Ducati Monster 795: First Ride
There is a genial monster coming to Indian roads - red, hot, cheerful, easily controllable and a hoot to ride all around. Adil Jal Darukhanawala gets in the saddle of the made-for-Asia-to-a-price Ducati 795 monster and says that it is irresistible!
Swing a leg over the saddle and you feel good at the way you tuck into the bike, with both feet firmly planted on terra firma and not too much of a stretch to the handlebars. There is good movement on the saddle should you want it when trying to carve corners and also to hold you firmly when you hit the front anchors. It is all about good feel and poise on the bike when on the move and this feeling you get from the very first moment you get on to the machine. The handlebars which are rubber mounted do not feature weighted bar ends and I think this needs to be done ASAP because there is a slight incidence of vibes at low revs and yet staying with the handlebars (an item sourced from India mind you to the Italian firm’s design) I would have liked them to be angled towards the rider so that it would afford even better control.
The switchgear is good and easy to operate and feel and while pottering around through town the riding position is comfortably sporty. The heart of the 795 Monster is of course its 803cc Desmodue motor that is again honed and refined with internals taken off other engines in the Ducati stable. Featuring cylinder dimensions of 88mm x 66mm, this air cooled motor features a light-weight flywheel taken off the 848 Streetfighter to help keep the motor spinning at the right revs with not much snatch and to help the engine keep its edge over long distance running, Ducati has also sensibly provided an oil cooler. The engine features a Siemens-built electronic fuel injection system having a 45mm throttle body and there is a lightweight (2 into 1 into 2) exhaust system packing in catalytic converter and twin lambda probes. The engine is Euro 3 compliant and runs with a 11:1 compression ratio in keeping with the fuel quality available in the region. The Desmodue motor is good for 88bhp (at 8250rpm) while being strong in the lugging department as well thanks to 78Nm of torque being produced at 6250rpm.
One of the big things on Ducatis in recent times is the adoption of the wet clutch from the earlier dry clutches that used to clatter quite appreciably. On the 795 there is an APTC wet clutch with mechanism to induce slipper-type performance, which is so beneficial when one engages in heavy braking and yet helps to keep the rear end in line with the front. If that is not all, the feel on the clutch lever is even more positive and light making for easy operation in the daily commutes. In these days of absolute adherence to weight reduction, the Ducati boffins have done what they could to lightening the innards and that wet clutch does effect some weight saving as does the adoption of completely new crankcases that go on to save 1.2 kilos over the smaller 696 engine! Well, so much for the make-up of the bike and its motor but the pleasure of thumbing the starter button and getting the vee-twin to bark into life is one of those motorcycling joys which you want to savour over and over again. There is a mild shake at start-up but once the engine sets into its idling rhythm and a slight but firm hold on the throttle induces the vibes to be erased. While the handlebar is rubber mounted the incidence of vibes is yet felt but interestingly there are no irritating vibes when it comes to the seat or the footpegs. Certainly something for the Ducati boffins to look at, in detail!
Getting a move from Hua Hin necessitated a ride through the main thoroughfares of that town for about 12 kilometres before one turned off on to the main highway linking the sea resort of Kui Buri which was the turn around point at 90km on the outward stretch. While early morning traffic was light, the ability of the bike to induce confidence and make the rider comfortable was to set the tone for the rest of the ride. One could immediately grasp the fact that the weight distribution of the 795 along with the comfortable riding stance had to play a large role in getting the best out of this machine. In no manner is it extreme and even its looks are now the mellow pleasing sort but yet have the tenuous feel as if it is looking to spring on any unsuspecting prey!
Carving through the traffic is a joy and the motor plus the light clutch action are key elements in the feelgood zippiness in urban areas. Here is where I longed to have the handlebars slanted inwards towards me but with the kilometres being piled on the Monster turned out to be even friendlier to gel with. The minimalist street rod styling belies the cornering ability of this machine which is so neutral and superbly planted that you want to try various lines through fast or slow corners safe in the thought that a simple roll off of the throttle could help right things should they get out of hand. One doesn’t need to fight this machine at all, rather will it gently in time honoured motorcycling manner of shifting one’s weight on the saddle; and with a little body English this bike responds almost telepathically to its rider’s intent.
I mentioned weight distribution but I should also have mentioned the overall dry weight of the bike, which at 167kg is easy enough for most bike users. And with the 88 horses from this Latin lovely, the impressive torque thrust from low down is sheer joy to explore as one goes up through the six-speed ’box. In fact, cog selection was precise and neat and the light, well weighted clutch action (early Monsters had heavy clutches and were a pain to use in city traffic) only heightened the comfort factor for the rider and made it easy to take the bike to its limits. The power comes in strong from around 3000rpm and while there were some who cribbed about shudders and judders in the low revs, there was no difficulty in maintaining a steady beat through town when slotted in top gear. In fact, on the run back into Hua Hin on the return leg when the traffic had increased appreciably, I was able to ride the entire main stretch in town in sixth gear and the bike was just breezing along at a steady 2500 to 3000rpm, unstressed and very relaxed. I think the trick is to have that light right hand and yet not try to be funny on the saddle, hunched into a racing crouch and trying to live the part of a road hooligan. This bike rewards the riders with good manners and then takes them to another level of pleasure altogether. The grippy nature of the Pirelli Angels also contributed to the feel good aspect though in town when the sun was blazing hot, one could find the tarmac viscosity just getting liquidity and even then the tyres were able to hold on.
Ducati Monster 795 Gallery
Readers' opinions ( 5 )
by Team ZigWheels
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa put in a...
by Team ZigWheels
The 2013 MotoGP season kicked-off under lights at...
by Team ZigWheels
The 2013 Panigale R is outfitted with a number of...
The Tata Pixel concept that Tata Motors showcased at the 81st Geneva Motor Show is a revolutionary...
Luxury car maker BMW is thinking to re-enter in Indian bike market with high end bikes.