Ducati Monster 600

well its been a testing time in my first 5 rides I broke down 4 times. the first was due to electrical faults, bad connections on the coils and poor earths. no. 2 was in the middle of a long ride and turned out to be the vacuum fuel tap packing up and cutting off the fuel. no. 3 only 1 cylinder firing cause was crap in the carb and no. 4 the fuel pipe from the fuel pump to the carbs split straight across dumping fuel all over the place.

the good news is many of the planned jobs are now complete. I’ve fitted the 680 and oil cooler kits and uprated the clutch slave cylinder, as I discovered it was weeping, know how it feels! 😉

general issues

if you buy a genuine ducati big bore kit you’ll find some italian instructions badly photocopied in the box which tell you how to make a ring compressor as without one you’ll never fit the bottom u-flex ring. save the grief and just buy a standard ring compressor as in the photo

the kits also dont come with base gaskets

the oil cooler is a bolt on job and I included a photo of the bypass spring fitting as when I was searching the forums several people were asking about the fitting of it

you dont take the engine out of the bike you take the bike off the engine, get some help! Once I had the engine out I put the bike on a workmate

handling issues

whilst clocking up the miles running the engine in, I had a near miss whilst accelerating round a corner the front tucked. luckily I quickly shifted weight in the seat and was able to vear off to one side without crashing or hitting any other cars

I put this down to diesel on the road and carried on home, only 100 miles with the heart rate of a sprinter! on close inspection the front tyre that looked ok was very worn in an odd way which I’d put down to incorrect tyre pressures. feeling a bit of a muppet for not checking the tyres I quickly got the front changed for a new bridgestone battlax bt14

as with all new tyres you need to get some miles on them, so more cruising around. I still didnt like how the bike felt around corners and found that I was getting more and more nervous every time a tight corner came up as the bike would either drift around or feel like it was going to basically fall over

on returning home it was time for more checks as I couldnt believe the bike should handle so badly. I found that the rear wheel had moved on one side so was not aligned with the front due to the crap design of the rear chain alignment plates. I aligned the rear spindle by measuring from the swinging arm spindle with a metre rule. I also checked the tyre pressures and found them to both be 37 psi, way too high, so reset them to 30 front and 33 rear. time for another ride and things were better but still not right. On return I also spotted that the chain adjusters had loosened and realised that you need to torque them to stop them coming undone.

after spending some time searching the forums I discovered a breakdown of putting the front wheel back in to ensure that it isnt misaligned and I did this and took the bike for a test ride and discovered that wonderful handling I’d been missing

  • check your tyre pressures
  • check your tyres
  • check your rear wheel alignment by measuring from the swinging arm spindle to the rear wheel spindle and tighten the nut gently to stop the alignment plates twisting and then Torque the adjusting bolts

if you take out the front wheel, remove the pads from the front caliper, push the spindle through – align the slot in the end vertically, tighten the 2 bolts on the slot end side, put a chock or brick under the front wheel and push up and down on the front suspension this will ensure the fork legs are aligned, tighten the 2 bolts and the nut side of the spindle then finally put the spindle nut on and torque it up. this may all seem like common sense but until I went through it step by step the bike handled like a boat

I found lots of helpful info at the Ducati Monster board – here

monster gallery

the end

I had the monster tuned which went badly wrong and wrecked the 680 big bore kit. I then got hold of some 620 big valve heads and 750 barrels, which I had machined shorter, factory pro jetting kit and k&n pod filters. This gave some decent power but was basically gutless so I sold it to fund the CBR.