Over its 25-year history and numerous displacements, variations and colors, the Ducati Monster has been an icon of style and performance. All but launching the naked bike movement in the early ‘90s, the Monster has evolved and matured but it has never strayed from its original design concept. Every model has retained the timeless, signature look—solo headlight, exposed trellis frame, stance like a bulldog—but they’ve been tastefully updated with fresh lines and imbued with new technology.
For 2018, Ducati’s Il Mostro lineup includes five models: the air-cooled Monster 797+, three versions of the Monster 1200 (standard, S and R) and the updated Monster 821.
Three years after its 2015 introduction, the Monster 821 gets a styling refresh that puts it more in line with the Monster 1200—a more streamlined profile, a sculpted tank and tail, a redesigned muffler and headlight, and a new full-color TFT display.
Perhaps due to Euro4 compliance restrictions, claimed output from the liquid-cooled, 821cc Testastretta 11-degree L-twin is down a bit from the previous model, with a claimed maximum of 109 horsepower at 9,250 rpm (down from 112) and 63.4 lb-ft of torque at 7,750 rpm (down from 65.9). As before, the Monster 821 is equipped with throttle-by-wire and three riding modes—Sport, Touring and Urban—that automatically adjust throttle response, engine output, traction control intervention and ABS sensitivity. Power is sent to the rear wheel through an assist-and-slipper clutch, a 6-speed transmission and chain final drive.
Ducati’s signature tubular-steel trellis frame is mated to a double-sided cast aluminum swingarm. Suspension is handled by a nonadjustable 43mm upside-down Kayaba fork and an adjustable Sachs shock, and a pair of 320mm front discs squeezed by Brembo M4-32 Monobloc radial calipers do most of the braking. Cast wheels are 17-inchers shod with Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tires.
The Monster 821 has an adjustable seat height (30.9/31.9 inches), 4.4-gallon fuel capacity and 454-pound curb weight (claimed). A passenger seat cowl is standard equipment, and the bike can be fitted with an optional up/down quickshifter.
As an homage to the original Monster, the 821 comes in three classic colors: Ducati Red, Black and old-school Ducati Yellow. Pricing starts at $11,995. Look for our first ride review in the near future.