Tuesday, November 06, 2007

First pics: 2008 Ducati Monster 696

Up close and personal, with the 2008 Ducati Monster 696...
After months of anticipation, a few blurry spy shots and various computer-generated mock-ups, the 2008 Ducati Monster 696 has finally been officially unveiled. The machine has been extensively restyled, gets a new hybrid trellis frame (with new, larger diameter steel tubes), new aluminium swingarm, twin-muffler exhaust, slipper clutch, twin 320mm brake discs with four-piston radial-mount calipers, digital instrumentation, a restyled headlamp and LED taillamp. The bike now weighs 163kg.

The new engine is, of course, where the action is. The air-cooled 696cc L-twin makes 80bhp, which should be okay for relaxed riding as well as a bit of corner-carving. The ergonomics have also been revised – the seat is low and narrow, with a shorter reach to the handlebars, and the footpegs are lower and further forward.

Though we like the new Monster 696, to be honest, we were hoping it would be rather more radical. Still, for a lightweight bike that looks cool, that can be used for everyday commuting and that also allows you to have a bit of fun on Sundays, the new Monster should do all right…

 Casey Stoner gets to ride the new Monster 696...!

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