The Ducati Monster underwent a full-fledged transformation in 2021. Shedding its iconic trellis frame in favor of a Panigale V4-inspired monocoque unit, the made-over Monster found a new sense of lightness and rigidity. The Bologna engineers didn’t stop there either. The naked bike also adopted the firm’s trusty 937cc Testastretta V-twin and Panigale-derived electronics.
Despite those technical upgrades, many longtime fans believed Ducati traded in the Monster’s curb appeal for mass appeal. That’s not the case with the 2023 Monster SP. Except, this Monster’s appeal has to do with track curbing.
Gallery: 2023 Ducati Monster SP
The firm’s liquid-cooled, 11-degree Testastretta engine still beats at the heart of the Monster’s lightweight monocoque frame, pumping out 111 horses and 69 lb-ft of torque. Ducati surrounds those core components with top-shelf suspension and brakes to make the fabled naked bike more agile than ever.
The Öhlins NIX30 fork and rear shock offer full adjustability for both canyon carving and time attacks. The new suspension setup also increases ground clearance and lean angle, but only modestly raises the seat to 33.1 inches from the ground. Height and tuneability aren’t Öhlins’ only tricks. The SP’s front end also saves 1.3 pounds compared to the base model and the Monster +’s non-adjustable unit.
The mighty middleweight probably won’t break any land-speed records, but a pair of Brembo Stylema calipers put the utmost stopping power at the pilot’s fingertips. The superbike-worthy, four-pot clampers bite down on a set of 320mm rotors with sintered pads. Aluminum brake disc flanges save precious grams, lowering the unsprung mass for improved braking and snappier handling. Including the trim-specific lithium battery and Termignoni exhaust, the SP saves 4.4 pounds on the standard Monster.
To accommodate all that up-spec hardware, Ducati refines the SP’s software, including a new Wet Riding Mode. Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso IV tire performs admirably on the streets and on the circuit, while a steering damper stabilizes the ride. Of course, the Monster SP has to dress the part too, and Ducati adorns the model in a livery inspired by its Factory MotoGP team.
Ready for the roadway and the raceway, the 2023 Monster SP will storm into Ducati dealers in February, 2022, with a starting price of $15,595.