Ducati shed weight and ditch trellis frame for 2021 Monster
Meet the 2021 Ducati Monster – the Bologna firm’s latest and greatest middleweight performance naked and the first model in the Monster family without a trellis chassis since the range was revealed in 1993.
Simply called the Monster, the new machine will supersede the existing 821 models
and features new looks, more tech, and a Panigale V4-inspired aluminum front frame that uses the engine as a stressed member. Starting at £10,295, the bike looks to be all things to all riders, with just shy of 110bhp in standard trim from its 937cc Euro5-friendly V-Twin engine, a gentle seat height of 820mm (power able to as little as 775mm), and an additional A2-compliant model also available. Weighing just 166kg dry and presenting a claimed thin stance, it could be the ideal introduction to the Italian brand for new riders, whilst also promising sporting thrills for the more experienced pilot. Those wanting a little extra bling can also opt for a £10,545 ‘Plus’ model, which gets a small screen and rear seat cover as standard.
Delving further into the frame's design, the new bike’s aluminum design is based on Ducati’s latest superbikes and bolts directly to the head of the engine - shedding 4.5kg over the Monster 821’s trellis set-up in the process. The weight-saving doesn’t stop there, either; with a new aluminum swingarm also slashing 1.6kg and a Glass Fibre Polymer subframe/tail section also shedding some timber.
As a result, the bike is a claimed 188kg in running order – 18kg less than the existing 821. This figure has also been achieved by weight loss in other areas of the bike, too – including a further 2.4kg within the engine. Away from lightness and sticking with the chassis, the steering head angle has been increased by seven degrees, which is claimed to improve maneuverability at low speed.
This manageable nature is then taken a step further with the revised riding position, which is claimed to be more relaxed than before. The handlebars are now 70mm closer to the rider and more upright, with pegs lowered by 10mm. This equates to a roomier, less wristy riding experience and suggests the Monster is designed to be more at home around town and on a sweeping B-road than it is scratching on track.
That’s not to say that the Monster has no sporting credentials though – far from it – and on top of a gentle performance increase of around 2bhp, peak torque of 68.6lb.ft (up by 5.1lb. ft) is now also achieved 1250rpm earlier at 6500rpm, meaning more punch off of every corner. As well as this, reliability and running costs also look good; with oil services needed every 15,000km (around 9320 miles) and valve inspections required every 30,000km (around 18,640 miles).
Away from the top trump stats, riders can also opt between three riding modes, thanks to the inclusion of a ride-by-wire throttle. These sit alongside a full suite of electronics, including eight-stage traction control, which can be personalized from their set level in each riding mode. There’s also a launch control system and anti-wheelie, which can be adjusted independently of other settings. All of this is controlled via a 4.3” color TFT dash and an up and down quick-shifter comes as standard.
Moving back to the new modes, the most aggressive of these is Sport, which delivers full power and reduced traction control, ABS, and wheelie control intervention. This is followed by Touring mode, which again offers full power, but with more progressive delivery. There’s also more traction, ABS, and wheelie control, to ensure a more relaxed experience for making progress, rather than erratic thrills. Last up is Urban, which serves up around 75bhp of shove with
progressive throttle response. As you would expect, electronic controls are at their most intrusive in this layout. Away from gadgetry, the bike rolls on a set of non-adjustable 43mm upside-down forks, plus a preload-adjustable rear shock. It’s also shod with Pirelli Rosso 3 tyres and features dual Brembo monobloc four-piston front brake calipers, with cornering ABS at the front and rear.
Alongside new tech, there is obviously new styling, which takes a step away from more traditional Monster looks and shares more than a passing resemblance to mid-sized MV Agusta Brutales up front. To go with the fresh style, there is full LED lighting, plus ‘swiping’ wrap-around indicators at the base of the tank