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The Monster series has been an essential part of Ducati's portfolio in our country. The Italian motorcycle manufacturer has produced many versions of the Monster over the last 25 years.
In India though, apart from the Scrambler series, the Italian brand did not have a more-accessible motorcycle at first for entry-level riders. Then entered the Ducati Monster 797!
How good is the most affordable Ducati Monster? To find out, we took the monster for a spin and here are our thoughts about the motorcycle.
The Monster 797 carries the same design and styling cues as the other motorcycles in the Monster range. The motorcycle's design is muscular yet elegant. A Bulbous fuel tank, wide handlebar, trellis frame and a double-sided swingarm characterise its design.
Up front, the headlamp gets LED DRLs. However, unlike the higher Monster models, the 797 gets two halogen bulbs instead of a full-LEDheadlamp. The headlamp cluster is placed a bit lower and sits neatly between the 43mm Kayaba forks. Suspension at the rear is taken care by an off-set Sachs monoshock.
The LCD instrumentation display is positioned right above the headlamp and is bright enough to read in the daylight too. The screen displays information such as time, trip meters, rpm, speed and some other basic parameters. However, it does miss out on a gear position indicator and a fuel gauge display.
The Monster 797 gets the same 805mm seat height as its elder sibling, the 821. However, the lower footpegs, wider handlebar and the reduced weight make it agile in traffic. Also, the shorter wheelbase contributes to a nimble yet comfortable ride.
Our test motorcycle was equipped with the optional LED indicators and flyscreen. Buyers can also opt for the rear seat cowl which accentuates the motorcycle's appeal even more.
The Monster 797 also gets a USB charging socket as standard, located under the seat.
Powering the 797 is an air-cooled 803 cc, Desmodue twin-cylinder engine which also does its duty on the Ducati Scrambler. The Euro-IV compliant engine is capable of producing 73bhp of power at 8,250rpm and a peak torque of 67Nm at 5,750rpm.
The engine has been designed to offer pure riding pleasure and delivers just like a Ducati should! It comes mated to a six-speed gearbox. The shifts are light and easy. However, putting it into neutral was a pain at times.
The clutch comes with APTC (Adler Power Torque Plate Clutch), which in simple terms, is a slipper clutch. It stops the rear wheel from locking up when the rider downshifts aggressively for engine braking.
Unfortunately, the motorcycle is not equipped with fancy electronics seen on other premium motorcycles. It does not come with ride-by-wire, riding modes, traction control, etc. While this offers the rider a purer experience, it may turn out to be a sore point for buyers. It does come with ABS from Bosch, which can be manually turned off.
Upon thumbing the start switch, one is greeted by the raw sound of the L-twin engine. The ride quality on the monster is quite nice. The fact that torque kicks in really early makes it even more enjoyable. Due to this nature of the engine, high-speed cruising becomes easier as the rider does not have to rev the engine much.
The strength of the engine in the Ducati Monster 797 is the strong midrange powerband. Due to this, overtaking becomes easy and one does not need to downshift quite often. Power kicks in quite well and the revs build up quickly after crossing 5000rpm. Reaching its top speed of just over 210km/h is effortless.
Braking duties are handled by Brembo Monobloc M4.32 calipers with four pistons on twin-320mm discs up front. The rear makes do with a 245mm disc.
The motorcycle comes fitted with sticky Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres: 120/70/ZR17 (front) and 180/55/ZR17 (rear). These tyres provide excellent grip irrespective of the speed, especially in the corners.
The seats are surprisingly comfortable for a naked superbike, even for the pillion rider. The Ducati Monster 797 heats up a little in stop-and-go traffic but overall the heat is not felt that much. Also, the bike returned us a mileage of around 16 km/l in the city and 18 km/l on the highway.
Promeet Ghosh Thinks!
Ducati has managed to fill in the gap of an affordable Monster by introducing the 797. This seems like the perfect motorcycle for someone who wants to upgrade from a premium single-cylinder to a twin. The 797 has got a certain flair and character to it.
But all of this come at a price tag of Rs 8.5 lakh ex-showroom (Delhi). The price is slightly on the expensive side, considering that other naked superbikes like the Triumph Street Triple S and Kawasaki Z900, produce a lot more power than the Ducati Monster 797.