DUCATI MONSTER (2021-on) Review | Owner & Expert Ratings
- First Ducati Monster without a trellis frame
- Available in two versions - standard and '+'
- Replaces Ducati's Monster 797 and 821
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
When the Ducati Monster first hit the streets way back in 1993, with its sinuous tank and pokey twin-cylinder engine, no-one realised just what an impact it would have. Since then more than 350,000 have been sold, so when it comes to reinventing it, Ducati didn’t want to get it wrong.
- Related: Ducati Monster - the story
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- Related: History of Ducati's V-twin engine
This 2021 Ducati Monster is a major step away from what’s gone before, not least because Ducati have dropped the trademark trellis frame in a move which raised eyebrows around the Ducatisti world. But fear not, get on board and it still feels very much like the Monster we know and love. If anything, it feels even more Monster-ish.
The resulting transformation is truly astonishing. We are now in the presence of a more complete and refined machine, equipped with first-rate components. Overall weight reduction has been impressive and as a result the Borgo Panigale factory has given birth to an extremely agile – yet surprisingly stable at high speeds – bike, even without using a steering damper.
The chassis is excellent and can easily handle the feisty engine. This really will push the likes of Yamaha’s MT-09 SP. A set of fully adjustable forks would have been a nice touch, though.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The aluminium front frame section is from the Panigale V4 superbike and plays a major part in the 18kg weight reduction. Looking at, and riding, an old Monster alongside the new model, you immediately understand that not only are the aesthetics more advanced but the whole motorcycle has taken a massive step forward.
The rider’s seat is set at 820mm but thanks to the optional seat configuration it can go down to 795mm, or be lowered to 775mm using the suspension lowering kit.
The new Monster also features a more upright handlebar position, with the bars 70mm nearer the rider and pegs moved further down. This is more comfortable but also feels more 'active'. The steering angle has also been altered and it is now easily possible to complete a U-turn in one hit, something that was challenging on the older models.
Agile yet precise, the Monster can be nailed through fast corners with a mix of composure and lightness. There’s outstanding stability and supple yet predictable suspension, despite a lack of adjustment up front.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The revitalised Ducati Monster is powered by the 937cc Testastretta Euro5-compliant V-twin, which delivers 109bhp with 69lb.ft of torque while the IMU takes care of cornering ABS, traction control and three riding modes. Although new to the Monster, this motor has been used to great effect in the SuperSport, Multistrada 950 and Hypermotard 950.
The engine is a peach, offering top performance in the segment, especially in terms of torque. We were riding a pre-production model for this exclusive test so throttle response was a bit rough with very little difference between the Touring and Sport riding modes, but Ducati insist this will be ironed out for production.
That 18kg weight saving is apparent out on the road. While power is similar to the old Monster 821 (which had 112bhp), the new slimline Monster jumps out of corners with a whiff of throttle and revs rapidly towards the redline.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Being such a new model, it is difficult to comment on reliability. That said, the same 937cc V-twin can also be found in the Ducati SuperSport, Multistrada 950 and Hypermotard 950. All three of these bikes score between an average of 4.5 and five out of five stars for reliability from owners and there's nothing to suggest the Monster will be any different.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Ducati have moved the Monster on without ripping up its DNA and losing that little piece of Italian magic. While the old Monster 797 and 821 have been dropped from the range, Ducati are listing the Monster 1200 and 1200 S as 2021 models (with prices unchanged at £11,995 and £15,095) although they’re only approved to Euro4 emissions standards and as such will only be able to be sold this year under end-of-series regulations allowing firms to offload stocks.
Available in two flavours: a £10,295 standard model and £10,545 '+' (which gets a small screen and rear seat cover as standard) it’s now more eager and has been brought bang up to date. But how will it fare against its direct rivals?
- Related: KTM 890 Duke - the story
Producing a claimed 109bhp, the Ducati's closest competition on paper will be the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 and KTM 890 Duke ranges. Starting with the Yamaha, the base model MT-09 is considerably cheaper than even the most basic Monster, at £8999. The base model KTM is also less, priced at £9649. Check back for future comparison tests to see which one comes out on top.
The 2021 Ducati Monster is teeming with tech. There's a new 4.3" colour TFT dash, which features easily readable graphics inspired by the Panigale V4’s readout. The system for switching between riding modes is revised and easy to get on with, too.
The new screen allows you to opt between three riding modes, made possible by a ride-by-wire throttle. These sit alongside a full suite of electronics, including eight-stage traction control, which can be personalised in each riding mode.
There's also a new exhaust system, which is ultra-compact yet still creates a decent bark as the revs rise. The exhaust manifold sits more directly under the engine, too, improving mass centralisation. What's more, the Monster’s new hydraulic clutch, combined with a standard fitment quickshifter makes gear-changes seamless, so you can make the most of the power and torque.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled 4v V-twin|
|Frame type||Aluminum front frame|
|Fuel capacity||14 litres|
|Front suspension||43mm USD, non-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Monoshock, adjustable for pre-load|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm discs, four-piston calipers|
|Rear brake||Single 245mm disc, twin-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||-|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||109 bhp|
|Max torque||69 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
2020: Ducati Monster launched - replacing the 797 and 821 to become the first Monster model since its 1993 launch not to feature a trellis frame.
The Ducati Monster is available in two models - standard and a more expensive '+', which gets a small screen and rear seat cover as standard.
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI MONSTER 937 (2021 - on)
1 owner has reviewed their DUCATI MONSTER 937 (2021 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
Version: Monster +
Amazing bike, so light and power everywhere
Feels awesome, strong breaks, suspension good even for a stock non adjustable suspension.
So flexible, power everywhere. I can't understand why anyone would need quicker
Brand new hard to say yet
Great standard features. Misses cruise control but I'm not too bothered.
Buying experience: Excellent from Ducati Preston