When launched in 1993, Monster was more of Ducati’s B-league bike developed with lesser resources, while the top-of-range sports bikes took all the fame and honour. But the Monster went on to create its own identity and was gobbled by the masses and the rest is history. Today, Monster has its own line up and is an important part of Ducati’s portfolio. With the launch of Ducati Monster 797, the Italian icon wants to make it straight - a bike that reflects Monster’s legacy in design and character, with an appeal to satiate both beginners and professionals equally.
The new Monster 797’s design is old, in a good typical Monster way. You cannot mistake it for any other bike and the baby Monster follows the footsteps of its bigger brother, Monster 1200. The 797, which gets the same fuel tank and headlamps of the 1200, looks ready to pounce yet is not as intimidating as the name. The single piece trellis steel tube frame runs the length of the bike and adds to the naked character. All the mechanicals of the bike are in the open and look good too, especially the double side swing arm and the left-side mounted mono shock. While the handlebar is wider, the foot pegs are placed lower to make for a comfortable riding position and 805 mm seat height is set to handle riders of all heights contentedly.
The LCD dash is the same from the bigger Monster and offers all the necessary information that includes tacho, speedo and trip meters, engine oil temperature and clock. The display can also be used to access Ducati’s Multimedia System by connecting your smart phone through a USB port under the seat. This allows you to view your phone’s calls, messages and navigation through the display. Apart from the ABS that you get as standard, the Monster 797 is as naked as it can get, devoid of any driver assist systems or tech wizardry. And we like it. A lot.
The Monster 797 gets its power from an 803 cc L-Twin engine, which makes 73 hp of maximum power and a peak torque of 67 Nm. The power delivery is mapped in such a way not to startle the new comers but there is also enough performance to entertain experienced riders as well. Though the torque is marked to be maximum at 5,750 rpm, 80% of the 67 Nm is available from 3,500 rpm making sure there is more than enough grunt in low range.
A light clutch helps pull the 6-speed manual gearbox easily and the slipper function assists in smoothening out the sudden downshifts effortlessly. The L-Twin unit from Ducati were infamous for irregular stutters in low range but the issue has been addressed in the Monster 797. The power delivery is linear and smooth, without any uneasy edge. Throttle response is quick and the two-into-one exhaust finishes it off with a nice growl.
Thanks to the low-end torque availability, coming out of the corners is a happy task for the Monster 797. The wide handle bar, light trellis frame and a comfortable seating position all work in harmony to keep the bike in control all the times. Fitted with thick Pirelli Diablo Rossos, the baby Monster has amazing grip and the disc brakes with ABS offer good stopping power. 43 mm Kayaba upside down fork to the front and Sachs adjustable monoshock make sure there are no awkward movements.
Ducati Monster 797 is available in three colours - Star White Silk (with red frame and wheels), classic Ducati Red (with black frame and wheels) and smart Dark Stealth (with black frame and wheels).
With the Monster 797, Ducati is finding its way to the past - simple, macho and accessible. If you are a first timer to big bikes or Ducati, the Monster 797 will be a great start. And there is also enough appeal for a seasoned rider.