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 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796

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PostSubject: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:09

Adam Waheed
Road Test Editor
His insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill.
Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Associate Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.
Monday, November 15, 2010


While it may be hard for some to imagine, not every motorcyclists needs a Superbike capable of accelerating to 100 mph in first gear. Some riders actually value affordability, comfort and ease-of-use over borderline insane levels of outright speed and performance. Those looking for this sort of practicality but fancy more personality than what Japan has to offer, upscale Italian motorcycle brands Aprilia and Ducati both offer street bikes that fit the bill with the Shiver 750 and Monster 796.

Even though these motorcycles are deemed “entry-level” in their respective model line-ups, both machines make use of quality componentry that can be appreciated by beginners and experienced riders alike. They employ torque-rich V-Twin engines paired to six-speed transmissions and modern-sized brakes, wheels and tires. Both bikes feature original styling that is sharp yet tasteful and plenty capable of turning heads on the road.

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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:12

First up is the 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750. For the new model year, the Shiver received an update in the form of re-styled bodywork, revised ergonomics and minor chassis changes including the uses of wave-style brake rotors and a slightly more narrow rear wheel. It’s still powered by the same high-tech 750cc V-Twin engine with liquid-cooling, four valve cylinder heads spun by mixed chain/gear drives. It also features ride-by-wire electronics with rider-selectable engine power modes. The engine is held in a hybrid steel/aluminum chassis and partially covered in sharp Transformer-like body panels.


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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:14

Facing up against the Shiver is the 2011 Ducati Monster 796. The 796 is Ducati’s most recent solution for motorcyclists that wish to experience the brand. Find out more about it in the 2011 Ducati Monster 796 First Ride. Compared to the Aprilia, the Monster makes use of a more rudimentary 803cc air-cooled V-Twin engine hung inside a steel-trellis frame and wrapped in rugged, criminal-looking body panels.


To find out which is the better machine we rallied around the vast pavement network of Southern California. We mobbed up and down our favorite San Diego county back roads commuted back and forth from our office and conducted data-based performance testing all to better discover which street bike is superior.

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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:17


Ducati’s lightweight 796 completely enamored us during our 2011 Ducati Monster 796 First Ride review from Italy. Was it the fact that we were riding the bike on the Italian marque’s home turf or because it was it the perfect companion during the ridiculously awesome 2010 WDW - World Ducati Week motorcycle rally? Whatever the reason, the entry-level Ducati Monster proved to be a friendly and engaging street bike to pilot around the narrow streets of Italy.

One of the biggest attributes of the 796 is its size. Not only does it weigh just 421 pounds with a full 3.8 gallon tank of fuel (a whopping 65 lbs. less than the Aprilia) it offers a short seat that measures 31.5 inches off the ground. This is 0.4 inches lower than the Shiver’s. Furthermore, its narrow engine and steel-trellis chassis configuration add to its compactness which makes it the obvious choice for smaller riders.

The 796’s cockpit feels slightly more spacious as compared to the Shiver. Reach to the handlebar felt equally as short as the Shiver but the seat-to-footpeg relation was a bit roomier We also observed that the handlebar is positioned lower and more forward than the Shiver’s which equates to a more assertive riding position. We wouldn’t necessarily deem it uncomfortable, but it isn’t quite as versatile as the Shiver. Instrumentation consists of a small white-backlit LCD display that is easy to read day and night. The various functions including trip meters and ABS on/off functionality can be adjusted with the handlebar mounted button.




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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:19

Thumb the starter button and the fuel-injected engine barks right to life. At idle, the exhaust note has that classic Ducati growl which registered in our sound decibel test with a reading of 82 dB (four points higher than the Shiver). As opposed to the Aprilia’s more high-tech liquid-cooled and ride-by-wire equipped V-Twin motor, the Monster uses a higher capacity air-cooled configuration measuring 803cc. It also utilizes simpler two-valve cylinder heads instead of the four-valve setup on the Aprilia.

Right off idle, the Ducati’s engine delivers superior torque. Only problem is that its tall drive sprocket gearing necessitates more clutch slip to get moving from a stop. Making matters worse is the toothpick-narrow engagement range of the hydraulic clutch not to mention how grabby and disconnected it feels from the engine. We did however appreciate how light the lever action is as well as the back torque limiting feature during fast deceleration.


Even though the engine is cruder in terms of design it delivers healthy acceleration - enough to keep experienced riders occupied but not so much as to overwhelm a newer rider. At lower rpm you can feel how lean the engine runs with it surging forward when the throttle is initially cracked. The lean fuel condition eventually sorts itself out as rpms increase. Even still, the 796 is in need of a fuel injection re-map right off the showroom floor.

Looking at the dyno chart shows a dip in the torque curve. It starts out strong initially but falls off from 3000 to 4000 revs before regaining momentum again from 5500 rpm on. Horsepower wise, the curve is much smoother but still not as linear as the Aprilia’s.

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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:20

As the saying goes, “there is no replacement for displacement” and accordingly the 53cc larger engine just edges out the Aprilia with a peak horsepower number of nearly 77 ponies arriving at 8100 rpm. The difference in max torque is more substantial with the Duc cranking out 6 lb-ft more en route to its peak of 52.95 at 6500 revs. For reference this arrives 900 rpm lower than the Shiver. At low rpms the air-cooled mill vibrates substantially more than the Shiver but as rpms increase to around 6K it smooths out. The extra displacement hurt the Monster slightly at the fuel pump with it averaging slightly less MPG (35).


The engine’s versatile powerband works well with the gear ratios inside the transmission even with the tall final drive gearing. But the gearbox has a loose feel to it similar to all other Ducati street and sportbikes we’ve tested recently. There is considerable slop at the gear shift lever and in addition to missing shifts, the transmission would occasionally pop out of gear. Neutral was also occasionally difficult to find at a stoplight and a few times when you found it the dash indicator failed to illuminate.

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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:21

Dip the Monster into a corner and it steers with minimal effort. It almost feels like a scooter (good thing) in terms of how agile it is. The bike feels like it has a lower center of gravity as compared to the Shiver which further enhances low-speed handling. This gives the rider confidence to zoom through traffic. At higher speeds the chassis delivers just the right amount of flex which allows the rider to get comfortable with the handling of the bike at speed. The suspension is definitely oriented for lighter and/or slower riders but still it provides an acceptable level of damping even when ridden aggressively. Overall ride quality is also good even on rough pavement. The Monster comes fitted with Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires which complement the chassis well with plenty of grip for spirited canyon riding.


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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:22

Braking hardware consists of twin 320mm diameter rotors that are squeezed by radial-mount Brembo four-piston calipers. The rear brake consists of a 245mm rotor with Brembo twin-piston caliper. Both brakes are powered through stainless-steel lines which ensures consistent and fade-free brake feel. One feature that the Ducati offers is anti-lock braking on both the front and rear brakes. By default the system is activated when the bike is started but it can be disabled by navigating through the LCD menu system. We preferred riding with the system off but wouldn’t hesitate to enable it when riding on slippery surfaces.



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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:23

In spite of the sloppy transmission, tall final drive gearing and vague-feeling clutch we still enjoy riding the Monster. It’s a fun and easy to maneuver bike that carries some of the legendary characteristics of the Ducati brand including its charismatic air-cooled engine and tough urban stance. But the biggest thing that holds it back in this comparison is its $9995 MSRP which is almost $1000 more than the Aprilia.


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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:25


The Shiver 750 is Aprilia’s solution for motorcyclists seeking a versatile street bike for new and experienced riders alike. It returns for the 2011 model year with a few upgrades to allow it to better keep pace with the recently upgraded Monster. Find out all the details in the 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 First Look.

Compared to the Monster, the Shiver is a bigger motorcycle. Not only does it weigh 65 pounds more, it feels larger dimensionally too. The seat itself is a bit taller than the Monster’s (31.5 vs. 31.9 inches) but not so much that it would make it difficult for shorter riders to be comfortable. The handlebar is positioned higher and just a hair closer to the rider which fosters a natural position on the road. While the red-backlit instrument cluster isn’t as sleek looking as the Ducati’s it too is simple to read as well as operate through its various functions via a handlebar mounted button.

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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:26

The width of the bike is much broader than the Ducati. Part of the reason for its added girth is the larger 4.2-gallon fuel tank compared to the 3.8-gallon tank employed on the Monster. This also makes it feel more top heavy than the lightweight Duc. However the higher capacity equates to a longer range of 151 miles which is 18 miles farther based on our 36 MPG (one point higher than the Monster) average.


Push the starter button and the engine settles right into idle. Compared to the 796’s air-cooled Twin the Shiver’s liquid-cooled 750cc V-Twin has a different pitch to it. The exhaust note sounds more raspy and high-pitched as compared to the Monster’s low-bass rumble. However, it’s actually a hair quieter only registering at 78 dB which is four points lower than the Ducati. But what the sound measuring equipment can’t pick up is the cool high-tech sounding mechanical whirl that emits from the valvetrain, which is spun by a combination of gear and chain drive.

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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:27

Twist the throttle and the Aprilia’s smaller-capacity engine doesn’t deliver as much immediate torque as the Monster. Looking at the dyno chart proves that the Shiver doesn’t crank out as much twist force until the power curves meet up briefly around 4500 revs before the Monster then continues to pump out more torque. The Shiver eventually arrives at its peak number at 46.54 lb-ft at 7400 revs. In terms of horsepower the curves are similar until 5500 rpm. After that the Monster continues to pump out a few extra horses until the Shiver eventually catches up at 9300 rpm with a peak figure of 76.63 which is just 0.36 horsepower off the Monster.


While the Shiver doesn’t crank out quite as much power as the Monster, the way it makes power is much smoother feeling. The Aprilia doesn’t exhibit any of the lean-fueling condition at low rpm and the engine generally runs better at all rpm. Part of the reason why it feels superior is Aprilia’s use of an electronic ride-by-wire engine management system that removes the physical connection between the throttle bodies and the throttle. It also adds the ability to adjust the way the engine makes power with its rider-selectable engine settings. By holding down the starter button the rider can select one of three power modes (Sport, Tour and Rain). We preferred the Sport mode as it maximized the feel of engine power. We also noticed that the engine vibrates far less than the Ducati. Factor this in along with its superior ergonomics and the Aprilia is a more comfortable bike to rack up the miles on.

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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:29

Despite being slightly down on power not to mention being over 15% heavier than the Duc, the Shiver actually ran the quarter-mile quicker in a time of 12.67 seconds at a trap speed of 106.3 mph. One reason why the heavier Aprilia was able to run a faster time is its lower final drive gearing not to mention added feel and response from the hydraulic clutch which makes it easier to launch. The six-speed transmission also offered a higher level of performance than the Ducati’s. Neutral was always easy to find and we encountered far less mis-shifts than the Duc. It also felt much “tighter” and had less slop at the shift lever.


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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:30

In spite of its extra heft the Shiver is almost as agile as the Monster. It steers into a turn with minimal effort but once turned it doesn’t feel quite as surefooted as the Duc. This is because it has the combination of extra pounds along with its soft damping settings in the suspension which make the chassis more prone to wallowing even at a medium street pace. The Shiver also feels like it carries its weight higher in the chassis which also hurts its handling slightly. Once turned however the Shiver’s chassis performs similarly to the Ducati and will surprise you with its cornering abilities. Overall ride quality was also on par with the Ducati.


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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 796   02.12.10 9:31

Like the Ducati, the Shiver employs a similar braking setup only without the benefit of ABS (anti-lock brakes). A pair of radial-mount four-piston calipers bites down on 320mm rotors with stopping force delivered through stainless steel brake lines. The Aprilia’s setup feels on par with the Ducati. Initial brake bite is mild and braking force ramps up slightly as you pull back on the lever, offering a good balance of non-intimidating stopping power.


Overall performance of these bikes is close. But what really made the Aprilia stand out from the Ducati was how much better everything worked. From the feel and well-calibrated fuel settings of the engine and the more logical and accommodating ergonomics, the Shiver is a superior motorcycle. Factor in that its reasonable $8999 price tag that is nearly a Grand cheaper than the Ducati and you simply can’t deny that the Shiver 750 is the bike to have if you’re seeking an affordable Italian Twin.

Info by: http://www.motorcycle-usa.com

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