Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taming the Monster; Ducati Has Updated Its Legendary Machine but Simon De Burton Finds It a Bit Too Smooth

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taming the Monster; Ducati Has Updated Its Legendary Machine but Simon De Burton Finds It a Bit Too Smooth

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON DE BURTON

IF ANY motorcycle merits "instant icon" status, then the Ducati Monster must be it.

When it first appeared 10 years ago it gave thousands of riders the opportunity to own an affordable machine with the kudos of a make better known for producing expensive sports bikes.

The company has since attracted 100,000 riders to the cult of the Monster, which was conceived by the Argentine designer Miguel Galluzzi as a 900cc machine for enthusiasts in search of a "naked" superbikeof minimalist appearance.

Whereas Ducatis were traditionally most at home on the open road, the Monster, with its relatively light weight, low seat height and flat handlebars,lent itself perfectly to the city and it quickly caught on as the coolest commuter vehicle around with both men and women.

The immediate popularity of the Monster led to Ducati expanding the range with 600cc and 750cc engines and the model was recently made available with a revised frame and the 101 horsepow er motor from the 916 race replica.

The 600, how ever,isprobably regarded by Monster fans with the greatest affection as many riders bought it as their first "proper" bike, so the arrivalof its replacement is bound to cause more than a ripple of excitement among the world's Ducatisti.

The styling remains unchanged but the new model has 17 differences, the most major of w hich is the introduction of electronic fuel injection, which has smoothed out pow er delivery throughout the rev range and eliminated the long warm-up period required by the carburettor version.

Intakeroar has been muted by a larger airbox and reduced mechanical clatter makes the engine seem less raw than thatof the old model, although it still sounds much moreagricultural than its sanitised Japanese rivals.

Twin brake discs at the front replace the old single disc set-up to provide a more pow erful, balanced and progressive stop, although "feel" seems to have been much reduced over the old system. …

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