2012 Ducati Monster 696 (red)
(Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
Two months ago I opted for a "big girl bike," after riding (and loving) a little Vespa 150 scooter for a couple of years. I sent myself back to school first, and took a full motorcycle safety course before getting on the Duchess. Taking the course was terrific preparation and the last two months I've been slowly and conservatively improving my skills on the road.
The Monster is a dream. Lots of chop to the engine, a low enough saddle to let me put both feet on the ground (and I'm 5'4"), lots of zip and a look that really turns heads. And it sounds...well...friggin' amazing.
Its a forgiving bike with lots in the throttle (that has taken some getting used to!). Silky clutch, great ABS brakes. I even joined the local Ducati Owners Club and am (sadly) the only woman on coffee nights...but I have to confess that being surrounded by experienced and very encouraging fellas is a really great help.
If you like the look of a naked hooligan bike and are interested in a "big sexy Italian" I'd recommend this bike. Its a lot of bike for me but I know it will take a very, very long time to outgrow and the fun is logging enough miles to outgrow it.
Nova Scotia, Canada