Ducati reveal lighter and more focussed Monster SP with electronic and suspension upgrades

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These are the first official pictures of Ducati’s new-for-2023, top-of-the-range Monster SP naked.

Released by the Italian marque in advance of its public unveiling at this year’s motorcycle trade shows, the pictures show an upgraded model intended to expand the Monster family to three bikes.

Standing for Sport Production, the SP joins the pre-existing 937cc Monster and Monster+ launched last year and is the traditional moniker Ducati gives to their more highly specced, lightweight, sporting model variants – as previously demonstrated by the likes of the 916, 1198, and Hypermotard.

Based on the current £10,895 Monster with its 111bhp 937cc liquid-cooled V-twin and lightweight aluminium twin beam frame, the Monster was already one of the liveliest and most nimble sub-1000cc nakeds available.

Now, the uprated, higher spec, sportier version with lighter components gives the Monster an even more dynamic ride.

Although the Monster’s heart – its engine – and frame, clocks and riding position are unchanged, virtually every other aspect of the SP is new, starting most obviously with a more aggressive paint job which incorporates the colours of the 2022 factory Ducati MotoGP bike.

There’s also a new red saddle to match, which neatly integrates with the tail, a Monster SP logo on the pillion seat cover and a larger Ducati logo on the tank, as inspired by the Panigale V4.

Suspension is now fully-adjustable, via top spec Öhlins at the front and rear. The inverted 43mm NIX30 forks have gold nitride sliders and are 0.6 kg lighter than the units found on the standard Monster, while the rear shock, also by Öhlins, is fully adjustable.

Brakes have been upgraded too with the adoption of Brembo Stylema radial callipers and 320mm discs with lightweight aluminium hangers, which are also claimed to be 0.5 kg lighter than before.

This is said to not only give more braking power and feel but also reduce steering and braking inertia.

Overall weight is then further reduced by the adoption of a lithium-ion battery, which brings the total saving to about 2kg – despite the addition of a new steering damper and small flyscreen.

Other extras include a smart new Termignoni silencer and more sporty Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV tyres.

The final upgrade is to the Monster’s electronics – although the SP’s cornering ABS and adjustable traction, wheelie and launch control are carried over from the standard bike.

Ducati says there’s been a recalibration of all its riding modes to optimise the chassis changes and there’s also the addition of a new wet riding mode, intended to offer greater safety in the rain.

The new SP is expected in dealers at the end of the year and a restricted A2-compliant version will also be available. Prices have yet to be announced.