Hot news is Ducati's introduction of the Asia-only middleweight the Ducati Monster 795, don't be confused it's actually an 803cc V-twin 2-valve, air-cooled Desmodromic engine.
So what is the Ducati Monster 795? In much the same way as more and more manufacturers created new models by merging the best bits of several models into one new the Ducati Monster 795 is effectively a mixture of the Monster 696 and 796. The Ducati Monster 795 gets the Monster 696 swingarm, 3 spoke wheels with Pirelli Angel ST tires and a red frame while aiming to keep the subtleties that make the Ducati Monster family such a hit with new riders.
With the Ducati Monster 795, Ducati hopes to move more transition bikers to the brand, who will progress onto as they outgrow smaller motorcycles. The Ducati Monster 795 is also produced in Thailand to keep the price affordable. Most people will scare themselves senseless buying a 'Monster' 1100. A fact born out by the Ducati Monster 795 even allowing the rider to lean into the corners with 42-degree of angle achievable before scraping parts on the floor.
As you may expect, the Monster 795 offers a lovely blend of user-friendliness with a sporty edge wrapped in a package that looks stylish and cool while still feeling full of character and very pleasant to ride. Like the Monster 696, the Ducati Monster 795 comes with Ducati's APTC wet multiplate with hydraulic control which takes the traditional sting out of a Ducati clutch mechanism. It's a very clever system that manages to offer loads of progressive feel while remaining remarkably light to use.
Once out of the Rayong factory gates and onto the twisty roads around Bangkok the little Ducati Monster 795 engine comes alive. Despite producing a slightly low sounding 86 horsepower the Ducati V-twin has enough power to provide thrills and is brimming with character with a lovely low exhaust note.
Riding along, the Ducati Monster 795 revealed a pleasant throttle response that has no intimidating abruptness, while still delivering a rev range that was full of punch with a slick gearbox action. Through town the Ducati Monster 795 was light, agile and extremely comfortable with its upright riding position feeling perfectly suited to my 193cm height while out on the smooth roads just outside Bangkok it impressed with its handling.
The Ducati Monster 795 feels secure through corners. As well as the same size rubber as the other Monsters it holds to the road and delivers handling that you feel you could exploit to a great degree. Ducati has always opted to make the Monster's springs sporty. While this is great on smooth corners, we found on rough roads the suspension was a bit too harsh.
A bit disappointing is that Ducati doesn't offer optional ABS with the Monster 795. Still I think the Ducati Monster 795 would sell very good in Southeast Asia...