Ducati Monster 821 Full Reveal – By Trevor Hedge

There is no doubting the fact that Ducati’s Monster being on the scene now for two decades is starting to make some of us feel uncomfortably old. But, there is also no doubt that the Monster has stood the test of time, and with almost 300,000 Monsters on the road the model has been a great success story for Ducati.

Ducati claim to have gone back to the less is more original concept of the Monster, but this time around Ducati are claiming to have designed the M821 with their ‘best-yet ergonomics, high-spec brakes and excellent suspension, adjustable (785-810 or 745-765 via accessory saddle) seat height, wet slipper clutch, 8-level traction control, 3-level Bosch 9MP ABS and 3- level Ride-by-Wire riding (Sport, Touring & Urban)‘. So pretty high spec’ then!

Powered by the latest ‘second-generation’ edition of Ducati’s highly successful 821 Testastretta 11° engine, the highly accessible new Monster 821 combines 112hp and 65.9ft-lb of torque with an impressively lightweight 179.5kg overall package. That is way more than what the ‘then’ high-spec 916 powered Monster S4 brought to the table a little over a decade ago, which just goes to show the pace of progress.

With the benefits of the latest cylinder head design technology and electronic management systems the 821 promises exemplary manners and with major services now only required every 30,000km, maintenance costs promise to be a fraction of what they used to be.

The engine is a fully-stressed chassis member with Panigale-style attachment points to the trellis frame.

The wheelbase has extended to help comfort levels while the bars are 40mm higher and 40mm closer to the rider while the seat has 80mm of foam to cosset your tush.

Kayaba provide the 43mm forks while Sachs supply the preload and rebound adjustable rear shock which attaches directly to the rear cylinder through a diecast aluminium convetional two-sided swingarm.

Brembo come to the party with twin radial-mount, four-piston Monoblock M4-32 calipers and 320mm discs.

Available at Australian Ducati Dealerships from September 2014 onwards, the Monster 821 is sure to be a hit, particularly if Ducati Australia can sharpen their pencils when it comes to naming the price on their new machine.

The Monster 821 is set to be available in  dark stealth with black frame and black wheels, Ducati red with red frame and black wheels, or star white silk with red frame and matte red wheels. Both red and white liveries will be equipped with colour-matched single-seat covers.  Which one is your pick of the bunch…?

Ducati Australia today, September 1, announced the RRP’s for the new Monster 821 prior to its arrival and first deliveries later this month.

  • Monster 821 – Dark Stealth | $15,990 + dealer and statutory charges
  • Monster 821 – Red  | $16,490 + dealer and statutory charges
  • Monster 821 – Star White Silk | $16,490 + dealer and statutory charges


Ducati Monster 821 Technical Specifications
Ducati Monster 821
Ducati Monster 821
Ducati Monster 821 Technical Specifications
Ducati Monster 821 Technical Specifications

For the real techheads this is the full run-down on the Monster 821 as provided by Ducati.

The essential Monster – Following the successful unveiling of the new generation Monster 1200 at the Milan International Motorcycle show in November, Ducati now introduces the Monster 821, a mid-size version of the exciting new model and the latest entry to the world of Monster.

More than two decades on from the Monster’s first unveiling, Ducati presents the iconic model’s latest generation middleweight, the 2015 Monster 821. Maintaining the stylish character made famous by the original concept, the essential model sports the same new chassis and muscular styling as the Monster 1200 and is designed with premium components fully integrated with Ducati’s latest technologies.

Powered by the latest edition of Ducati’s highly successful 821 Testastretta 11° engine, the highly accessible new Monster combines 112hp and 65.9ft-lb of torque with an impressively lightweight 179.5kg (395.7lb) overall package. This stylish mix of minimalism and performance paves the way back  to the original essence of the Monster concept, where less-is-more and made-in-Italy combine to create a motorcycle lifestyle.

High-spec brakes, excellent suspension and stylish componentry merge with Ducati’s best-yet ergonomics to offer the Italian manufacturer’s most attractive mid-range Monster ever. Super comfortable and with an innovative adjustable seat height, the model also combines 8-level traction control, 3-level ABS and 3- level Ride-by-Wire into Ducati’s user-friendly, press-button Riding Modes.

The 2015 Monster 821 uses next generation technologies to create an enhanced rider/motorcycle relationship, delivering a high-adrenaline experience while constantly reassuring with the feeling of complete control and ergonomic integration.

Available at Ducati Dealerships from July 2014 onwards, the Monster 821 Dark is presented in dark stealth with black frame and black wheels, while the Monster 821 is dressed in Ducati red with red frame and black wheels or star white silk with red frame and matte red wheels. Both red and white liveries are equipped with colour-matched single-seat covers. The brand new model is also made available to restricted license holders with the specially regulated power versions of 25kw for Switzerland and 35kw for other participating countries.

Introducing the new Monster – The Monster’s worldwide success and well-earned image as the unchallenged icon of naked motorcycles is the result of investing over 20 years of Ducati engineering, design and styling experience. It is an investment in time, constantly rewarded by being the motorcycle of choice for motorcycle connoisseurs and celebrities, from actors and musicians to Formula 1 drivers and top athletes. Over 290,00 Monsters have now been sold, creating a growing world of Monsteristi with a creative passion for personalisation. The Monster has always been a statement on two wheels, an expression that created a cult following and, above all, a premium lifestyle motorcycle easily accessible to everyone.

The new Monster represents the next generation middleweight of this famous family, combining genuine Monster tradition with Ducati’s latest technical solutions to engineer a modern and mature masterpiece. From the super-smooth refinement of the latest 821 Testastretta 11° engine and its Panigale-style direct attachment to the frame to best-ever ergonomics, this iconic motorcycle now mixes authentic sport character with lifestyle sophistication.

Mirroring the Monster 1200, the new Monster’s larger metal fuel tank presents an even more muscular image, emphasised by a narrow waistline and an incredibly compact headlamp that creates the overall silhouette of a powerful bull ready to charge. The clean and minimal handlebar area continues the naked icon’s essential character with distinctive quality to component finish.

Testastretta 11° – Already well received in the Hypermotard models, the second generation 821cc Testastretta 11° engine, now becomes a fully-stressed chassis member with Panigale-style attachment points for the Trellis frame. The Desmodromic motor uses a number of important and highly effective features to deliver an impressive 112hp @ 9,250rpm and a ride-enhancing torque of 65.9lb-ft (9.1kgm) @ 7,750rpm.

In addition to the crankshaft now rotating on shell main bearings lubricated with a new-style oil pump, a number of well-proven technical advancements in Ducati’s twin-cylinder technology have also been combined to create an exciting, customisable and user-friendly character for the new generation mid- range Monster.

Breathing through circular Ride-by-Wire throttle bodies, the 821 Testastretta 11° uses the latest fuel injector positioning to target spray directly onto the rear of the hot intake valve instead of the relatively cold surface of the intake port wall. The enhanced vaporisation achieved as the fuel hits the valve, fully atomises the incoming charge, eliminating the chance of compromised combustion efficiency experienced if droplets of fuel enter in liquid form. The engine, which is cooled with a stylishly curved radiator equipped with two high-efficiency electric fans, also uses Ducati’s secondary air system, maintaining performance-optimised fuel mapping for smoother cycle-to-cycle engine operation, without compromising emissions.

The Testastretta 11° engine concept effectively increased user-friendliness by reducing the amount of valve over-lap from around 41° – typical in performance engines that operate constantly at high RPM – to just 11°, which enhanced mid-range and overall smoothness.

The Monster 821 engine features an oil bath, cable-operated APTC clutch with ‘slipper’ function and superlight feel at the lever. Its design uses a progressive self-servo mechanism that presses the plates together when under drive from the engine, enabling the reduction of the clutch spring rates. This results in a much lighter clutch lever at the handlebar, ideal in stop-start traffic or long journeys. When the drive force is reversed (over-run), the same mechanism reduces the pressure on the clutch plates, enabling them to provide a race-like ‘slipper’ action, which reduces the destabilizing effect of the rear-end under aggressive down-shifting and provides a much smoother feeling when closing the throttle or down- shifting under normal riding conditions.

The impressive 50-52mm (1.96-2.04in) section exhaust headers lead the 2-1-2 system through power- enhancing equal lengths that help enable the Monster’s efficient power delivery. The engine management system dedicates a lambda probe to each header to provide precise fueling, while the stylish vertically-merged silencers carry the catalytic converter to provide Euro 3 conformity and electronically controlled midsection valve to optimise exhaust pressures throughout the rev-range.

30,000km between major services – The new Monster’s Testastretta 11° engine underlines another milestone in Ducati’s constant investment in quality by enabling the distance between major service intervals (valve clearance check) to be set at an owner-friendly 30,000 kilometres (18,000 miles).

Monster chassis – While maintaining the vitally important aspects of the original Monster concept, the new generation chassis introduces Ducati’s very latest design techniques. The model’s signature Trellis frame still features predominantly in the overall styling, while its attachment points move directly to the new engine’s cylinder heads, a method pioneered on the innovative Panigale Superbike. This new and compact frame design combined with its large diameter steel tubing has effectively doubled its torsional stiffness compared to previous models, while reducing weight.

Considerable attention has been applied to the ergonomics of the new model with a stability-enhancing 30mm longer wheelbase ideal for two-up riding comfort, and handlebars a ride-transforming 40mm higher and 40mm closer to the rider. The brand new seat design with high-grip surface boasts a comfortable 80mm of foam at its deepest point and is equipped with Ducati’s adjustable seat height system. Using a simple block-and-pin system, the seat is able to be transformed from its standard 810mm seat height to a confidence-inspiring 785mm and even further to 765mm or 745mm with the accessory low seat – Ducati’s lowest ever. A third accessory seat also offers an 830mm seat height option for those who require, therefore providing an extensive range of 745-830mm. This easy adjustment without changing the overall aesthetic profile of the Monster introduces true ergonomic flexibility to this impressive sports-lifestyle motorcycle.

Perfectly formed grab-rails provide a confidence-enhancing grip for the passenger without compromising the lines of the Monster’s beautifully styled tailpiece. A sleek and sporty single seat cover comes as standard equipment, giving the rear-end a clean and sharp look. While enhancing the presence of the new Monster with a more muscular silhouette, the new style 17.5l (4.6 US gal) steel fuel tank is carefully shaped to fit the rider perfectly.

Presenting a clean and minimalist cockpit area, the steel handlebars, finished in matte chrome, are mounted with Ducati’s well-proven compact switchgear with adjustable brake lever and axial master cylinders with integrated reservoirs and cable-operated clutch. Foot controls are mounted on dark grey, diecast aluminium hangers, contrasting elegantly against the bronze-coloured single-sided swingarm, colour-matched with the Testastretta 11° engine’s outer-cases.

Suspension – The Monster uses 43mm Kayaba forks up front with a single Sachs unit on the rear, adjustable in spring preload and rebound damping, attached directly to the rear cylinder and operating through a diecast aluminium, double-sided swingarm. Shorter than the Monster 1200, the new swingarm provides enhanced agility with precise handling for optimum riding pleasure.

Wheels and tyres  – The new Monster rolls on Panigale-style 10-spoke light alloy wheels with rim sizes of 3.50 x 17 for the front and 5.50 x 17 on the rear, mounted with Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres in 120/70 for the front and an agile 180/60 for the rear, constructed in bi-Compound to combine long lasting mileage with excellent full- lean grip. The high quality tyres use Pirelli’s Enhanced Patch Technology (EPT) to optimise contact patch for improved grip and Functional Groove Design (FGD) to enhance their wet weather characteristics.

Ducati Safety Pack (DSP) – The Monster uses Ducati’s Riding Mode technology to incorporate three-level ABS and eight-level DTC into the Ducati Safety Pack (DSP) concept, further underlining the company’s increased focus on performance  safety.

Bosch Brembo Braking system with 3-level ABS – Included as an integral part of the Ducati Safety Pack (DSP), the Monster is equipped with the Bosch ABS 9MP controlled Brembo braking system, with integrated pressure sensor, as standard equipment. This impressive combination of state-of-the-art security and proven performance provides shorter stopping distances with enhanced stability appropriate to the motorcycle’s environment by being fully integrated with the Monster’s Riding Modes. While level-1 of the system enables a sport-oriented ABS intervention with no rear lift-up prevention, level-2 delivers the same intervention with medium rear lift-up prevention activated. Level-3 provides maximum braking stability and rear lift-up prevention.

The Monster uses twin radially-mounted Brembo, four piston, Monobloc M4-32 callipers gripping 320mm discs, with an axial front brake pumps with integrated reservoirs and a single 245mm disc on the rear gripped by a single Brembo calliper. Typical of all Ducatis, these components ensure high performance braking and set the standard in this segment.

An option to disable the ABS in each individual Riding Mode is available via the instrumentation, and the system allows the setting to be saved and memorised at the next ignition-on.

Lighting – The Monster’s super compact headlamp assembly uses conventional halogen main light illumination with LED position lights on either side and full LED lighting for the beautifully shaped rear and brake light illumination. The directional indicators sport also provide a hazard light function, activated by holding the left-turn signal button on for four seconds.

Ducati Traction Control (DTC) – The Ducati Traction Control is an intelligent system which acts as a filter between the rider’s right hand and the rear tyre. Within milliseconds, DTC is able to detect and then control rear wheel-spin, considerably increasing the bike’s active safety and performance, an important component of the Ducati Safety Pack (DSP). The new Monster uses the very latest DTC software, now optimised with seamless intervention to ignition timing only.

The system offers eight ‘levels of sensitivity’, each programmed with a level of rear wheel-spin tolerance in line with progressive levels of riding skills classified from one to eight. Level one is programmed to offer the least amount of interaction while level eight uses the most amount of interaction.

DTC levels are factory pre-set in each of the three Riding Modes, but can be individually customised and saved to suit the rider by accessing the set-up menu within each mode. A ‘Default’ option is available to easily return all settings to factory pre-sets.

Ducati Riding Modes – Ducati’s industry-changing Riding Modes effectively offer optimised settings appropriate to rider and environment by selecting from a choice of three pre-set modes: “Sport”, “Touring” and “Urban”. Each Riding Mode is pre-programmed to instantly change engine character, ABS and DTC intervention – even while riding. The modes are made possible by combining a number of class-leading technologies.

An electronic Ride-by-Wire (RbW) system uses Ducati’s innovative e-Grip throttle to administer different mappings to regulate power delivery, while the Ducati Traction Control system (DTC) uses eight levels of system interaction to enhance control by reducing rear wheel-spin and the ABS processor provides pre- programmed three levels of anti-lock braking.

Sport – The “Sport” Riding Mode provides 112hp delivered with a “High” RbW throttle response, reduced DTC system intervention and level-one ABS of sport-oriented intervention with no rear lift-up prevention.

Touring – The Touring Riding Mode provides 112hp delivered with a “Medium” RbW throttle response, increased DTC system intervention and level-two ABS with medium rear lift-up prevention activated.

Urban – The Urban Riding Mode provides 75hp, delivered with a “Low” RbW throttle response, further increased DTC system intervention and level-three ABS with maximum braking stability and rear lift-up prevention.

Ride-by-Wire (RbW) – The full Ride-by-Wire (RbW) system is an electronic interface between the twistgrip and the engine which decides the ideal power response depending on the Riding Mode selected and according to the rider’s throttle input. The twistgrip no longer uses a throttle cable to control the throttle body butterflies, but instead Ducati’s “e-Grip” delivers a signal to a control unit, which in turn operates the butterfly opening. The RbW system enables the use of three different mappings to regulate the power delivery. The three maps offer 112hp with a “High” sports-type delivery, 112hp with a “Medium” progressive delivery suitable for touring and 75hp with a “Low” reduced delivery for urban use.

The Monster has a brand new compact instrumentation panel with a well arranged and data-rich black on white LCD display. The unit displays RPM from 0-12,000 in an easy-to-read bargraph positioned in a semicircular shape across the top of the unit with speed indicated prominently in the centre of the  screen.

The three riding modes of Sport, Touring and Urban are positioned left of the vehicle speed value and are easily scrollable using the indicator cancel button on the left-hand switchgear. When each Riding Mode is selected its corresponding DTC and ABS levels are displayed to the right of the vehicle speed value in additional to a service icon which appears when scheduled maintenance is due. Further left of the three Riding Modes, the screen also displays a tag to confirm that Stopwatch mode is activated and ready for use.

Engine coolant temperature is displayed at the lower centre section of the screen with rectangular windows of additional data positioned either side, scroll-controlled using two buttons positioned above and below the indicator cancel button on the left-hand switchgear. The upper button scrolls the left window to present total mileage, trip A, trip B, trip reserve fuel, trip time, time and lap time, while the lower button scrolls the right window for air temperature, fuel consumption, average fuel consumption and average speed.

Illuminated icons on the top left of the instrumentation, from left to right, show warnings for left turn signal, engine electronics, ABS-off and neutral, while from top right of the instrumentation, from right to left, are turn signal right, fuel reserve, main beam and oil pressure. In the middle of these two banks of warning lights, and designed to advise via the rider’s peripheral vision, are a strip of red lights incrementally counting-up to engine over-rev, until finally illuminating also the main red over-rev warning light in the top centre of the display. Below the main top, centre over-rev bar is a second bar that illuminates orange to denote DTC interaction.

When the Monster is stationary, the instrumentation is accessible as a user-friendly control panel to personalise and save ABS, DTC, and RbW settings within each Riding Mode. Additionally, the stopwatch function, actuated manually by using the flasher button on the left-hand switchgear can list the last 30 recorded lap times, each time also displaying the associated lap number, maximum speed and maximum rpm. The brightness level of the display can also be adjusted from the same control panel area.