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Review Ducati M 600 Monster Dark

Night edition

No reason to look black in view of this M 600: The Monster Dark offers the most affordable way to show your colors as a Ducati rider.

Paint it black. What ratbikers like, was cheap to the creators of the Monster Dark in two respects: The generous use of matt black paint lifts the machine out of the crowd of brightly colored motorcycles – and saves painting costs. That makes the little black one a smooth thousand cheaper than the high-gloss version of the M 600, which is still available.
In its most consistent dosage form, the Dark presents itself as a nighttime ghost with a black frame and black wheels. The chassis ingredients are optionally available in red or – as with the test machine – in yellow. A contrast program that brings some light into the darkness.
In any case, the concept of the Dark is overshadowed by its motorization: With 600 cubic meters and nominally 50 hp, its two-valve Desmo V2 is, with the best of intentions, not inclined to spread respect or even fear. The M 600 does not have in its repertoire the spectacular feats that one might expect from a two-wheeled monster – erasing black lines on the asphalt or holding your head high out of tight bends.
The fact that life at the 50 HP limit is nevertheless quite entertaining can be attributed to the user-friendly way in which the power output of the small V2 is designed. If it has to be, the short-stroke motor turns without complaint and without significant vibrations until it stops. Squeezed in this way, it lets the machine go from standstill to 100 km / h in five seconds. But the little one can also do differently: cleanly, emphatically and without major expressions of displeasure, it frees itself in the twinkling of an eye from the lower speed third – an exercise that literally shakes many high-capacity twins.
Only in the area of ​​action of the idle jets of its two Mikuni constant pressure carburettors does the 600 stumble: with the throttle valve slightly open, the engine turns into a jerky stop and go operation – no fun with the vicissitudes of inner-city traffic. In this context, it is good that at least the power transmission does not put any additional obstacles in the way. The backlash in the drive train is close to zero and the transmission shifts precisely, if not always noiselessly.
Apart from the small discrepancies in the carburetor set-up, the M 600 is actually predestined for dealing with tricky driving situations. At least she suggests this in a psychologically very clever way: Monster or Dark – this Ducati does not try to create distance. Small and petite as she is, she arouses protective instincts rather than fear of contact. Even after taking possession, the little monster shows itself from the ingratiating side. Low seating position, narrow tank, wide handlebars that are fond of the driver and low weight – all of these are features that inspire confidence and that give hope for relaxed cooperation between man and monster.
Hopes that are not disappointed, because the M 600 actually manages to carry its toy-like trains into the furthest corners of the road network. Jagged in the corner, precise in the arc, lively on the jump to the next corner, trustworthy on the brakes – and all accompanied by a gruesomely beautiful background noise that only 90-degree V2 engines can achieve.
Of course, it should not be overlooked that drum beats repeatedly mix in with the concert of the M 600 on the chassis side: Although the machine is softly sprung at the front and rear, the fork and central spring strut fail to handle short, dry bumps. If these come into series production, the Ducati even offers the opportunity to get to know the phenomenon of "handlebar slapping" when accelerating – in solo operation in a milder form, in two-person operation also in a somewhat more violent form. The latter note is not particularly relevant, however, as the M 600 is anyway a box for solo entertainers due to the space available.
GOn the other hand, the Monster offers good entertainment for any number of people as a technical demonstration object. The compact Desmo-V2, the neatly crafted tubular space frame, the perfect accessibility of all service-relevant components under the fold-up tank – all of this can be summarized under the term »technical university«. In this respect, it is a bit of a shame that the night edition of the M 600 – on the surface – is not granted a more brilliant appearance.

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