Top test Ducati Monster 696
You have to imagine that: for 14 years always in the same clothes, while the others followed the fashion and its trends around you.
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Top test Ducati Monster 696
Monster 696 and its predecessor model 695. When you sit down at the latest, everyone notices: Holla, something has fundamentally changed here. Not the seat height, it remained pleasantly low. But the tank was easily three centimeters shorter. And suddenly the driver is no longer sitting stretched out and far away from the action, but loosely gathered, a little aggressive, worlds more active. Right in the middle there instead of just. The handlebars are accordingly closer, unfortunately still as straight as a bar and as wide as a horizontal bar, which, together with the unfavorable cranking of the sitting posture, gives something inappropriately streetfighter-like. In addition, the forward sloping bench latches the driver uncomfortably close to the tank.
The starting procedure also changed slightly: the 696 no longer offers the convenience of a servo starter. But that’s not a broken leg, because the pressure on the button is followed by subito full-bodied, guttural Bullern from the two raised end pots. Provided that the anachronistic choke lever on the handlebars helped the idle speed with the cold start. A tribute to modernity, on the other hand, in the cockpit. Instead of pretty round instruments with pointed needles, there is now an information display, operated from the handlebars, with a trendy LCD bar tachometer. At least the LCD tape is easy to read. Only the digits on the speedometer should be a bit larger. So be it. The clutch is pleasantly easy, first gear slips in gently, the load rolls.
Old against new
The new edition of the Monster is lighter, handier, more stable and more precise.
The air-cooled two-valve engine pushes forward powerfully and with a surprisingly mature bass. Speeds of up to 4000 rpm are enough to escape the worst of the city. The twin has gained a bit of smoothness, the driver enjoys his pulsation. And above all, how supple the new one lies in the hand. Because the changes to the chassis are serious, even if it doesn’t look like it at first, because the mesh tube is still there, and the steering head angle and caster remained the same.
A second look reveals the frame as a hybrid consisting of a screwed-together lattice tube front and a cast rear. He now places the engine a few millimeters closer to the front wheel. The beautiful rocker arm of the shock absorber disappeared, the 696 steers its shock absorber directly. The swing arm, also a cast part, is now around three centimeters longer than on the 695, which means the bottom line is 15 millimeters more wheelbase. Do you notice what? Longer wheelbase, engine further forward, driver closer to the handlebars?
I agree. The heavily rear-heavy weight distribution of the old monsters, especially with the driver, is a thing of the past. It now puts significantly more weight on the front wheel. And in connection with the active sitting posture, the new 696 turns out to be a real street sweeper. Folds down as light as a feather and requires little force even for larger slopes. Circles around the curves on precise, tight lines. At the exit of the curve, it keeps exactly the track where the predecessor gladly took the wide bend. It is amazing how relaxed and effortless you can unravel even tricky combinations of curves with it. No tilting, no standing up, simply neutral and, above all, accurate ?? there are worlds between it and the 695. And the venerable Bridgestone BT 56, with a 60 mm cross-section at the front and easy-to-handle 160 millimeters wide at the rear, harmonize very well with the mini monster.
There is also good news from the spring elements. Previously scolded as too soft, they are now clearly tightened. The easily accessible spring strut, adjustable in preload and rebound, does its job quite well even without deflection. Only with the non-adjustable fork did the Italians mean it a little too well with the damping of the rebound movement. On bumpy slopes, the manager, who is only moderately responsive, then easily stumbles over rapidly successive bumps. It’s not convenient. But in view of the progress in handiness, precision and stability, this is easy to get over. Especially since the front wheel-oriented sitting posture and the tight coordination of contact with the machine and the road are now much more intensive.
So far, the 696 has made a successful appearance. And the engine? Fits in seamlessly. Even below 3000 rpm it takes on gas without hacking. Even from idle, the twin comes out of the starting blocks really lively. At 4000 rpm, a dent in the power curve briefly dampens the temperament, but it is quickly overcome, especially in the lower gears. And from 6000 rpm the V2 rushes towards the limiter, which now only puts an end to the happy hustle and bustle at 9500 rpm (695: 9100 rpm). The Desmodue hammers out of the intake tract so powerfully, as if a genuine Testastretta was sipping its breath through the two intake nostrils in the tank. The significantly shorter gear ratio compared to the 695 additionally underlines the temperament of the 696. The draft values speak volumes, the old one looks pretty pale. It is gratifying that the higher speed level is not at the expense of consumption. 3.7 liters per 100 kilometers are a word.
Revised combustion chambers and pistons, larger valves (inlet 44 instead of 43 mm, outlet 38.5 instead of 38 mm), camshafts with more valve lift and a slightly higher compression (10.6 instead of 10.5: 1) lift the output from 71 to 75 HP and the maximum torque from 61 to 69 Nm. In addition, the camshafts now run in plain bearings instead of ball bearings. For thermal well-being, the cylinders have been given even more cooling fins for better heat dissipation. Of course, an oil cooler would be even better instead of the decorative panel over the cylinder. But that should have fallen victim to the red pen. Even if he could go a little smoother with the throttle response ?? the revised V2 presents itself as a lively play partner for the agile, stable chassis. A powerful mixture that shows in an uncomplicated way that 75 HP is enough for a lot of fun in everyday life.
Especially since the Italians have elegantly removed another obstacle in robbing bends. In the past, the early mufflers that put on the mufflers rudely levered out sporty natures, so the scrambler-style manifold routing and the raised mufflers finally clear up, but also heat up the legs a lot in city traffic. However, curve robbers should move their feet in now, otherwise they’ll get ?? The downside of the lower pegs? contact with the road surface too quickly. After all, the gearshift foot now has a little more space to reach under the gearshift lever because the lever and notch are more delicate. So after a very short time you catch yourself chasing the monsters around the corners. The brakes can easily handle the given performance. It is true that they are not as brutal as pure racing stoppers, and you need some manual strength. But then the mix of radial calipers and 320 mm brake discs, which now takes care of the deceleration instead of the floating calipers and 300 mm discs of the 695, reliably catches the monsters back. The monster tamer only has to do without adjustable hand levers.
He’ll get over it. After all, thanks to the anti-hopping function, the APTC clutch prevents the rear wheel from punching when downshifting too harshly. And thanks to a kind of servo function, it enables under load similar to that of the Honda Fireblade? low hand strength. The fact that the new Monster is four kilograms lighter and for the price of its predecessor in the shop windows puts the icing on the cake. And it doesn’t make you tremble before meeting your next-largest relative, but increases the anticipation. Handier, more stable and more precise than its predecessor, with more lean angle and a good shot, more power and liveliness, four kilograms lighter despite the larger tank ?? the first new edition of the monsters was successful.
The shock absorber is mounted upside down, so the adjustment rings for the preload and the rebound adjustment screw are easily accessible. The rebound stage also offers a useful adjustment range
Thanks to the filigree footrests and levers, the shift foot has a little more space
Because the manifold of the horizontal cylinder no longer runs under the engine, the ground clearance is now much greater
The clutch and brake levers are not adjustable
The light output of the three-part headlight is only average
The luggage storage is difficult due to the lack of luggage hooks
The tool kit is very sparsely stocked. An Allen key to remove the tank panels is missing
The clutch does not engage until the very last button, its pressure point is spongy
The space that the standing shock absorber and the deflection take up on the 695 is now used by the tank.
Basically, the chassis of the Monster is still based on the chassis of the time-honored Superbike 888. Not only the mesh tube, which was designed to accommodate a water-cooled four-valve engine with its correspondingly high cylinder heads, was adopted from there, but also the aluminum swing arm with the characteristic rocker arm. The Monster 696 is now the first to break out of this design.
For the first time, the chassis is no longer designed as a tubular grid from front to back. Rather, the rear frame is a cast part and screwed to the front part. In addition to cost-effective production, it is also advantageous that different wall thicknesses can be implemented more easily where they are necessary. In addition, the designers are relatively free to design the shape. The swing arm is also made of cast aluminum. In contrast to an Aprilia Shiver, the left and right halves are not screwed together, but welded.
The direct linkage of the shock absorber is also new. Dispensing with the rocker arm with levers and bearings saves not only weight but also considerable manufacturing costs. And in everyday life, a properly coordinated, directly hinged strut does not have to be a disadvantage compared to solutions with deflections. The latter are definitely preferred in racing because they leave more options for choosing the progression.
The omission of a deflection and the asymmetrical attachment of the shock absorber also create space under the seat for the continuation of the plastic tank, which compared to its predecessor ?? rare in these times ?? has increased by a liter.
Top speed * 210 (185) km / h
0 100 km / h 4.2 (4.4) sec
0 140 km / h 7.4 (8.0) sec
0200 km / h23.6 (??) sec
60 100 km / h 5.3 (5.7) sec
100 140 km / h 6.3 (7.3) sec
140 180 km / h 7.6 (11.8) sec
Effective (display 50/100)
48/95 (48/95) km / h
Display red area 9250 (9250) / min
Effective 9500 (9100) / min
Country road 3.7 (3.6) l / 100 km
at 130 km / h 4.7 (4.5) l / 100 km
Theor. Range Country road 405 (389) km
Dimensions + weights
L / W / H2080 / 960/1130 mm
Seat height 785 (785) mm
Handlebar height 950 (950) mm
Turning circle 6200 (6200) mm
Weight with a full tank 185 (189) kg
Payload 205 (201) kg
Wheel load distribution f / r 49/51 (47/53)%
Except for the bend at 4000 rpm, the new one has the edge. And that with greater revving pleasure. In addition, it finally has a much shorter and therefore more practical final translation. This means that sixth gear can now also be used to the full on the country road. This gives the 696 additional liveliness and pulling power.
At maximum deceleration, the BT 56 tire in the 120/60 ZR 17 format provides little feedback with little intrinsic damping. Therefore, the braking distance between the two monsters does not differ. Nevertheless, the 696 can be dosed better with its four-piston fixed calipers.
Classy, powerful and lively: the new Monster.
Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, crankshaft transverse, one overhead, gear-driven camshaft, two valves per cylinder, desmodromic actuation, wet sump lubrication, injection Ø 45 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 520 W alternator, 12 V battery / 12 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-plate anti-hopping oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 45:15 (42:15).
Bore x stroke 88.0 x 57.2 mm
Cubic capacity 696 cm³
Compression ratio 10.6: 1 (10.5: 1) Rated output 55.0 kW (75 PS) at 9000 rpm (52.0 kW (71 PS) at 8500 rpm)
Max. Torque 67 Nm at 5500 rpm
Steel tubular frame with screwed cast aluminum parts (tubular steel frame), upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, directly hinged spring strut (central spring strut with lever system), adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm (Ø 300 mm ), Four-piston fixed calipers (double-piston floating calipers), rear disc brake, Ø 245 mm, two-piston fixed calipers.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 4.50 x 17
Tires 120/60 ZR 17; 160/60 ZR 17
Bridgestone BT 56 tires tested
Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1452 mm (1440 mm), steering head angle 66.0 degrees, caster 96 mm, spring travel f / r 120 (130) / 148 mm, permissible total weight 390 kg,
Tank capacity / reserve 15.0 (14.0) / 3.5 (3.0) liters. Warranty two years
Mobility guarantee one year
Service intervals every 12,000 km
Colors: red, black, white (red, black, gray)
Price 7695 euros
Additional costs: 255 euros
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