They call it a ‘Monster,’ and that’s quite strange – largely because there’s nothing about this street naked that intimidates you. Sure, it has a sinister appearance, but in every other respect the Monster 797 feels docile – fast, forgiving and easy to be friends with.
The 797 was added to the Monster range (in addition to the 821 and 1200) to give new riders an accessible Ducati at a relatively affordable price. Technically, the Scrambler range is the entry ticket to the Ducati brand – but, then, it’s not to everyone’s tastes. The Monster line-up has always been the true stepping stone into the world of Ducati – which is also why the 797 is an important product in the brand’s lineup.
Since the Monster is aimed at new riders who want to taste the DNA of Ducati, it follows a simplistic approach. At its heart is an 802cc, 2-valve, L-Twin engine that develops 73bhp and 67Nm of torque – all of which is transferred to the ground via a six-speed gearbox. Not a lot of power, but enough to keep new riders entertained. That said, given the fact that it doesn’t come with any electronic frills – except for ABS – the Monster 797 can turn out to be a properly quick and fun machine in the right hands.
Although the Monster is meant for the street, it was no slouch at the track – the fact that it was the third-fastest bike here demonstrates that. After some flying laps with the 797, Sarath gave us some interesting insights – he found the engine to have a very strong low-to-mid range grunt. On the handling front, he felt the front-end was really light and allowed him to make quick direction changes with ease. But, as a trade-off, the light front didn’t inspire confidence when he really pushed the bike into a corner. He did, however, have plenty of praise for the 797’s sharp Brembo brakes.
All said and done, the Monster does come across as an exotic roadster. It has manageable performance, fantastic looks and oodles of character. Sure, it’s priced a little too high for what it offers – but, hey, it’s a no-compromise Ducati after all…