Hahaha. I’m sorry, I can’t help but laugh at the panic in which you asked this. Take a breath. Ducati Monsters aren’t rally or camping bikes in my minds eye, but I’m sure there are options. Firstly, without information about where your exhaust sits (high, low mount) and such, I don’t really know what to tell you!
Look into getting hard case side mount saddle bags that have a bracket. This might be hard to find for older Monsters, but I’m sure you can peruse ebay and the Ducati Monster Forums for help. Sign up, post an advice thread… people are usually pretty helpful and will have more experience with this than I will.
My Monster has no tail, so I’ll be unable to mount any saddle bags. My tank is so fancy I won’t be mounting any top boxes either. So, everything I take anywhere with me will be trapped to my back.
[post script] jack455 wrote me and said: “Tell your follower with the ducati monster panic to google search ducati monster luggage or panniers on images for an idea. I was looking at monsters and did some searching myself”
My friend Bryan from Spectre Apparel had his CBR stolen in LA on May 14th of 2012. After much research, he found out it had been sold through the website autobidmaster.com after it was retitled to Oklahoma as a salvage and the VIN was slightly altered. It was sold on May 29th, just over two weeks after it was jacked.
The reason I’m posting this is not only to give you some tips on how to find your stolen motorcycle via searching the internet, but also warn others in the Los Angeles area who may be victims of the same thieves. Read on for more info.
Since I don’t personally know much about this bike, I can only go off what I read in the specs I found online (such as on bikez.com).
It’s a petite and light weight bike- 360 lbs dry (without fluids and gas) and has a low seat height of 27.5 inches… with an optional low profile seat that takes it down another two or so. These two things are going to make it a comfortable bike for someone with a shorter inseam, and also light enough that it won’t feel too cumbersome to you.
As for power, it seems pretty tame from what I can tell. At 34 HP, it’s probably a decent place for you to start. Since I’ve never ridden one I can’t really speak to the quarks of the bike for a new rider, but from other reviews online it seems that it’s a really fun and simple bike to ride. It gets really good gas mileage (or so they claim at 68 MPG) which is always a bonus. I also have no idea how these things act mechanically, if they’re a money pit for maintenance or what have you.
But all the being said, a single cylinder 500cc (ish) light weight and petite motorcycle isn’t a terrible idea for you. But make sure you get formal training through your local motorcycle safety / training organization and for the love of god, buy proper motorcycle gear! Full face helmets are awesome, and so is having proper armor in pants and jackets.
(Photo from whereismaggiemae.com)
Firstly, what is your prior motorcycling experience? What engine displacement / size are we talking… 250cc? A lot of it depends on your skill level and comfort level.
Hannah Johnson (~5’3”) rides a Hypermotard with an exceptionally high seat height (33.3”). She literally jumps onto the bike as it takes off. For her, size has little to do with it. You can make changes in the bike (seat, suspension, etc) to bring it down a little bit so you can put your feet more firmly on the ground. Ninja’s are pretty light weight across the board, so keeping it upright or even picking it back up if you drop it isn’t such a big deal.
If you’ve got some experience under your belt and can responsibly ride the bike and respect it while you learn more… I say go for it. But that’s just my opinion, and I might lack real-world experience in this realm that some others can shed some light on for us. I bought a big, heavy, cheap, poorly performing motorcycle to learn on.
I also just want to mention the CBR 250 from Honda. I really loved the look of that, they’re very petite motorcycles and also very light. But again, I bought the opposite of that.
Anonymous sent me this message-
I’ve been in love with bikes ever since my Dad put me on the back of his ‘79 Triumph Bonneville as a little girl, and I just met my lifelong goal of getting a license. Although I’ve ridden on the back plenty, I have no experience riding myself (except for the course). A great deal on a Honda Shadow Spirit 750 has come my way and I want to jump on it, but definitely have beginner jitters. What advice would you give a new rider looking to gain confidence and get comfortable? Love your blog!
Hello Anon! Last time I gave advice about what type of bike was or was not (in my opinion) good for a reader, it caused a big tizzy. For that reason, I asked a couple notable motoladies to chime in too!
Leah Petersen (aka Leah Stunts) is a stuntin’ motolady with heaps of talent and an equal amount of follow through. Not only does she wrench on her own bikes and manage her own social media, but she’s also the creative director and co-owner at Stuntbums. Hell, she even rides for Icon, and looks pretty amazing while doing it.
Remembering exactly when I first came across Leah’s photos is practically impossible, but I know it was through Icon. Her spread eagle wheelie photo in Hella boots (the wedgy heeled ones) definitely caught my attention. Now it’s time for a little bit of Leah wisdom.
Yes, I am suggesting them. Firstly, she said starter sportbike not starter motorcycle, so I didn’t want to asssume. But regardless, as someone who has ridden all of the bikes I mentioned, I actually have my own opinion on what is easier to ride. A Monster for instance has a very torquey in lower RPM’s and it can be really uncomfortable at slow speeds. They are kind of top heavy and don’t have the best turning radius, so they can be daunting for a new rider when parked. A CBR is extremely light, and for me the weight felt much lower to the ground, making it much more stable feeling. It was easy to move around, comfortable, and the gearing is really easy to go slow with. It’s also really easy to go fast, sure. But to give you an idea of my personal experience, the Honda CBR600RR I rode was more friendly than a Monster 750, a Monster 620, a Suzuki GSXR750, and a Ducati 999. In a lot of ways I feel like it was friendlier than my 1980 Yamaha XJ Maxim 650 because the brakes were awesome and it was much smoother to ride. Better suspension, brakes, everything that gives you a leg-up on safety.
Point being… just because she is a girl doesn’t mean she can’t control her throttle hand and keep her acceleration smooth, slow, and safe. People can grow into bikes in my opinion, I don’t believe that everyone just hops on a bike and cranks the throttle. Why not? Because I watch a lot of relatively new riders, or brand new riders, buy Ducatis at MotoCorsa where I work… and most of them have common sense and take it easy when they hop on a bike. That’s why I asked what she was looking for in a sport bike. I personally don’t really understand getting a Ninja 250 if you want to end up being able to keep up with your friends who may have bigger sport bikes. You’re going to want something bigger pretty quick. Now if it’s not the speed or the power, but the look of the sportbike… a Ninja 250 is a fabulous idea.
I love Royal Enfields. I’ve heard that they’re really fun in other countries on all kinds of back roads, for put-putting around the city here, etc. The first time I heard about these bikes was before I rode, a friend told me about a Diesel motorcycle in Portland someone had converted to bio-diesel. I was immediately in love.
Back to the classic gas consuming little retro styled motorcycles. Again, I love them. I can’t speak for their reliability, overall ability to be worked on, etc… but I’ve known quite a few people who really dig them as well. While I have overheard non-Enfield owners talking smack about how they’re “made in India, and cheap”, I have never heard a person who actually owns one say that.
I have not yet been on one but someone offered to let me ride theirs the other day, soo… I’ll go take him up on that and get back to you.
Greetings! I know a few people who hate driving but love being on a bike. Motorcyclists often refer to cars as “cagers” and once you ride a bike you really can feel trapped as if you were locked up in a cage. Especially when you’re stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.
That being said, I love driving or riding anything that’s got power, for the most part. I love horses, cars, go-karts, motorcycles… so I actually don’t think I’m the best person to ask about this. However, I would always suggest signing up for Basic Rider Training in your state. Here we’ve got Team Oregon- you can take their course in order to get your endorsement.
Getting on a bike (on your own) on a closed course with specific direction from instructors will give you a safe place to experiment (where it’s okay if you drop it) and see if it’s something you want to pursue. :) Good luck and be safe!
Thanks for the extra info and opinions- surely ‘Anonymous’ from this post will appreciate it. (I enjoyed reading it, as well.)