Back 19-years ago when Ducati first showed the Ducati Monster, it has build up a huge following around the world, not to mention racked up some impressive sales. Does the new Ducati Monster 796 have what it takes to continue the success story?
It's never easy to reinvent an iconic model in your product line-up, especially one that underpins the entire profitability of your company. Ask Ducati, which has already been round the block once with the introduction of its dynamically superior but controversially styled Ducati 999 successor to the legendary and much loved predecessors. No easy, is it?
The Ducati Monster 796 is inevitably the same as the Monster 696, only a bit different. Even the Ducati Monster 796's air-cooled desmodue two-valve engine epitomizes that narrow line between old and new. The 88 x 66mm dimensions, with a compression ratio of 11:1, of the 803cc engine is the biggest change. The familiar Siemens ECU controls all this with a single injector for each 45mm throttle bodies. Thanks to the lightweight 2-1-2 exhaust system with catalytic converter and twin lambda probes the Ducati 796 Monster has a good midrange performance. The new Ducati Monster 796 engine delivers an extra 7 horsepower over the Monster 696, with output up to 87 horses at 8,250rpm, and torque is also up.
The crankshaft assembly uses a lightweight 848-type flywheel and a APTC ‘wet’ clutch which gives a ‘slipper’ type action that prevents destabilizing of the rear-end under aggressive down-shifting and also gives the extra benefit of a super-light feel at the lever.
The Marzocchi 43mm upside-down forks replace the same-size Showa forks on the 696 Monster, set at the same 24-degree rake with 102mm of trail. The wheelbase is left unchanged at 1450mm. The rear-suspension is by a cantilever Sachs shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping offset to the left, to provide space for the somewhat heavier new exhaust system and its catalyst. The overall weight of Ducati 796 Monster went also up with 6 kilogram, and most of the extra weight can be traced back to the exhaust system.