All Essays – A Monster of Ease – An easily tamed monster …


A Monster of Ease

All Essays - A Monster of Ease - An easily tamed monster ...

Ducati, Italian manufacturer, MotoGP world champion in 2007 and Superbike in 2008, is renowned for its sports cars and big-hearted roadsters. However, its best seller remains the little Monster completely revised in 2008: the 696! Test.

An easily tamed monster…

Once mounted, the Monster 696 surprises with its decidedly light weight: this sensation corresponds perfectly to the 163 kg dry indicated on the technical sheet. With its saddle installed at 770 mm from the ground, the roadster is very easy to handle when stationary: a good point for small riders !

Compared to its predecessor, the driving position of the 696 has been revised – the saddle closer to the handlebars and the footrests lowered and advanced – but is not so "restful"as announced by the Italians. The handlebars remain wide and relatively low, so that we de facto adopt a slightly contracted attitude, like" stuck in the starting blocks and ready to pounce ".

This impression of "holding the bull by the horns" is accentuated as soon as the twin-cylinder wakes up: the new pots let out rather flattering vocals for a mid-size motorcycle and novices will no doubt be impressed. Ah, the sound of the Twin !

To set off smoothly, you have to make the clutch slip – an exercise made difficult by the lever which engages just at the end of the stroke – because the first is relatively long and the engine not very inclined to pull from idle. Thus, it must be kept above 3,000 rpm so as not to suffer its hiccups.

From 3,000 revolutions therefore, acceleration and pick-up are carefree, without vibrations or excessive ass kicks … Here again, discontent could win over the purists who claim indomitable "monsters" from Ducati !

In this case, the 695.4 cc mill is on the contrary particularly wise and will not frighten beginners. The new Siemens injection and the work done on the cylinder head certainly have a lot to do with it. And for an entry-level motorcycle, isn’t that a definite asset? ?

The cycle part is just as convenient: light and agile, the 696 quickly puts its rider in confidence … and in joy, as long as the road lends itself to it. !

Paradoxically, braking shines with its moderate bite: unlike most Italians, the little monster offers reasonable attack and foolproof power..

Thrill seekers may be a bit disappointed by its devastating looking calipers, but less "devastating" efficiency. But for a motorcycle intended to run on all types of surfaces – including Parisian self-sliding cobbles! -, this slight lack of bite turns to the advantage of the 696.

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