Ducati Monster 797 – Test Ride Review



The Ducati monster has been in production for more than 25 years now. Every monster saw an evolution in terms of engineering and design. The latest and the newest is the Ducati Monster 797, which was unveiled at the 2016 EICMA motor show in Milan and was then launched in India a few months before. The Monster 797 was built by the company by keeping in mind of building a smaller and more-accessible motorcycle for the riders looking for an entry-level sportsbike with which they can enter the superbike world or the big bike segment from the 300-400cc category. The company also intended on making this motorcycle to be appreciated by the experienced riders for its delicious design and sporty performance. In short, the new Monster 797 is a bike that is designed for both beginners and experienced riders. Nonetheless, we got our hands on the new Monster 797 to get to know more about it, read on below to find it out.

Price of the Ducati Monster 797 – Rs. 8.03 Lakhs (Ex-Showroom, India)

Its Styling: Ducati Monster 797 is an Italian motorcycle and an Italian machine tends to make you fall for it at first sight. And Monster 797 is such a machine. It gets an elegant and muscular design. It seems like it gets its design cues straight from the Monster’s handbook as it carries the typical design of the Monster range. It gets a large and chiselled steel fuel tank and an oval LED headlight upfront that is also used on the latest Monster 1200. They purely remind of the old-school Monster. The flyscreen which sits above the headlight and the rear seat cowl/cover makes the bike look sportier. This a street-naked bike, mostly characterized by its exposed engine and frame. The frame on this one is a single-piece red tubular steel trellis frame that runs from the bike’s headstock to tail completing the tubular grab rails for the pillion. It gets fat forks and fat tyres and a new triangular twin-sided cast aluminium swingarm which has a link-less shock mounted on the left side which looks really cool. The new Monster 797 is a real looker and surely draws eyeballs. Overall the design of this bike integrates well with its wide handlebar.

Its Switchgear and Instrument Cluster: The instrument cluster on this bike is a fully digital one. The LCD display shows tachometer, speedometer, two trip meters, temperature gauge and other information. The white backlit display is easy-to-read and clearly visible even in the brightest of the daylight. But it misses out on a gear position indicator and fuel gauge. Considering the fact that this bike is meant for first-time sports bike buyers, those things should have been included in the instrument cluster. The RHS consists of the split function sliding switch that does the job of kill switch and starter. Below it is the switch for hazard indicator. The LHS consists of basic switches that also help you to go through the menu. All the switches are placed within the proper reach of the rider and feel nice to operate.

Its Ergonomics: Astride the Monster 797 and you will immediately notice that you are seated in a well-cushioned seat. The seat height is at 805mm which is really not very tall and can be easily accessed by the riders of height 5.5”. This machine weighs 193kg kerb and so it’s not really a lightweight motorcycle. But once you are astride the motorcycle you won’t notice much of the weight as it has been evenly distributed. The seat is a single piece unit and is comfortable for both rider and pillion for your city commutes and also for your long distance riding. The fairly straight wide handlebar make you stretch to reach them and you sit in a comfortable riding position once you have got the proper grip of its 16.5-litre fuel tank and a little bit low and rear-set of footpegs. The overall combination of seat, handlebars and footpegs result into a relatively sportier and relaxed riding position, thus making this bike a rider-friendly Monster.

Its Engine & Performance: The powertrain on this Monster is the same as that seen on the Scrambler variants and is in the same state of tune. It is the popular Desmodue 803cc, L-twin, air-cooled, Euro-4 compliant motor that produces 73 BHP at 8250 rpm and a peak torque of 67 Nm at 5750 rpm. These power figures are less as compared to Monster 795, which it replaces by 13 BHP and 11 Nm. All the power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a 6-speed gearbox which is assisted by an APTC wet multiplate clutch with mechanical control.

No traction control and riding modes are offered on this Monster 797 (just cutting costs). But as you will twist the throttle, you will notice how cleanly the motorcycle pulls itself off the line. The gearbox does have smooth shifts but getting the motorcycle to neutral is a real task and as there is no TC, during the downshifts, APTC (Adler Power Torque Plate Clutch) comes in the scene where it reduces the pull of the clutch and also stops the rear wheel from locking while downshifting. The throttle also feels a bit snappy but the power delivery is linear and smooth. Bike’s 80% of the torque is come in at 3500 rpm range, in its lower rev range, which is actually good when you are riding through the city traffic, as it reduces your throttle inputs and also reduces your upshifts and downshifts all the time. Power delivery is quick in a linear manner but it won’t knock out a rookie rider from his seat. And there is a lot of grunt from the engine that helps in overtaking quickly. The Monster 797 perfectly rides in the low-end and mid-range and the engine feels refined and smooth and vibes free. I was crawling through traffic by just releasing the clutch slowly without twisting the throttle at all. The vibes start creeping in through the handlebars and footpegs as you start climbing over the 6000 rpm. So, the lower and mid rev ranges are more preferable ranges to get a big grin on your face while riding this Monster.

Its Riding Dynamics: The Monster 797 sits on a tubular steel Trellis frame and rides on 17” wheels at both front and rear. The wheelbase is at 1435mm, which is the smallest, ever seen on any Monster. Its smaller wheelbase eventually makes it a nimble handler and more fun-to-ride motorcycle. The steel Trellis frame and the Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres, together make the twisties a lot better place to be ridden on by this motorcycle. And also as the ergonomics are sportier and comfortable, riding this motorcycle is pure fun. But it is not so good at making U-turns as it has a very wide turning radius, and also thanks to its kerb weight. The suspensions duties are carried out by 43mm Kayaba USD forks with 125mm travel at front and pre-load and rebound adjustable Sachs monoshock with 150mm travel at the rear. The front suspensions are not adjustable while the rear is, but we did not make any changes and rode it on standard setting and they soaked up every bump without any fuss. At lower speeds, they behaved very well while at higher speeds, the suspensions did pick up the slightest of the undulations. To save you in such situations are the tyres which provide a lot of grip on straight roads and on corners. Tipping the bike into the next corner also feels easy and the bike remains well-balanced at all times. Bringing it to halts are the dual 320mm semi-floating discs, Brembo 4-piston callipers (front) and a single 245mm disc, 1-piston calliper (rear) brakes. Both the brakes are equipped with Bosch ABS as standard and they do their job of bringing this bike to a complete stop very well. They are confidence inspiring and this braking setup is same as that of the 959 Panigale. ABS is switchable and does not make its presence much felt under hard braking.


Its Verdict: The Ducati Monster 797 is a motorcycle which displays a strong Ducati heritage but is easy to ride and nimble to handle. It really grows on you easily and you will get used to its kerb weight of 193kg earlier than to its lock-to-lock steering movement, which is not so generous. This youngest Monster 797 is the most affordable one and is a good pick to enter the big-bike world. It is an accessible motorcycle which is also fast and friendly at the same time. It looks sporty and elegant and does attract eyeballs towards it. It is a street-naked sportsbike on which you wouldn’t want to scrape your knees at corners and just keep going happily in a straight line. Even if it doesn’t get those fancy safety techs, which may appeal to few old school riders, it still rides well and stays planted all the time. It is a Ducati with an all-time classic and an iconic design. At last, it is a Monster with good manners.

Ducati Monster 797 Technical Data:

* Engine: Desmodue 803cc, L-twin, air-cooled, Euro-4,

* Power: 73 BHP @ 8250 rpm

* Torque: 67 Nm @ 5750 rpm

* Transmission: 6-speed

* Fuel Consumption: 78-20 km/l

* Fuel Type: Petrol

* Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame

* Suspension: KYB 43mm USD forks, 125mm travel (Front), pre-load and rebound adjustable Sachs monoshock, 150mm travel (Rear)

* Tyres: 120/70 R17 (Front), 180/55 R17 (Rear)

* Brakes: Dual 320mm disc, Brembo 4-piston caliper, ABS (Front), Single 245mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper, ABS (Rear)

Ducati Monster 797 Dimensions:

* Length: 2099mm

* Width: 830mm

* Height: 1080mm

* Wheelbase: 1435mm

* Seat Height: 805 mm

* Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.5 litres

* Kerb weight: 193kg

Riders – Viraj DavidSaurabh Sutar | Photographer – Avdhoot Kolhe