The tale of Goldilocks is the most immediate and obvious comparison to draw upon when considering Ducati’s Monster line-up. For some, the power and proportions of the entry-level Monster 696 may be just too diminutive, while the big-bore 1100
may be too intimidating in size, stature or insurance premiums. Thankfully, the legendary Italian motorcycle manufacturer also makes the Monster 796.
The fact that Ducati offers three versatile yet unique Monsters is likely why you can’t swing a premium leather man satchel in Toronto without hitting three of them. The Monster has become somewhat of an urban icon, but does it live up to the mystique and hype? Most definitely.
|The Monster 796 is a well-balanced middleweight that allows for a comfortable upright riding position. (Photo: Matt Ball - Dustin A. Woods/Moto123.com)
When searching out your next bike, you may question how much power you want and how much you actually need. Sure, it may seem appealing to choose a supersport that can outrun a fighter jet as your next ride, but naked middleweights have many attractive attributes that make them an ideal addition to your garage. Most bikes are exceptional at one particular kind of riding, but can fall short when outside their niche.
Enter the Monster 796, a well-balanced middleweight that allows for a comfortable upright riding position that does double duty as wholly gratifying transportation and an artistic masterpiece. When immobile, it could easily be welcomed as a permanent fixture of an art gallery. Thumb the starter button and the air-cooled L-twin engine barks to life before settling into an off-kilter idle emitting a sound from the massive twin pipes that is both menacing and exotic.
The 803cc mill has a torquey powerband that provides more than adequate acceleration under normal conditions, but literally transforms as it approaches its maximum torque of 58 lb-ft at 6,250 rpm. A peak of 87 hp at 8,250 rpm may not seem like a revelation, but the fact that the 796 tips the scales at only 167 kg (169 kg with optional ABS) means that its power-to-weight ratio is certainly nothing to scoff at.
|The 803cc mill has a torquey powerband that provides more than adequate acceleration under normal conditions. (Photo: Matt Ball - Dustin A. Woods/Moto123.com)