Forward mount and clip ons? Feedback sought.

one of my other monsters is back in original trim and almost ready to be sold, and sitting on it my knees stick out past the dent relief with the footrest in front of my heel. my knees fit under if i have the ball of my foot on the footrest, but that's not a normal suburban position for me. so i figured that it didn't really matter so much having my knees poking out.

then, after i'd done a road test on a customer's s4rs, it occurred to me that it was different. sure enough, the plastic tank relief is both higher and further forward. my knees fit inside it just fine with footrests in front of heel. the footrests on both are in the same place afaict, although the s4rs had a different seat that is maybe an inch higher than the one on my yellow monster. looks like the 2v model plastic tanks are the same as the 4v ones topside wise at least.

i was going to use the black fuel injected model tank that is on this bike now on another monster i have, and fix the dented early tank originally from the yellow bike to use on this bike, as the seat shape is being modified anyway and that's the main difference between early and late carby (early efi) model tanks. but maybe i could just get a plastic tank instead. cheap and no panel beating required. maybe just some sticks to plastic filler.


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had some more play over the weekend. i keep being drawn to this thing, but mainly the motivation was to get the 17mm front axle out of it as it's from my 400ss and i want to start putting it back together soon. so i needed something else for this.

i found a later 20mm axle, and i have the captive nut pieces to go in the end of the axle for either and conveniently the tdm850 front wheel bearings as 6303 - 17/47/14 and 6204 are 20/47/14, so all i had to do was replace the original bearings, which were unsealed and had to be replaced anyway. i cut down another 20mm bearing spacer i had to the right length and bang in it went.

i was going to get a 282mm yamaha fzr250r front disc from metalgear locally, which has gold steel centres. i sent them an email last week asking if they could do a black or silver centre, and they said their next run of that disc is silver aluminium centre. like they read my mind. so when they arrive i'll be able to centre the wheel and make spacers and caliper brackets.

anyway, this is sort of where i'm going. probably. the stance here is with the rear at about the height it'll be with me on it, but the front is unloaded so is about 30mm too high. i'll possibly have to reduce the total fork travel a bit to be able to get a front guard under the lower triple at full compression, but it'll still have at least 100mm i'd think. muffler will pick up the upper frame / bottom of seat line using an multistrada 620 header pipe for a donor. the paint stripes on the tank i don't know whether to run vertical or match the angle of the forks. i think i'll cut the shit out of the little front fairing and use "normal" bars of some sort.
maybe a very dark blue matt or satin paint or black under gloss stripes? dunno.


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i rode a new 659 monster (learner 797) this week after a service, first time i've ridden that model, and it has the footrests moved forward compared to the older ones, and the bars felt noticeably too low for the feet position to me, which was interesting. so if i go forward with the feet i'm going to have to go up and back with the hands.

i saw i think a harley iron 1200 on the way to work one morning, with high bars and a fairing and that's sort of what i was thinking of might work. the fairing i'd like to use to get rid of, but it'll need to be cut down a heap.

i was thinking about a slightly different base colour, maybe a very dark matt blue or flat aluminium, like the high temp header paint. not sure what gloss clear looks like over matt. but i see just looking at the harley site that the 2020 iron 1200 has a dark blue with red/orange/yellow stripe option. bastards. could keep it pure ducati with the pantah tl / s2 shitty grey/silver colour, but i don't think i could stomach that.

i was going to run the paint stripes down the centre of the tank from the rear 3 stripes, so from the top/rear it looks like the mid 70's ducati T font. not sure if the masking is something i can accomplish though, never having done anything like that before.

anyway, the front discs i want are available this week, so i can get them and start playing with the front end caliper and wheel spacing wise. even if it ends up being a scrambler thing it'll still have the same front end so progress to be made. i have a 400ss to reassemble too, but it's kind of straight back together boring and this thing is much more interesting.
discs arrived. not as small as i'd thought they might look, esp compared to a 320. couldn't help myself, so i dodged real work for an hour or so and fitted them to the wheel, then cut the lh axle spacer down to centre the wheel and went the cardboard aided design for caliper brackets. turns out the lower mounting hole on the fork and the upper caliper mount are at right angles to the planes of mounting screws. certainly floats my symmetry boat.

did a solidworks caliper bracket and hopefully have that water cut soon. will have to piss off the 90 series front tyre at some point and fit an 80. it just looks like a balloon.

i think i've found somewhere i can put some forward mounts too. will have to knock something up.


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i have a spreadsheet i started ages ago when i went through the rear suspension linkage to map it out and see what might be the consequences of lowering it. chart from that is below. spring loads are all kg/10. everything else is mm i think.

when i first got it my other m600 years ago it had 46mm of sag on the rear, with 10mm of spring preload. i upped the preload to 16mm and got 35mm sag, which is what i wanted. measuring the spring and calculating the spring rate (it's a progressive spring) over the 140mm of wheel travel / 67mm of shock travel it starts at 9.3kg/mm, then goes to 11.5 and then 15kg/mm at full compression. based on the spring curve i plotted out i worked out that the sag load with me on it is around 275kg. full compression load was 800kg with the preload before and 900 after - surprising how much difference 6mm of preload can make to the fully compressed load, but 6mm is 9% of the total shock travel i guess.

when the shock is shortened to 47mm total travel, to replicate that load at full compression an 18.6kg/mm spring with 1mm of preload would work, but it's a pretty stiff spring. i know some people run an 8 on the back of a monster that's a single person bike, so in terms of the final load on an 8 with the std travel a 15 with the reduced travel would give about the same result.

the swingarm angle is probably no longer accurate as i've been raising the front to get clearance above the front tyre, making the swingarm more negative for any given position. the linkage ratio varies from 0.40 to 0.52 or so. all fun stuff to play with, but riding it with the shortened shock and heavier spring will be the ultimate test.


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caliper mounts cut! i like this waterjet business.

now i have to make up some "nuts" to go behind the original holes on the fork legs to mount the brackets to. individual nuts i'm not so keen on because even if i lockwire the bolts holding the brackets to the forks - more as a visual reminder to "don't undo these" i guess than a real safety concern - the nuts are another degree of freedom again.

last one i did i had some threaded blocks cnc'd up. you can see them with the cnc'd caliper mounts from the yellow monster. i can either get that done again, or maybe just weld a little plate between two nuts to make them captive and call it done. the price last time equalled the impressiveness of the part. it was somewhat eye watering overall getting a heap of stuff cnc'd


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i finally got the shock back, shortened by 20mm. i found a spring that calculated at 13.7 in my stash so fitted that. it's got 9mm of preload fitted with the adjusters all the way up against the top section. sitting on it it didn't feel outrageously hard. i guess i'll find out at some point. it was pretty nice paint wise when i found it, but i was adjusting my press to get it in and compress the spring to get the lower retainer in and dropped the whole lot (bending my thumb back) because i was too impatient to just put it on the bench and make it easy for myself. so i've had a week of not being able to grab things too tight, and now have a scuffed up spring. yellow probably doesn't suit it anyway.

also fitted a caliper for a test. not sure if i like the look, but it's in there now.

the bottom of the seat doesn't follow the frame or tank line, so i think i'll hack some more off there too. will have to try to be neater there though, given it's visual.

heaps of work to do on it, but the 400ss is nearly done so it'll give me something to chip away at. i'd kind of like to leave it a bit ratty, but the lh engine case is cracked at the front engine mount, so it really has to all come apart and have that welded and i know it has a noisy 3rd gear and if all that is happening then it might as well get all painted / powder coated. i won't really have an excuse to run a black front wheel and silver rear then if everything else is refinished, but i'm kind of liking that combo. never been a fan of black wheels. not sure about the swingarm either - i'd like to leave it silver, but it might suit the overall better in black when the frame is black. and the frame really needs to be done - not sure if a clean up and spray will hide the fact it's been fairly seriously reworked at the front.

i'd really like to know what hard anodising looks like too, so was thinking about having the fork tubes done - that'll get rid of the gold and sun faded variations thereof. maybe the lowers as well - they've got some crash damage i could rub off and hide that way. but then it all has to be nice, and that always costs me a heap the way i do it.

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That's a lot of work to reduce the disk rotor size, but they do look good. Agree with you that the front tire looks like a big fat doughnut. Should it have a 100/80 or 110/80 on that rim?

BTW, who was responsible for wiring design and build on Ducatis? I cannot believe the number of inconsistencies between the wiring diagrams in teh official shop manual; and what I can see on the bike. And let's not start on the surplus kilo's of wire as the harness goes around in circles on an ST...
it's a bias sport demon i pulled off a guys pantah, just there to roll it around. should have a 110/80 like a scrambler. you can get a 100/90r18 conti something, but the specs show it as 106mm wide and their 110/80 as 108 or 110, so not much difference. it's a 3" wheel from memory, and the 100/90 should be on a 2.5 so on a 3 it'd be a bit wider anyway.

because the wheel is wider across the disc mounts it actually sort of ended up really easy that way - much easier than trying to make some original 320mm work as they all have offset. i hadn't considered that dimension when i came up with the wheel swap idea. luckily it all came together with flat plate caliper adapters. much better (cheaper) than the cnc one's i had done for the previous job.

i'm going to have to move all the wiring up under the tank - with the seat cut there's just no room. later year ones were like that, so shouldn't be too hard. i'm good enough at that stuff to dig myself a huge hole of self loathing and regret.
Hey Brad,

Thanks for all your help over the years on various Ducati modifications & such. Still reference your pages regularly FWTW.

Maybe look into HyperMotard1100 controls? They are slightly forward of the Monster and aren’t bad on the budget either. Just a thought.
no worries stew

the hm or even scrambler ones will lift my knees. feet really need to go forward quite a lot to fit the tank and not feel stupid. not sure that not looking stupid is really a possible option here.
i found a while ago that if i tightened the front axle the wheel got hard to rotate, but figured i'd put off any action on that as long as possible. pulled the front wheel out yesterday, heated it up and knocked the bearings out as gently as possibly. found one side had a fairly small hole under the bearing. originally the tdm850 wheel had a 17mm axle, whereas i'm running a std monster 20mm axle (early 93 - 94 monsters had 17, but i didn't have any of them, just 20) and i'd put some 6204 bearings in it and a spacer to suit cut from an old paso 20mm axle spacer i think. but the hole under the bearing was just over 25mm, and my spacer od was 25mm and clearly it was a bit too tight. so i opened the hole up to 26mm with a step drill and cleaned it up with a carbide burr and now it's cool. i was worried it might be my spacer not having parallel ends or some shit like that, but easy in the end. can tighten wheel now. move on.

found i had to fit the rh caliper with some washers between bracket and caliper to centre the caliper over the disc, but the lh was good as was. only 1mm in it, but still seemed a bit strange. anyway, all on for now.

i swapped the model year appropriate fuel injected tank for the early carby tank i'm going to use, which means the front of the seat doesn't suit as the cut out is different at the tank - changed about 99 i think. so i hacked up the front of the seat a little more so it suits. i have had a ryobi cordless multi-tool kit for years that had a sawsall thing in it that i never used - it had a short blade that seemed totally worthless. but a while ago i had to cut a screw holding a post to a fence without access and after trying to use a hacksaw blade held at one end i went and found some long blades to suit the sawsall thing and omfg what a fucking tool! mind blown. i love this thing. nothing stands up to the sawsall. even seat foam and base plastic. yeah baby. still need to trim the bottom plastic piece so the line is more consistant with the frame i think

the main issue with this bike is that is a 00 model, so another 5 years till it's elligible for a club permit. club permit in victoria is $80 odd per year. full rego is $700 ish. i really don't like paying that sort of money, so it's probably going to have to wait to 2025 to get on the road anyway. but, realistically, would still be surprised if it's ready.

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got an mts 620 exhaust system, with the horizontal header that runs down the rh side of the engine under the primary drive cover for a starting point. not sure if i want to run mufflers below the swingarm or angle up past the swingarm. and if it'll be one each side or 2-1 on the right. might be easier than working around the stand on the left. and if i run the mufflers horizontal and below the swingarm, maybe i should go to a low rear caliper so it hides behind the muffler. this is sort of the inspiration -


used a clamp to try footrest positions too - seemed ok at the flat bar section. round adjuster was too high.

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would really love to work in a rear tail piece from some of the harleys too - i think it's most commonly a dyna where it has just a little kick at the end. irk used on a while ago and it's a shape i really love. but i don't think i have enough available height side on wise without the visual weight being excessive or conversely it looking too shallow if i section it down to fit under the seat, but not below the frame. will need to be quite short too, but i figured if it's wide enough to fit over the 180 rear tyre it'll probably fit the rego plate inside it and that way i can use a set of combined indicator/stop/brake lights on the sides and the rego plate with light up inside the guard for a neater look. one like this -

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i've got time to decide though. i expect the end result will ultimately be a cut one one of these in the metal recycling bin out the front of the fencing place down the road. it's only a few hundred bucks though.
Progress is progress, no mater how slight. Keep at it. How about a picture of the multi-tool with sawzall attachment? Don't believe I've ever seen one, and I love cool tools.
it's not a multitool, i mean it was a ryobi 4 tool box, bought it years ago - like 15+. i think the batteries i'm using in it now are three generations on from the originals. old blue one, not the current green. got some sort of white usa made blades for it. cuts through steel like crazy.

Ok. I have those batteries (in Li version-much better!) for my blue Riobi drill. I might watch ebay for the sawzall.
a customer bought an 850t in for some work, part of which was getting an exhaust on it to pass a roadworthy certificate. it had to be quiet - and finding a std system for an old guzzi turned out to be a lot harder than i expected. customer bought in a new h that i cut to narrow and some sito replacement mufflers, that i made some quick mount brackets for. digging the long look myself. so more inspiration.
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Love that frame style. Very V7 sport like with those long mufflers. It might look more balanced with a seat that stretches further back though.

I have been fighting a similar issue on my naked ST3. I fabricated some stainless mid pipes to fit shortie curved megaphone mufflers and the bike looks short and fat like that so I went back to the long DP carbon mufflers to stretch it out visually.


It is still a poor balance between the tight little seat and the wide long mufflers but it's getting there. The different shades of red are all identical. That's just how the lights hit it. and the paint all came up like paint stripper, so it has to be redone anyway.

If you are ever tempted to polish a set of Ducati pipes, budget for a few days of wet and dry and buffing wheel or find a good polishing shop that can do them for you. Headlamp mount is modified early Monster to take OEM ST dash and LED headlamp. I am still trying to tuck things away into the diminishing space under the seat.

You could make a rear seat cover with an upturned duck tail - same idea as old monster cowl but in a shape more like that fender. That way it's totally reversible.
the owner is converting projects to cash or usable motorcycles without spending too much cash. this one his dad did some stuff to, but it ended up without the tilt seat mounts on the rear guard and he had another typical "cafe" seat that would have been a mess to use. then he found this one for sale localish to suit a tonti frame bike, for a couple hundred it was a money saver instead of trying to make something else fit. had some cool adj mounts under it. i had to cut some slots for the 850t frame spears that lock the original seat down, but now it goes on, pushes forward to drop over the spear burr and slides back under it. easiest way to get a seat on it pretty much.

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i know what you mean about the st. i'm not a fan of the alleged "gp" style muffler, and i do like them long. can you mount the dp ones so that the line follows the lower frame or tail angle? should be easy enough with a shorter mount. you'd need rearsets though, can see how close it is now. the st headers are great for what they do, but very unique for what you want to do. you'd have to get another set of something and make muffler pipes to angle the cans. well, i guess you could cut the dp ones up, but they're possibly worth a bit of money.

the different shades of red is funny (but not). i remember doing crash repairs on say a yellow 996. you'd buy 5 new panels, fit it all up and park it under fluro lights and the thing would be 6 different colours. allegedly primer mismatch was an issue the painters used to tell us.
That's an interesting seat mount arrangement. I went with a simple tongue up front and a dzus fastener at the rear, but I still have to fabricate a seat pad and cover arrangement.

Your point on the pipes is spot on. With this red headed stepchild, there are not a lot of options. I tried to raise the pipes and they hit the stock footpeg mounts before they get anywhere close to matching the new lower frame angle and where I ended up with them, my heels rest on the pipes when the balls of my feet are on the pegs. That's where the curved "GP" pipes came in.

The "right" answer is to sell the DP mufflers for about as much as I paid for the bike and then cut off the exhaust flanges about 6 inches out and fabricate a pair of stepped headers with a collector, expansion section and then split back into two pipes, or X the headers under the back of the motor.

A simpler solution might be a set of SR4 or ST4 bigger diameter headers with flanges replaced with ST3 flanges to mate to the heads and then - oops. Still need to cut off the OEM collector/splitter to work with high pipes from say an S4 (Mivv might work). And that's the rub. Tons of work that add zero to the eventual sales value but might add a couple of HP. Who knows.

But back to that 850, you are right that matching the pipes to the overall look is not easy and what we each see is not necessarily the same as what others perceive and that's all part of building a custom bike.

What are you thinking now about the cruiser look for that Monster? Does the Diavel or a Harley provide any styling cluses that can be transferred over to this platform? Could you remove some foam from the rider's seat position to sit more IN the bike and perhaps raise the rear hump a little to level it off? That might change the ass dragging look to more of a low sled look.

Is there a shorter tank that would shorten the distance to the bars? Not a peanut as such but either the shortest monster tank or maybe a lightly used scrambler tank.
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