Milan Show: New 2008 Ducati Monster launched

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Ducati has revealed the first all-new Monster in the model’s 15 year history at a preview event on the eve of the Milan show.

For the new Monster 696 – only the entry level version has been revealed so far – the firm has concentrated on keeping the hunchbacked shape of the Monster, emphasising it further with a low-mounted headlight. The tank sides are simple plastic covers so your dealer can relatively cheaply sell you a set of bodywork in a different hue. The low, narrow seat is combined with a shorter reach to the bars than on other Monsters, and lower, further forward footpegs.

Following the design of the Desmosedici, the new Monster combines a trellis front section with a cast aluminium rear frame. It helps shave 5kg from the Monster, getting the overall weight down to just 163kg.

Despite being the entry-level version, the new Monster gets a massive aluminium swingarm, and radial brakes.

The clocks are now a fully-digital unit, MotoGP-style, like those on the 1098, featuring speedo, rev counter, clock, an alert telling you if a service is due, oil temperature and fuel level.

The engine is based on the motor from the Monster 695. Power is up from 72bhp to 80bhp, while torque is up 11 percent to 50.6lbft. It even gets a slipper clutch, and like other new Ducatis, the service intervals are extended and there are fewer components, making ownership costs cheaper.

Look out for more information in MCN, on sale November 7.

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Ben Purvis

By Ben Purvis