This spring Godzilla took on King Kong, and it was a massive snooze fest bummer of a movie. If you want to see a real monster, you’ve really got to look to Italy. Ducati has the summer blockbuster of a bike that everyone has been looking forward to. The new lightweight Monster ditches the steel trellis frame it has come to be known for in an effort to redefine itself to retake the street naked competition crown.
With 109 horsepower and 63 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Monster is already exciting, but add in that this new chassis is almost 40 pounds lighter than the bike it replaces (now under 400 pounds) and it’s all but guaranteed to be a winner right out of the gate. Can it hang with something like Yamaha’s MT-09 or Triumph’s Street Triple? Is it a good daily ride bike? With a Panigale-based front subframe, is this more street or track oriented? I have a lot of my own questions already!
The Monster got some serious specs for a middle-weight naked, so I’m really excited to get in the saddle of this thing. This week Ducati has invited me to ride the new bike — arguably its most important new bike since the Scrambler launched in 2015 — in San Francisco. Being that the city is among the most grueling commutes in the country, bordered to the north and south by some of the most exciting riding roads in the world, this should be a great test of the bike’s capabilities. It also bodes well for Ducati’s confidence in the bike.
The new Monster comes standard with Ducati’s exquisite quick shifter, launch control, ABS cornering, traction control and wheelie control, three riding modes (sport, urban, and touring), a 4.3" tft color display, LED lighting, self-cancelling turn signals, and a USB plug for $11,895. If you want a small flyscreen on the front of the bike, and a monoposto seating configuration, you can pony up $12,195 for the Monster+. As far as I can tell that’s all you get for the + moniker. You can also choose to get your bike in Aviator Grey with bright red wheels, or Ducati-favorite matte black with black wheels, both of which run a $200 premium over Ducati Red.
I’m going to miss the trellis frame, but if this bike is as good as it looks on paper, I probably won’t miss it for long. So now’s your chance, what do you want to know about it?