News 2012 Ducati Monster 796 | Preview

2012 Ducati Monster 796 | Preview

2012 Ducati Motorcycle

For many lovers of the Ducati Monster, the complaint was always the same – the 696 was too small, and the 1100 too large.

To appease these lovers of the naked motorcycle, the Italian manufacturer released the Monster 796 last year. The new mid-weight Monster basically took the same 796 desmo engine used in the Hypermotard, and stuffed it into the 1100 Monster’s chassis.

This combination proved worthy to the urban motorcyclists; the bike provides 87 horsepower in a 412-lbs. chassis (wet), and the styling typical of Ducati’s famed naked lineup, such as the single-sided swingarm and exposed trellis frame.

And for 2012, Ducati returns with the Monster 796, offering it in three colors – Ducati Red, Arctic White Silk, Diamond Black Silk – with the option of ABS.

Powering the 796 is an 803cc L-Twin, which features 11:1 compression ratio (compared to the 696’s 1.7:1), and a lightweight flywheel similar to the one in the 848EVO, which helps to maximize power and torque.

The Duc breathes through a Siemens electronic fuel-injection system, and a lightweight, 2-1-2 catalytic exhaust system that uses twin lambda probes and regulating valve to provide finer fuel mapping.

Speaking of the clutch, Ducati says “an APTC ‘wet’ clutch gives a ‘slipper’ type action that prevents destabilizing of the rear-end under aggressive down-shifting and also gives the extra benefit of a super-light feel at the lever, an advantage in stop-start city traffic.”

Suspension is simple but tasteful. The Monster 796 uses 43mm Kayaba front forks, with a single-rear Sachs unit out back that features adjustable spring preload and return damping for passenger load optimization. Stopping the 796 are dual 320mm semi-floating discs gripped by four-piston Brembo calipers up front, with a 245mm disc squeezed by a Brembo two-piston caliper out back.

Another attribute to the optimal handling of the 2012 Ducati Monster 796 are the 17-inc, Y-shaped five-spoke wheels; these not only are for looks, though. The lightweight aluminum wheels assist unsprung weight, helping to optimize handling, braking and performance. And the wheels arrive stock with Pirelli Diablo Ross II tires, 120/70 up front, and a 180/55 out back.

The Ducati Monster 796 also features comfortable, upright ergonomics, a 31.5-inch seat height and a wide aluminum handlebar that utilizes bar risers. Attached to these bars are clutch and brake systems that are “fitted with user-friendly, 4-point adjustable levers that provide easy-to-reach control for all hand sizes and the APTC clutch offers a super- light lever action ideal for use in the city.”

The Ducati 796 features that balance needed for the rider who wants to thrash urban localities with comfortable ergonomics and asphalt-ripping power. And due to the styling cues such as bikini fairing, single-sided swingarm and trellis frame, the 796 performs its urban duties in typical Monster style.

Following are the specs, color options and MSRP for the 2012 Ducati Monster 796.

2012 Ducati Monster 796 Specs:

  • Engine Type: L-Twin cylinder, 2 valve per cylinder Desmodromic, air cooled
  • Displacement: 803cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 88 x 66mm
  • Compression Ratio: 11:1
  • Power: 87 hp (64kW) @ 8250rpm
  • Torque: 58lb-ft (8.0kgm) @ 6250rpm
  • Fuel injection: Siemens electronic fuel injection, 45mm throttle body
  • Exhaust: Lightweight 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and twin lambda probes
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Gearbox Ratio: 1=32/13 2=30/18 3=28/21 4=26/23 5=22/22 6=24/26
  • Primary drive: Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.85:1
  • Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 39
  • Clutch: APTC Light action, wet, multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. Self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run.
  • Chassis: Tubular steel
  • Frame: Trellis frame
  • Wheelbase: 1450mm (57.1in)
  • Rake: 24 degrees
  • Trail: 87mm (3.4in)
  • Steering angle (total): 64 degrees
  • Front suspension: Kayaba 43mm usd forks
  • Front wheel travel: 120mm (4.7in)
  • Front wheel: Y-shaped, 5-spoke in light alloy 3.50 x 17
  • Front tire: 120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
  • Rear suspension: Progressive Sachs adjustable monoshock with adjustable spring
  • preload and rebound damping
  • Rear wheel travel: 148mm (5.8in)
  • Rear wheel: Y-shaped, 5-spoke in light alloy 5.50 x 17
  • Rear tire: 180/55 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
  • Front brake: 2 x 320mm discs, 4-piston radial caliper ABS optional +2kg (+4.4lb)
  • Rear brake: 245mm disc, 2-piston caliper
  • Fuel tank capacity: 15 l (3.8 US gal)
  • Dry weight: 167kg (369lb)
  • Wet weight: 187kg (412lb)
  • Seat height: 800mm (31.5in)
  • Max height: 1079mm (42.4in)
  • Max length: 2114mm ( 83.2in)
  • Instrumentation: LCD
  • Warranty: 2 years unlimited mileage
  • Versions: Dual Seat, ABS

2012 Ducati Monster 796 Color Options/MSRP:

  • Ducati Red / $10,295
  • Arctic White Silk / $10,295
  • Diamond Black Silk / $10,295

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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