The new Ducati Monster 696 was introduced in 2007. It would be the replacement for its predecessor, the Monster 695. It's been a few years since the production of the model ceased, but whatever happened to the model? The bike lived out its lifecycle and went the way of its predecessors to make room for the offspring. Here is the history, evolution, and end of the Monster 696.
History of the Monster 696
The Monster 696 enjoyed a production run that began in 2008 and concluded with the final 2014 model year. The Ducati Monster 696 became designated as the next generation in the Monster line. As such, it was born with improvements that signaled the Monster line was following the path of evolution by rising to meet the expectations of a changing world and rider demands. Although there were a few updates made to the model, it maintained the same genetics with no drastic alterations made. Nothing earth-shattering took place with the bike because there wasn't much that was necessary.
Improvements for the Next generation
According to Cycle Chaos, there were quite a few design changes made for the new Monster. It was still an entry-level bike that was engineered with novices through intermediate riders in mind. Improvements were made that made it even more attractive to riders than its predecessor. The ergonomic were enhanced to give riders a shorter reach to the handlebars along with a lowered seat height for greater riding comfort. The weight of the bike was reduced by 5 kg, and the trellis frame was now mounted to an aluminum subframe. Another notable change was the swappable tank color panels to change things up a bit aesthetically. The engine also received new cylinder heads and a boost of power by nine percent. This resulted in a new maintenance schedule to accommodate all of the updates.
2008 Monster 696
The Monster was born with an air-cooled four-stroke 696 cc V-twin desmodromic engine. It was mated with a 6-speed manual transmission with an 80 horsepower output and 89 Nm of torque. The dual seat was lower with a high mounted dual exhaust system. The wheels were made of cast-aluminum in a three-spoked design. The chassis featured a 43 mm Showa upside-down telescopic fork with an adjustable Sach monoshock featuring progressive linkage for a rear suspension, and Brembo brakes
The first update
Bennets revealed the 2011 Monster 696 received the first real update. It was equipped with radial brakes and electronic assists with ABS, a wet clutch, and traction control. The Monster 696 received another update in 2013. This was the next to the last model year that the bike would be produced. Ducati introduced several new technologies to improve the delivery of power. New rider safety features were added as well. The 2013 Monster 696 was the recipient of an APTC clutch and it made ABS a standard feature. The forks evolved to 43 mm Marzocchi upside-down stations with the previous Sachs rear suspension and riding the bike on longer journeys was as comfortable as ever. The tweaks also served to give the bike better maneuverability.
20th Anniversary Edition
A special edition of the 969 was designed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the production launch of the Monster line. The Monster received gold brake calipers, a bronze frame, carriers for the front disc, and more. It also received a retro paint job reminiscent of the Monsters of 1993. The 2014 final production received the Ducati Safety Pack along with DDA-ready technologies for its farewell year.
Common issues with the Monster 696
Motor and Wheels outline the most common complaints about the Ducati Monster 696. The battery was a source of complaint with the Monster 696. There was a tendency for them to drain when the bike wasn't used for a while. Efficiency drops quickly with age. Another issue was parasitic drain when a fault in the wiring results in battery discharge. Some users reported oil spillage issues due to a faulty seal on the left side of the engine. Side stand bolts tend to rattle loose and fall out with the stand following close behind, and the mirrors also tend to loosen and drop into unusable positions. Another problem that cropped up frequently was the gear shifting. The pedal would get stuck and it was difficult to get it to release. Riders learned that a hard step was required for shifting. As with any motorcycle, there are pros and cons associated with each.
Why was the Ducati Monster 696 discontinued?
According to Sag Mart, the Monster 696 was discontinued in 2014. The model was removed from the global market but sent to India. The bike was the subject of research and development. It made a new debut in India and was made available to the public for sale, but it was no longer available to the rest of the world. it was replaced by the Monster 795 as its successor.
The Ducati Monster 696 was not a perfect model but it was a popular model during its reign. There were a few issues that turned some off, but not every bike experienced the battery, shifting, or oil seal problems. Some riders were pleased with their Monsters. This was a lightweight and fun bike to ride because of its comfortable seat and handlebar height. It cranked just the right amount of power and handled smoothly. The Monster 696 made its contributions to the Ducati universe and it served its purpose until it was time to move over to make room for the next generation in line. Ducati shut down the global production of the bike and retired it except the market in India. There was nothing inherently terrible about the Ducati Monster 696. It was simply time for it to be retired after a satisfying, although a not perfect run. That is the natural order of things in the motorcycle industry.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith