Look, frame and engine; the most iconic of European roadsters changes everything. Test of the new Ducati Monster, model accessible to the A2 license.
Some would say that he is reneging on his principles. Others he should have done earlier. Because the sales of the Monster, this famous roadster born in 1993 and remodeled several times, gradually collapsed.
so here’s the 2021 vintage, which abandons its trellis framework steel, but begins a slimming cure. The transalpine leaves 18 kg in the garage and, this is new, handles like a bicycle.
For the first time in its history, this Bolognese can turn around in a street without forcing its driver to put his foot on the ground. A feat! This maneuverability, very appreciable and obtained througha reduced turning radius, is also accompanied by an easy handling.
The narrowness of the bike and its size give the impression of stepping over a twig. Not to mention that the saddle height (going from 820 to 800 mm by adjusting the position) even allows small riders to feel comfortable, and that the handlebars, close to the bust, require you to stand fairly straight.
And there is no longer even a mechanical element or any tube to disturb the well-being! Clear, the position, rather natural, is ideal for an urban universe, even if it means taking a full quiche on the fast lanes …
This profoundly improved accessibility could raise fears of the worst as to the character of this roadster. But no: it is indeed an Italian, those who stand up on your hair and give you a smile under the helmet.
It starts from the start, with a hoarse, pleasant and charismatic sound as Ducati knows how to do. This is amplified from the first turns of the wheels, when the 937 cm3 bangs and seems to growl at you, under the pretext that you are under-dieting! It would almost be an “institutional defect”, to remind you of your good memories as a “ducatist”…
However, it suffices to resume the hydraulically controlled clutch, which has become very flexible, or even to engage Urban mode to gain a little availability.
This Monster is not as accommodating as some Japanese engines capable of resuming from the lowest revs, but it shows an extra soul and an entertaining character. Especially since its “carrier” engine exposes the extent of its potential throughout the graduations.
Lively but not nasty up to 6000 rpm, high-sounding and more explosive beyond, with a nice extension until the approach of the red zone. And to get involved mechanically, nothing likean efficient shifter, proving that speed in dynamic driving is not incompatible with certain smoothness in town.
Downshifting, pressing the selector is also accompanied by a small explosion in the exhaust, insufficient to disturb the neighborhood, but welcome to move under the helmet.
Technically, this Testrastretta twin is a success in its 111 hp version, with excellent performance. Note that it is available also in A2 version.
The Italian takes advantage of its featherweight (188 kg all full) to be easy and dynamic. Course corrections, placement and angle setting are done without thinking, even in fast sequences.
And the braking deserves nothing but praise. The Monster is agile, but a little slick: the whole seems very rigid, a little too firm on the unevenness.
The novelty also arrives with an electronic paraphernalia very up to date. In addition to three configurable driving modes, the ABS is adjustable on three levels, the traction control adjusts in eight stages (and is deactivated), as is the anti-wheeling.
There is even a launch control, to ensure a podium at the next traffic light. Or on the terrace of a bar which has just raised its curtain. And the exhibition of this new Bolognese will inevitably lead to the debate: can a Monster be a “Monster” without a tubular frame? Vast debate. In any case, that does not prevent him from being very nice …
Ducati Monster test: our opinion
Completely redesigned, the Ducati roadster has lost some of its charisma. But he is still very charming, efficient and, in some ways, “hairy”. In addition, it has become easier to handle and less demanding. What to compete with dignity a Triumph Street Triple.
- Ease of handling
- Maneuverability and equipment
- Mechanical character
We like less
- Firm comfort
- Classic aesthetics
- Menu accessibility while driving
Ducati Monster 2021: technical sheet
- Engine: L-2-cylinder, 8-valve, liquid-cooled, 937cc3
- Power (hp @ rpm): 111 to 9,250
- Torque (Nm at rpm): 93 to 6500
- Weight (kg): 188
- Height of cell (mm): 820
- Tank (l): 14
- Price: from 11,290 €
* manufacturer data
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