Hi Everyone,
I’m currently biking from Essex to Park Royal on a little 125. Will be doing my DAS in the next few weeks so I can get something bigger (I’m getting fed up of hot hatches racing me at the lights).

A mate (and long time biker) suggested I pick up a Ducati Monster, however another friend said they’ve got very heavy clutches and would be a pain to ride through town. Does anyone have any experience of riding these bikes? If I do get one, should I go for a 600 or 900? If not what else can people recommend?


Welcome to the site, Evil - get yourself over to the Newbie section for a poke, from the looks of your avatar, you’ll enjoy it!

Judging from reviews, I’d say it depends entirely on what Monster you’re looking at. I have read that the older ones are overpriced and for less money you’d be better off getting a Hornet or a Bandit. The new 695 is popular with the mags though, but rather expensive. If it’s your first big bike I would sincerely recommend you stay away from buying brand new. Do yourself and your pocket a big favour and go for something with a low insurance premium.

My first bike was a Yamaha XJ600S, and it was brilliant.

I have a mechanic mate who sells bikes and would be the perfect person to talk to about this kind of stuff. He’ll get you a suitable bike at a better price than a dealer, and you can guarantee that it’ll be in good condition.

PM me for his number if you want

I wish you luck in passing your DAS.

By the sounds of it, you commute. Personally I wouldn’t recommend a Ducati for that run. Look for something more commuter orientated for the first bike while you are gaining experience of larger machinery. Also I would agree, better probably to go 2nd hand. There are many bikes to chose from that would be suitable and plenty out there available.

Perhaps a Suzuki SV650, pretty economical and can be bags of fun, plenty on this forum have them. Yamaha Fazer 600? Honda Hornet?

The Monster 695 is a great little bike. They have sorted out the heavy clutch, light as a feather now, and it’s got loads of grunt.

Best thing to do is go around and try everything you can get your hands on as dealers generally jump when you show them a new license coz it means they are probably going to make a sale.

You probably won’t find any second hand Monster 695s yet as they’ve only been out since May.

I reckon a Monster would be a reasonable solution. I’m guessing a little bit, but you should be able to pick up an older 600 for around £1500. I purchased a 1995 Ducati 600ss for £1200 a few months ago.

If you want to know more about Ducati Monsters, type in “Ducati Monster UK” into Google and you’ll probably be able to find the UK’s Ducati Monster Owners Club website. They have a fairly active forum section for asking questions.

I commute on my Ducati 900ss and yes, the clutch is quite heavy. There are things you can do about that though - upgrading the master clutch cylinder for example.

Best bet is to try and arrange some test rides though.

Spoken like a true Ducatisti. I’m proud of you

In my view it will depend on your pocket mate! If you are a little short? Go Japanese and you will die before it die on you but if can aford the luxury of the Ducatis ‘down sides’? Go for it, they look better than the Japs.

Look better than the Japs, Cezar? I beg to differ - you’ll see why shortly

Gotta fight a corner for the Hondas here. My first bike was and still is a Honda NTV 650, great indestructible commuter bike with shaft drive, you’d be hard pressed to destroy it it just keeps coming back for more and is surprisingly nippy.

Also a CB 500, Honda Bros, or something along those lines might make a great learner bike. Cheap to buy and insure, and you won’t lose your mind if you drop it or come off of it.

Then, a year down the line, with a bit of riding experience under your belt, get something with a bit more oomph, yes, even a Ducati. If you do go for the Monster get a 600 for the beginning. It’s a big step up from a 125 to a 600 and I would wait with the rolling burnouts until you have a bit more experience on a big, heavy bike

Thanks for the advice everyone - certainly got me thinking.

One question - how wide is the Monster? The handle bars on my Comet are so far apart I feel like I’m commuting on a chopper (compared to those narrow 600s that zip through the tiniest of gaps).

Oh! I can see it comming mate and that doesn’t count, lol! I ment on that sort of bike and price and original paint scheme!

ITM is on the button.

What you decide upon will say a lot about your personality Evil

From bitter experience I would say though that whichever route you decide upon, take your time. Don’t buy the first thing you see. Until you have made your choice, the potential is endless, and the world your oyster. Once you’ve made the decision, you no longer have any choices!

Enjoy yourself

Ducatis are unreliable and expensive to service. The electrics are particularly crap. They do look and sound nice and ride well when they’re running.

For a first big bike I would recommend any of the Japanese (or Triumph) 500-650s
My hornet has proved to be a perfect tool for commuting, touring, track days and scratching. It’s done 74000 miles and is still going strong.


On the old models perhaps, but the same can be said of early Trumphets. True all marques have their lemons, but I know of only 1 Duc owner (out of about 30 odd) who has had any real problems.

Sure Duc don’t have Jap build quality, but they certainly have more character.