Everyone with some spare time and a motorcycle licence had an invitation to a Monster Ball as the Ducati truck unloaded an entire fleet of bright red machines one after the other while riders salivated on their helmets.
As licenced motor vehicle operators, remember these few things:
- Drivers of red cars tend to get pulled over more often than any other colour;
- Sport bikes were originally designed for racing;
- Ducati is well known in the racing world for speed;
- Each bike on the demo truck is red (bikes are available in black and white too);
- Anything that is affectionately named Monster has a surprise or two in its pocket; and
- When your lead rider is dressed for his knees dragging on pavement, choose the bike at the back of the pack if you question your ability to keep up.
You could see the eyes behind the visors bulging out looking like Wile E. Coyote after the Road Runner. If only Wile E. Coyote had invested in Ducati instead of spending all that time with the Acme inventions, he may have finally had a bird for dinner.
As the rundown on the bikes was given, the rider’s expressions changed to the devilish smile that Wile E. would get as he sat aboard his rocket with a lit match in his hand waiting for the Road Runner to pass.
The only thing missing was the waving of the red flag and the voice over the loudspeaker “start your engines.”
The Monster 696 is a simple yet rugged looking, naked (no fairing), sport bike new to the Ducati line-up in 2010. “Less is more” is the moto.
Boasting three standard colours, red, black and white, but with the Monster Art Logomania program, you can deck out your Monster ride and personalize it any way you like by choosing from an entire history of tank panels, seat covers, bikini fairings etc. that makes each Monster its own and quite possibly, a personal one of a kind look to the rider.
The bike offers an easy-to-read digital display on the standard straight handlebars. Wrist angle on both is comfortable and the rider does not have instant pressure on the wrists and maintains good back posture for a comfortable ride.
As a sport bike, the Monster offers 80 horsepower at 9000 RPMs. The APTC wet multi-plate hydraulic control clutch makes changing gears effortless for the rider and downshifting virtually unnoticeable while still maintaining a smooth even ride. The clutch pull is super light and easy on the smaller hands and fingers. As for torque the Monster offers 50.6 ft/lb or torque at 7,750 RPMs.
Six-speed, chain drive transmission. True to the name, the Monster is a 696cc, two-valve per cylinder, air cooled, dual spark, L-Twin engine gives the bike that iconic Ducati sound.
Rounded singular headlight on the Monster, as opposed to the usual dual split headlight of other manufacturers sport bikes.
The 696, with its inverted front forks with 120 mm of movement and adjustable rear mono shock suspension is designed to make that ride as smooth as possible at higher speeds and standard disc brakes that can be upgraded to ABS.
A one piece seat gives the rider with longer legs room to move within the 30.3 inch seat height.
The Monster has two aluminum mufflers just below the seat.
One observation for the ladies is that the riding position of the Monster seems to turn the legs out at the hip joints which can cause come discomfort after a few hours in the saddle.