Built since 1993, and more than 350,000 times, Ducati is by no means shying away from radical changes with the 2021 version of its monsters. The distinctive feature of a lattice tube frame is in vain for the new monster. Instead, the Italians are now relying on a lightweight, elegant aluminium frame and there are other innovations in this successful Naked bike.
But if it comes,... then of course we don't run away from it, but drive them sample! With the elimination of the popular lattice tube frame, the new monster also gains some pleasant advantages. Above all, the weight reduced by 18 kilograms is mentioned here. Only 188 kilograms ready to drive (166 kg dry!) paired with the extremely powerful Testastretta two-cylinder engine with 937 cubic centimeters displacement, 111 hp at 9250 revolutions and 93 newton meters at 6500 rpm result in a monster-like whimper.
So here the name is still a program – maybe even a little more than the previous version, the Monster 821. Overall, however, the monster becomes a little tamer, the engine smoother and more doseable, which ensures an overall lighter, less brewing driveability. Ducati is likely to reach a wider audience with this reboot, and the bill is likely to pay. Because both experienced drivers as well as less experienced newcomers and newcomers (there is also an A2 variant with 35 kW) as well as more dainty drivers should no longer have to be afraid of the monster. A certain respect for the existing power may still be appropriate, but this is recommended for motorcycling anyway.
In addition, the new monster comes standard with a lot of electronic helpers such as inclined ABS, traction control, shift assistant for clutchless gear changes, multiple driving modes as well as launch and wheelie control on board, making it a little easier for your driver to stay in control.
Just Fun: Provide driving fun – and it does so without end. It's amazing how much fun we had testing this lightweight mid-range naked bike – even though it was saukalt. But that's what makes this kind of motorcycle so adorable. And it's also a real Ducati. Sure, this has its price compared to some competitors, but those who want to drive Ducati probably accept this.
It should also be mentioned that the monsters have not only become lighter, more agile, stronger and stronger, but also slightly cheaper than the previous model at €11,290. The BikeReview.info editorial team also likes the new design quite well. Of course, we also understand those who cry after the distinctive lattice frame. But in the end it is this: standstill is a step backwards. And if you don't dare to do something new from time to time, nothing changes. Often, model changes are limited to coloring or insignificant details. Here, the attack was bold and without shyness really something daring. Chapeau Ducati!
On the test drive: From the first time you put on it, you immediately notice that the new monster has somehow become more accessible. It has a better steering angle and a more comfortable sitting position. The knee closure is great, everything is in the right place and works perfectly. Compared to the slightly bulkier 821, this is a self-left, curve-hungry vehicle.
The engine of the new monsters is perfect for the country road. Lightweight and sporty, the 937 cc engine weighs almost 2.4 kg less than the Monster 821 engine. Only at very low speeds is the two-cylinder somewhat rough. But let's be honest: you can also love it! And from about 6000 rpm it really gets to the point. The machine ignites a real firework of power here, is handy and agile and loses nothing in stability.
She lays down in the curves without appearing tilty. Ducati has made a very good choice with the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III and the brakes also work in a top-notch way! Soundfully, the new monster drops slightly compared to its noisy predecessor. It has become noticeably quieter and also sounds less nasty. Euro-5 sends greetings.
The modern 4.3 inch TFT colour display in the style of the Panigale V4 automatically switches between day and night driving mode depending on the light and is easy to read, although relatively small. If you want, you can equip the new monster with the Ducati Multimedia System (DMS). Via a Bluetooth connection, you can then .B receive incoming calls, listen to music or receive text messages.
The three Riding Modes "Sport, Touring and Urban" are available, which can also be activated while driving. The standard Quickshifter works pleasingly well and manual shifting is also very smooth thanks to the new hydraulic control system. The 14 litres of tank capacity are not exactly plentiful, since one or the other tank stop is probably on the agenda. And as far as the seating comfort for the passenger is concerned: This is, as with most Naked bikes, rather under the heading seat rolls. But we have also experienced this much more uncomfortable than with the new monster.
For so many years, Ducati stuck to the typical appearance of the monsters that change was really time. But how many monsters are still in it? We find a lot when you are open to change. You'll see how well the new monster will sell. In any case, however, the target group is likely to have become much wider. The new monster is also interesting for holders of the A2 driving licence, because after 2 years you can not open the 35 kW to the full 111 hp, but at least to 95 hp. And that should ensure many years of driving fun. In short, the reworking of the monsters seems clear and thoughtful to us and could give a new lease of life to the monsters' success story.
Our thanks go to Ducati-Hamburg for the test bike.