Air-Cooled Engines Returning to the Ducati Monster Line

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Ducati’s 2017 line seems to be getting the full monty this week, with yet again more spy photos emerging of the Italian company’s upcoming motorcycles. Today’s installment sees us looking at the Ducati Monster line, which appears to be getting a third variant for 2017.

As you can see from the photo above, the Ducati Monster lineup will see the addition of an air-cooled model, likely one that shares the same 803cc lump that is found in the Ducati Scrambler.

This so-called Ducati Monster 803 will slot in below the other Monster models, which will likely include a Ducati Monster 939 and an updated Ducati Monster 1200.

Since the debut of the Hypermotard 939 last year, it’s been an almost certainty that the punched out 937cc liquid-cooled engine would find its way into the Ducati Monster for the 2017 model year.

But as we saw with the Ducati 959 Panigale, that upward trend in displacement can leave a vaccuum in Ducati’s lineup. To fix that problem, Ducati seems to have looked backwards in its offering, and adapted the old air-cooled two-valve engine for Monster duty, once again.

Unlike the Ducati Monster 796 of yore, we can expect this Ducati Monster 803 to make closer to 70hp (the Scrambler’s power figure), rather than the 87hp the Monster 796 was rated at – this is due to the new Euro4 regulations, which have been all but the death of air-cooled engines throughout the motorcycle industry.

With that sort of power difference at play though, Ducati should have some nice stratification in its Monster lineup based on horsepower. We also expect there to be a nice price gap between the Monster 803 and Monster 939, which should help add some affordability back into Ducati’s offerings.

The Italian brand has been engaging younger and newer riders into its brand, but has also see its overall average MSRP slowly rise over the past few years. Models like the Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 and this new Ducati Monster 803, are aimed at hitting price-point riders who want one of these iconic machines.

Expect to see the Ducati Monster 803 drop at this year’s EICMA show in Milan, in just a few months’ time. In the meantime, stay tuned to Asphalt & Rubber, because we have more 2017 Ducati news still to come.

Photo: © 2016 BMH-Images — All Rights Reserved