It was time to begin doing upgrades and repairs on my 2009 Ducati Monster 696+. Over the past two years, I have kicked off a signal light, broken three mirrors, cracked my front fender and burnt out my rear disc brake, but the irony is that I am a safe driver and nothing really ever happens with the bike beyond normal wear n’ tear.
The fact is that the Monster has some cheap parts mixed in with the rest of the higher end pieces so as to encourage riders to customize their rides with “upgraded” pieces, which, like Harley-Davidson, is required for manufacturers to compete with Japanese makers such as Honda and Yamaha. Frankly, I do not mind throwing in a thousand dollars every few years to keep the machine in a pretty phase. Plus, I like to use things and make them my own. There is no sense owning beautiful things that never get used, like the sitting room couch covered in plastic for those special visitors who never come over anyway. I do not abuse my things, but I do make use of them.
At the moment this is what the bike looks like. I have just replaced the red front fender with a carbon fiber piece that I picked up at GP Bikes yesterday. I was given a great price on the piece as it was a “one off with flaws”, but really there were no flaws beyond the work on the underside of the fender – the part no one ever sees. It took about thirty minutes to get the lock-tite’d bolts out of the forks, but then presto. Carbon fiber is an upgrade material that adds a nice accent to the machine. I am not sure if I would like to replace all of the red with carbon eventually, but that becomes tough as all pieces are not equal in quality.
Next up, I wanted to get a new low seat. The upgraded part from Ducati is made of a much nicer material for the driver and a grip substance for the passenger. It cost a few dollars, but it is a much nicer seat and I had a discount coupon and gift certificate from when I bought the bike originally. I am showing the whole back end here, because later this week I am hoping that my new Italian Rizoma tail chop kit and LED tail lights arrive from the USA. As I mentioned, I kicked a signal clear off last year, and I broke both the light and where it attaches on the fender. Crazy glue was fine, but I new I needed to get this done properly. Hopefully I will have the new back end photo for before I head to PEI.
I should also mention that last week I dropped the bike going all of 2kms an hour as I turned into my parking spot in my garage. Some thoughtful soul must have gone to the beach and shook their towels out on the concrete floor. No traction, and a 180 spin into my spot that left me a little sore. The only damage to the bike was the annoying plastic mirror that always snaps when the bike touches the ground as it extends past the handlebar ends. I added two new Rizoma Elysse mirrors to my order from the USA and they should be truly wicked.
I do love this motorcycle, and have been really happy with it after two years. Plastic just does not last like metal, and I knew that when I bought it, but that is fine as I am able to upgrade over time as finances allow. I must admit that if money were no object that I would buy a Confederate P120 Fighter bike out of Alabama. If you get a chance, then I highly recommended watching their videos found in the multimedia section of their website – they have little to do with motorcycles, but more to do with design, independence and the theme I wrote about when this blog began: if I could build or create one beautiful thing, then my life would be realized. I should mention that the bike below comes in at a cool “priceless” cost (around $100,000)…what are retirement savings for anyway?