Ducati's Monster 695 entry level bike capable of thrilling experts
By Mike Hanlon
February 22, 2006
February 23, 2006 Ducati’s ability to make performance motorcycles that are easy to ride is uncanny. It’s original mid-range L-twin, the Pantah 500, was both an ideal learners machine yet the basis for many a sweet-handling racebike. Now the newly announced Ducati 695 represents a unique offering in the world of motorcycles and in the Ducati Monster family in much the same way; it is a motorcycle that is welcoming to novice riders but, at the same time, is capable of delivering a level of performance that can thrill far more advanced riders. While becoming the new entry point to the Monster family, Ducati claims the Monster 695 will transform a motorcyclist into a Ducatista, a member of the Ducatisti tribe of fans whose motorcycle looks, feels and sounds like no other. The Monster 695, a preview of the Model Year 2007, replaces the 620, and is a quantum leap forward in terms of handling, riding pleasure and performance. The potent new 695 cc L-Twin delivers much greater horsepower and torque – the highest output per cc of any Ducati air-cooled engine – while producing smoother and more fluid power, making every twist of the throttle exciting and satisfying.
When Ducati unveiled the Monster 900 at the Cologne Show in the autumn of 1992, it created an overnight sensation. Moreso, the original ‘naked’ Monster introduced a unique street fighter attitude to a new generation of Ducati fans. The ‘look’ is defined by its essential approach to motorcycle design, with its bodywork pared down to the minimum and its characteristic twin-cylinder engine fully visible. Today the streets of the world pulse with the rumble of more than 170,000 Monsters.
One of the most popular Monsters of all time is the Monster 600, which was presented in 1994. The 600 introduced a less intimidating, yet high quality and performance entry into the world of Ducati. The sales success of this, the lightest and most versatile model in the range, was amazing, and it remains an important contributor in creating the iconic status that the Monster enjoys today.
Growing popularity led to the introduction of the Monster 600 Dark in 1998. The idea of the Dark was born based on the observation that so many Monsters were being customized and what better place to start than with the ‘blank canvas’ of the Dark’s black matte paint job. The ‘Dark’ became a style unto itself with its understated attitude and even more essential and fashionable look. The next stage in development was a substantial restyling of the entire Monster family in 2000. Fuel tank, seat, tail section, and many other components were reshaped and modernised.
2002 saw the first major re-engineering of the original 600 with the launch of the Monster 620 i.e. It was the first middleweight Monster to be fuel injected, and this was combined with significant engine, frame and suspension advancements and updates. The result was a more powerful, smoother running bike that achieved new levels of reliability and efficiency.
This long success story now sets the stage for the next evolution of middleweight Monsters, and the introduction of the new DUCATI Monster 695.
The engine of the 695 is the most important technical advancement, and much more than an additional 77 cc of displacement might indicate. The new L-Twin delivers new levels of horsepower and torque, but maintains a smooth and fluid power delivery that ensures an exciting performance in all conditions.
The 695’s increase in displacement was achieved with the application of an even more ‘over-square’ design compared to the 620. The enlargement of the cylinder bore from 80mm to 88mm and the reduction in the stroke from 61.5mm to 57.2mm results in a larger combustion chamber which allows the use of larger intake and exhaust valves, as well as 17% lower piston speeds for greater reliability.
The 620’s intake and exhaust valves were 41 mm and 35 mm respectively, while the 695 boasts 43mm and 38mm valves. The larger valves and seats are matched to larger ports with the net result being improved flow capabilities and increased power. Although the valve faces are larger in diameter, the valves remain light thanks to the change to 7mm valve stems, as used in Ducati’s Testastretta engines, versus the 8mm stems of the 620.
The end result is that the 63 horsepower of the 620 has been increased to 73HP for the 695, the highest output per cubic centimetre of all Ducati air-cooled engines. Of course there is a significant increase in torque from the already impressive 5.7Kgm of the 620, to an outstanding 6.2Kgm for the 695.
The Monster 695 takes full advantage of the Ducati exclusive Adler Power Torque Clutch, a unique system that makes the 695 even friendlier, safer and more comfortable. It provides an amazingly light clutch pull that is a true benefit especially in urban riding, where frequent stops require frequent clutch use.
Another advantage of the ‘slipper’ clutch, typically found on race bikes, is that it reduces the destabilizing rear wheel “lock-up” or “chatter” phenomenon when downshifting abruptly or inelegantly. It also benefits advanced riders, and racers alike, for the very same reasons.
The Monster 695’s two traditional aluminium oval silencers are combined with advanced features of a new exhaust system.
A lambda (oxygen) sensor has been employed on the horizontal exhaust manifold, and this, combined with advanced electronic fuel injection, managed by a powerful Magneti Marelli 5AM ECU, guarantees an optimal air/fuel ratio in ever-changing conditions.
Two larger catalytic converters manufactured with more advanced materials are housed inside the two silencers.
The combination of the lambda sensor, the new catalytic converters and advanced electronics allow the 695 to responsibly adhere to the tough new Euro3 emission standards.
Of course standard equipment includes the uniquely beautiful and throaty Ducati exhaust note. The unmistakable sound is music to the ears of Ducatisti - a symphony of internal combustion.
The new engine clearly needs to be mated to a similarly advanced frame, and the Monster 695 takes full advantage of the confidence-inspiring roadholding and stability of the unique Ducati trellis frame design. The Trellis frame is light, rigid and beautiful, and distinctively Ducati.
The rider’s environment on the 695 is a perfect mix of sporting character and a confident upright rider position that allows optimal control and comfort. Every Monster 695 rider will feel perfectly at ease thanks to Ducati’s lowest seat height, which is 30 mm lower than all other Monsters.
The Monster 695 sports quality Marzocchi 43 mm inverted forks and a Sachs rear shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping.
At the front, the 695 employs a Brembo braking system made up of two 300 mm floating discs, together with floating twin-piston calipers. The single 245 mm rear disc sports a fixed twin-piston Brembo caliper.
As on every model in the Monster family, the electronic dash is multi-functional, allowing the rider to switch to either the oil temperature or clock readout while riding. It is also possible to dim the instrument’s illumination should they be too intense during night riding. The odometer and trip metre readings are indicated on a LCD. An anti-theft system is standard equipment, and its status is displayed on the instrument panel.
The Monster 695 introduces new graphics and appealing new colour treatments in line with its increased performance.
The trellis frame and engine area has a new ‘clean’ and uncluttered look, as electrical wires and connectors have been hidden, and the need for numerous wire ties has been eliminated. What’s left is the simple elegance of the trellis frame surrounding the potent new 695 engine.
At the front end of the bike, the upper and lower fork crowns, along with the lower fork caliper mounts, disc carriers and headlamp support, formerly raw aluminium in colour, are now matte black. The high performance theme is further extended to the rear of the bike with a black swingarm and footpeg brackets. Both engine and clutch cases are also now black, a classic racer ‘look’ just recently reintroduced on the Sport Classic series. The black theme is finally harmonized with matte black wheels to complete this new Monster’s attitude.
New graphics include a subtle colour change to the Ducati logo on the fuel tank with the subdued silver of the 620 now realized in a bolder pure white for the 695. The side covers have the word ‘Monster’ in a much larger font, followed by an even more dominating ‘695’ to boldly proclaim the bike’s new found status. Also new is the application of the Italian “tricolore”, a flash of red, white and green at the back of each side cover, to proudly announce the 695’s national heritage.
Ongoing investment in the Ducati factory’s processes, machinery and training has reaped significant and quantifiable improvements in component reliability on every Ducati motorcycle. As a result, every new Monster 695 owner benefits from an extended, less frequent scheduled maintenance programme, which does not call for the first complete service until 12,000 Km (7,500 miles).
Three different colour schemes are available with the 695:
- traditional Ducati Red, with red frame and black wheels
aggressive Glossy Black, with red frame and black wheels
distinctive Matte Black, with matte black frame and black wheels