Test Ducati Monster 996

Test Ducati Monster 996

Strolling Caterpillar

If glances could be stolen, this machine would have a thousand new owners every day. The idiosyncratic look plus top chassis catapult the Monster 996 into the charts of the show bike hit parade.

It’s fifty kilometers. At least. You need to get used to this route.

Because what thunders and growls under you is brutal, merciless, stubborn. And: translated as sinfully short. 113 hp can be so sublime. When driving, the adrenaline level rises like the water in a spring tide. The front wheel too, by the way.
The magic word? Ducati Monster 996. Chassis and engine come from the 996 Biposto. The monster look was given to her Ducati dealer Ronald März in collaboration with the Swiss Ducati specialist Edgar Schnyder. And honestly: it animates, the striped 996. This cool elegance paired with animal power and technical sophistication? that makes you want. A desire for curves, a desire for movement and a desire to look at every detail. And there are enough of them. Because Ducati engineers value details. Steel braided lines, artfully curved exhaust manifolds, extravagantly styled five-spoke rims, lovingly laid hoses and pedantically secured nuts ?? a feast for the eyes ex works.
Messrs Schnyder and März go one better. Almost 200 hours of work went into their conversion. Not only were the wiring harness, the rear frame and the air supply for the airbox changed, but the original battery was also replaced with a smaller one, which was then moved under the tank, the stubs had to give way to a superbike handlebar, the full fairing of a half-shell. This is just like the air scoops, the tank, the cockpit and the pillion cover ?? of course you can take someone with you? a carbon production by Schnyder. But also fenders, swing arm covers, pinion and toothed belt covers, license plate holders: everything made of the light, noble, expensive material ?? shimmering like a reptile skin. Which underlines the character of the monsters perfectly. Because it is as agile as a snake, ready at any time to speed forward without delay at the command of the throttle. So stop looking, better drive on.
Blue sky, sea view, grippy French coastal road asphalt. The wide superbike handlebars, the upright seating position, the comfortable seat? everything fits. It has to be like that. Enter gear, turn it briefly, whoops! The powerful two-cylinder really gets going from low speeds. From 2000 rpm jerk-free, then the forward thrust continues unabated. The pull on the rope is rewarded with an irascible roar from the airbox and a maximum of fresh airflow. In sixth gear, the speedometer ends at 240 km / h. Is also a good thing. One would like Mike Tyson’s neck to be at a much slower pace anyway. At top speed, even the chassis of the 996, which is designed for hyper-stable straight-line stability, can be tempted to pendulum lightly by the extremely upright seating position.
But what if the long straights are rare and the curves narrow? Then the super monster must be forcefully forced into an inclined position, if it follows the steering commands of the driver a little lethargic. Nothing works without physical effort, and the wide handlebars come to the rescue. But on winding roads it quickly becomes clear: 17 kilograms of weight loss and a sail pole do not turn a stubborn straight runner into a corner robber. Clear ?? in a direct exchange of blows with a normal Ducati Monster, the naked 996 looks more unwieldy. Nevertheless, the driving dynamics are balanced, unlike many other converted show bikes. Here technology was not castrated in favor of optics. Extensive curve combinations can be surfed with great precision. Only the request to set up when braking in an inclined position bothers a little. Low load change reactions, the appropriate short gear ratio of 14:36 ​​and the suspension elements contribute to the driving pleasure of the super monster.
Because the 43 mm Showa upside-down fork and the Öhlins shock absorber respond sensitively as usual, are fully adjustable in rebound and compression and guide the wheels perfectly. Conclusions about the condition of the road are passed on immediately. Short, concise, precise and direct. Unless the front wheel hovers over the ground again.
Unicycle artistry or not, if you let it pop, you need reliable brakes. And that is what the 996 monster has at least at the front: the easily adjustable double disc system with two four-piston brake calipers delivers deceleration values ​​as if someone had spilled superglue on the road. As impressive as these values ​​are, those of the rear stopper are disappointed. When you step on the pedal, shockingly little happens.
When it stands then? ideally right in front of an ice cream parlor ??, this caterpillar beats all records. Because it is blessed with an eye-catching factor that even a Ferrari can hardly achieve. And in this way it is almost cheap again with its price of 60,000 marks.
Vcompared to the Ducati Monster 900, of course, around three times as expensive. And twice as expensive as a 996 Biposto. An investment advisor would pull his hair out, then maybe wear a wig. But for 60 brown notes you not only get an extraordinary eye-catcher, but also a sporty companion with high entertainment value: Ducati Monster 996. If it is too strong, you are too weak.

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