The Monster sounds better stock than the FZ-07. Performance-wise it should be very close to the FZ-07. This bike has been on my radar screen for a while now because of the low seat ht., but there is no dealer close to me. Ducati, along with Aprilia, and Moto guzzi, in general seem to be temperamental when compared to the Japanese bikes which have a reputation for dependability. Many feel the Italian bikes are all over-priced too, although if the 2012 was in excellent condition that price seems only a little high. If I had a good local Ducati dealer, I might buy it if I didn't already have an FZ-07. Same with the KTM Duke 690 (although the 390 would be my choice) but there are no local dealers for KTM either. I came very close to buying a Tuono, but a quick look at the Aprilia forum showed hard to restart when hot issues and mapping problems along with some leaks. Who needs that right?...plus the dang seat was a bit tall for me. Most Ducati riders will tell you their bikes are fantastic when they are running.
Mark Nowhereman has a review of the Ducati Monster 696 on YouTube and he does not like it.. says it's too expensive and under-powered. Also says it feels too light on the highway.
If I wanted a faster bike but one fairly light and similar to the FZ-07, I would buy another Triumph Street Triple r. At least there you get a lot of performance for the added expense. I think it is head and shoulders above any of the naked middle-weights in terms of performance. Like race bikes though, it's hard to use the added performance. I didn't ride my Streetie much different than I ride my FZ-07.
the ducati is a nice bike and so is the triumph what always stopped me from buying one first is parts availability every part of the bike (Ducati) are from italy no one carry part in stock not even the dealership if anything go wrong you are out of the bike for at least 2 month same go for triumph, second reason is the service price and interval cost Ducati need to get the valve adjusted every 5k miles that cost $900 plus material which is like 1200 for with oil change same go for the triumph. so as a second bike yes is cool or just a weekend bike that you are not going ride a lot or put a lot of miles on it those are good choices.
Yes, seems like most riders who buy a Ducati do the maintenance themselves. I owned a 2012 Street Triple r and never had anything done to it, but I only put 2800 miles on it as I recall. I traded the Street Triple r in on the Zero S.
My neighbor owns AF1 racing, so I wouldn't dare show up with a Ducati. It would have to be Aprilia. I still may buy a Tuono or RSV-4 for the track but the bikes are a little tall for me. AF1 is the largest supplier of Aprilia parts in the US. They have a large mail order business and can get any part they don't have in stock within a day or two, and their dealership is 3 miles from my home. I still haven't decided if I want another super sport though. I tried to get the crazy fast speed out of my system with the Gixxer 1000 I owned until trading it in last year.
I agree with those who say: "For dependability, stick with the Japanese bikes." Other than a couple of people with stalling issues, there do not seem to be problems with the MT/FZ-07.