with his Multistrada, which is also tuned for mid-range.
But I'll let you know if the Monster 796 (still not confirmed officially!) is unusual in this respect.
Yes, he referred to the shuddering. I have a Aprilia RSV1000R, so I'm used to the twins but I only feel it below 2500rpm and my bike does 11000RPM.
If the Hypermotard 796 sudders up to 4000 and has it top BHP at 8000 than it shudders well up to midrange which is not usual.
He is a BMW man, so he is used to Boxer engines more than anything else.
A warning here: I've seen postings on other fora describing very poor experiences with ecuclinic.com, including their ECUs never being seen again. I've also seen Hypertrick in Sweden highly rated (http://www.hypertrick.net/). After my own experiences with FIM (now out of business) and their UK agents, Pro Twins I can only suggest that, if you value your sanity and bank balance, don't deal with either organisation under any circumstances. Usual disclaimer: I have no connection with any of these companies, save as a very dissatisfied customer of the latter two.
Navy, I had the use of a Monster 800 a couple of summers ago and I liked the engine and loved the looks: single-sided swingarm, white wheels and red/ Daytona-striped paint. To be honest it was all I would ever really need in the category of bikes you buy to cherish, ride on sunny days, polish and generally feel good about owning. The riding position felt a bit odd, though, and I was a little put off by a couple of servicing bills incurred by my mate which seemed disproportionately large for what was quite a soft, air-cooled, two valve motor.
The new Monster sounds like it could be a reincarnation of the old 800 in new clothes, which would be good news, subject to comments above about the Hyper 796 engine. Those reported characteristics would certainly bug me, but then again I am someone who will tolerate only a certain amount of engine "character" (for which in my book read "misbehaviour"). But let's wait and see what's what when the new bike breaks cover and is ridden.
Too late Kev. I've agreed to do the deal with the S2R, doing a straight swap with my 999 and Snell's are going to replace the ECU. I only saw your e-mail this afternoon after I'd got back...
Still, I did have a good ride of the S2R. Very nice it is too. I'm looking forward to it to be honest.
All good info, I've no experience of Ecu Clinic, I just knew they listed Ducati ECUs. My MG was done by ECU Doctor, which wasn't perfect, it had to go back again after it arrived still not working, but then it was fixed in the end so I wasn't unhappy either.
One of the best looking bikes ever made to my mind was the S4R in blue with the offset white stripe, but all of the S2/S4 series I think are fabulous looking machines. The air-cooled versions are sweeter on the road too, I'd be perfectly happy with one of those. When are you collecting it Navy Boy? And what colour is it? Easy to post pics on here now btw!
I rode an S2R 800 a few years back. The only real faults I detected were:
a. brakes weren't brilliant
b. nose fairing flapped about at speed
c. familiar Ducati problem of lack of space for size 10's on footpeg
Apart from that I agree with Kev - its one of the most gorgeous looking bikes ever made.
It's in red with the white stripe. I should be picking it up some time next week once I've got the insurance sorted out.
Yes the front brakes did have a surprising lack of bite and the whole bike does seem to sit quite low at the back end. Perhaps I'm just too accustomed to the nose-down stance of the latest Monsters after riding the 696 for 6 days or so.
I'll try and get some pics onto the site once I've got him.
Just wondered if you had any news about when you will be reviewing the Monster 796, and any first impressions you have heard? I currently have a Triumph Street Triple, and am wondering how it might compare... The 696 looked like it would be underpowered and probably too small for me (although I admit I haven't tried it), but the 796 could be a good alternative.
It was supposed to have been on April 20 but the volcano scuppered that. Now I'm going straight to Bologna from the Yamaha Super Ténéré launch next week, so I'll be riding it Thursday and posting the review very soon after that.
Thanks Kev, sounds like another hard week for you ;) I am looking forward to another excellent write-up in due course.
Hi, as it says in my user name, i am ecu clinic, many thanks for the push on your site, if you need a review or recomendation try Chris Bushell from the Ducati sporting club i have done quite a few for him and again qwuite a few in the states.
we can reset and repair 16m, 59m and 5am type ecu i beleive im also in MCN somewhere.
"technomad" i would simply love to know where you heard that nasty and quite untrue little rumour from, no one has EVER complained about "missing" ecus unless its beem missing on one cylinder. also fyi, i have NEVER lost an ecu of any description let alone a Ducati one, still, there are some right jelous people out there!!
Donate to the Kevin Ash Fund
Kevin's funeral was held on Thursday 28th February and was well attended by family, friends and colleagues.
The Telegraph has very kindly established The Telegraph Kevin Ash Fund to assist with the education of Kevin's three daughters.
The Telegraph can only accept cheques and Postal Orders in Sterling. If you'd like to make a donation but you can't send a cheque or Postal Order then you might consider using PayPal, which will accept other methods of payment. A small percentage (about 3.4%) will be retained by PayPal for the service.
Kevin's family have been touched by the generosity and messages of support from people using the website and would like to express their gratitude to those who have contributed in any way.
The donations keep coming in, thank you so much, and the family especially like it when you leave a message.