Joe Caringi said:I've got to step in here because there's some serious mis-information being dispensed. My first ever bike, at age 42, was a new 2001 750 Monster. I had it for 2 years, put over 16,000 miles on it, and loved it.
My rip-off dealer 6200 mile service was 489.52, and it did require 2 shims at that time - it's more expensive if they have to adjust after they've checked. My 12,000 mile service by a Ducati factory trained service manager of the local BMW dealership was 417.80, and this included replacing a leaking cam seal - obviously not part of the scheduled maintenance.
I wish people who've never owned a Ducati would stop with the histrionics regarding maintenance costs. I've never owned a Japanese bike so I can't knowlegeably (and therefore will not) compare, but the urban legend numbers that get tossed around for Ducat's are nonsense.
It was a great starter bike, for me. It got dropped four times, three by me, and once be the service manager. Damage was quite minimal - total replacement parts involved a clutch lever and side stand, total damage included very minor scrapes to an exhaust and a mirror, and a bar end. It turns out that the handle bars completely protect the tank in a drop - and this includes a 2 mph high side during which I watched the bike bounce down the road as I hit the asphalt.
Reliability was good, perhaps great by motorcycle standards. It had a clutch slave cylinder recall performed before any issues occurred. It stranded my once with a bad (German) relay. And that was about it.
It was beautiful, fun, and easy to ride. My only regret is that I saved a couple of hundred dollars and got the black, instead of the yellow I really wanted. After the two years, I wanted some more power and comfort (I am b***** than the average motorcyclist), and I traded it for decent money on the Futura. The dealer sold the bike before they even got it on the showroom floor. I just bought an 05 Speed Triple as a back up for the Futura, and if I hadn't already owned a Monster, I would have bought one, and been delighted with it.
Ducati was extremely diligent in making significant upgrades just about every year to the Monster. Therefore, I recommend spending as much money as you possibly can on the latest model year, the color of your choice, and the largest displacement you feel comfortable with (understand that a 1000 DS is not like a Japanese liter bike). You could end up with a keeper, in addition to a good starter bike.
Post up with more questions about the Monster, if you've got them. Have fun.
Good write up. It seems like there are not a lot of people with Ducati's on this forum. My question is in regards to the 620/Dark. Is there a big difference in all honesty between the dark and the standard version? I know you lose a gear with the dark (5spd not 6spd), but do you know of anything else?