2011 Ducati Monster 796 First Look

April 21, 2010
Steve Atlas
Steve Atlas
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Professional-grade speed and an attitude to match, Steve Atlas is the new blood at MotoUSA. Atlas has AMA racing creds that are even more extensive than his driving record.

2011 Ducati Monster 796.
2011 Ducati 796 Monster. A host of new features slots it in firmly between the existing 696 and 1100 models.

Ducati has released an early look at its first 2011 model – the new Monster 796.

Slotting in the center of the existing 696 and 1100 models, the 796 features an 803mm capacity by virtue of the same 88mm bore of the 696 Monster, but with a longer 66mm stroke (compared to 57.2mm), also benefitting from a raised compression ratio of 11:1 (10.7:1 on the 696). Internally it gets an 848-style lightened flywheel, while an oil cooler is fitted to manage engine temperature.

Externally, the 796 Desmodue engine employs completely redesigned crankcases, said to save 2.64-lbs over the Monster 696 engine castings, which is a major part of the 4.2-lb total weight saving over the 696 powerplant.
Exiting spent gasses is a new 2-1-2 exhaust system that sheds pounds by utilizing 1mm thick wall tubing extensively, also featuring twin lambda probes and regulating valve to comply with Euro 3 emission standards. As a result the new Monster is claimed to produce a healthy 87 hp and 58 lb-ft of torque.

An APTC wet clutch gives a ‘slipper-type’ action, while not actually being a full back-torque-limiting unit. It also quiets the overall engine noise and provides a lighter clutch lever pull. Service intervals of 7,500 miles aid in keeping overall maintenance costs down.

2011 Ducati Monster 796.
Available in Arctic White Silk (shown), Diamond Black Silk and Ducati Red colorways as standard, the new machine features a single-sided swingarm and a claimed power output of nearly 90 hp.

Opening up the ergonomics to allow for more diverse sized riders, the 796’s tapered aluminum bars are 20mm higher than those on the 1100, while the seat height is 10mm lower. Attached to the bars sit updated Brembo hydraulic master cylinders for both the clutch and front brake. The seat has been redesigned as well, said to feature a “comfort-enhancing” shape, which sits atop of new rear subframe that comes with mounting points ready to accept new accessory grab-handles.

Suspension comes in the form of a 43mm Showa fork up front and Sachs rear shock that is mated to a single-sided swingarm and is adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping. The frame is Ducati’s trademark trellis unit, as it always has been on the Monster line, with a 57.1-inch wheelbase, the same as that of the 696. Braking duties are handled by twin 320mm discs gripped by Brembo 4-piston radial-mount calipers up front, with a single 245mm disc and 2-pistion Brembo caliper out back. ABS is now an available option as well.

Lightweight aluminum Y-spoke wheels are similar to those used on the 1100 Monster, but will be differentiated by a red rim strip that sits on 60-degrees of the wheel. They will come shod with the same 120/17-17 and 180/55-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires as the 1100.

2011 Ducati Monster 796.
Expanding the color lineup from three to 13 is 10 optional Monster Art kits, called the Logomania collection.

An updated instrument cluster displays a multitude of information to the rider, including speed, rpm, time, oil temperature, battery voltage and scheduled maintenance intervals, while warning lights for oil pressure, fuel reserve, turn signals, high beam and neutral selection give the rider all the data needed. Additionally, the DDA (Ducati Data Analyzer) is available as an accessory, of which the instrument cluster provides the interface to control it.

Traditional Ducati Red is the main featured colorway, while an Arctic White Silk and Diamond Black Silk are available as options. But Ducati is also taking the three basic colors up to a staggering 13 options with its new ‘Logomania’ collection. This is part of its Monster Art program and features 10 additional tank/seat cover/bikini faring options, allowing for further personalization.

So what does all this cost? Believe it or not, under 10 grand! To be exact, $9995 is the MSRP for the three standard colors, and it will be in dealers this June as an early-release 2011 model. Stay tuned for a First Ride report as soon as we’re able to swing a leg over the new machine.

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