First ride: We test the 2008 Ducati Monster 696

Published: 05 April 2008

MCN’s Adam Child has just ridden the new 2008 Ducati Monster 696 at the launch of the motorcycle in Barecelona.

Chad is one of the first journalists to ride the motorcycle and he was very impressed.

The Monster has been Ducati’s best seller since its launch so you can forget the 1098, this is the most important launch for the company in years.

Speaking from Barcelona, Chad said: “On first impressions it kind of feels like the old Monster; there is a lot of character and feel of the old machine - like the position of the tank and the trellis frame - but it is way, way better. The engine has an extra 7 bhp, there are new brakes, new frame, new exhaust style.

“The Monster now handles a lot better than the old one. The old Monster had a tendency to under-steer but the 696 handles beautifully with really sharp steering.

"Brembo brakes and no weight amount to great stopping power and it comes with a slipper clutch as standard so there is no worry for new riders about the engine breaking from the v-twin.

“But the thing that really impressed about the monster is just how good the gearbox and fuelling is. Running around the centre of Barcelona it really made a big difference."

Check out Chad’s full report on the Ducati Monster 696 in the April 9 edition of MCN, and check back next week for video of the motorcycle in action.