DUCATI MONSTER 796 (2010-on) Review

Published: 05 May 2010

"Air-cooled Monster slots nicely between the first-timer Monster 696 and the more powerful Monster 1100"

Ducati Monster 796

"Air-cooled Monster slots nicely between the first-timer Monster 696 and the more powerful Monster 1100"

  • At a glance
  • 803cc  -  87 bhp
  • 38 mpg  -  127 miles range
  • Low seat height (800mm)
  • £7,995

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Yee-haar. Puzzled? Don’t be. The simple truth is Ducati’s 796 - the Bologna-based company’s latest air-cooled Monster – slots nicely between the first-timer Monster 696 and the more powerful Monster 1100 and it's one of biking’s easy-to-net pleasures. It’s not under or overpowered, definitely not expensive to buy or maintain, easy to ride and a looker to boot. Plus it carries one of the most recognisable brand names ever on its fuel tank: Ducati.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Showa non-adjustable forks and the usual Sachs rear shock are a serious partnership – they’re tuned to work together so perfectly. Ok, so fast riding over bumps produces uppercut punches to the buttocks, but the first ride was on Italian roads that are far worse than the UK’s. Thankfully Ducati’s Monster design team has seen the light and started to move the wide one-piece tapered handlebar up and away from the front wheel spindle (20mm higher than other models). There’s still an amount of bodyweight propped on the wrists but it’s better and picking up the pace gives instant relief. An agile chassis that gives feedback a plenty front and rear makes for a purposeful road chaser, in or out of town. 

Engine 4 out of 5

All the requisites of a medium sized air-cooled V-twin are here in the Monster 796’s 803cc engine. A rolling mist of torque stretches across the rev range and is topped with an acceptable level of horsepower that won’t scare freshly licenced riders, or bore veterans of 130bhp and more. There are more details involved in making the 796 an enjoyable riding experience: 1) light throttle action, 2) boom-bastic reverb from the airbox on the overrun, 3) quality throttle response, and 4) it handles…

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

The Monster 696 and 1100 are sorted machines that have revealed no major concerns for owners or potential buyers. This way of thinking surely applies to the new 896. Aesthetically, Ducati’s constant battle to boost build quality shows with every new model – wiring and frame clips are mostly out of view, tip-top coating finish. Shame about the piss-poor mirror mounts that can come loose in the breeze.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

The amount of fun the Ducati supplies is worth considerably more than the bike’s asking price. It can rock along at a good pace. It can cut the mustard through traffic. It’ll even be a good blast on a track day (medium group). And it looks good. Find a Ducati Monster 796 for sale.

Insurance group: 11 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

On the face of it the 796 comes with very little by the way of toys or gizmos. However, the LCD race-replica dash while tasty is nothing new in Ducati-ville. Like the sporting 1098/1198 bikes the Monster carries a facility to record and download to computer throttle position, revs, gear selected etc via an accessory device. Partial rim tape on both wheels doesn’t look clever in freeze-frame photos, but through eyes looks superb. Single-sided swingarms always float MCN’s flotilla. Compare and buy parts for the Monster 796 in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their DUCATI MONSTER 796 (2010-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3.5 out of 5
5 out of 5

M796

04 April 2011 by danwells999

My previous bike was an '08 fireblade and I now know what is mean't be character. The sound even with sock cans is great, the twin rumble, power delivery and popping on the over run are fantastic With me on it the M796 is much faster in the... Read more twisties as the riding position allows you to be in control. I miss the power for overtakes but can still bumble along at a healthy 125mph. I'm racking up the miles as this bike brings a constant smile....less is more!!!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Monster 796

13 August 2010 by Anonymous

Since having a Suzuki SV650S as my first proper bike, I had a Honda CB1300S (excellent but not enough leg room), VFR800 (Rubbish fuelling) and a CBR600RR which was a very good bike, comfortable, but I just missed having any sort mid-range power. So I... Read more saw the 796 & went to my local dealer to see if I could get a test ride, but I could only get a test ride on a 696. After test riding the 696 I bought a 796 on the spot & picked it up a week later. I've now covered just over 2000 miles & fingers crossed no problems yet. It's my first duke & I always wanted one. I thought it might disappoint me because of my high expectations, but so far it hasn't one little bit. As an everyday road bike, I can't find one fault with it. The ride and handling is spot on & so far I haven't had any problems with the reliability of it. After always having japanese bikes and being told of how to be wary of italian bikes, so far, I don't see what all the fuss is about. It's excellent & almost seems cheap compared to some of the japanese bikes now. As long as it doesn't start having reliability problems or start costing a fortune to maintain, I don't see why I'd want to go back to any of the japanese four.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2010
Year discontinued -
New price £7,995
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 87 bhp
Max torque 58 ft-lb
Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 127 miles
Specification
Engine size 803cc
Engine type Air-cooled, 4v Desmodromic four-stroke, 90° V-twin. Six gears. Fuel injection
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 167kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable
Rear suspension Adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Front brake 2 x 310mm discs with 4-piston radial calipers
Rear brake 245mm disc with dual-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 19

History & Versions

Model history

2010: Monster 796 released

Other versions

An ABS version is available for £7965. The ABS doesn’t detract from the rider’s pleasure one iota.

Photo Gallery

  • Ducati Monster 796
  • Ducati Monster 796
  • Ducati Monster 796
  • Ducati Monster 796
  • Ducati Monster 796
  • Ducati Monster 796
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