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Aprilia Shiver vs Ducati Monster 696

Monday, February 9, 2009
2009 Aprilia Shiver
2009 Aprilia Shiver 750
With all the attention big, shiny, mondo power street bikes get these days, it can be pretty easy to overlook small displacement motorcycles. I mean, doesn’t every rider need 170 horsepower at the twist of their wrist? We all need to accelerate from a standstill to 100 mph in eight seconds, right? Who wouldn’t want to lay thick, 100-foot long strips of rubber on pavement?
While there will always be a small percentage of the moto population looking to carry out such hijinx, the fact is, the majority of riders who wish to keep their driving privileges need something a bit more practical. These days, though, a huge spectrum of motorbikes fit the bill, so let’s narrow it down.
2009 Ducati Monster 696
2009 Ducati Monster 696

First and foremost, it’s got to be chic. Style is everything and it’s got to come first. Next up, versatility. Whether you’re dodging between cars during the heat of rush hour or blasting down wavy back roads, the bike has got to be fun, agile and easy-to-ride. Finally, there’s the almighty dollar. Not only does the price tag have to be reasonable, but it’s got to go easy on expendables like fuel and tires, plus something the wife isn’t going to kill you for spending, right? This leads us to Ducati’s Monster 696 and Aprilia’s Shiver 750.
Okay, so they’re both made in Italy, both aimed at the same style conscious rider and both include a price tag under nine grand. But beside those three common denominators, however, they’re substantially different machines. To find out how they stacked up against each other we hauled them out to the racetrack, followed by a few hundred mile sorties through the not-so-mean streets of Southern California. Let’s see how they stack up, shall we?
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2009 Aprilia Shiver vs Ducati Monster 696
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haris -H-D  October 24, 2009 12:12 AM
Ok i agree that H-D doesn't make so fast bikes or with the technologies you mention, but someone may want or have one because he likes its style. Haven't you thought of that? Bikes isn't always about speed and specs. Just don't be stuck with top speeds and seconds.
Pat -Harley  April 26, 2009 11:15 AM
The cheapest Sportster 883 lists at $6999, I don't know where you get $3895. It also weighs in at better than 500 pounds. Harley is the motorcycle of choice for middle aged fat guys...
RDU Dave -Dog pile on the rabbit!!  April 10, 2009 06:46 AM
milwaukee mike - too bad you're just a troll. So I doubt you'll be back here to read the responses to your pathetic post. A big +1 to the other posts, but I have to comment on your term "Euro garbage." That term is just laughable. Ducati and Aprilia have a long motorcycle road racing history which proves unequivocally the quality of their motorcycles. Meanwhile, HD is king of the flat tracks. Big deal. Let's see HD build a 200+ hp bike that weighs less than 350lbs. My guess is that your HD headlight weighs more. Then again, any mention of moto racing is wasted on you, since my guess is that your eyes are glued to NASCAR.
Olivier -To Milwaukee Mike  March 5, 2009 06:27 PM
We are not interested in H-D maybe because it's not a good motorcycle! The technology that you find in these 2 euro bikes won't appear on a H-D bike before 2020. Plus, those bike are clean with a catalytic converter and FI.
Motonut -HD vs Italian vs Japanese  February 18, 2009 05:12 PM
Hmmm, I agree with most of the verbage regarding these bikes vs the hog press release by Milwaukee Mike. Sounds like someone who works for HD or Buell! Go to MCN right now and read the shoot-out which includes Yamaha vs Suzuki vs Kawasaki vs this Ducati 696. Guess what, the Ducati was last place. Suzuki won with their new Gladius, as fast, as light, stylish, and a lot less money [even if the name is dorky]. Hmmm, now let's try a sportster against this lot, ha ha ha, that gives me a good laugh. And for someone to say a HD is cheaper to maintain than a Japanese bike, man your head has been buried in the sand [or tail pipe of a sportster!]. Now for nostaglia, o.k. I get it. For a modern motorcycle, you got to be kidding. Anyway, like Ben said "it's a chic bike anyway", not a real man's HD. Hee hee :)
soon to be laid off auto supplier Bill -milwaukee  February 17, 2009 09:34 AM
I spent my bike week vaction bump starting a P.O.S. M2 cyclone. Unlike Tim however, it means I do hate them. I hate them so much I won't even buy beer from Wisconsin. If the lemon law that applies to all cars since the 70's applied to motorcycles, there would be a concerted quality improvement effort to curb the increased warranty costs. I understand the importance of buying American, and I always do it when i have apples to apples, but I won't buy a potato when I want an apple.
Russel -clueless in milwaukee mike  February 11, 2009 09:55 AM
Well said Tim!!!. The garbage that has just spewed out of Milwaukee Mike’s keyboard sounds like the lame sales pitch one of the Harley dealers forced down his throat. I think the best two lines were “You will automatically be surounded by a new group of friends/riders/enthusiasts” I never had to BUY my ridding buddies, and who says if you buy a metric you won’t make new friends? “Buy a metric bike and it may be fun while still new, but as you put miles on it, things will wear and break.” Seriously Mike, is this statement a joke? I think Mike it is a good thing people like you buy Harleys; this way it makes it much easier for the rest of us to pick and sort out the motorcycling fools of the world. Mike, I don’t respect your opinion because I don’t think it is yours. I think it is the same old crap that all Harley posers say just to justify their decision in owning a Harley.
Tim -Milwaukee Mike  February 10, 2009 06:09 PM
Harleys may be assembled in America, but don't think they are American bikes. They have as many components from China and other foreign countries as the next bike. And Harleys, including my 2007 Buell, are junk. My bike consumes oil like it's designed to do so and yet Harley refuses to do anything about it. That's awesome customer service from an American company to a fellow American. Isn't it great?! Does that mean I hate Harleys or Buells? No, I actually love my bike. And Harleys are beautiful bikes that do what they're designed to do - cruise. I just wish my Buell was made by a reputable company that actually had a warranty that means something. Get over yourself. Hopefully Motorcycle-USA soon implements a registration to post comments so that they can ban people like you who spout nonsense.
Jimbolaya -2c added to Craig's post below  February 10, 2009 04:12 PM
Good point that the 1100 Duc might be a better comparison rather than the 696. Larger motors (1100) that spin slower than smaller motors (750) have greater torque even though peak hp may be very similar. In this case the two bikes, even though one motor has 47% greater displacement, have very similar curb weights. So far, one might favor the 1100 w/ its greater torque for lower riding stress. But...a critical, easily overlooked difference in the above comparison is the larger motor's greater reciprocating mass. The greater the reciprocating mass the greater the gyroscopic effect related to cornering attitude. The greater this gyropscopic effect the greater resistance to changes in cornering attitude: if/when the bike is vertical it resists input to lean, when leaned it resists any change in lean angle regardless of direction. The above phenomena is one of the reasons that the firts year MotoGP 800s barely lost a beat if at all vs. the larger 1000s. The more one cares about cornering prowess the more one may benefit from testing the new for '09 Triumph 675R Street Triple as a very worthy competitor to any of the bikes mentioned.
Craig Brooks -DUC vs Aprilia  February 10, 2009 01:19 PM
Why these two? I think the 1100 duc since they are air cooled would be a better fit. The 750 Aprilia has 95 HP I believe, so the 1100 DUC would be exactly the same. The motor seemed to be the big disadvantage, so the other comparison would make great sense to me. Another good question... is the 1100 S worth the extra $$ over the base model after riding them back to back. THanks.
Ben -Milwaukee Mike  February 10, 2009 12:20 PM
Mike. Mike. Mike. Come on man. First off, no male Harley rider would be caught dead on an 883. Second HD has only been offering the buy back for two months because they can't sell any bikes. It's not like its been a standing policy. Third if you want to keep your "non disposable" bike for years and years, why would you need a buy back offer. Nuf Said. P.S. I too also respect your opinion.
Ken -Ummm.....  February 9, 2009 11:36 PM
Where is the Triumph Street Triple 675? Costs less than both of these and beats the pants of both of these as well!
jimmy jones -i beg to differ  February 9, 2009 11:32 PM
you buy them because they do wheelies and burnouts plus you can jump them. can you do that on a 883 sportster? if you want to ride around and pose than the 883 sportster is for you but if you want to have fun you need a euro bike.
Jimbolaya -my 2c  February 9, 2009 10:01 PM
Mike I respect your opinion, but it is so out of touch it's not worth it to say more. Your $3895 price is way too low BTW. The Ducati has infinitely better manufacturer, dealer, parts & service support vs. the Aprilia. Personally, regardless of everything else, I wouldn't touch any Aprilia for that reason. Peruse the forums for confirmation. Of the competition I'd probably prefer most the new for '09 Triumph 675R Street Triple.
milwaukee mike -more Euro garbage  February 9, 2009 08:29 PM
Just why would anyone buy these foriegn little V-twins when there are great bikes that are American Made andare just as much fun and cheaper to boot! Don't believe me? For $3895 anyone can buy a new 883 Sportster, ride for years, then trade it in and be gauranteed the purchase on trade in. HD dealers will give you a free one year membership in HOG, and you will receive all of their club benifits. You will automatically be surounded by a new group of friends/riders/enthusiasts. You can also be proud that when you buy a new Harley that you've supported one of this countries oldest manufacturing firms. Buy a metric bike and it may be fun while still new, but as you put miles on it, things will wear and break. Parts and service will be outragous, and the depreciation of those machines may not make repairs economicaly feasable. Don't believe me? Look in the classified ads for a similar model that is two or more years old. Nothing is as shocking as finding your bike is disposable after the new wears off.
Ben -Executive Editor Steve Atlas  February 9, 2009 09:38 AM
To Executive Editor Steve Atlas: Unreal, awesome riding!!!! Jumping those two bikes is amazing. Good bikes, impressive riding!!!!