Ad closing in seconds....

DUCATI MONSTER 696 (2008-2012) Review

Published: 05 March 2020

Updated: 06 March 2020

Ducati got it spot on with the 696 Monster

Ducati Monster 696 side profile studio shot

Ducati got it spot on with the 696 Monster

  • At a glance
  • 696cc  -  67.5 bhp
  • 45 mpg  -  150 miles range
  • Insurance group: 11 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Low seat height (770mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Ducati Monster 696 was the Italian firm's most important bike for years. The Monster is the bike that brings in the money for Ducati and thankfully it seems they've got it spot on. Thankfully they’ve not played around with the styling too much, and just improved the old bike as a package, in terms of engine performance and handling. It was first revealed in November 2007 and hit dealers in April 2008.

Before it was even launched, the Ducati 696+ was unveiled, which featured two optional extras as standard: a micro bikini fairing around the dash and colour-coded seat cowl. The 696+ cost £5,750 when revealed in March 2008.

Watch: Ducati Monster 696 video review

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

The Ducati 696 Monster is still distinctively a Monster, and feels like the original model on board, but it’s not an uncomfortable over stretch like the old bike. It still feels light and is easy to throw around.

The understeer feeling of the old bike has been rectified and so has the poor ground clearance thanks to the new re-routed exhausts.

Engine 4 out of 5

The cylinder head of the Ducati 696 Monster is very similar to the two valve 1100 Multistrada’s. Bore and stroke remain the same as the 695 but Ducati have managed to squeeze out an extra 9% of power. Thankfully it’s not lost any of its character, and still sounds and feels like a Monster

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

As you’d expect from Ducati in recent years, the finish on the Ducati 696 Monster is very high even for a 'budget' model. The engine hasn't changed too much and the old motor took a thrashing in its stride. Keep the bike regularly serviced and you shouldn’t have many problems.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

Cheap for a Ducati. You’re buying into a cool, fashionable brand but the competition is still considerably cheaper, bikes like the Kawasaki ER6f and Suzuki SV650. If you are buying with your heart then you’ll go for the Italian but if money is tight or you want a machine you can commute all-year on go for one of the Japanese bikes.

Ducati Monster 696 - what else should I consider?

We'd suggest looking at a used Suzuki SV650.

According to MCN's road testers, the SV650's v-twin motor is "so smooth and eager it makes most European v-twins seem crude and impotent". Said engine puts out 69bhp (slightly more than the Monster 696) and loves revs. Plus it's mated to a Suzuki-smooth gearbox and light clutch.

The suspension and brakes might not have the fancy labels you'll find on the Monster 696, but they work - the SV650 is great fun and as happy thrashing down back roads as it is touring big distances.

Plus the SV's engine is un-stressed and bulletproof, it'll chug on forever. The only issue is that the SV650 is prone to corrosion (good for haggling a few quid off the asking price) and some were thrashed and abused in Mini Twins, so avoid anything that looks like it may of been raced.

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

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Ducati 696 Monster’s clutch is feather light and comes as a slipper clutch as standard. The Brembo radial brakes up front are powerful but still progressive and ideal for novice riders. However, only the shock is adjustable and we’d expect fully adjustable suspension on a bike at this level.

In February 2008 Ducati announced you could have white or black paint as well as the standard red.

3 colour options for Ducati 696 - traditional red, white or black

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued 2012
Original price £6,995
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £300
Performance
Max power 67.5 bhp
Max torque 44 ft-lb
Top speed 128 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 696cc
Engine type 8v Desmo V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 770mm
Bike weight 161kg
Front suspension 43mm USD forks, non adjustable
Rear suspension Single shock, preload and rebound adjust
Front brake 2 x 320mm, four poston calipers
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/60 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2008: Ducati 696

Other versions

Ducati 696 Monster Plus: Same sas Monster but with cowling and seat hump.

Owners' Reviews

15 owners have reviewed their DUCATI MONSTER 696 (2008-2012) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your DUCATI MONSTER 696 (2008-2012)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.7 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.2 out of 5
Equipment 4.3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Ducati 696 a great little bike

11 April 2020 by Barry Williams

Bike is great only let down by paint on the engine

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
The ride quality is a bit on the hard side but okay the brakes are brilliant In the area where I live it’s a great all rounder I am 75 years old and can ride for a good hour or so without a break not the bikes fault just old age
Engine
5 out of 5
Starts first time every time goes well better than I expected as my last bike was Ducati 748 and I was expecting it to be a bit tame but no the engine has been a pleasant surprise Only gripe is it does get a we bit hot in traffic
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Corrosion around the engine main problem
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
I bought the bike used from local dealer who said it had had a service and belt change but when I checked the belts they were loose So it was sent into Ducati Stoke who gave it a major service and belt change Has been great since
Equipment
4 out of 5
Information on the dash could be better fuel gauge and gear indicator not available Mine has no abs or traction control etc but I do not miss them as it is si easy to ride
Buying experience

Bought from a dealer price a bit high but condition good and mileage very low Dealer had not sorted paperwork out properly but was rectified quickly

4 out of 5

04 April 2020 by Tim

Brilliant first big bike, low seat height, enough power, great handling, looks fabulous and sounds like thunder.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Couldn't fault either.
Engine
4 out of 5
Pulls well from low revs, I did reduce the front sprocket by one tooth, but that did mean that it felt a bit more strained at constant cruising speed.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Only problem in almost fours years of ownership was a misfire caused by a loose battery connection. A real bugger to get at and re-tighten.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Belts and valve clearances cost a bit more but nowhere near the £700 that is bandied about in chat rooms. Only needed it done once.
Equipment
5 out of 5
For my needs at the time it was perfect. On the occasions that I took my daughter out as a pillion it was a bit small.
Buying experience

Bought privately, no problems.

5 out of 5

07 June 2017 by andrew_malta

Amazing Bike

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Just a joy to ride, light and easy to handle.
Engine
5 out of 5
Engine delivers whenever needed, it's a well balanced bike in terms of power and daily usability - the low end torque of the L-twin is unbeatable - also love the engine sputtering on engine breaks!
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Till now, no problems at all, considering it's 2009 and second hand, though I bought it in good nick and was well looked after previously.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
As expected from a bike in its class.
4 out of 5

Ducati Monster 696

08 July 2015 by Mick

A well balanced bike and perfect for the smaller rider. I haven't ridden a bike now for a good part it thirty years and decided to opt for a Ducati Monster 696cc. It's light, fast and a very comfortable ride.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
The brakes are very responsive and comforting to know when the situation for a quick stop arises they will perform superbly. Not the bike for a long term pillion passenger though, unless you're willing to carry out regular stops en route.
Engine
4 out of 5
The engine is very responsive and the power delivery is pretty amazing overall.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
So far the bike has not failed me at all. It has been built solidly with the rider in mind. The overall quality of the Ducati Monster is second to none and I would recommend this bike to any serious rider.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
The Ducati Monster is always ready to perform and a simple twist of the wrist gets one up and away from problems. The accessories have been well thought out and positioned.
Buying experience

I purchased this bike second hand from a dealer.

4 out of 5

Photo No. 6...

05 January 2013 by Carlosoul

is not a 696 and is the 796 as it has a single sided swingarm, careful if you spend lots of money on it and its the wrong one.

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

Great!

18 March 2011 by dankatz

I purchased a 696+ with the yellow skins and 14T sprocket with the Termignoni racing package. I bought it used in the US and got a terrific deal (60% of what new would have cost for a one and a half year old bike). I like that it is very nimble, grunty, agile, economical and brakes well. It has tons of character (unlike my previous FZ6) and very usable power. I can ride for hours with the touring seat and the riding position is actually very comfortable. Amazing for a bike that is the size of a 250cc bike! I highly recommend it especially if most of your riding is around town and suburbs.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
2 out of 5

haha reliability sucks

23 July 2009 by spikersv1000

5 trips to dealer so far , let down by ducati spares availability, build quality CR*P , Never ever darken the ducati dealer door unless you want endless trouble,

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

well happy

15 July 2009 by jonnyconcrete

This was my first big bike and i have to say im more than happy with it. The bike has fantastic handling and the all new LCD display. I haven't been let down by the bike either. Go and see the alternatives then go and see this. The differences are in the build quality and finish. For me it was between this bike and the triumph street triple. I chose this for two reasons one because its nice and two because Triumph were not offering 0% finance like Ducati were. After owning the bike for a few months now im pleased as punch with it.

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
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

It's a great bike!

05 July 2009 by weemull

Love this bike, forward riding stance, amazing sound, super grunty bike! Perfect for zipping about town or the B roads.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

MCN you got it wrong

15 June 2009 by jonnyconcrete

MCN are quoting the wrong information in their specs for the 696 monster The Ducati monster 696 has 80 BHP @ 9000rpm not 67.5 as shown in your technical data. Also your torque figure that MCN have quoted is 44ftLb when the actual torque is 50.6ftLb

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
5 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

696

23 January 2009 by scoobers

2 months old and visit number 7 to the dealer due on Tuesday. So far the dealer has accused my riding and plugged the leads with silicon ...

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
2 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

696 Duke

25 August 2008 by Dr Zoidberg

I`m using this bike for commuting and pleasure, come rain or shine, (more rain than shine) and it performs flawlessly, well happy.....

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
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Ducati 696

03 August 2008 by 696annie

Fantastic handling,very smooth; an absolute hoot to ride. Great fun...

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
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

696

03 July 2008 by ducatiman69995

had 15 bikes fron 748 ducatis t ofat boy harley this is best bike i have had for handling and best for value great bike

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
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

696

03 July 2008 by ducatiman69995

had 15 bikes fron 748 ducatis t ofat boy harley this is best bike i have had for handling and best for value great bike

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
5 out of 5
-

Photo Gallery

  • Ducati Monster 696 side profile studio shot
  • 3 colour options for Ducati 696 - traditional red, white or black
  • Ducati Monster review action
  • Ducati Monster review static
  • Ducati Monster review detail
  • Ducati Monster review detail
  • Ducati Monster review detail
  • Ducati Monster review detail
  • Ducati Monster review action
  • Ducati Monster review action
  • Ducati Monster review action
  • Ducati Monster review action
  • Ducati Monster review action
All related reviews
Bauer Media

Bauer Media Group consists of: Bauer Consumer Media Ltd, Company number: 01176085, Bauer Radio Ltd, Company Number: 1394141
Registered Office: Media House, Peterborough Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA H Bauer Publishing,
Company Number: LP003328 Registered Office: Academic House, 24-28 Oval Road, London, NW1 7DT.
All registered in England and Wales. VAT no 918 5617 01
H Bauer Publishing are authorised and regulated for credit broking by the FCA (Ref No. 845898)