Tipping the scales at just 193kg wet, the Monster 797 is pleasingly light and agile. The suspension is quite firm, but it is designed to deliver a sporty ride and the Brembo brakes bite hard. Fairly obviously it lacks wind protection, but that’s to be expected!
The air-cooled Desmodue V-twin is the same as the Scrambler’s motor and holds no surprises. It’s not the most powerful engine, but produces 80% of its peak torque by 3500rpm and this low and mid-range grunt makes it very easy to ride. It sounds and feels like a proper old-school Monster.
The air-cooled engine is very reliable and has pleasingly long service intervals of 7500 miles, which helps keep running costs down, but the cam belts still need changing every 15,000 miles. The quality of finish appears high and Ducati tend not to skimp when it comes to small items such as fasteners.
The Monster is at the higher end of the middleweight market, but that is to be expected from a model made in Bologna. The pleasing thing about the 797 is the fact it comes with quality items such as inverted forks and Brembo brakes, helping justify its price. The fact it costs £100 more to get it in anything other than red is, however, a bit disappointing.
You don’t get traction control or power modes on the Monster 797, but ABS is standard and so are Brembo monoblock radial brake calipers and a USB port under the seat. Ducati’s Multimedia System can be retro fitted but the inverted forks are non-adjustable and the shock only has spring preload and rebound damping adjustment.