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Struggling with riding a Ducati - Any hints?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by kezza29, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Hi all,

    I've been researching riding technique, watching countless videos on youtube from renowned instructors (twist of the wrist & jerry motorman palladino) about little tips which improve your riding skills. I have done an advanced riding course a little while ago and regularly practice and modify my style to be correct. I'm still learnign the ropes but I don't think I am that sh*t either, very happy to take criticism if it improves my technique. I would rather be a slow skilled rider than a guy who tries to break speed records!

    I recently bought a Ducati Monster 659 (spur of the moment decision haha). Previously, I learnt to ride on a 2012 Ninja 250 but it got to the point where it wasn't really exciting anymore and I dreaded travelling on the highway because of the discomfort from the ergonomics (lower back pains)/ wind factor with lighter bikes.

    After riding the Ducati for the last 1000kms I'm gradually getting used to the bike but sometimes I really struggle to slow ride and do manouvers/turn. Mainly with the engine power feeling like to plateaus at 4000rpm - 5000rpm (happy medium for turning) and becomes surgy. The riding position is a lot different as well, although being hunched over the bars is more comfortable it is considerably different from riding a supersport bike.

    Are there any hints or tips people could give me for riding a Ducati? Having to compensate by turning the bars slightly when cornering slowly? Or is it, mainly just adapting to the bike's characteristics?

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  2. Don't know if its of any help but in the distant past I used to ride a 900M and while I can't help you much with the exact rev range (you shift by feel:ROFLMAO: ) I found that keeping the revs up to around the point the engine felt smooth to be bang on the money for best torque and therefore best control.

    The other thing to look at is carb balance and possibly a fouling front plug. Another thing I have seen as well is that when new riders transition over to a medium or large twin they tend to ride them either to way low in the rev range, ignore what your tacho says and let the engine tell you when she is happy.
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  3. I have never owned a Duc, but I've had a bike that had irregular fuelling and it certainly made low speed handling difficult. Re-mapping (for a new pipe) improved it a fair bit.
    Also, have you tried playing around with tyre pressures?
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  4. Aren't most torquey Vtwin/V4s meant to be surgy/twitchy at low RPM? I guess the only way to get around that is to feather the clutch to keep it smooth.
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  5. Cheers for the replies.

    Empty One - Yep I understand what you mean. I was told by the dealer that it's essential to keep the revs up. This is easy when you are giving it a boot up the mountain but every day riding it is difficult to stay on the speed limit, literally ;)
    I've found that you at least need to ride in 2nd gear to keep it relatively smooth but 60kph means that the revs sit at 4000rpm - 4500ish (between the surgy zone). I have asked a few people about this, and they reckon it is to do with the map which has been 'de-tuned' to make it LAMS legal becasue V-twins make their power around this area.

    Titus - Haven't tinkered with pressures yet but I have a digital gauge handy to keep track of them. I would be interested in seeing if this 'surgy zone' could be tuned out but would that require a different ECU? or do duc's have 're-flashable' Ecus like most modern cars.
  6. Welcome to Ducati ownership! The easiest way is to keep the revs up, even when going slow. How to do that? Ride the clutch. I learnt that lesson the hard way when I purchased my Monster 600 and dropped her on the side when she stalled mid U-turn. I made the same habit with my bro's 659. Have to keep the revs up and ride the clutch.
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  7. As a couple of others have said, definitely learn to ride the clutch at slow speeds. Helps a lot :)
  8. I'd have to agree that the problem may be engine tune, perhaps more than rider technique.....
  9. Your latte to km ratio is too low.
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  10. My wife had a 750 monster. Around town or at low speeds (below 60kmh) it was a pain in the arse to ride. Turning circle was roughly the same as the moons orbit.

    I've also ridden the old 600 and 900 monsters, they were the same. Don't get me wrong, great bikes, just not good commuters.

    As others have said, you need to slip the clutch. I don't know about the new monsters but from what I've seen the steering lock isn't brilliant so turning in tight spaces is always going to be challenge.

    In short, practice, practice and then some more practice. You will get used to it eventually and/or learn to live with it's short comings.
  11. Bahaha, I guess I will have to cop plenty of more smack talk after not choosing a Japanese bike :p I actually hate coffee, I pound energy drinks since instead

    Thanks for the replies guys. I was just after a bit of clarification which I got from all of the above, as I was starting to second guess what I was taught in my course. I'm guessing with riding a Ducati, people either love them or hate them? Having to change your style to suit, like rev matching on downshifts? which aren't really possible to do on a Duc.

    Indeed I will. I spent a bit of time setting adjusting the shifter, clutch, front & rear brakes which made a huge improvement in helping ride. I guess it just comes down to more practice and time.
  12. Sell it and buy a real LAMS bike. A Hyosung would be awesome for your kind of riding! LOL

  13. yes it is, and once you get some speed up on twisty bits, rev matching becomes really important, that back wheel will lock up real quick otherwise. Now while locking up the rear can be fun if you're expecting it, it's not so much fun if you're not.
  14. #14 Zim, Jul 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
    One of the cheapest and best mods is 1 tooth down on the front sprocket.A lot of bikes are over geared to pass sound restrictions.Just make sure you have some room to move the rear wheel backward to take up the space needed on the chain,so you still keep the original chain.Ask your dealer,odds are your never going to max it in top.Easy and cheap mod.BTW and I probably shouldn't mention this but there is a slightly higher handlebar set available for them.Its called there City Bar,are you sitting down,its close to $500,that includes longer clutch and brake braided lines and both switch blocks with longer wiring.We looked for a set of bars a bit higher but we found nothing would fit,miss the tank and hold all the bar switch gear.some of the Renthols come close but are not imported.
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  15. Zim makes a good point. 14t sprocket on the front is highly advised on ALL Ducati forums.
  16. bahaha lucky I'm not a virgin anymore or it would be extended if I owned a Hyosung .. Sorry Hysung owners!

    I'll note that down. Does the fact it has a slipper clutch not aid in reducing the rear wheel from locking up? I'm not that knowledgeable with bikes yet but when downshifting, the engine sounds like it engages and 'does' the rev matching for you (so to speak) if you release the clutch properly.

    Thanks for the info, will note that in the to do list, if I keep the bike into my open licence
  17. Yes it is a good idea. However, beware of the effect on your fuel range. A mate of mine had a GT1000, changed the front sprocket and instead of getting 230km on a tank was lucky to get 190 (note that's towing a trailer at questionable speeds). He found out the hard way.
  18. Sorry, didn't realise the baby monster had a slipper clutch.
  19. This was my initial thought (why Ducati continue to build such a strett oriented bike, with such bad steering lock has got me phucked). The OP however, is talking about the 4-5000 rpm. So hardly trying to do a u-turn on a suburban street
    I think we need a we need a better description of what he is trying to do. What speed are you talking about? What gear are you in?
  20. Typical Ducati ergonomically speaking,why build an urban type bike with such head down bum up even with convention mounted bars riding position.The bar mounts are that low and the tank shroud so high finding other bars is virtually impossible.Thats the reason why the steering lock is so small,it hits the tank.Yep early in the monsters life most went to clipons but thats even more weight to your wrists.Found all this out trying to sort a mates wifes bike,5ft nothing on a 696.Lots of women ride them but its lots of work setting them up for short hight with shorts arm equipped riders.Nothing much has changed since the bevel days,you learn fast about the tiny steering lock doing your first U turn.BTW they are a stupidly fun bike to ride eventualy.
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