In 1993, Ducati began shipments of a bike that was destined to define the “naked bike” genre: the Monster M900. This simple, air-cooled, trellis-framed, easy-to-ride beast spawned two smaller siblings, the M600 and M750, and these Monsters continue to have a loyal cult following to this day.
Fast forward to 2017, and Ducati is introducing the Monster 797, designed to embody the unique essence of the original ‘90s machines. After the Monster 696 and 796 were dropped from the lineup in 2014, the Scrambler models became the point of entry for potential Ducatisti. This new Monster 797 changes that, offering an entry-level option into the world of classic Ducati ownership.
Powering the new Monster is the 803cc Desmodue air-cooled L-twin engine, the same one as that used in the Scrambler 800 models. With a claimed 75 peak horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 50.8 lb-ft of torque at 5,750 rpm, the little Monster should have enough go-juice on tap to keep even experienced riders from getting bored. Feeding the engine is a single 50mm throttle body with two sub-butterfly injectors, for simple and smooth power delivery. The 6-speed gearbox has a wet multiplate clutch with a servo-assisted slipper function.
A Monster isn’t a Monster without the classic tubular-steel trellis frame and steel gas tank (hooray for magnetic tank bags!). A 31.7-inch seat height and claimed 425-pound wet weight should make the 797 easy to handle at low speeds.
Befitting its entry-level price point, the 797’s suspension is simple: a non-adjustable 43mm Kayaba fork up front and a Sachs shock out back, mounted on the left side of the bike and adjustable for preload and rebound damping. Like its Scrambler cousins, the Monster 797 comes standard with Bosch 9.1 MP ABS, but unlike the Scramblers it uses twin radially mounted Brembo 4-piston monobloc calipers gripping 320mm discs, and a single-piston Brembo caliper gripping a 245mm disc. Ten-spoke alloy wheels are shod with Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires.
The 2017 Monster 797 will be available in three colors, Ducati Red with red frame and black wheels ($9,295), Dark Stealth ($9,395) and Star White Silk with red frame and red wheels ($9,395), and should be in dealerships in April 2017.