2008 Ducati Monster 696

3_696_low-resIt might have inspired a whole generation of naked bikes, and it might be one of the most famous and recognisable designs in all motorcycling, but in recent times there’s no question, Ducati’s iconic Monster body shape has been starting to look a bit old. Progressive takes on the naked design like the FZ-1N, the Benelli TNT and the Moto Morini Corsaro have left the Monster looking decidedly pedestrian.Thankfully, Ducati have started to update the shape with a slightly sharper look for next year’s Monster 696. A bit more angular, a bit sleeker. Naturally it’s lighter and more powerful than last year’s 695, but the press release leaves such dreary mechanical stuff until after the style section, where it tells you the removable side panels and seat cowl make the 696 “even easier to completely colour coordinate.” Colour co-ordination? Ducati owners have nobody but themselves to blame for this sort of thing. Ban the branded jacket!1_696_low-resI must have missed the model switch when the mini Monster moved from a clattery dry clutch to a wet one - either way the 696 has a wet slipper clutch for worry-free downshifts. The L-twin engine’s now making a fine 80hp, which will push along the bike’s claimed 163kg dry weight with aplomb. The single cubic centimetre of extra engine capacity comes not from a bore or stroke adjustment, but from new pistons.The Monster 696 now has the lowest seat-height of any Ducati - and they’ve also put special effort into making it quite a narrow seat, so it should be an excellent choice for the vertically challenged.9_696_low-resBut on a Monster it’s the look that counts - and the 2008 revision of the classic naked roadster is certainly a big step in the right direction. Lots more photos and full press release after the jump.

2008 Ducati Monster 696

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The new Ducati Monster 696 is the next generation naked and the final word in urban excitement. Ride the Monster 696 around your favourite downtown routes in relaxed style or, when the spirit moves you, unleash its dark side to deliver more naked performance than ever before.

DESIGN

Refined style and design are the clear motivations behind the new Monster and the continued perfection of the Desmo engine ensures that its ’saint and sinner’ image will impress any rider. A comfortable and confidence-inspiring chassis combine with the famously smooth and powerful Ducati L-Twin engine to provide the most enjoyable riding experience. The balance of new technologies expressed in stylishly finished materials is shaped around the original cool Monster heritage.

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Maintaining its traditional Monster silhouette, the 696 now looks more muscular than ever. Its wide tank tapers to the thin waistline of a comfortable narrow seat ensuring sure-footed confidence when at the traffic lights. The large diameter Hybrid Trellis frame blends stylishly into an aluminium sub-frame and swingarm while minimalist instrumentation and simple controls at the front of the Monster contrast with twin, bold, Ducati-style mufflers at the rear to enhance its urban-ready image.

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With a fuel tank form created with ingenious removable outer skins that enable quick and easy colour swaps, changing the personality of your Monster has never been easier. The quickly removable rear seat cover makes it even easier to completely colour coordinate and, when removed, reveals a place for your favourite passenger.

The Monster cultThe Monster is the original ‘naked’ motorcycle. Launched to rave reviews in the early ’90s, it immediately created a devoted following and became a cult motorcycle. With its fully exposed engine and ‘less is more’ minimalist attitude, the Monster delivers style and real sport bike performance. It has defined the ‘naked’ class and become the bike of choice for top designers, Hollywood stars and Formula One racing drivers alike while creating a unique motorcycle lifestyle that is accessible to everyone.

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CHASSIS

The 696 ergonomics have been improved with subtle but effective changes to the riding position. A shorter reach to the bars and a slightly lower, more forward footpeg position, together with the lowest seat height of any Ducati and a reduction in weight, empowers any rider to become the master of this Monster.

The chassis of the new Monster is made up of a new Hybrid Trellis frame with larger diameter tubes directly inspired by the 2007 World MotoGP title-winning Desmosedici GP7 machine. To this is attached a rear aluminium sub-frame.

The front brake system is the envy of its class and becomes the new benchmark for the category with two 320mm discs and four-piston radial calipers.

At the rear, the dual-sided aluminium swingarm draws inspiration from Ducati Corse’s finest racing products in this area.

he instrumentation is now totally digital and continues the tradition of all Ducati’s latest-generation hypersport models, guaranteeing lightness, ease of use and a wealth of information.

The new exhaust system stands out for its re-routed downpipes that now give the underside of the Monster a cleaner appearance and terminate with twin, bold Ducati-style mufflers.

The headlamp unit is characterized by a new triple arc main beam, while the rear light uses modern LED technology.

The unmistakable tank boasts ingenious removable outer skins which makes it easy to change the personality of the Monster 696.

In line with the latest-generation Ducatis, the new Monster 696 has undergone a weight reduction of 5kg from the previous model and now becomes the lightest bike in its category (359lbs - 163 Kg).

ENGINE

The engine of the new 696 is an evolution of the previous 695 version. Measuring 696cc it boasts a series of updates and refinements.

Power output gets a 9% boost to 80hp (59kW) and an 11% increase in torque to 50.6 lb-ft.This new engine continues to have the best horsepower per litre ratio of all Ducati’s air-cooled units, and it ensures a smooth and powerful delivery for a relaxed but thrilling ride in all conditions.

This increase in power has been achieved by the introduction of new cylinder heads, which are now similar to the ones on the 1100 2V engine fitted to the Multistrada and Hypermotard. Bore and stroke remain identical to the previous 695 model at 88 x 57.2 mm, but the pistons and combustion chamber have been revised to optimize the fluid dynamics of the new ports.

The camshafts now rotate on bearing surfaces directly in the cylinder head and are supported by means of oil pressure. The elimination of the bearings has enabled the weight of this unit to be reduced considerably and the layout simplified.

Furthermore the cooling fins of the cylinders and the cylinder heads have a new shape, and an improved casting process allows them to be produced closer to one another so as to increase their number and improve thermal exchange.

Like its predecessor, the new Monster 696 has an advanced APTC clutch, which makes down-shifting safe and helps keep the clutch lever action light and easy, especially in urban riding where frequent stops require high use.

Like every bike in the new range, the Monster 696 also has a new scheduled maintenance programme that reduces costs for the customer.

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6 Responses to “2008 Ducati Monster 696”

  1. izi Says:

    As I remember, the original Monster is the work of Argentinian Miguel Galuzzi not MT.

    I also must admit That I am glad that Ducati got rid of Terblanche. He is not a bad designer at all, and I like all of his work, but they are not quite Ducati.

  2. Loz Says:

    You’re absolutely right. Thanks for pointing that out izi, now I’ll spend all night wondering how I got it into my head that Tamburini was the designer! :)

    As for Terblanche - he nailed the retro 1000 sport and the Hypermotard, but I guess those were almost paint by numbers. It seems that this Giandrea Fabbro fellow has things moving back in the right direction with the 1098 and 848, at least - those bikes are getting a reputation as exactly the sorts of sex symbols that the 999 WASN’T.

  3. izi Says:

    Hope to see an M848 soon

  4. JJ Says:

    nice

  5. Ducati Monsters get 1100cc engine for 2009 » The Biker Gene Says:

    […] has released a big brother to the Monster 696 - the Monster 1100 and 1100s will both be available in 2009. The original naked performance bike […]

  6. Diapermotard? Ducati dips under US$10 grand to deliver its baby Hypermotard 796. « The Daily Dose you need! Says:

    […] brother. The Hypermotard 796 will sneak in under USD$10,000, using a torqued-up version of the 696 Monster engine and boasting both less weight and a lighter clutch than the […]

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