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Kevo, Curious as to the MT-09 vs the 790. It was a hard decision for me on that. Why did you decide to not bother with MT-09?
I've ridden the MT09 a bunch of times. 3 times at demo days (including the variants with the same engine like the XSR900, Tenere 900 GT, and Niken), and my cousins bike, both stock and with ECU flash, Yosh pipe, and Racetech suspension. The MT09 is a great bike but I never felt quite comfortable on it. Loved the power but it just seemed like the engine was too much for the chassis and suspension. The 900 GT felt better balanced. The ride modes didn't feel all that different.

I chose the 790 over the MT09 because for just $1500 more, I got an extra ride mode, adjustable traction control, wheelie control, launch control, Supermoto mode, TFT dash, better stock suspension (even though it's non-adjustable), and quickshifter plus auto blipper. Plus the 790 isn't too far off the MT09s power. Buying the Yamaha, I would've dumped $2000+ in upgrading the suspension alone.

Buuuuttttt, there's something to be said for Yamaha's reliability. I'm on my 4th one and have never needed a warranty claim. My 790 is on it's 3rd claim in less than 2000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Kevo, Curious as to the MT-09 vs the 790. It was a hard decision for me on that. Why did you decide to not bother with MT-09?
It’s difficult to explain because it’s not only the electronics package that you get with the 790, it’s also the looks, and the fact that 790 is not owned by everyone.

Plastics on the MT09 felt cheap and that display is a joke. The QS was not working properly and the suspension was hard.

It was more powerful, but 790 has more torque, and that’s what I like.

I have to admit though, that both 790 and MT09 are missing the cool factor of the Monster.

I don’t think I’ll change the 790 with something else in the same category...it would be between 1290 SDR and Monster 1200S.
 

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Excellent comments guys, thanks! Makes me feel better about my purchase now (not that I was doubting it). I never got to ride the MT09 but just sitting on it I wasn't all that impressed. It was a lot cheaper though, but like you guys said, the package with the 790 was incomparable.
 

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790 vs. 1200S

I am the owner of a week old Duke 790, and have had a Monster 1200S for about 2000 miles. Here are my observations about how they compare.

-The Monster costs almost twice as much as the Duke and it shows. The paint, the finishes, and the moto jewelry on the Monster make it really pop. It is a beautiful bike. I like the Duke, it is bold, funky, and fun, but I would never call it beautiful.
-The suspension on the Duke handles very well and I have no complaints, but the Ohlins on the Monster are in another league. Once I adjusted the forks for correct preload they are so supple that they seem to float over road imperfections. I have ridden over washboard sections of gravel roads and barely felt them.
-The M50 Brembos with the Brembo master cylinder are superb. The feel and the modulation on them are beyond what I feel on the Duke. However on the street the brakes on the Duke have been just fine, on the track it would be another matter.
-Both bikes have great electronics, but the Monster gives you more options. I think there are 5 levels of ABS, six levels of wheelie control, and at least the many levels of traction control. For each of the ride modes you can custom set each of these parameters. If you want to wheelie in rain mode or have a gentle throttle in sport mode, no problem.
-Power wise the Monster is a beast. Fueling is very good, so the bike feels almost docile below 6,000rpm (unless you give it full beans), but after 6,000 it just goes nuts. It has very tall gearing and does not enjoy slow riding.
-the engine character! The Duke feels like a twin, the Monster is a twin. It has a rumbly, grumbly character that I never tire of hearing.
-The Monster has become a very reliable bike. Since Audi took them over reliability and cost of service have really improved. This is still my biggest worry about the Duke.

Now the negatives;
- the monster is 70 pounds heavier than the Duke, and you really feel it. I have not had the Monster in the mountains, but I think the Duke would just leave it behind.
-The Monster is a really hot bike. In traffic it feels like you are straddling a furnace. Not great in the Texas summer.

Despite any shortcomings the Duke is an amazing package: a 400lb. bike with over 100hp., a hugely sophisticated electronics package, and a quick shifter. In Texas, where even two lane country roads have a 75mph speed limit the big Monster is a gas. In the mountains around Asheville, the Duke is fantastic. I love both bikes
 

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I am the owner of a week old Duke 790, and have had a Monster 1200S for about 2000 miles. Here are my observations about how they compare.

-The Monster costs almost twice as much as the Duke and it shows. The paint, the finishes, and the moto jewelry on the Monster make it really pop. It is a beautiful bike. I like the Duke, it is bold, funky, and fun, but I would never call it beautiful.
-The suspension on the Duke handles very well and I have no complaints, but the Ohlins on the Monster are in another league. Once I adjusted the forks for correct preload they are so supple that they seem to float over road imperfections. I have ridden over washboard sections of gravel roads and barely felt them.
-The M50 Brembos with the Brembo master cylinder are superb. The feel and the modulation on them are beyond what I feel on the Duke. However on the street the brakes on the Duke have been just fine, on the track it would be another matter.
-Both bikes have great electronics, but the Monster gives you more options. I think there are 5 levels of ABS, six levels of wheelie control, and at least the many levels of traction control. For each of the ride modes you can custom set each of these parameters. If you want to wheelie in rain mode or have a gentle throttle in sport mode, no problem.
-Power wise the Monster is a beast. Fueling is very good, so the bike feels almost docile below 6,000rpm (unless you give it full beans), but after 6,000 it just goes nuts. It has very tall gearing and does not enjoy slow riding.
-the engine character! The Duke feels like a twin, the Monster is a twin. It has a rumbly, grumbly character that I never tire of hearing.
-The Monster has become a very reliable bike. Since Audi took them over reliability and cost of service have really improved. This is still my biggest worry about the Duke.

Now the negatives;
- the monster is 70 pounds heavier than the Duke, and you really feel it. I have not had the Monster in the mountains, but I think the Duke would just leave it behind.
-The Monster is a really hot bike. In traffic it feels like you are straddling a furnace. Not great in the Texas summer.

Despite any shortcomings the Duke is an amazing package: a 400lb. bike with over 100hp., a hugely sophisticated electronics package, and a quick shifter. In Texas, where even two lane country roads have a 75mph speed limit the big Monster is a gas. In the mountains around Asheville, the Duke is fantastic. I love both bikes



Respectfully, comparing a 790 Duke to a 1200 Monster (with Ohlins) is an apples to oranges comparison. With the 821 Monster, even a Stripe with adjustable suspension, you're not going to get the high end features you'll get on the 1200 like higher spec brakes, more horsepower and the TFT display. Unless you opt for a 2018+ Monster 821, then you'll get the TFT.



I'm in the process of trading my 2016 Monster 821 and will, eventually, replace it with the latest version of it or a 790 Duke. As I've yet to ride the Duke it's hard for me to seriously consider it.
 

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Respectfully, comparing a 790 Duke to a 1200 Monster (with Ohlins) is an apples to oranges comparison. With the 821 Monster, even a Stripe with adjustable suspension, you're not going to get the high end features you'll get on the 1200 like higher spec brakes, more horsepower and the TFT display. Unless you opt for a 2018+ Monster 821, then you'll get the TFT.



I'm in the process of trading my 2016 Monster 821 and will, eventually, replace it with the latest version of it or a 790 Duke. As I've yet to ride the Duke it's hard for me to seriously consider it.
I only made the comparison to the 1200S because someone mentioned that they both have IMU’s and are a better point of comparison. You need to get a test ride on the Duke. The dealer in Asheville tossed me the keys to the 790 in their test fleet and said ‘see you in three hours’. I knew I was going to buy the bike within the first few miles. It’s easy to ride, its fun, it gives you confidence from the moment you get on. The dealer then wanted me to test the Super Duke R: no thank you! I was also considering an MT-07, but no dealer would give me a test ride.
 
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I was also considering an MT-07, but no dealer would give me a test ride.
IMO you didn’t miss out on much, I got given a loaner for awhile whilst they were sorting out issues on the Duke.

It’s a fantastic beginner bike and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to someone who wasn’t yet comfortable with mid size capacity motors.

It’s predictable though and the power delivery is flat and linear, for me it was yawn inducing, actually made me dread my morning commute, the exact opposite of the 790.

The 09 on the other hand is a lot of fun, but was too similar to the striple I had just sold, was looking for something different and found that in the 790.
 

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I am the owner of a week old Duke 790, and have had a Monster 1200S for about 2000 miles. Here are my observations about how they compare.

-The Monster costs almost twice as much as the Duke and it shows. The paint, the finishes, and the moto jewelry on the Monster make it really pop. It is a beautiful bike. I like the Duke, it is bold, funky, and fun, but I would never call it beautiful.
-The suspension on the Duke handles very well and I have no complaints, but the Ohlins on the Monster are in another league. Once I adjusted the forks for correct preload they are so supple that they seem to float over road imperfections. I have ridden over washboard sections of gravel roads and barely felt them.
-The M50 Brembos with the Brembo master cylinder are superb. The feel and the modulation on them are beyond what I feel on the Duke. However on the street the brakes on the Duke have been just fine, on the track it would be another matter.
-Both bikes have great electronics, but the Monster gives you more options. I think there are 5 levels of ABS, six levels of wheelie control, and at least the many levels of traction control. For each of the ride modes you can custom set each of these parameters. If you want to wheelie in rain mode or have a gentle throttle in sport mode, no problem.
-Power wise the Monster is a beast. Fueling is very good, so the bike feels almost docile below 6,000rpm (unless you give it full beans), but after 6,000 it just goes nuts. It has very tall gearing and does not enjoy slow riding.
-the engine character! The Duke feels like a twin, the Monster is a twin. It has a rumbly, grumbly character that I never tire of hearing.
-The Monster has become a very reliable bike. Since Audi took them over reliability and cost of service have really improved. This is still my biggest worry about the Duke.

Now the negatives;
- the monster is 70 pounds heavier than the Duke, and you really feel it. I have not had the Monster in the mountains, but I think the Duke would just leave it behind.
-The Monster is a really hot bike. In traffic it feels like you are straddling a furnace. Not great in the Texas summer.

Despite any shortcomings the Duke is an amazing package: a 400lb. bike with over 100hp., a hugely sophisticated electronics package, and a quick shifter. In Texas, where even two lane country roads have a 75mph speed limit the big Monster is a gas. In the mountains around Asheville, the Duke is fantastic. I love both bikes



Respectfully, comparing a 790 Duke to a 1200 Monster (with Ohlins) is an apples to oranges comparison. With the 821 Monster, even a Stripe with adjustable suspension, you're not going to get the high end features you'll get on the 1200 like higher spec brakes, more horsepower and the TFT display. Unless you opt for a 2018+ Monster 821, then you'll get the TFT.



I'm in the process of trading my 2016 Monster 821 and will, eventually, replace it with the latest version of it or a 790 Duke. As I've yet to ride the Duke it's hard for me to seriously consider it.
You need to get a test ride, the second I rode the Duke I knew the 821 was off the table.
 

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The 09 on the other hand is a lot of fun, but was too similar to the striple I had just sold, was looking for something different and found that in the 790.
Same experience. My previous bike (well, previous previous bike) was a striple before I totalled it. Wanted something with a different character.

Sooo... I bought a 2015 Monster 821, and owned it for exactly 1 week before I decided to buy the Duke. Why? Well I did test ride the 821 and liked it at first, but after a week of riding it I never gelled with it. It's portly, and the handling I found to be a little ackward, plus it cramped my legs. I knew very quickly I'd made a mistake.

Love the Duke, it is the perfect bike for me, however this whole immobilizer failure issue has got me a little worried. I hope it can be resolved quickly. I plan on doing some track days next summer and don't want the engine cutting out when I'm leaned over at 80+ mph.
 
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