Meet the new Ducati Monster. While the Panigale superbikes get all the attention, the Monster is the one us mere mortals have a chance of affording and riding with some aplomb. It’s the Cayman GTS to the GT2 RS; a fair heap of the excitement, much less chance of getting hurt.
The Monster name has been around since 1993, and with 350,000 sold since, it’s Ducati’s most popular model. But this is perhaps the biggest revolution of its lifetime.
Its instantly recognisable trellis frame has gone, rigidity now coming from the engine being bolted directly to the bike’s frame. It’s an astonishing 60 per cent lighter than the trellis setup, one of a number of weight-saving measures that sees 18kg shaved from the old Monster, the new one coming in at 166kg dry.
That’s despite its new, larger engine, a 937cc twin replacing the old 821cc unit. It produces 110bhp at 9,250rpm, which is VW Up GTI power (at 911 GT3 revs) in something weighing about 85 per cent less. Yikes.
There’s more tech than before, too. A quickshifter now comes as standard, as do ABS, traction control and wheelie control, while you’ve a choice of Sport, Urban and Touring riding modes, toggled through a TFT screen.
The bike as a whole is pretty customisable to your needs. You can lower the seat and suspension, add a carbon exhaust silencer, or – if you’ve only got an A2 licence – choose a less powerful, 47bhp version.
In the UK, prices start at £10,295 (approx. RM56,334). Not bad, for a power-to-weight ratio akin to a £750,000 (RM4.1mil+) McLaren Senna’s…