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

LISTEN 09:03

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.

2021 Ducati Monster Design

  • 4.3-inch full color TFT display
  • LED lighting
  • USB power socket
  • Optional low seat and low suspension kits
2021 Ducati Monster
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2021 Ducati Monster
- image 958734

Ducati bills its Monster line as descendants of the “first true naked bike.” The factory uses its own ’93 Monster 900 as the main design inspiration, and why not? It’s a fools errand to argue with success.

Both of these new bikes – the Monster and Monster+ – lead off with a highly-engineered front fender shaped to maximize penetration and steer the incoming air around the inverted forks and keep drag to a minimum. A single, round cyclops LED headlight splits the night and ensures that you remain visible to the world during daylight hours through a DRL ring around the perimeter of the lens.

Short handlebar risers and a short-rise handlebar combine atop the tripleclamp to relax the upper leg of the rider’s triangle and give your wrists and shoulders a break while leaving open the option of tucking all the way in when needed. A 3.7-gallon “bison back” fuel tank defines the flyline as it tumbles down to the deeply-recessed saddle cradle.

The upswept subframe sports a spoiler-like mini fairing on each side ahead of the underslung taillight and standoff license-plate holder that mounts the sweeping rear turn signals to finish the gear in the rear. All of the above applies to both models, but the Monster + adds a teeny flyscreen up front and a pillion-pad cover out back for a solo configuration that lets you look track ready on the street and helps you to be track ready on race days.

2021 Ducati Monster Chassis

  • Eager handling in the corners
  • Lightweight, superbike-derived frame
  • Narrow for easy reach to the ground
  • Cornering ABS
2021 Ducati Monster
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2021 Ducati Monster
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2021 Ducati Monster
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Ducati substitutes a new aluminum-alloy front frame for the tubular front frame common amongst the Monster models, and to mine eyes it changes the overall look quite a bit. At the very least, these two new rides are somewhat less industrial-looking than their kameraden because of it.

The bike weighs in at 414 pounds wet, partly because the engine is used as a stressed member to offset some of the framework and the front frame is bolted directly to the engine heads. As for the steering geometry, the steering head sets a rake angle of 24 degrees with a dead-short, 3.7 inches of trail over a 58-inch wheelbase to turn in a very willing performance in the curves. The factory added seven degrees to the steering arc to give the new Monsters a 36-degree steering sweep to improve parking lot/slow speed maneuvers.

Seat height is typical at 32.3 inches off the deck. If you prefer a lower saddle, an accessory seat will sling your butt at 31.5 inches high, or you can slam it down with an accessory suspension kit that’ll give you a 30.5 inch seat height.

Weight savings was a front-burner topic for the design team, and toward that end the factory opted to use a Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer to support the subframe shedding 4.2 pounds from the total. The 17-inch cast rims went to fat camp too and lost a collective 3.75 pounds, plus the swingarm lost 3.5 pounds that’ll no doubt make the rear suspension more effective as it has less inertia to counter.

Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso III hoops round out the rolling chassis in a 120/70 up front opposite a 180/55 for a nice fat contact patch and grippy performance. Suspension is surprisingly vanilla with non-adjustable, 43 mm, usd forks to float the front, and out back, the monoshock brings only the obligatory preload adjuster to the table.

Be it a light bike as it may, the factory wasn’t afraid of a little overkill with its dual, Brembo M4.32 monobloc calipers that bite 320 mm discs. Out back, a twin-pot caliper and 245 mm disc take care of business, and the brakes at both end operate under the vigilant monitoring of the Cornering ABS feature so you can count on safely getting the most out of the anchors.

Frame: Aluminum alloy front frame
Front suspension/Wheel Travel: Ø 43 mm usd fork/5.1 in(130 mm)
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: Progressive linkage, preload adjustable monoshock, aluminum double-sided swingarm/5.5 in (140 mm)
Rake: 24°
Trail: 3.7 in (93 mm)
Front brake: Dual Ø 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo M4.32 monobloc 4-piston calipers, radial master cylinder, Cornering ABS
Rear brake: Ø 245 mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, Cornering ABS
Front wheel: Light alloy cast, 3.5" x 17"
Rear wheel: Light alloy cast, 5.5" x 17"
Front tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 180/55 ZR17

2021 Ducati Monster Drivetrain

  • Testastretta 11° 937 cc L-twin engine
  • More power and torque than the 821
  • Snappy throttle response
  • Ducati power launch and quick-shifter
2021 Ducati Monster
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2021 Ducati Monster
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2021 Ducati Monster
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The beating heart of the new Monster is the real star of the show, and this is where we find all of the top-shelf electronics, as well. A 90-degree V-twin, or L-twin if you prefer, delivers the goods with 111 horsepower at 9,250 rpm backed up by 69 pound-feet of torque that maxes out at 6,500 rpm. Bore and stroke are 94 mm and 67.5 mm respectively for a 937 cc displacement and a sizzlin’-hot 13.3-to-1 compression ratio that’ll demand top-hook pusholine.

The four-valve heads are timed by Ducati’s famous Desmodromic valvetrain that replaces the more common valve spring with a pull-closed cam that provides positive poppet closure and eliminates harmonic valve float at high revs. Induction control falls to a pair of 53 mm throttle bodies rocking a ride-by-wire throttle control that enables a number of ride-quality control systems. It starts out with the Ducati Power Launch that helps you safely nail the holeshot and the Ducati Quick Shift that’ll let you rip through the gears without ever rolling off. Riding Modes and Power modes give the engine multiple personalities that can be mixed and matched to suit conditions and preference.

To wrap up the goodies, the Ducati Traction Control and Wheelie Control helps you protect your contact patch both fore and aft. The Monster and Monster + come ready to receive the Ducati Multimedia infotainment system and heated grips.

Engine: Testatretta 11°, V2 - 90°, 4 valves per cylinder, desmodromic valvetrain, liquid cooled
Displacement: 937 cc (57 cu in)
Bore x Stroke: 94 mm x 67.5 mm
Compression ratio: 13.3:1
Power: 111 hp (82 kW) @ 9,250 rpm
Torque: 69 lb-ft (93 Nm) @ 6,500 rpm
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection system, Ø 53 mm throttle bodies with Ride-by-Wire system
Exhaust: Pre-muffler and twin muffler, catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
Gearbox: 6 speed
Primary drive: Straight cut gears, ratio 1.85:1
Ratio: 1=37/15, 2=30/17, 3=28/20, 4=26/22, 5=24/23, 6=23/24
Final drive: Chain, front sprocket z15, rear sprocket z43
Clutch: Slipper and self-servo multiplate wet clutch with hydraulic control

2021 Ducati Monster Price

2021 Ducati Monster
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2021 Ducati Monster
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The new Monster makes its debut with an $11,895 pricetag. If you want the Monster + model with its flyscreen and tail cover you’ll have to pony up another three Benjamins. Both bikes come in the Dark Stealth paint package, Aviator Grey, or my favorite, the Ducati Red. Blackout treatment is universal across the board on all the non-sheet-metal parts.

Safety equipment: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Wheelie Control, Daytime Running Light
Standard equipment: Ducati Quick Shift, Ducati Power Launch, 4.3-inch TFT color display, Full LED headlight and lighting system, Dynamic turn indicators, USB power socket
Ready for: Ducati Multimedia System, Heated grips
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited mileage
Color: Ducati Red, Aviator Grey, Dark Stealth
Price: $11,895, Plus: $12,195

2021 Ducati Monster Competitors

2018 - 2021 Yamaha MT-10
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2021 Ducati Monster
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No doubt about it, the new Monster brothers are definitely up-and-coming contenders in the naked-sport field, but I think the Yamaha MT-10 may be its Huckleberry. Let’s find out.

Yamaha MT-10

2018 - 2021 Yamaha MT-10
- image 799905

Yamaha takes the blackout treatment to the Nth degree to give its entry a sinister, almost stealthy look, and it’s tough to beat basic black in my humble opinion. Inverted forks, bobbed front fenders, and a somewhat relaxed rider’s triangle are constants across the board, but Yamaha’s Master of Torque carries ram-air ducts on either side of the fuel tank to give it a decidedly more beefy look up front.

Yamaha gains an edge in the chassis hardware as it mounted fully-adjustable KYB suspension on its entry fore and aft. Power comes from a 998 cc inline four-banger with ride-by-wire, D-Mode, and traction control, so it falls behind a skosh in the top-drawer electronics, but more than makes up for that with output of 158.2 horsepower and 81.9 pound-feet of torque. That’s right; Yamaha absolutely flogs the new Monster in the power department, but I’d submit that the Monster’s power is more tractable given its electronic edge. You’ll pay for that extra power since the MY-10 starts out at $12,999 to leave a little money on the table in Ducati’s favor.

Read our full review of the Yamaha MT-10.

He Said

“Gotta’ say that the MT-10 looks pretty good on paper, but as for me, I’d take the Duc. I admit that part of that is my skillset doesn’t encompass the knee-dragging hijinks and so the electronic augmentation would be most welcome. Plus, you’ll likely never do the Monster and its 111 ponies justice on public roads, and that’s doubly true for the Yammie.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “So Ducati took the Monster to fat camp and shed the Trellis frame for 2021. The updated middleweight-naked of the Ducati stable has the same front-frame design as the Panigale and Streetfighter V4, so it’s much lighter weight; and the same engine as the Hypermotard and SuperSport giving it more power and torque. Lighter weight, and more power and torque. Doesn’t that sound like more fun? Yeah, I thought so, too”

2021 Ducati Monster Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Testatretta 11°, V2 - 90°, 4 valves per cylinder, desmodromic valvetrain, liquid cooled
Displacement: 937 cc (57 cu in)
Bore x Stroke: 94 mm x 67.5 mm
Compression ratio: 13.3:1
Power: 111 hp (82 kW) @ 9,250 rpm
Torque: 69 lb-ft (93 Nm) @ 6,500 rpm
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection system, Ø 53 mm throttle bodies with Ride-by-Wire system
Exhaust: Pre-muffler and twin muffler, catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
Gearbox: 6 speed
Primary drive: Straight cut gears, ratio 1.85:1
Ratio: 1=37/15, 2=30/17, 3=28/20, 4=26/22, 5=24/23, 6=23/24
Final drive: Chain, front sprocket z15, rear sprocket z43
Clutch: Slipper and self-servo multiplate wet clutch with hydraulic control
Chassis:
Frame: Aluminum alloy front frame
Front suspension/Wheel Travel: Ø 43 mm usd fork/5.1 in(130 mm)
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: Progressive linkage, preload adjustable monoshock, aluminum double-sided swingarm/5.5 in (140 mm)
Rake: 24°
Trail: 3.7 in (93 mm)
Front brake: Dual Ø 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo M4.32 monobloc 4-piston calipers, radial master cylinder, Cornering ABS
Rear brake: Ø 245 mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, Cornering ABS
Front wheel: Light alloy cast, 3.5" x 17"
Rear wheel: Light alloy cast, 5.5" x 17"
Front tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 180/55 ZR17
Dimensions & Capacities
Dry weight: 366 lb (166 kg)
Curb weight: 414 lb (188 kg)
Seat height: 32.3 in (820 mm), 31.5 in (800 mm) (accessory low seat), 30.5 in (775 mm) (accessory low seat + low suspension kit)
Wheelbase: 58.0 in (1,474 mm)
Fuel tank capacity: 3.7 gal (14 l)
Number of seats: 2
Details:
Safety equipment: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Wheelie Control, Daytime Running Light
Standard equipment: Ducati Quick Shift, Ducati Power Launch, 4.3-inch TFT color display, Full LED headlight and lighting system, Dynamic turn indicators, USB power socket
Ready for: Ducati Multimedia System, Heated grips
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited mileage
Color: Ducati Red, Aviator Grey, Dark Stealth
Price: $11,895, Plus: $12,195

Further Reading

Ducati

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Read more Ducati news.

TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
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All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: ducati, yamaha-motor.com

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