The Ducati Monster line changes shape once again in 2017, thanks to the introduction of the entry-level Ducati Monster 797.
Ducati hits a number of points that recall Monsters of the past with the 797, not least of which is the 803cc air-cooled, dual Desmodromic valve L-Twin engine. This is the mill currently used in Ducati’s Scrambler line and shares much with the old 796 Monster that lived from 2010 to 2013 (88 x 66mm bore and stroke, valve design, 11.0:1 compression ratio). The fueling is different from the old 796 though, the 797 utilizing a larger 50mm throttle body and offering mellower power and torque delivery (75 hp at 8250 rpm and 50.8 lb-ft at 5750 rpm). It’s got a six-speed transmission with an APTC wet multiplate clutch with servo-assisted slipper functionality. Spent gasses flow through a 2-into-1 exhaust system.
In recent years, Ducati has tilted its Monster line toward higher levels of performance with models like its Monster 821 and 1200. It also ditched air-cooling in favor of liquid cooling a few years back. With the wide popularity of the Scrambler confirming a strong market for entry-level machines from the Bologna brand in the past two years, it makes sense to see more approachable machines on deck for 2017.
During a new model presentation at EICMA in Milan, Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali underlined this point, describing the new Monster 797 as “undemanding fun.”
The 797 has the iconic tubular steel trellis frame that’s become a hallmark of the Monster line. It comes with a double-sided aluminum swingarm with a laterally-mounted Sachs shock with preload and rebound adjustability and 5.9-inches travel. Ducati indicates the swingarm design is inspired by the unit found on the Monster 696 from 2008. Out front, a 43mm inverted KYB fork has 5.1 inches of travel.
There’s 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels front and rear with Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires. Dual 320mm semi-floating discs with radially mounted, four-piston Brembo calipers pull the 797 to a stop out front and a 245mm disc, single piston caliper set-up does the job out back. Bosch ABS is standard.
It also comes with LCD instrumentation and LED headlights and indicators. For those wanting a little more technological function the 797 accepts the optional Ducati Multimedia System.
Domenicali specifically called attention to the headlight and fuel tank, which carries 4.36 gallons, since both come directly from the Monster 1200.
Color options include Ducati Red with red frame and black wheels ($9295), Star White Silk with red frame and red wheels ($9395) and a Dark Stealth option with black frame and black wheels (MSRP and US availability TBD).