2021 Ducati Monster is a featherweight Italian powerhouse

Ducati's engineers focused on reducing weight and making the bike more accessible to people of different sizes.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
3 min read

Yep, it's still a Monster.


A while ago, we debuted a sketch of the forthcoming Ducati Monster, and in doing so, we surmised a few things about the full reimagining of Ducati's most loved nameplate. Ducati unveiled the new Monster in a video on Wednesday, and even the wild speculation that we did couldn't come close to the real thing.

The most significant change from the Monsters of days is the switch from a steel trellis-style frame to a cast aluminum one. The trellis has long been an iconic part of Ducati's design language, but the decision to change it follows the same line of thinking that we've seen for the Streetfighter V4 S and Panigale models. The result is a weight reduction of 9.9 pounds from this part alone.

The rear subframe is wildly different too. What used to be metal is now a superstrong glass-reinforced polymer. This change is pretty dramatic, especially in the weight-saving department, with a drop of 4.2 pounds. The wheels are also lighter, shedding 3.75 pounds, while the swingarm loses an additional 3.5 pounds.

In addition to weight savings, Ducati has directed considerable effort toward making the bike more accessible to people of different sizes. So the bike has a stock seat height of 32.3 inches, with an optional lower seat that brings that down to 31.5 inches. Those with particularly short legs can get an optional spring kit for the suspension, which takes the bike down even farther (at the cost of ground clearance) to just 30.5 inches. Ducati also made sure that the saddle area is nice and narrow, which should help riders stay flat-footed when stopped -- something that dramatically increases a rider's confidence.

The engine is still a twin-cylinder affair, though now it's up to 937 cc of displacement from the previous model's 821, which boosts output to 111 horsepower at 9,250 rpm and 69 (nice) pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. The real news here is that the increased displacement makes the torque curve a lot fatter, making the bike even easier to ride. Ducati also managed to lose around 5.5 pounds from the engine.

The net result of all of Ducati's weight-saving measures is a combined reduction of 39.7 pounds compared with the not-exactly-porcine Monster 821. The bike's advertised dry weight is now 366 pounds. For comparison, this would be like Toyota suddenly finding a way to cut 417 pounds from the RAV4 Prime in a single model year. It's a big deal.

The rest of the new Monster is pretty standard Ducati. The brakes are from Brembo for both front and rear, and both the front brakes and the hydraulic clutch get radial-mount master cylinders for better feel. The electronics package -- aka Ducati Safety Pack -- returns with ABS, traction control, wheelie control, launch control and a standard up/down quickshifter. The bike also once again gets a color TFT dash with a very sensible layout that pulls its design from the Streetfighter and the Panigale.

Ducati is going to offer the Monster in standard and Plus trims, the latter of which includes a small flyscreen and a cover for the passenger seat. There will be three colors offered -- red (because, duh), matte black and a very lovely shade called aviator gray. There will also be several available decal packages and even prepainted semicustom body panels available for those who crave bolder styling.

Pricing for the 2021 Ducati Monster starts at a very reasonable $11,895 for the standard model and $12,195 for the Plus version. Expect tons of factory accessories (like some truly rude-sounding carbon fiber Termignoni pipes) to be available at launch, which Ducati has slated for April of 2021.

2021 Ducati Monster loses weight, gains power and makes us crazy

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