Back in 1992, Miguel Galluzzi penned an icon: the Ducati Monster. Many people believed that this was the bike that saved Ducati from financial ruin. In 2005, Monsters accounted for over half of Ducati’s worldwide sales. Since then there have been many variants of the Monster. From an entry level 400cc all the way to the outrageous 1200cc we have today. But if you are not quite ready to strap 160hp to your loins, you will be well advised to take a long look at its smaller sibling: the Monster 821.
There are currently three Monster models available: The 797, the 821 and the 1200. For 2018, the Monster 821 got a few minor tweaks. Ducati wanted to pay homage to the first Monster, and for that, they dug up the old paint tin that the original Monster was painted with that very distinctive Ducati Yellow. To serve as a further reminder to the Monster of old, small details like a fastening clip on the tank was added.
Other changes include a new muffler to bring it in line with Euro 4 standards and a full colour TFT screen. The tank has been redesinged to match the look of the 1200, and in the process it lost one litre of capacity. The redesigned headlight has new LED daytime running lights, and at the other end of the bike, the tail has been sharpened up.
The 821 has the familiar Testastressa 11° engine churning out a healthy 110 horsepower. The service intervals have been extended to keep running costs down. Although the Monster 821 is perceived as an affordable bike, the fit and finish are top-notch.
Sitting on the bike my legs felt cramped, but Ducati have got several options available to either lower or raise the seat, depending on the length of you limbs. Another item available on the options list is a quickshifter. The Ducati system works extremely well, so it would be something to consider investing in.
There are three riding modes with varying levels of engine power, traction control and ABS, but once the bike was in Sport mode I could not want for anything else. Apart from a torrential downpour I see no need to restrict the power of the L-twin. Each of the riding modes changes the layout of the dashboard, so you will know at a glance what mode you are in.
As the test unit was still brand new I did not want to push the limits. I could feel that the 821 would make an ideal commuter during the week. It has plenty of grunt and the dual Brembo calipers bring the bike to a reassuring stop. On weekends you can carve up the twisties and have plenty of fun doing it. You will not outgrow the 821 quickly and it will provide a loads of smiles in the process.
Words and Pictures: Brian Cheyne