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I got a 696 as my first bike. Put over 15k miles in less than two years and never came close to dropping it even though everyone said I would drop my first bike. I did everything from commute to riding the twisties to overnight trips with 500+ miles in a day. I had a need for speed so I traded it in for the 848 evo and started my track addiction. There are many things I miss about the monster like WOT all the time, light weight, easy in traffic, great for commuting, standard riding position, air cooled, etc. That being said I bought the monster to learn on and it was perfect for that. Now every time I come back from the track I tell myself that I will turn my evo into a track only bike and get another monster. I have been drooling over the S4RS for a very long time and even though it isn't air cooled it will most likely be my next addition. I am eager to throw a leg over the 1200S in the spring to see what that's all about but doubt I would spend more money on a monster than I did on the evo. And after learning about the grom I a seriously thinking about picking one up for scooting around town.
 
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