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Old 04-16-2003, 02:12 PM   #1
crazybike_37
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Default Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?

Well, I'm an expert on at least half of your question. I own a 2001 SVS, and of course, I think its the greatest bike in the world for 6 grand (actually got mine for 4 grand. If you're looking for the best reliability and ease of maintainence, buy an SV. A monster is going to need frequent and expensive valve adjustments, is less powerful and its air cooled. The monster is also a little more expensive, but it will likely hold its resale value better than an SV, for no other reason than exclusivity compared to the very popular SV. Popularity is another thing you might want to consider, as there is a huge aftermarket and tons of tech.-advice support out there. Check out www.svrider.com to see the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 04-16-2003, 02:12 PM   #2
rsheidler
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Default Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?

Having been the proud owner of a Ducati 900SS for the past 7 years, and being a big fan of the Monsters, I would be tempted to suggest the 620 Monster. However, in several ways, the SV650 has advantages. Note that I have not actually ridden the smallest Monster, and the only SV650 I have ridden has upgraded suspension (Fox shock and Gold Valve -- or maybe it was Traxxion Dynamics -- fork rework).



I expect that the SV would run away from the little Monster in acceleration, although either should have enough to keep you entertained cutting through traffic or on a twisty rural backroad.



At least based on my own experience and that of my friends, both are pretty reliable, although parts and service will be more expensive for the Ducati. Unless you learn to do them yourself, those desmo valves will cost a bunch to have adjusted at the dealer.



If you leaning to the Ducati, it is more important to be sure you can trust the dealer's service department. With the Suzuki, you will have lots of alternative choices if you are not happy with your dealer's service, but you won't have as many choices of places to get service on a Ducati.



Both sound like really good choices for the kind of riding you describe -- bottom line, get the one that your guts tell you to get.



Good luck and let us know what you pick.



Regards

Bob
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Old 04-16-2003, 02:22 PM   #3
cornercarver
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Default Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?

I've never ridden the Monster 620, but I have ridden the M900 and SV650S. The SV is an absolute blast to ride, and it is much more versatile than just a beginner's bike. It serves that purpose admirably well, but the beauty of the Suzook as your first bike is that you absolutely will NOT outgrow it anytime soon. Sure, you may decide to upgrade, but it won't be because the SV just doesn't cut it anymore. Not only do they perform admirably well out of the box, but there are plenty of upgrades to be had, too.



The monster, on the other hand, is a Ducati. This means that while it looks great, it will cost you an arm and a leg in service costs. Without looking at specs, I assume that it is still a Desmo engine, which means lengthy and expensive valve adjustments at very short intervals. That aside, I know that the motor is likely to last a very long time. My friend's M900 saw upwards of 30,000 miles in its first year or so, and it is still running strong. It did need a new clutch, but he rides it pretty hard. I'd bet that parts for the Suzuki are a fair bit cheaper than parts on the Duc, too.



I am under the impression (again, without looking at specs) that the 650 makes more power than the Monster. I know that the 650 can be tuned up to provide many more horses than it comes with, too. Most clubs have lightweight twins race classes that race almost nothing besides SVs, and I've seen some for sale that claim in excess of 90bhp. If that doesn't convince you that the bike will grow with you, nothing will. I can't speak to the tunability of the Duc, but I doubt the aftermarket is getting that kind of power, if only because the thing is air cooled.



Living in similar price points, you can probably assume that they are similarly spec'd in the braking and suspension department. I imagine that either bike will need suspension work as you start to push its performance envelope. Other than that, I imagine that you'll have a blast riding either one.



Something to take into account is the theft rates for each bike in NYC. The Ducati name may hold a lot of allure for a thief, but I bet there are more SV owners out there shopping for cheap parts. Check with your insurance agent to find out for sure.



One other factor to consider, and one to which I cannot speak, is how well each bike holds up to inclement weather if you park the thing outside, ever. My buddy's Monster certainly shows the effects of outdoor parking, even in sunny california. There's a fair amount of fuzzy oxidation growing on many or all of the bolts. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the Suzuki fares much the same, given their build quality reputation on other bikes.



Most importantly, however, welcome to the fold. You'll have a ton of fun on either bike, and don't be surprised when your recently acquired new hobby completely takes over your life, and even worse...your bank account.



My vote goes to the Suzuki. At least on paper, it seems the better deal, and I know that they are an absolute hoot to spend time on the back of. On the other hand, the M900 was a phenomenally easy bike to ride, and assuming that that trait made it into the littlest member of the Monster family, it could be a great platform for really polishing up your riding skills through that most important first year on a bike. It's probably a bit more comfy and easy to ride in traffic than the SV650s, due to the slightly more upright seating position.



--sam
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Old 04-16-2003, 02:24 PM   #4
Mikey
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Default Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?

As the owner of a 900 Monster, I say don't get a Duc as your first bike. Parts are expensive when you drop it, and you will drop it. Unless you tackle your own maintenance it can get expensive there too. But since this is a weekend only bike, that may be less of an issue. Depending on how many miles you ride during that weekend of course.



Personally, I think they both suck as first bikes. Pick up a nice used GS500, available for around $1500, and ride it for 6 months to a year. Take decent care of it and you can probably sell it for what you paid. Parts are cheaper, the power delivery is friendlier, and the handling is still really good. Then decide whether you want the Ducati or the Suzuki.
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Old 04-16-2003, 02:35 PM   #5
crazybike_37
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Default Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?

I'm gonna go ahead and second that about three hundred times. You may be rich New Yorker, but don't go and buy a freakin' ducati or SV650 for your first bike.
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Old 04-16-2003, 02:46 PM   #6
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Default Mikey doesn't like it?

Good call, Mikey. The Suzuki is probably the better bike of the two, especially the new FI model, and it has sufficient power to get a new rider in trouble.



I think people who've been riding for a while forget what it's like to learn riding for the first time. I just talked to someone who rode an SV for a first bike, and it scared the peanuts out of him for a long, long time. He only avoided dumping it by being especially careful.
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Old 04-16-2003, 03:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?

I recently test-rode the Monster 620ie and was very impressed. It was extremely smooth and had nice power... I've been riding for about 15 years and I thought it was a blast, so I doubt that a new rider will seriously outgrow it too quicky. Though, to be fair, I'm not the biggest adrenaline junky in the world.



A couple of plusses and minuses to the Monster vs. the Suzuki from my limited exposure to both of them:



+ to the Monster:



Lower seat, thus easier to manage for new inseam-challenged riders.



Non-bikers think you're riding a $10k bike (ooooooh, a Ducati!)



I still think the Monster looks incredible after all these years.



+ to the Suzuki:



A passenger seat that can actually carry a human being.



A little bit of storage space beneath the rear seat.



Probably lower cost of ownership.



More power than the Monster, though this may be a negative for newer riders. i don't think the difference is really that huge, perhaps 70 hp vs. low 60s for the Duc.



More dealers, though not necessarily better dealers.



Experienced riders know it's a great buy and will know how affordable the 620ie is anyway.









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Old 04-16-2003, 03:49 PM   #8
Lowrez
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Default Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?

Give the man a prize. Probably the most logical suggestion.



I picked up my own SV back in '99 and still love it to death, but I'm glad I started on a CL360. I didn't just learn about dropping a bike, I learned to check and make sure all the bolts are tight (ask me which parts rattled off and when).
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Old 04-16-2003, 04:28 PM   #9
Captain_1
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Default Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?

Test ride both and then decide. You should also consider a low mileage preowned Duc or SV. The money you save will help pay for a garage space. Bikes parked on the street have a habit of disappearing in NYC.
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Old 04-16-2003, 04:31 PM   #10
Neal
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Default Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?

Cant speak to the Duc,but I concur as far as the SV...its too much bike for a beginner.My 26 year old nephew( a very mature kid and definitely not a reckless type)started out on an sv650 S and went down 3months later.Luckily he wasnt hurt badly but the fairings,mirrors, pegs etc were banged up and the repair bill was ridiculous(luckily he was insured).The accident was directly attributable to going too fast on an unfamiliar windy road in wet conditions-----the bike just is too easy to ride too fast and feels too smooth doing it.

its very easy for a beginner to get over his head on this bike.A used EX500 or GS500 are more reasonable first bikes---more forgiving.Its funny how bikes that have performance that would have made them a hot bike in the 80's are now considered beginner bikes.The SV650 would make a great second bike after a season riding the EX or GS.
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