Ducati Monster 796 (2009 - present)

Manufacturer
Category
Price
£6995
Available from
2009
Mid range version of Ducati's Monster has a lovely soundtrack and is very comfy.
Another £1500 buys the 1100 Monster..

User Reviews

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Submitted by grouchy on Wed, 09/02/2011 - 14:23

Overall Review

Wow, only done a few hundred miles but I am loving this bike. Swapped it for a F800S (which, to be fair, is a very good bike) as Ducati's do it for me and Beemers dont. Really characterful bike and (subjective I know) looks absolutely fantastic. Cant wait til the weather gets better and can really get to know it. Was going to test ride a Street Triple but as soon as I saw & rode this that was it. Dont care if the Triumph is a better bike! I've been riding for over 20 years and this is the most fun bike I've had. Not very powerful on paper but I find it enough on the road. And a lot more comfortable tahn I thought it would be, with even the tiny fairing helping on the motorway. Not tried the pillion yet but looks OK (as have the optional grab rails).

Strengths

looks fantastic sounds fantastic surprisingly comfortable makes full use of the limited horses great for shorties (like me)

Weaknesses

primitive fuel warning instruments not always easy to read

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Overall Review

Far too focused for twisty 'B' roads, and useless everywhere else?? Do I like it? NO. Buy a triumph street triple R my mate did and he's laughing.

Strengths

Handling on the twisty B roads is where this bike feels at home and the suspension and brakes are good and it fills you with confidence. Looks good if you blank the stock exhaust cans from view.

Weaknesses

There is no protection from the wind anywhere on this bike at speeds over 60mph. The gear ratio's of this bike do not match the engine characteristics, at low speed 1st is too tall and the bike vibrates and jerks like a farm tractor and top is too tall (was there any communication between ducati engine and gearbox designers?). The gearbox was full of false neutrals(may be my bike, but have nearly binned it due to this problem exiting corners). Exhaust note above 3000 revs is pathetic, awful in fact.

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Overall Review

This is, by far, the most fun bike I've ever owned. I haven't ridden every bike on the market, so I can only compare to what I know, and it feels like a big dirt bike to me. Light, tossable, precise, stable, compact, and plenty powerful for what I can actually use - I love it, and love it more every time I ride it. I commute most days on it, and take it for weekend rides in the hills. I've taken my wife riding pillion several times - power and balance are fine. Wish preload were easier to adjust, alas. It's my first unfaired bike in a long time, and the wind isn't the problem I thought it might be - a bit colder under 40 deg, but it actually seems quieter in my helmet. The lightness and compactness affect everything - the bike seems more powerful than stats would imply, braking is strong and confidence-inspiring, handling is telepathic. The low rpm snatchiness is unfortunate, but not really a big deal - a hundred bucks cured about 3/4 of it, and keeping it in a lower gear at low speed avoids the rest. I still can't believe the pipes pass noise regs - the sound is much richer than I would expect from stock pipes. Wish there were more choices for bags - I think it could handle some light touring. All in all, a fantastic bike - looks great, rides great, highly recommend.

Strengths

Having most of my road riding experience on heavier bikes, riding the 796 takes me back to the dirt bike I had as a kid. Lifting it off the side stand, rolling it around the garage, stopping at a light, feels like handling a bicycle. The riding position is compact but comfortable, the bar gives good leverage, the "rider triangle" feels natural (I'm 5'10"). The clutch lever has the lightest pull I've ever felt (nice in town). There's vibration, of course, but it's the first bike I've owned that doesn't put my hands to sleep at some point - it's never a problem. The engine is aural caramel.

Weaknesses

Fueling below 4K rpm is poor - not a problem under acceleration, but around the neighborhood it can be snatchy, esp. when cold. Gearing is tall. A drop from 15 to 14 tooth front sprocket helped (a 39 to 40-42 rear swap is possible, too), as did an O2 sensor eliminator (a guy in Greece sells them on eBay for a few bucks). I dropped a star from the engine for these flaws. People mention false neutrals, but I've had only a couple. The seat is pretty good, but gets a bit wooden after a couple of hours. Ugly carbon canister (easily removed). The LCD screen is OK, but I'd rather have analog gauges.

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Overall Review

Overall I would rate the bike 4 out 5. Be it touring, be it city commuting or be it a race track, the monster is not afraid of tread anywhere. Fuel Efficiency is also not a problem at all with around 45 Miles per gallon. It is the original street bike and truly a cult bike.

Strengths

- Relaxed engine doesn't get stressed even at higher speeds. - Brembo Brakes that can even stop a plane. Monster is equipped with truly exceptional brakes. - Very high ground clearance makes you forget about those high speed breakers on the road and not worry about the belly getting scratched. - Road presence. Sure to turn some heads while on the streets, the beefy exhaust note, the devilish headlight (truly monster-ous) - Although a little sporty seating position but gives the rider confidence, ability to maneuver the bike effortlessl

Weaknesses

- Naturally aspirated engine (air cooled) heats up quite a bit in close traffic making it hard to ride. - The gear ratios could have been lower to make it less jumpy in slow traffic and also to avoid de-clutching. But this can be solved by replacing the front sprocket with a smaller one. Not a deal breaker at all.

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Overall Review

Excellent brakes and the ABS works very well. Good riding position. Strangers will want to talk to you about it.

Strengths

Kudos of riding a Red Ducati. Easy to ride fast or slowly, great for communting in the city (London).

Weaknesses

Noisy, low speed jerky throttle response. Wind at high speed (motorway). LCD Dashboard not the best layout. No gear indicator. Low petrol indicator starts the trip mileage which overrides viewing the clock or mileage. Mirrors. Seat is too hard and can cause aching / discomfort after 30mins or more riding. Rear suspension needs to be adjusted as it's too hard.

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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