2014 Ducati Monster 696Naked essentiality
When you choose to ride the Monster, you are not just choosing a bike, but an entire lifestyle. A desire to experience the exhilaration of naked power from an iconic motorcycle.
The 'less-is-more' philosophy behind all Monsters underlines Ducati's never-ending pursuit of genuinely compact, high performance motorcycles, but these new models have succeeded in being even more 'pared down' than their predecessors. Every single component has been redesigned and redeveloped so now more than ever, form follows function. With any details detracting from the Monster concept being eliminated, 'less-is-more' also means 'less-is-Monster'. Less weight plus more torque equals fun-filled riding.
The engine of the Monster 696 is the legendary Desmodue, 696cc, air cooled, L-Twin engine whose 80hp gives it that unmistakable Ducati sound. Developed for an incredibly flexible power delivery, the 696 Desmodromic engine provides enough torque to exit the most challenging of corners. The impressive torque, typical of the Ducati L-Twin engines, will excite with every twist of the throttle.
The APTC ‘wet’ clutch 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, a great benefit in stop-start city traffic or during longer journeys. The 21-plate oil-bath clutch (11 friction and 10 steel) represents a power-enhancing weight reduction over the ‘dry’ system as well as having a quieter operation and requiring less maintenance.
An immensely strong but light tubular steel Trellis frame with aluminium rear sub-frame is the visual and structural backbone of the Monster. Delivering unparalleled rigidity with minimal mass, the chassis design is pure Ducati in its ingenuity and simplicity. A separate, all aluminium sub-frame saves weight and adds a pleasing continuity with the aluminium footrest hangers and matte finished swingarm.
Every carefully selected component of the Monster 696 has a net benefit to the overall light weight of the machine. The dry weight of 161kgs (355lb) has dramatic effects on not just manoeuvrability and ease of use, but also by contributing directly to increased performance, braking and acceleration.