Ducati just re-invented the Monster.
The budget-friendly Monster was arguably the cornerstone of Ducati’s lineup for many years, especially in its lower-cc versions. Now, the Monster 797 and Monster 821 models have both been axed, replaced by a new bike that’s just called … the Ducati Monster.
The new bike uses Ducati’s 937cc Testastretta engine, a liquid-cooled L-twin that makes 110 horsepower (up about 2 horses) and 69 pound-feet of torque (roughly 6 pound-feet gain). It’s also compliant with Euro5 emissions standards, which is probably a big reason the bike exists—Ducati probably got tired of updating the older machines. Of course, the engine is familiar, too, as it powers the HyperMotard, SuperSport and Multistrada 950 models. It has a six-speed gearbox, and hydraulic clutch. Oil changes come every 9,320 miles, with valve adjustments at 18,640-mile intervals.
Along with an up-to-date emissions system, Ducati also included a ride-by-wire throttle, which in turn allows for an up/down quickshifter. The new Monster also gets wheelie control, launch control, cornering ABS, and traction control, with an IMU helping to manage the electronics systems.
The new bike also has a 4.3-inch colour TFT gauge, which can connect to a mobile device or helmet comm via Bluetooth, for infotainment purposes (connecting calls, or music, etc.).
As predicted, Ducati gave the Monster a new aluminum frame, leaving the old trellis-style steel frame behind. The chassis is really built around the motor, like the Panigale models, with a steering head bolted to the engine. Ducati also uses “glass-fibre reinforced polymer” for the rear seat’s subframe.
This new frame is lighter than the previous equipment, as are the wheels and engine. All in, the new Monster weighs considerably less than the previous Monster models, coming in at 414 pounds curb weight.
Seat height is 820 millimetres, but a low seat option drops this to 800 millimetres, and a suspension lowering kit drops it all the way to 775 millimetres (while obviously impacting handling at the same time).
The brakes use radial-mount Brembo M4-32 calipers and 320mm discs, with radial pump (the hydraulic clutch gets a similar master cylinder). The suspension uses 43mm USD forks and a Ducati monoshock, with no up-spec’d S version mentioned … yet. Ducati being Ducati, it’s only a matter of time before we see a more sporty version of this machine.
At this point, if you want a Monster with higher specs, your only option is the Ducati Monster +. The + model is really just a collection of fancier bodywork and/or paint and graphics. It carries a $12,195 MSRP in the US, while the base model is priced at $11,895.