Ducati has released a sportier, racing-inspired evolution of the Monster called SP. Positioned at the top of the Monster lineup, the new variant features a specific design that echoes the company's MotoGP racers and a number of track-ready chassis upgrades.
Instead of dialing in more power, Ducati engineers focused on making the Monster SP sharper to ride. The adjustable Öhlins suspension system includes a fork that's 1.3 pounds lighter than the Monster's, a reduction that increases the lean angle, and the braking system gains Brembo Stylema calipers that grip lighter rotors, which improves braking and reduces inertia at the front end. Ducati also added a steering damper to make the Monster SP more stable during acceleration and cornering and recalibrated the riding modes (the Wet mode is new).
The list of electronic riding aids includes ABS Cornering, traction control, and wheelie control — all of these functions can be adjusted by the rider to suit different experience levels and riding conditions. Launch control and a lithium-ion battery are part of the package as well.
Power comes from a 937-cubic-centimeter V-twin engine, which develops 111 horsepower at 9,250 rpm and 69 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. Those figures are unchanged from the standard Monster, and they're impressive considering the SP has a 410-pound curb weight. The drivetrain differences between the two bikes start when the combustion ends: The Testastretta engine exhales through an exhaust system that includes a pair of homologated Termignoni silencers. Ducati hasn't published performance specifications, but the power-to-weight ratio suggests the Monster SP is as quick as it sounds. Power reaches the rear wheel via a six-speed gearbox with a Quick-Shift feature.
Visually, the SP stands out from the standard Monster with a gold-colored fork, a black and red livery similar to the one worn by Ducati's Desmosedici GP racer, and "Monster SP" decals. The rider faces a 4.3-inch thin-film-transistor (TFT) screen with racing graphics.
Ducati dealers across the nation will begin receiving the Monster SP in February 2023; Canadian riders will need to wait until March 2023. Pricing starts at $15,595 excluding destination. In comparison, the standard Monster carries a base price of $12,695.