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2021 Ducati Monster

2021 Ducati Monster

Lighter weight, with more power and torque. Doesn’t that sound like more fun? Yeah, we thought so, too

Ducati rolls into 2021 with a pair of new additions to its famous Monster family. Built to be light, easy to control, and above all fun, the chassis is compact and sporty with ample Monster DNA on display; but its the twin-cylinder Testastretta that really steals the show. In spite of its low overall weight, this is decidedly not a machine for the uninitiated.

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2018 Ducati Panigale 959 Corse

2018 Ducati Panigale 959 Corse

New livery, lighter battery and exhausts, and top of the line suspension setup

Launched back in 2016 as a replacement model of the Euro-III 899 Panigale, the Euro-IV compliant 959 Panigale became the most affordable superbike in the international lineup of Ducati until the brand launched the 939 Supersport last year. It came with a longer stroked 955cc engine, a tweaked chassis and styling, new side-mount exhausts and a weight increase.

With high spec Brembos’, Showas’, a quickshifter, traction control and ABS, the standard 959 was running great. But the folks at the Italian company had a greater vision. For 2018, the 959 just got checked by the folks who run the team’s MotoGP stunts. Better equipped and a fresh new paint job that was seen similarly with the 848 EVO Corse edition in 2013.

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2018 Ducati 939 SuperSport

2018 Ducati 939 SuperSport

A Panigale with toned down feistiness

Ducati always has had this insanity in them to time and again bring up machines that push the boundaries of two-wheeled glory, a boundary that will make every other manufacturer look like a speck of dust. For this alone, we must hand it to the Italian with all pomp and flair that they can literally pull off a true bloody special edition.

When it comes to sports bikes with full fairings, there are not many chaps in the world who make them better than these Italians. The Panigale, for instance, is the most coveted superbike for the way it looks, handles and rides. It is one of those Italian Exotics that can sweep you off your feet every time you get yourself near it. And if you do ride one, you know what a fearless machine it is, always wanting to break your spine due to the insanity, unless you tame it.

The current generations of Panigale is a bit intimidating and out-of-reach for a majority of buyers, due to its big and powerful engine and large denominations, in particular for riders who are new to the big bike world. It seems that Ducati has understood this fact, which is why it has come up with the all-new Supersport series, the re-entry of the brand into the family of Ducati. It takes in the 937 Testastretta motor and gets bolted on a relaxed sports bike trellis frame and gets the power lower in the rev range.

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2015 - 2017 Ducati Monster 821

2015 - 2017 Ducati Monster 821

The Monster Goldilocks Range—Not Too Big And Not Too Small

What does you do when you have a powerful and popular naked sportbike such as the Monster 1200 and a smaller, simplified version of same with an 803 cc powerplant? You simply add a third model, according to Ducati. Introducing the stop-gap Monster 821 siblings. The base model carries many of the genetic markers associated with the Monster range with a 112-horsepower engine and host of electronic gadgets that never made it onto the entry-level 797 model. This plugs a significant gap in its naked Monster lineup and gives us an entry-friendly model with a taste of the refinement typically enjoyed on the larger-displacement rides. Ducati followed up with the race-tastic “Stripe” version that pulls adjustable front-suspension components off the top shelf for another layer of ride-quality control. Something for everyone? Perhaps not, but a damn good compromise between the existing models within the range in many ways.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Monster 821.

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