Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you to decide, but what’s irrefutable is that the numbers look extremely healthy: 111hp at 9,250rpm, 93nm at 6,500rpm and 166kg dry are promising and more so when you learn that it’s a full 18kg lighter than the outgoing Monster 821. Ducati has gone all Colin Chapman and added lightness by changing the chassis, shaving mass out of the engine, as well as altering the wheels and suspension. It only takes lifting it off the side stand to feel it; it’s astoundingly light on its feet. Naturally, it’s chock full of every ride-aiding electronic gizmo you could ever want, all of which comes as standard, including an up-down quickshifter.
Around town, what Ducati has taken away in weight makes for a ridiculously friendly ride. It’s easy to manoeuvre around and between other vehicles and obstacles thanks to a vastly increased steering angle and, paired with a very light clutch, indicators that cancel themselves and welcoming ergonomics, you’re free to just get on with making progress. Potholes, seams and imperfections in tarmac are vanquished by a very soft initial stroke through the forks and shock, and there are no sharp edges to work around on the throttle either. The cockpit has been shortened by 70mm, the footpeg height is judged to perfection and the stand-over width has been slimmed as much as possible to help you get both feet on the deck. The mirrors aren’t brilliant though, and occasionally you’ll be wishing for a half gear between 20 and 30mph, but it’s easily forgivable under the age-old guise of character. Still, the Monster doesn’t ever feel like hard work in this setting, so as far as hacking across cities goes, it’s got that part of the brief nailed.