Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 3rd April 2017

There’s something refreshingly simple about Ducati’s Monster 797.

Ducati Monster 797 side on

 

In a world where it’s almost mandatory for new motorcycles to roll out of the factory festooned with electronics, the entry-level Monster goes back to basics with a stripped back set-up that’s little more than a frame, wheels and engine – not to mention a sub-£8000 price tag.

 

And that’s all good. The essence of the original Monster, which was launched in 1993, was just that. Back then, the M900 was a massive hit and opened the Ducati brand up to a whole new range of customers – something that the new 797 has been designed to do.

 

Ducati Monster 797 cornering

 

Visually, the 797 has that classic Monster look with its traditional steel trellis frame and stripped back styling. Like those early 1990s models, the engine is air-cooled – a rarity in today’s Euro4-driven techno race – and lifted straight from the Scrambler range.

 

What that means, in terms of numbers, is an 803cc 90-degree V-twin that pumps out 75bhp at 8250rpm. There are none of the gizmos and gadgets that modern riders have come to expect. For example, there are no switchable rider modes, no traction control, no anti-wheelie. The only real tech is the anti-lock brakes are fitted (and work very unobtrusively) but even then that’s probably only because they are mandatory by law.

Ducati Monster 797 road ride

 

The stripped back nature of the Monster 797 means that it the very essence of the Monster, which in turn represents many people’s vision of what a ‘proper’ motorcycle is.

 

It’s old school, but not old fashioned. It’s a raw, but relatively refined at the same time. It’s the sort of bike you could write a review about on Twitter, and still have some characters left over. The @ducatiuk Monster 797. 193kg. 75bhp. Loadsa torque. Looks great. Sweet handling. Costs £8k. All done with 50 characters to spare.

 

Ducati Monster 797 dashboard

 

Unsurprisingly for a bike aimed at new riders, the Monster 797 is easy to ride. The torque is delivered low down, the clutch light and the gearbox sweet. Tyres are Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso II, good spec rubber for a budget bike, and give plenty of grip and feedback on the open road. Brembo’s radially mounted M4.32 monoblock brakes are also beyond what you would expect on an £8000 bike – way beyond, in fact.

 

Ducati Monster 797 rear wheel

 

Of course, there are some areas where the Euros have been saved. The 43mm Kayaba forks lack adjustment, but are well set up out of the box, while the rear shock is adjustable for preload and rebound.

 

Ducati Monster 797 front wheel

 

The next step up in the Monster ladder is the 821, which offers better suspension, all the riding modes and almost 40bhp more. It’s a more sophisticated bike but is also a good 12kg heavier and over £1500 more. It also lacks the simple purity of the entry level bike.

 

In many ways it is hard to pigeonhole the new Monster 797. Its natural competitors are other middleweight entry level bikes like the Yamaha MT-07, Kawasaki Z650 and Suzuki SV650 and although it’s a touch more expensive than those Japanese models, it is also a touch classier – and has that exclusive badge on the tank.

 

Ducati Monster 797 Tank

 

Regardless of that, the Monster 797 is a welcome addition to the motorcycling world. It’s a bike that takes the Monster brand back to the ethos of the original M900 and makes owning a Ducati accessible to even more riders.

 

That’s definitely a good thing.

 

Specifications

 

ENGINE TYPE

90-degree V-Twin, Two Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, air cooled

DISPLACEMENT

803cc

BORE X STROKE

88x66mm

MAXIMUM POWER

75 hp (55 kW) @ 8250 rpm

MAXIMUM TORQUE

69Nm @5750rpm

FRONT SUSPENSION

43mm upside down fork

SEAT HEIGHT

805mm

DRY WEIGHT

182kg

FUEL TANK

16.5 litres

INSURANCE

£354.54*

 

*Based on our average customer 52 year old, 9 years NCB, garaged, WA14 postcode, no claims/convictions, 4000 miles Comp cover for a Ducati Monster 797 £354.54 with a £400xs (Rated as Monster 821 as same group as per May vehicle file with Markerstudy)