Since the Monster made its original debut in 1993, an excess of 350,000 Monsters have been produced. That makes the Monster the most successful Ducati model ever. However, that didn’t deter the Bolognese brand from making bold changes to its newest 2021 model, refusing to take the safe path of slow evolution.
The first thing that Ducatisti will notice is the glaring absence of one of the model’s most iconic features — it’s distinctive trellis frame. Already, from the reactions we’ve seen, this particular change is highly controversial. The designers have taken a very modern direction and yet the aesthetic remains very familiar. The muscular tank, large round headlight and silhouette ensure the newest Monster is instantly recognizable.
Whereas some models seem to become even sportier with every successive iteration, the new Monster has instead become more approachable, in many regards. Ergonomically, the handlebar has been moved towards the rider, enabling them to be more upright. The foot pegs have been lowered, and though less sporty, this enables the rider’s legs to be more comfortable. More so ideal for riding on the road than on the track, where the Monster has always been most in its element.
The new Monster’s athleticism has been improved, however. For starters, the Monster has vigilantly adhered to a very lean diet. Compared with the outgoing M821, the new Monster is nearly 40 pounds lighter. The new superbike derived aluminum frame design, which has replaced the iconic trellis design, has led to a 60% reduction in the weight of the frame. Everything from the rims to the subframe and engine have contributed to the bike’s weight loss.
While weight is down, both power and capacity are up. A few more ponies have been added to the stable, now with an output of 111 horsepower, up from the 109 horsepower in the M821. Torque has been increased too, most notably in the low-mid range, as capacity has been bumped up to 937cc.
Putting that power to road is paramount and there are many innovations assisting the rider in getting the most out of the new Monster. Rapid shifts are possible thanks to the standard quick-shifter, with up and down shift functionality. Cornering ABS is standard, as is traction control. Wheelie control is also standard and so too is launch control. See the theme? Lots of standard safety technology.
Of course, the level of intrusiveness of the safety systems can be easily adjusted. You also have familiar riding modes and a new 4.3” color screen, which are both, you guessed it, standard.
Three colors will be available at launch, Ducati’s characteristic red, black and perhaps the most unique color, gray with red rims. A Plus version will be available also, which will feature as-standard equipment a small windshield and a rear seat cowl. Unsurprisingly, there are many ways to customize the new Monster.
There are the traditional options you’d expect too, like a gorgeous and no doubt audibly superior Termignoni silencer will be available. However, an unexpected offering are the new liveries, which Ducati describes as “sticker kits.” Though visually interesting, we’re not fans of the sticker kits. We can already envision the nightmare of trying to not misalign them during installation. After a few years, will they begin to peel? We shall see.
In all, though, the new Monster is very exciting. It offers a very alluring combination of great technology, stunning design, more power, less weight and more comfort. Ducati has told us that deliveries of the new Monster will begin in April of 2021. As of yet, they haven’t disclosed what the starting price will be for the Monster or the Monster Plus.
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