Ducati’s Monster is one of the most successful designs in the history of the motorcycle industry. In Milan this week, a new Monster design emerges with the 696, which is pictured throughout this article. Ducati also introduces the 848 (little brother to the 1098 superbike) and a 1098R. Here is Ducati’s announcement, together with several photos of the new Monster 696.
Milan, Italy (November 5th, 2007) – The entire 2008 Ducati range will be on display at the 65th edition of the EICMA International Motorcycle Exhibition, in Milan from November 6-11. New bikes, new accessories and a new line of apparel all form part of the innovative 2008 line-up for the Bologna manufacturer.
In a press conference held before the exhibition officially opened, Gabriele Del Torchio, Ducati Motor CEO, met representatives from international media to illustrate the Bologna-based company’s fantastic results on a sporting and commercial level – a confirmation of its recent unprecedented success.
“The continuous growth that Ducati is experiencing is confirmed by positive economic and financial results for the third successive quarter, which we have presented to our investors,” declared Del Torchio at the press conference. “The new products that we have brought to EICMA represent the result of the research and the technological development that Ducati is offering with this new range. They also confirm that Ducati is a company which is based on product and will make up our sales target for the next few years. Our future plans are clear and precise: Ducati will continue to be the leader in the premium bike sector, confirming the passion, the Italian style, the unrivalled design and the superior track-honed performance that make up our DNA.”
The undisputed star of the Milan Show is the new Ducati Monster 696. Refined style and design are the clear motivations behind the new Monster and the continued perfection of the Desmo engine ensures that its ‘saint and sinner’ image will impress any rider. A comfortable and confidence-inspiring chassis combine with the famously smooth and powerful Ducati L-Twin engine to provide the most enjoyable riding experience. The balance of new technologies expressed in stylishly finished materials is shaped around the original cool Monster heritage.
Maintaining its traditional Monster silhouette, the 696 now looks more muscular than ever. Its wide tank tapers to the thin waistline of a comfortable narrow seat ensuring sure-footed confidence when at the traffic lights. The large diameter Hybrid Trellis frame blends stylishly into an aluminium sub-frame and swingarm while minimalist instrumentation and simple controls at the front of the Monster contrast with twin, bold, Ducati-style mufflers at the rear to enhance its urban-ready image.
The chassis of the new Monster is made up of a new Hybrid Trellis frame with larger diameter tubes; attached to a rear aluminium sub-frame. The front brake system is the envy of its class and becomes the new benchmark for the category with two 320mm discs and four-piston radial calipers.
At the rear, the dual-sided aluminium swingarm draws inspiration from Ducati Corse’s finest racing products in this area. The dash instrumentation is now totally digital and continues the tradition of all Ducati’s latest-generation sport models, guaranteeing lightness, ease of use and a wealth of information. The new exhaust system stands out with its re-routed downpipes that give the underside of the Monster a cleaner appearance and terminate with twin, bold Ducati-style mufflers. The headlamp unit is characterized by a new triple arc main beam, while the rear light uses modern LED technology.
The engine of the new 696 is an evolution of the previous 695 version. Measuring 696cc it boasts a series of updates and refinements. Power output gets a 9% boost to 80hp and an 11% increase in torque to 50.6 lb-ft. This new engine continues to have the best horsepower per litre ratio of all Ducati’s air-cooled units, and it ensures a smooth and powerful delivery for a relaxed but thrilling ride in all conditions.
For 2008, the Superbike family features two important additions: the introduction of a mid-engine size version, the light and nimble 848, and an extreme racing version for all those who demand the maximum performance, the 1098 R; which will take part in the 2008 World Superbike Championship.
The new 848 enjoys all the performance advancements of the entire Superbike family, while adding its own innovations to redefine the middleweight sport bike class. The words ‘agile’ and ‘refined’ aptly describe the 848. At 168kg (369lbs) the 848 is an amazing 20kg (44lbs) lighter than its predecessor, and a significant 5kg (11lbs) lighter than its larger capacity brother, the 1098.
The highly advanced 848 engine uses an improved method of engine case production in which cases are vacuum die-cast formed. While providing significant weight savings of more than 6.5lbs, this method also ensures consistent wall thickness and increased strength. Further refinements include a sophisticated wet clutch that offers 2.2lbs less weight, a much longer service interval, improved clutch feel and quiet operation. With the first twist of the wrist, the powerful rush of the Testastretta Evoluzione engine confirms that the rules have changed. The 848’s 134hp is not only 30% more powerful than its predecessor, but it provides a power-to-weight ratio even better than the potent 999. The 2008 848 Superbike will be available in both Red and Pearl White, with an MSRP of $12,995
The new 1098 R is the most powerful and lightest twin-cylinder bike ever produced by the Borgo Panigale factory, with the highest torque/weight ratio of any sport bike available. A total of 180hp is on tap for this new Superbike, together with an amazing torque value of 100 lb/ft. The weight figure also confirms the racing origins of the 1098 R: 364 lbs puts the bike at the forefront of this category. The 1098 R is supplied with a racing kit for track use. This is made up of a pair of “102dB” carbon mufflers and dedicated ECU, which boost the already exceptional performance of this new twin-cylinder Ducati. With this kit the rider can also activate dialog between the ECU and the DTC (Ducati Traction Control) system, which is fitted to a production bike for the first time ever. The racing kit will also boost power output to 186 bhp. The 1098 R will be available in a Red Monoposto configuration, with an MSRP of $39,995.
Also on display at EICMA will be the definitive version of the Desmosedici RR, derived from the MotoGP bike, of which 1500 will be produced and the special Tricolore version of the Monster S4R S, which features a front fairing, seat cover and fuel tank in the red, white and green colours of the Italian flag together with gold frame and wheel rims.
The new 2008 range is completed by the black version of the Hypermotard 1100 S and the new two-colour grey-liveried version of the GT 1000, as well as numerous new accessories, special components and a new collection of Ducati clothing.
For more information about these new models and the rest of Ducati’s 2008 model line, please visit www.ducatiusa.com.