The 2021 Ducati Monster Is Reimagined With the Panigale’s Help

Though Ducati produces a range of desirable motorcycles, the Monster may arguably be the most important. Before the Scrambler, it was the Italian brand’s entry-level model. And it’s still one of Ducati’s best-selling and most reliable bikes. For 2021, the Ducati Monster enters its next generation. And while it’s leaving something behind, thanks in part to the Ducati Panigale, it’s gaining more—or rather, less—in return.

The 2021 Ducati Monster lost its iconic frame, but also some weight, partially thanks to the Panigale

A red 1993 Ducati Monster M900
1993 Ducati Monster M900 | Ducati

Up until now, a key part of the Ducati Monster’s design was its trellis frame. Admittedly, the original M900’s frame was carried over from the 888 superbike, Motorcyclist reports. But besides its visual appeal, the trellis frame also had practical handling benefits for street bikes, Cycle World explains.

Unfortunately, the Ducati Monster’s trellis frame is made of steel. And while steel is stiff, it’s also heavy, which is anathema to sporty motorcycles. So, for 2020, the Monster’s losing the trellis.

A black 2021 Ducati Monster
2021 Ducati Monster | Ducati

In its place, the 2021 Ducati Monster has an aluminum frame derived from the Panigale and Streetfighter V4, Roadshow reports. That change alone cuts 10 pounds from the naked bike’s curb weight, Cycle World reports. It’s joined by a glass-fiber-reinforced composite rear sub-frame, which, again, is lighter than the equivalent metal one, Hagerty reports.

The 2021 Ducati Monster’s weight savings aren’t limited to just the frame, though. Its swingarm, wheels, and engine are all lighter than in the 2020 model, Bennetts reports. All in all, the 2021 Monster is 40 pounds lighter than the equivalent previous-gen bike, Autoblog reports.

The 2021 Ducati Monster gets more power and tech, too

A rider wheelies a red 2021 Ducati Monster Plus
2021 Ducati Monster Plus side | Ducati

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Speaking of equivalency, most of the Ducati Monster’s engine options are going away for 2021, RideApart reports. Instead, the naked bike only has one engine. It’s a 937cc L-twin with 111 hp and 69 lb-ft, 2 hp and 6 lb-ft more than the outgoing 821 Monster, Cycle World reports. Not only is it torquier, but the new engine also makes its peak torque lower in the rev range. That means better low-speed acceleration, Bennetts reports.

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As before, the 2021 Ducati Monster has a 6-speed transmission, Brembo brakes, and a slipper clutch. However, the base naked bike now has a 4.3” TFT dash, LED lighting, Bluetooth connectivity, and multiple riding modes. The 2021 Monster also has a standard quick-shifter, traction control, launch control, and wheelie control, along with upgraded ABS.

An overhead view of a gray 2021 Ducati Monster
2021 Ducati Monster overhead | Ducati

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The Monster’s riding position and overall dimensions have also been tweaked for 2021. The rider sits more upright, and the seat is narrower. And for shorter riders, Ducati now offers a lower accessory seat and accessory lowering springs. Normally, the seat is 32.3” off the ground, but the springs and accessory seat can drop that to 30.5”, Autoblog reports. The accessory seat alone is 31.5” off the ground, Roadshow reports.

Pricing and availability

A close-up of the 2021 Ducati Monster Plus' TFT display
2021 Ducati Monster Plus dash | Ducati

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The 2021 Ducati Monster is available in two trims: the $11,895 standard and the $12,195 +. The “Plus” trim adds a flyscreen and a passenger-seat cover. Both also offer multiple graphics packages and accessories, including a carbon-fiber Termignoni performance exhaust.

The first 2021 Monsters should hit dealers in April 2021. It’s too soon to tell how the Ducatisti will react to the naked bike’s new look. But if it handles as well as the Ducati Panigale proper, the brand faithful should have nothing to fear.

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