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Ducati Monster 696 (2008 - present) review

Details
Manufacturer:
Ducati
Category:
Naked
Price:
£ 5500
Overall
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
Good balance of handling and power, comfortable riding position.
Styling updates not to everyone's taste.

While doodling a sketch for a potential drag race bike back in 1992, Ducati designer Miguel Angel Galuzzi unknowingly created the basic principle of a new streetbike. A year later Ducati released the Monster, so called because of an apparent dispute over its name. Some of the Ducati grown ups thought it should have a numbered name like other bikes in the range, others thought that it was so brutal in design it was monstrous, the bike found its name and followed with its own unique place in the market.

15 years and 200,000 bikes later, following the launch of two sportsbikes in the 848 and 1098 Ducati release the all-new 696 Monster. They have set their own expectations very high, maybe too high. The 696 should look a lot like the old 695 to you, because it’s supposed to, part of the design brief was that from 100 metres you should struggle to tell the difference. The dynamic sounds promising, and looks great in real life.

A walk round the bike showed that little details are in fact now little details rather than Friday afternoon afterthoughts like they used to be. On the old model behind the headlight looked like a bowl of multi coloured spaghetti, not so on this one. Ducati have incorporated a dash layout not unlike the 848, it includes a lap timer and even has the DDA (Ducati Data Analyser) capability so you can plug in and dissect exactly how fast you went on your way to work. They have also fitted the bike with similair mirrors to the sportsbikes, although these ones give you a view of the road rather than your elbows.

The basic premise of the original Monster was a sports bike without a fairing, and that hasn’t changed with this incarnation, though the riding position has been altered quite dramatically. The bars are closer to the rider and slightly higher than the old bike, and they also feel a lot wider. There is a touch more steering lock, vented indents in the airbox section of the tank allow the bars to come round as much as possible.

Click next to continue

While doodling a sketch for a potential drag race bike back in 1992, Ducati designer Miguel Angel Galuzzi unknowingly created the basic principle of a new streetbike. A year later Ducati released the Monster, so called because of an apparent dispute over its name. Some of the Ducati grown ups thought it should have a numbered name like other bikes in the range, others thought that it was so brutal in design it was monstrous, the bike found its name and followed with its own unique place in the market.

15 years and 200,000 bikes later, following the launch of two sportsbikes in the 848 and 1098 Ducati release the all-new 696 Monster. They have set their own expectations very high, maybe too high. The 696 should look a lot like the old 695 to you, because it’s supposed to, part of the design brief was that from 100 metres you should struggle to tell the difference. The dynamic sounds promising, and looks great in real life.

A walk round the bike showed that little details are in fact now little details rather than Friday afternoon afterthoughts like they used to be. On the old model behind the headlight looked like a bowl of multi coloured spaghetti, not so on this one. Ducati have incorporated a dash layout not unlike the 848, it includes a lap timer and even has the DDA (Ducati Data Analyser) capability so you can plug in and dissect exactly how fast you went on your way to work. They have also fitted the bike with similair mirrors to the sportsbikes, although these ones give you a view of the road rather than your elbows.

The basic premise of the original Monster was a sports bike without a fairing, and that hasn’t changed with this incarnation, though the riding position has been altered quite dramatically. The bars are closer to the rider and slightly higher than the old bike, and they also feel a lot wider. There is a touch more steering lock, vented indents in the airbox section of the tank allow the bars to come round as much as possible.

Click next to continue

Price: £5,500
Front suspension: 43mm showa USD
Rear suspension: sachs monoshock, fully adjustable
Front brake: 320mm discs, four-piston Brembo calipers
Rear brake: 245mm disc, two-piston caliper
Dry weight: 161kg (claimed)
Seat height:  770mm
Fuel capacity: 15l
Colours: Red, white

Engine: 696cc, air-cooled, 4-valve V-twin
Power: 80bhp @ 9000rpm
Torque: 50.6lb.ft @ 7.750rpm

Top speed: 130mph (est)

Good balance of handling and power, comfortable riding position.
Styling updates not to everyone's taste.