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I'm going to disagree with you guys. I like what Ducati has done with the Monster. It took me a while to figure it out, but it reminded me of another bike, the Brutale. Which I found to be a really cool bike looks-wise, but it was also brutal (pun intended) to sit on, seemingly made for very small people; it was a very cramped seating position for me.

In general, I find Ducati peg positions a bit too "racy", too high, and too far back. And the bar/clip-on positions have too much lean angle. I think that the 800SS is one of the best looking bikes around, but when I was on one it definitely wouldn't have become my bike without risers.

The 696 has more power than the 695, "a slightly lower, more forward foot peg position", a 30.3 inch seat height, and a slipper clutch. The tank has "removeable outer skins", so you can replace them. I have a buddy who had to get his Monster 750's gas tank replaced; it was quite expensive (but luckily his insurance paid for it). So to me the 696 looks like it's going to be a light, fun, comfortable, practical bike. Just what I want to be riding.

And the 848 is just plain spectacular looking. A bike you can take riding (make that racing) and then park in your living room just so you can look at it.
 

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The Monster subculture is all about modifying the bike... that aluminum subframe looks made to remove and anodize to match aftermarket fatbars, rear set, etc.

Yes, the stock pipes have to go too. Other than that, I like!
 

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I had a major jones for a 900SS and an ST2, now it seems like with almost every manufacturer I like the old ones better..


At last years IMS I had the pleasure of watching the looks on the faces of the stick-thin-oh-so-hip Ducatisti as the tail section of their 999 snap crackled and popped as I rested my Hagrid-like ass on the seat...

it really was priceless, can't wait to do it again this year since with my shaved head and long goatee I look even crazier.

Maybe I should lick my eyebrows or something.......
 
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