The Ducati Monster 696 may be the little monster of the range, but going by what we in India are used to, it is a motorcycle with immense appeal and a rather sensible engine thrown in the mix. With more changes made to India’s import duty structure from this month onward, all manufacturers are looking at ways of expanding their presence and it seems that, finally, bikes below 800cc are being actively considered.
The Monster 696 uses a 696cc air-cooled, L-twin engine with Desmodromic valves. The engine makes 80 PS at 9,000 rpm and 69 Nm of torque at 7,750 rpm. The six-speed transmission uses ratios identical to the Monster 795 with a 1:1 fifth and an overdrive sixth. This would make it fun to ride in the city while being just as easy to cruise with on highways. It weighs in at 161 kg dry; translating to a power-to-weight ratio of just under 500 PS/tonne. That means spirited performance and quick acceleration on tap whichever way you look at it. The 696 sports the trademark Monster look complete with the trellis frame, under-seat exhaust and brute street-bike look.
We anxiously await the arrival of the Monster 696 in India, especially now that imported bikes above 800cc will now be even dearer. Considering that it would be brought in from Thailand, it is very likely to sport a price tag under Rs 5 lakh.
Story: Jim Gorde