Say it ain’t so!

What’s a Harley-Davidson bagger without a big v-twin? What’s a BMW R 1250 GS without telelever suspension? What’s a Ducati Monster without a trellis frame? We may just find out in the coming months—if new renders of the next-gen street fighter hold any water. While Ducati hasn’t confirmed the legitimacy of the design, the well-circulated images practically confirm spy shots from July and only fueling speculation of the model’s future direction.

Since its introduction in 1993, the Monster’s beautiful tubular steel chassis has been the model’s identifying characteristic. Like the diamond headlight on a GSX-R1000 or the bug-eyed front end of the Speed Triple, many recognize the Bologna naked bike’s modern yet classic styling. Despite the trellis frame’s timeless design, the steel construction doesn’t do the Monster any favors in the weight department.

Ducati Monster - No Trellis

Along with weight-savings, updating the chassis to an aluminum alloy construction may reinvigorate the platform in a continually cluttered segment. With rivals like the Yamaha MT-09, Triumph Street Triple, and KTM 890 ever-pushing the middleweight market forward, the long in the tooth Monster 821 needs to evolve to stay competitive. Ducati’s legendary bike has been shaping the naked market for the past 27 years and the market may be shaping the Monster now.

The question is: will losing its distinct design element turn the faithful away or turn new customers on to the iconic street fighter? If the new frame delivers better handling and stability, will that be enough to overcome a more conformist form? Only the market can answer these questions in time, but Ducati can confirm or deny these images now. Along with the spy shots, it’s almost a given that the Monster will gain a new skeleton in 2021.