Beginner-friendly beast among Ducati Monster debuts
Ducati might be known as a red-blooded maker of scary superbikes and powerful nakeds, but even aspirational brands need entry-level bikes. That's where the Monster 797 steps in. Designed to fill the hole left by the (now discontinued) Monster 796, it's a cheaper and more approachable take on the Monster formula. Unlike the pair of new Monster 1200s that launched alongside it in Milan.
The 797 might technically be an entry point to Ducati sports bikes, but it still packs quite a punch. Power comes from an air-cooled Desmodue twin, making the same 75 hp (56 kW) of power and 68 Nm (50 lb.ft) of torque as the Scrambler. Although that's not overly powerful, real work has gone into making it accessible, 90 percent of peak power is available between 4,000 and 8,500 rpm.
Although the engine comes from a Scrambler, the 797 is still a Monster through and through. With a one-piece trellis frame, prominent round headlamp and chunky tank it certainly looks the part, although the single exhaust is simpler than the ones found on higher-end models.
Suspension is a fully-adjustable 43 mm front fork, coupled with a preload and damping adjustable rear shock, while the bike's brakes are almost identical to the ones found on the Monster 821.
Pricing will kick off at US$9,295 when the bike lands in showrooms in April 2017.
Monster 1200 and 1200S
If the Monster 797 is a gateway to the world of Ducati, the Monster 1200 sits near the top of the tree. Powered by Testastretta DS engine with new exhaust plumbing and throttle bodies, there's now 150 hp (112 kW) of power and 126 Nm (93 lb.ft) of torque on tap, and Ducati says the motor's torque curve should make it easier to tap into all that performance from low revs.
Although both the Monster 1200 and 1200S share the same engine, they've been given very different suspension setups. The standard bike sits on a Sachs rear shock and Kayaba fork, while the more expensive S benefits from adjustable Ohlins units front and rear.
Both bikes come with the full Ducati Safety Package, which includes traction control and cornering anti-lock brakes, and wheelie control also makes an appearance. The 1200 and 1200S will sit below the Monster 1200R when they arrive in showrooms. Expect to pay US$14,695 for the 1200 and $16,995 for the Monster S.