Ducati shed weight and ditch trellis frame for 2021 Monster
Meet the 2021 Ducati Monster – the Bologna firm’s latest and greatest middleweight performance naked and the first model in the Monster family without a trellis chassis since the range was revealed in 1993.
- Related: 2021 Ducati Monster review
Simply called the Monster, the new machine will supersede the existing 821 model and features new looks, more tech and a Panigale V4-inspired aluminium front frame that uses the engine as a stressed member.
Starting at £10,295, the bike looks to be all things to all riders, with just shy of 110bhp in standard trim from its 937cc Euro5-friendly V-Twin engine, a gentle seat height of 820mm (lowerable to as little as 775mm) and an additional A2-compliant model also available. Weighing just 166kg dry and presenting a claimed thin stance, it could be the ideal introduction to the Italian brand for new riders, whilst also promising sporting thrills for the more experienced pilot. Those wanting a little extra bling can also opt for a £10,545 ‘Plus’ model, which gets a small screen and rear seat cover as standard.
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Delving further into the frame's design, the new bike’s aluminium design is based on Ducati’s latest superbikes and bolts directly to the head of the engine - shedding 4.5kg over the Monster 821’s trellis set-up in the process. The weight-saving doesn’t stop there, either; with a new aluminium swingarm also slashing 1.6kg and a Glass Fibre Polymer subframe/tail section also shedding some timber.
As a result, the bike is a claimed 188kg in running order – 18kg less than the existing 821. This figure has also been achieved by weight loss in other areas of the bike, too – including a further 2.4kg within the engine. Away from lightness and sticking with the chassis, the steering head angle has been increased by seven degrees, which is claimed to improve manoeuvrability at low speed.
This manageable nature is then taken a step further with the revised riding position, which is claimed to be more relaxed than before. The handlebars are now 70mm closer to the rider and more upright, with pegs lowered by 10mm. This equates to a roomier, less wristy riding experience and suggests the Monster is designed to be more at home around town and on a sweeping B-road, than it is scratching on track.
That’s not to say that the Monster has no sporting credentials though – far from it – and on top of a gentle performance increase of around 2bhp, a peak torque of 68.6lb.ft (up by 5.1lb.ft) is now also achieved 1250rpm earlier at 6500rpm, meaning more punch off of every corner. As well as this, reliability and running costs also look good; with oil services needed every 15,000km (around 9320 miles) and valve inspections required every 30,000km (around 18,640 miles).
Away from the top trump stats, riders can also opt between three riding modes, thanks to the inclusion of a ride-by-wire throttle. These sit alongside a full suite of electronics, including eight-stage traction control, which can be personalised from their set level in each riding mode. There’s also a launch control system and anti-wheelie, which can be adjusted independently of other settings. All of this is controlled via a 4.3” colour TFT dash and an up and down quickshifter comes as standards.
Moving back to the new modes, the most aggressive of these is Sport, which delivers full power and reduced traction control, ABS and wheelie control intervention. This is followed by Touring mode, which again offers full power, but with a more progressive delivery. There’s also more traction, ABS and wheelie control, to ensure a more relaxed experience for making progress, rather than erratic thrills. Last up is Urban, which serves up around 75bhp of shove with a progressive throttle response. As you would expect, electronic controls are at their most intrusive in this layout.
Away from gadgetry, the bike rolls on a set of non-adjustable 43mm upside down forks, plus a preload adjustable rear shock. It’s also shod with Pirelli Rosso 3 tyres and features dual Brembo monobloc four-piston front brake calipers, with cornering ABS at the front and rear.
Alongside new tech there is obviously new styling, which takes a step away from more traditional Monster looks and shares more than a passing resemblance to mid-sized MV Agusta Brutales up front. To go with the fresh style, there is full LED lighting, plus ‘swiping’ wrap-around indicators at the base of the tank.
Keep an eye on Motorcycle News for more updates on the bike, including pricing and availability, plus a full review coming soon.
Next Ducati Monster 821 incoming - but the steel trellis frame may not be...
First published 11 September 2020 by Jordan Gibbons
Sources have revealed that an all-new Ducati Monster 821 is in the works, and it could be the first Monster without a steel trellis frame.
Spyshots of what appeared to be a Monster with an alloy frame appeared some months back but at the time it was unclear what Ducati were working on. Now these sketches suggest Ducati are aiming for the competitive middleweight market against the likes of the KTM 790 Duke, Triumph Street Triple and Yamaha MT-09. One thing’s for sure though, not only does the alloy frame bring a bit of Panigale V4 cool, it should also bring with it a substantial weight saving.
Again there’s nothing official from Ducati but we’d expect to see this before the year end and we imagine Ducati will want to keep it around its current price of £9995.