In 1993, Ducati introduced a new model, the Monster. The Monster line, including multiple different engine displacements, has since been a very successful staple in the Bolognese brand’s range. In fact, by 2005 50 percent of every new Ducati sold worldwide adorned the Monster name. Though sales of Ducati’s core brand’s, more profitable naked bikes fell after the introduction of the Scrambler sub-brand, the Monster remains a favorite amongst premium motorcycle consumers.
Now, a new variant dubbed the 797 Monster has been introduced. Debuting yesterday at EICMA in Milan, the 797 is the entry model, in terms of both power and cost, into the Ducati brand. That is, of course, excluding Scrambler models which belong to the Scrambler sub-brand. Still, the 797 remains true to the spirit of the Monster lineup, providing an agile and spunky naked for those seeking a middleweight.
The air-cooled engine is a two cylinder, L-twin, as is characteristic of Monsters. Output is an ample 75 horsepower at 8,250rpm. Too, it meets stringent EU4 regulations, discharging through a 2-in-1 exhaust with a single silencer. The 803cc Desmodue is mated to a six-speed gearbox and utilizes a wet clutch, devoid of Ducati’s famous dry clutch rattle. The wet clutch is even a servo-assisted slipper, ensuring that wheel hop caused by back torque is neutralized. Sadly, however, service intervals are spaced less than 8,000 miles apart. Many newer Ducati models benefit from significantly greater spaced engine service intervals.
The traditional trellis frame used in the 797 ensures that the power plant is displayed with pride, whilst also maintaining a small footprint making the bike particularly conducive to urban environments where maneuverability is a necessity rather than a luxury. The frame is paired to an aluminum dual-sided swingarm, typical of lower Ducati models, rather than an aesthetically more appealing single-sided swingarm.
Upfront a 43mm Kayaba fork with 130mm of travel is utilized. However, the rear makes use of an adjustable Sachs shock absorber with 150mm of travel. The ten spoke alloy rims are mated to Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires, well suited to a balance of economy and performance.
As for braking power, the most trusted name in performance brakes, Brembo, is adorned by the calipers on the 797. However, to ensure that the Brembos can be used as safely and as effectively as possible, a Bosch sourced ABS system is implemented.
In totality, the 797 seems a rather formidable entrant into the realm of premium motorcycling, particularly for those upgrading from mainstream brands whom already have some riding experience under their belt. However, the middleweight premium naked segment is rather fierce, with bikes like the BMW F 800 R, KTM 690 Duke and the famed Triumph Speed Triple 675 to compete with. Still, there is typically a unique character to Italian motorcycles that though intangible is very much real, and may lead many to choose the 797 Monster.
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