2021 Ducati Monster review | The trellis frame may be gone, but the Monster's DNA can still be felt


  • 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: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £360
Power: 109 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.3 in / 820 mm)
Weight: Low (366 lbs / 166 kg)


New £11,295
Used £8,300 - £9,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Review by guest contributor Stefano Cordara

When the Ducati Monster naked motorbike first hit the streets way back in 1993, with its sinuous tank and pokey twin-cylinder engine, no-one realised just what an impact this naked motorbike 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.

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, but the 2023 Ducati Monster SP has addressed this issue.

Watch: Ducati Monster video review

Bike Magazine editor Mike Armitage is your guide for this in-depth video guide to the 2021 Ducati Monster.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

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.

Riding the 2021 Ducati Monster

The new Ducati 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.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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 sports tourer, 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.

The Ducati Monster's engine is a peach

That 18kg weight saving is apparent out on the road. While power is similar to the old Ducati 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 quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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, Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati 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.

The build quality is typically high for Ducati who are happy to concentrate on the upper end of the motorcycle market. Gone are the days of the Monster being a parts bin special to save an ailing brand - everything on the new bike feels deliberate and well-thought out.

Our Ducati Monster owners' reviews show nothing whatsoever to be concerned about.

A side view of the 2021 Ducati Monster

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Ducati have moved the Monster on without ripping up its DNA and losing that little piece of Italian magic. While the old Ducati Monster 797 and Ducati Monster 821 have been dropped from the range, Ducati are listing the Monster 1200 and Monster 1200 S as current models (with Ducati Monster UK 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.

Ducati Monster price vs rivals

Available in two flavours: a £10,895 standard model and £11,195 '+' (which gets a small screen and rear seat cover as standard) it’s now more eager and has been brought bang up to date. However, by 2023 its price has increased to £11,295 for the standard bike and £11,595 for the Plus.

There are plenty of other naked middleweights on the market to consider. If you want to save £300 you can pick the standard Aprilia Tuono 660 (£9700) over the Factory model, but this seems a bit like a false economy as you are getting lower-spec suspension and a marginally less powerful motor for very little saving.

This is the first Ducati Monster without a trellis chassis

KTM’s 890 Duke (£10,049) costs £1000 less than the R version and drops 5bhp and 5lb.ft of torque from its motor while having lower-spec WP suspension and lacking Brembo calipers. Interestingly, the stock Duke comes with an up/down quickshifter as standard, something that is a £361.51 accessory on the R.

There is only one Monster model (£11,051), however Ducati sell a Monster Plus for £300 extra, which is just a Monster with a small screen and pillion seat cover, both of which can be bought as accessories for £159.74 and £164.74 respectively.

Yamaha’s MT-09 SP (£10,650) is a genuine rival in terms of tech and the SP version adds better suspension including an Öhlins shock as well as a few other trinkets and unique paint scheme over the stock MT-09 – and costs £9400.

The Ducati Monster is new for 2021

Honda now have the ultimate budget middleweight CB750 Hornet parallel-twin and Kawasaki have the Z900 SE (£11,299) which adds an Öhlins shock and higher-spec forks alongside Brembos to the stock Z900 (£9699).

Suzuki’s GSX-S950 (£10,299) is a bit disappointing in terms of its power, spec and electronics and doesn’t sell very well as a result and despite being comparable on price, the Suzuki GSX-S1000 (£11,199) is more a super naked as it is heavier than our naked middleweights.

BMW’s overlooked F900R (from £8675) may have a low starting point in terms of its price, but when you spec it up this changes quite quickly and it is easy to spend over £10,000 on one.

Ducati Monster vs KTM 890 Duke R vs Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory

Additional words by Jon Urry

Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory, Ducati Monster and KTM 890 Duke R parked in a row

Tipping over the £10,000 barrier (which is always a milestone in a buyer’s mind) the Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory, Ducati Monster and KTM 890 Duke R don't represent the budget end of the middleweight market – especially the Ducati and KTM which both start at just over £11,000. What do you get for the extra cash? Bikes that both look and handle a step ahead of their more budget-conscious siblings.

In some ways it feels a bit cruel lining the 659cc Tuono up against its bigger capacity rivals – it’s always going to lose out in terms of outright  performance. But by saddling it with that £10k price, Aprilia have fired it into the same ballpark as the Ducati and KTM… which seems like a mistake.  

The more you ride the Tuono the more you warm to it and it is undeniably an excellent middleweight but Aprilia have missed a trick. A ‘Factory’ Aprilia model should be special and this one isn’t – where are the Öhlins suspension, lightweight wheels, etc? Aprilia have sold it short and charging just £300 more over the base one shows a lack of effort.

Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory, Ducati Monster and KTM 890 Duke R on the road

If it was £1300 more and had a bit more capacity (which is what KTM did with Duke R over the old 790 Duke) and flash suspension it would be a proper Factory model and would have run its rivals far closer. But it hasn’t and that’s why ultimately it loses out to them.

Riding the KTM in ‘Sport’ mode alone will leave you frustrated as it is too aggressive, making it unpleasant and needy. A change of mode transformed the bike. Yes, it’s still very sporty, but that’s what you get with a KTM and firm seat aside is a stunning naked. 

But if you want a bike that is fun to ride and brimming with character, the Monster is our pick. It manages to do everything well and with very few irritations.

Ducati Monster on UK B-road


5 out of 5 (5/5)

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.

Ducati Monster TFT screen

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.

As ever, there's a huge selection of Ducati Monster accessories available to buyers. Choose from exhausts, bodywork, a trio of colours, a lowered seat, luggage and plenty more.


Engine size 937cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled 4v V-twin
Frame type Aluminum front frame
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 166kg
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 £117
Annual service cost £360
New price £11,295
Used price £8,300 - £9,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 109 bhp
Max torque 69 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2020: Bike launched - replacing the 797 and 821 to become the first Monster model since its 1993 launch not to feature a trellis frame.
  • 2023: Price hike to £11,295

Other versions

It is available in two models - standard and a more expensive 'Ducati Monster+', which gets a small screen and rear seat cover as standard.

Owners' reviews for the DUCATI MONSTER 937 (2021 - on)

11 owners have 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.

Review your DUCATI MONSTER 937 (2021 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Equipment: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £360
5 out of 5 Bellissima
09 January 2024 by Dan Day

Version: Plus

Year: 2022

Annual servicing cost: £213

My 1st big bike after passing my test in 2022 and its given me 18 months of grins and excitement and >5000 trouble-free miles.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

It feels light and agile which makes it a joy to ride along fast A and B roads, but its also easy to ride around town at low speeds.The seat and the bike itself are narrow near the tank, which will be an advantage if you’re a shorter rider, as it should make it easier to get your feet flat(er) on the ground. Also the low weight and lack of ‘top-heavy’ feel makes it feel more confidence inspiring than a taller/heavier bike.I’m a smidge under 6 foot tall and ~80 Kg and it fits me like a glove. It feels like you’re sat in it, rather than on it, which I really like. Initially I thought the pegs were a bit high, so I feel like I’m squatting rather than being sat upright, but its surprisingly comfortable despite this, and the semi-sporty position means you feel relaxed when just cruising or pootling about, and you can quickly shift to a more aggressive position if you want to channel your inner Bagnaia.It copes well with Bristol and Somerset’s ever increasingly pot-holed roads.The pillion riding position is surprisingly good, despite the modest seat size. I’ve been informed that its more comfortable than being on the back of my Scrambler Icon.There does seem to be some vibration through the handlebars.It’s not much fun on motorways due to wind buffeting, but its a naked bike, so this is to be expected.The seat is comfortable but I find that after about 2 hours of riding I get a bit of ‘numb bum’, so I need to stop and stretch my legs, but this tends to coincide with the the ‘low fuel’ light coming on, so its usually time to fuel up anyway.Brakes are very good, just warn your pillion how good they are before you start a ride, otherwise they’ll be constantly bumping into the back of your helmet.

Engine 5 out of 5

Unless you’re a track day veteran or a hooligan, it has more performance than you’ll ever need.Overtaking is a delight and the engine noise, oh the engine noise! (NB - standard exhaust cans, not Termis).But its not a super aggressive beastie that wants to be revved hard all the time (say, like a KTM), instead its docile at low speeds, and when you want to crack on it’ll pull like a train.The engine sounds ‘clattery’ at low revs - I think think this is just a characteristic of the Desmodromic valves and is normal (my pillion described it as sounding like a “bag of hammers” which I thought was a little unfair).

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

There are no exposed wires to be found anywhere and every component looks to be well designed, manufactured and put together.The handlebar levers and switches ooze quality, they have a solid feel and are perfectly positioned.The only reliability issue was picked up during the 1st annual service: the front discs had warped and were replaced under warranty, but I hadn’t noticed any degradation in performance.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Annual Servicing costs: £255 - Initial 1000km / 622 miles service (2022) £213 - Annual service (2023) I’d say it’s good value considering the build quality, looks and performance.It maybe a bit pricier than its rivals, but I suspect the residual value will offset this a little.Plus there’s that feeling you get when you go in the garage and there’s this beautiful object standing there waiting to be ridden and you know you’ll be smiling all the way - I don’t think I’d get the same feeling from a KTM, Yamaha or a Triumph.Fuel economy is good (~56 mpg).

Equipment 5 out of 5

Despite its modest size, the dash is clear, easy to read and gives you all the info. you need. In dark conditions it switches from a white background to black, so again easy to read at various light levels.Handlebar switches aren’t backlit, but I don’t ride much at night, so not a problem for me.The quickshifter/auto-blipper work flawlessly, but if you try to shift from 1st to 2nd at less than ~3000rpm, the bike will lurch forward.I’ve had the Ducati heated grips fitted and they’re pretty effective, although they can’t do anything to reduce wind blast on your knuckles on really cold days.The fuel tank could be bigger - the warning light comes on super early, just after the gauge dips below the halfway point, which gives an indicated ~45 miles range remaining, so there should be plenty of time to find a petrol station.There are limited options to fit pannier racks and the ones I’ve seen attach to the rear foot pegs and look silly, so I use a Kriega US-40 Rackpack. NB - don’t make the same mistake I did and try to combine this with wearing a rucksack, because you’ll have to crouch forward which is uncomfortable.

Buying experience: Bought from Riders of Bristol (UK) who have been great so far.

5 out of 5 Love this bike
13 October 2023 by DucMonsterHTown

Version: +

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £1,200

The bike is light and nimble with plenty of power. The suspension is good, but needed to be adjusted as I fall outside of the "typical italian".

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Once the springs were right ride quality was great. The bike handles like a dream and is so light you can really push it into the corners. The brakes will stop on a dime, just make sure you are ready.

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No issues.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

I daily my bike and ride it hard when i gey the chance, so in year 1. 2 sets of tires (not included in cost) Replaced the front and rear springs to get it setup correctly.($300) 2 oil changes. Initial oil change was $600 at the dealer and the second was $300. Dealer prices at least in the US have gotten really high.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The electronics are great. The one thing they missed is a cruise control option. I take this bike on long trips because I love to ride it. That is the one feature I wish it had for long straight roads.

Buying experience: Dealer freight, setup was almost $1800. I feel like this is fairly high, but I bought at the beginning of the riding season and it was brand new.

5 out of 5 Monster magic 937+
15 February 2023 by Ducati nige

Version: Plus

Year: 2022

Annual servicing cost: £175

Best road I’ve owned

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Great handling and more than enough power for road riding

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Termignonis are a superb addition. Transforms the bike

Buying experience: Purchased fro Ducati Manchester on PCP contract. £156 per month ( incl £2250 of extras)

5 out of 5 Amazing bike. Highly recommended
07 November 2022 by Ayad

Version: Standard, Aviator Grey

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £100

Agile, Fun to ride, light

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Excellent. Commuting to work on a daily basis (around 50 km). The bike runs hot, that's the only complaint I have (reaches 100 to 101 C in traffic). Otherwise, it is super responsive and super dynamic. I can go from 90km/h to 120km/h quickly while I'm in 5th gear. It is also a safe back. No surprises, very responsive, excellent brakes.

Engine 5 out of 5

Excellent. Love the sound of the engine. Runs hot, but I won't penalise for that.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

9000 km and no issue to report. Knock on wood. Build quality is excellent and solid. Regular maintenance is far and between (first one at 1000 km, where they tweak your bike and it becomes more powerful) second one at 15000km or one year after the 1st one.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Low maintaining cost

Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: I bought the bike from a Ducati dealer. In my country, the bike is much more expensive than the price of the same bike in Europe. Everything is more expensive here.

5 out of 5 Perfect urban machine
07 November 2022 by Keon

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £350

Does everything I need it to and has never let me down

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Suspension is extremely predictable and has never felt unstable even riding over large bumps on rough Chicago roads.

Engine 5 out of 5

Torque everywhere and power really comes on after 7k rpm.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

10k miles and absolutely nothing has had to be done except the break in/annual service, chain maintenance and a rear tire replacement after a puncture.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Roughly the cost of the annual maintenance, which should be all you need. Tire wear has been shockingly low with my original set of front tires still showing decent amount of life after 10k miles. Rears also had maybe 40% life left when I punctured them on a nail at 7k miles. Probably a result of the low weight of the bike(~415lbs)/myself(160lbs with gear), half my rides taking place in the cooler months (only stored my bike Jan-March, ~100mi weekly commute other months in Chicago), and a relatively smooth riding style (of course I occasionally squid but I always roll on throttle and brake).

Equipment 4 out of 5

Heated grips and rebound/compression adjustable shocks should have come standard. That being said, the stock shocks are tuned extremely well.

Buying experience: Paid MSRP at dealer. I was lucky to get one new that was on the way to their storage facility. Only needed to wait two days back in July 2021.

5 out of 5
24 June 2022 by Georgios kovoulis

Version: Plus

Year: 2021

Agile,powerfull great all day bike

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Looks that entice and a ride that delivers.
18 December 2021 by Peter

Version: Monster plus 2022

Year: 2021

Looks, performance, rideability, technical features, build quality. It’s tops and doesn’t disappoint.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Great brakes and suspension setup very good, Highway expansion joints will rock you, however. Comfortable ergonomics and seating.

Engine 5 out of 5

Versatile and characterful.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Shouldn’t be bad

Equipment 5 out of 5

Latest evolution of the 937 smoother and has qualities that reveal themselves with use. Great match.

5 out of 5 Monster mania
15 October 2021 by Rooster

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £150

Awsom bike u feel ur rideing a 250cc bike until u unlease the power bike feels light an small for the power that engine put out brilliant..

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

Like rideing something on steriouds..

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

150 for first service knly just put 600 miles on it nxt service around 7or 8 thousand .

Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Dealer waited 5 months for the bike to arive brand new but boy was it well worth the wait..

5 out of 5 gr8
05 August 2021 by tand

Version: monster+ 2021

Year: 2021

what a bike can't fault it Worcester Ducati great people to deal with .

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

see how it ages

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Amazing
21 June 2021 by Shaun

Version: Monster +

Year: 2021

Lightweight, Power everywhere.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Feels strong with good feedback

Engine 5 out of 5

Love it

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Only 600 miles but feels solid

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Quite cheap for Sweden

Equipment 4 out of 5

Would be nice to have cruise control

Buying experience: Local dealer. Not particularly good. The Monsters leave the showrooms as soon as they arrive. Paid full price.

5 out of 5 Simple the best! What a machine
06 June 2021 by Andrew Dugdale

Version: Monster +

Year: 2021

Amazing bike, so light and power everywhere

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Feels awesome, strong breaks, suspension good even for a stock non adjustable suspension.

Engine 5 out of 5

So flexible, power everywhere. I can't understand why anyone would need quicker

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Brand new hard to say yet

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Great standard features. Misses cruise control but I'm not too bothered.

Buying experience: Excellent from Ducati Preston

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