2015 Ducati Monster 821 First Look

May 28, 2014
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Ducati adds another water-cooled Monster to its lineup with the debut of the Monster 821. The new Duc sources the 821cc Testastretta 11° Twin, which also powers the Italian marque’s Hypermotard models. Expected in dealers this July, U.S. pricing for the new Monster is set at $10,995.

The new Monster’s liquid-cooled 821 Testastretta 11° engine claims 112 horsepower and 65.9 lb-ft torque. The power stats correspond, roughly, with the 821-powered Hypermotard models (110 horsepower and identical torque) as tested during MotoUSA’s 2013 Hypermotard First Ride. The eight-valve, L-Twin sources Ducati’s desmodromic valve actuation, but if it holds true to the Hypermotard specs, service intervals are now extended to 18,500 miles.


Ducati’s familiar electronics suite is featured on the Monster 821 including: three-level ride-by-wire and ABS, along with an eight-level traction control system. The settings are keyed to Ducati’s Riding Mode format.

The new Ducati 821 sources the liquid-cooled 821 Testastretta 11° engine, which claims 112 horsepower and 65.9 lb-ft torque.

The 821 styling apes that of its 1200 sibling. There’s the signature trellis frame, which sources the engine as stressed member. The distinctive curves of the exhaust headers and right side silencers also look familiar. Notably absent from the 821, however, is the 1200’s low-hanging oil-cooler.

While Ducati is yet to reveal the 821’s official specs, the running gear shows radial-mount Brembos, inverted fork and single shock. The press announcement does list a claimed dry weight of 395.7 pounds (the 796 Monster claims a 369-pound dry weight).

Announcing this latest addition, Ducati touts that more than 290,000 Monsters have been delivered during its 23-year run. Which leads to speculation on the popular model line’s future. This latest 821, along with the new-for-2014 1200 Monster, completes the transition from the once-defining Monster trait of an air-cooled engine to a liquid-cooled Twin. If it follows the Hypermotard development, the 821 will replace the air-cooled Monster 796/696 platform – which at $9295 (696) and $10,495 (796) are effectively Ducati’s entry-level models. Further cementing the 796/696 fate is the news that Ducati will produce restricted 25 kW (33.5 hp) and 35 kW (47 hp) versions of the 821 for tiered-license restricted nations. However, the 696/796 remains the basis for the Italian brand’s Monster 795 – a bike produced in Thailand for the Asian market. So the air-cooled Monster tradition will likely live on, for a little while at least.

The 821 will be available in three colorways: Dark Stealth, with black frame and wheels; Ducati Red, with red frame and black wheels; and Star White Silk with red frame and red matte wheels. There is no mention of an up-spec S version (expected given the S version of the 1200 Monster and Hypermotard). However, Ducati does state bikes are slated to hit dealers in July. Stay tuned for updates.


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