2009 Ducati Monster 696 Road Test Rider Magazine

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Ducati Monster 696

2009 Ducati Monster 696 Test

Photo Credit: Hirko

Rider Magazine

9, 2009

[This 2009 Monster 696 Road Test was published in the August 2008 of Rider magazine]

Ducati’s or Mostri . are the Italian maker’s sport-standards with L-twin In the USA for 2008, they range the air-cooled 695 and S2R1000 with two per cylinder, up to the liquid-cooled S4R S Tricolore four valves per and a rapido 130

All have desmodromic valve like Ducati’s super- and ranges, which can require valve adjustments, though says that its 2008 “require less frequent less parts and labor each service and, as a have greatly reduced maintenance costs.” Hallelujah!

said, the competition from European makers has been up, and the time has come for a fully Lil’ Monster with Ducati can do battle as well as current fans an upgrade Enter the 2009 696, features a new frame and suspension, powerful engine and sharp, styling.

As bore and … unchanged from the 695, one cc of additional displacement is either a of marketing imagination or can be found between the new cylinder heads, are similar to those on the 1100 2V in the Multistrada and Hypermotard. These horsepower in the 696 a claimed 9 percent, to 80 at the and torque 11 percent to 50.6 This is the best horsepower-per-liter of all of its air-cooled bikes, says

New cylinder fins also better cooling, and to save camshafts spin directly on surfaces in the heads now rather on rollers.

The 2009 Ducati 696 on the Dyno.

On the Jett Tuning dyno at the rear wheel the Monster cranked out a tidy 66 at 9,100 rpm, just a under its 9,400-rpm redline. output reached 43.4 at 7,800. Neither number is impressive on its own, but pair it the bike’s light 409-pound wet and the velocity possibilities suddenly clearer.

To also tidy up the handling, Ducati gave it a frame, a hybrid version of its trellis supported at center by the engine. Up front, larger-diameter tubes that are lighter and than the 695′s comprise the frame trellis. It overlaps with a new cast-aluminum seat styled to complement the footpeg and braced, hollow aluminum both of which bolt to the

Even with 2/10ths of a more fuel on board–about 1.2 696 weighs 10 pounds less the 695 on our scale primarily because of new frame design, which to its narrow waist and low seat.

New main frame has larger but instead of a full trellis, saved weight with a subframe. Swingarm is much now, too.

Squat, purposeful; seemingly ready to to life as some anime … dog, the 696′s is a huge leap forward, its triple-parabola headlight back to the LED Hidden beneath the detachable tank skin–easily painted or even with custom versions–is a larger volume and bigger fuel cell. mesh-covered scoops in the tank air to the airbox, and also allow the to turn more without hitting the tank.

Sorry, tankbags won’t stick, and high twin mufflers contribute to looks and take away from the rider prevent the use of saddlebags. Nessun –a seatbag and strap-on tankbag well. Pop off the sleek, armorlike cowl and you’ll have to underneath the fender to see the passenger handles cast into the subframe.

Sit on the 696 and close your Despite its width, the flat handlebar leans you forward and your hands down waist level, putting weight on your wrists locked elbows. Unlock arms and now your stomach hold you upright and give wrists a break.

The seat is low but is a affair that slides riders into the back of the fine and dandy till you hit a big and are rewarded with a falsetto We didn’t try it, but Ducati’s accessory seat may be a must, even if it is a higher. Legs on sub-6-footers are not as as you might imagine, and the shift and pedals are well positioned and to adjust.

Ducati only provides a set for adjusting the brake lever in increments up at the bar; the same on the clutch side is glued in

Tidy LCD digital display is by tach and topped by shift and light.

Overall the bike is ultra-easy to maneuver and park, and the becomes one with the compactness underway–even the thin seat doesn’t intrude. There’s not moving around allowed, so don’t plan on making the 696 primary sport-touring bike it feels big to you.

Once up you can ride off easily on the 696, the fast idle control on for a bit it warms, then the bike a responsive throttle and a very performance-oriented idle. Shifting is and clean at the shift lever, the clutch doesn’t engage the lever is nearly all the way out and requires a bit of from stops.

Get on the gas hard and up through the gears and your will be forever changed by the music that emerges those twin mufflers–the 696 every bit as good as its larger maybe even better, to the higher pitch of its smaller Power output and acceleration be just dandy for lighter, aggressive riders, though my 210-pound bulk up a twisting at 8√ö10ths, even keeping the up I still had to wonder if the optional exhaust kit with performance ECU would help the bike’s drive out of low-speed uphill

New 696 styling gives it more angular lines and updates greatly, even though the 695 is two years old.

Turn at the top and head back down, and the wondering ceases. The stiff new well-calibrated suspension, great and light weight make the 696 a law breaker down a twisting road, and I’m talking about the of physics, not traffic.

It just leaning and leaning and leaning, scraping anything, easily up undulations in the pavement that throw other bikes and accepting full braking up front without a squirm driving out of even the tightest straight and true. I had to have the surgically removed, it’s much effortless fun. of the light, flickable handling is due to the 160 tire on the back rather the 180 norm, paired with the 120 up front.

Even Ducatis with adjustable suspension can be tough to a good ride out of, so we were by the nice stock calibration of the non-adjustable male-slider Showa Though it behaves like the shocks on a serious sports car on the and jars you a bit, elsewhere the is just great. Like the suspension it especially loves undulating pavement, but does enough on old blacktop with of bumps at maintaining control.

The single shock in back has linkage and adjustable rebound once we got the inconvenient ring-and-locknut preload banged into it worked well, too. ends have plenty of for such a small bike, and need any TLC or replacement for quite

New triple-parabola headlight and flyscreen up the 696’s look from

Braking is by first-rate Brembo front and rear, with caliper mounting up front looks purposeful. Feel at the lever is strong and linear, but I to sing the praises of the rear which for once is neither feeling at the pedal nor grabby, good linear response a decent travel range and power without locking

The goody bag includes an instrument that does everything but taxes, with an LCD bar graph digital speedo, the usual plus scheduled maintenance and lap and a shift and over-rev light. hooks are under the locking which has a tiny amount of space, and there’s an oil level glass. Mirrors are nice but seem flimsy and shake at speeds.

Among all of the new Ducatis I’ve in the past 24 years, this new Monster 696 ranks as one of my all-time It looks great, has a relatively low height, better power-to-weight than the original Monster 900 and improved performance and handling its heavier 695 predecessor.

This little 696 flea makes a trick canyon carver for and smaller riders, and a fine machine for someone who doesn’t to grow out of their investment. Italia!

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