MCN Chief Road Tester Trevor Franklin is now riding back from Italy on the final leg of his 2500 mile marathon to attend the launch of the new Ducati 796. Here are his latest views of the new middleweight:
“The twisting mountain roads on the outskirts of Bologna prove to be a very practical test for the Monster 796; the third example of the present Monster range. There hasn’t been a Monster to fill the gap between the 696 and the 1100 since the demise of the Monster 750 several years ago. Ducati claim the Monster 796 is as easy to ride as the 696 but with greater performance and this is exactly how the 796 feels to ride.
“The bike has a strong spread of torque and makes the gears feel taller than they are. It pulls cleanly through the midrange and acceleration is strong – easily enough to make you smile as you barrel through – and between – the twists. This engine is perfectly suited to the stiff chassis of the traditional trellis frame and obligatory single sided swing arm. All in all, it’s a bike made to make you smile – and does so with ease. I like it.
“Incidentally, I’ve just ridden Yamaha’s new FZ8, and the Ducati 796 is right up there. Roll on the group test.”
For the full test, check out the 28 April 2010 issue of MCN.