News: Ducati Monster 821 Released

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Ducati Monster 821

Ducati builds some of the most beautiful and iconic superbikes in the world, but their bread and butter is the Monster line. After over 20 years of production, the Monster remains the best selling series in the Bologna stables, due in no small part to its relative affordability.

The everyman’s Ducati has remained relevant and desirable by careful revision and variation. It has featured engines from 400 to 1200cc, and borrowed engines, brakes, suspension and other technology from the Superbike lineup. This has both enhanced its allure to budget-minded Ducatisti, and created economies of scale for the factory.

Ducati Monster 821

Today, Ducati introduced a new middleweight Monster, the 821, which will borrow the 11° Testastretta powerplant from the Hypermotard. With a claimed 112 hp and 65.9 ft-lb of torque at 395.7 lbs dry, the 821 will be a peppy ride around town, if not quite rowdy enough to claim hooligan status (you’ll need to spring for the 1200 for that).

Ducati Monster 821

Perhaps as important as the engine’s performance is its appearance, as the iconic style of the Monster leaves the big twin exposed, low-slung and raw. Its exhaust pipes curl with an almost artistic flare beneath the trademark trellis frame, before terminating at a low-exit pipe by the dual-sided swingarm (sorry, traditionalists).

Ducati Monster 821
Ducati Monster 821 Dark Edition

But just because it’s naked doesn’t mean it’s stripped-down. The Monster 821 will feature 8-level traction control, 3-level ABS, and a 3-level Ride-by-Wire system, all available at the push of a button. With a likely price in the range of $11,000, that’s a lot of performance and technology in a relatively affordable package.

Ducati Monster 821
Ducati Monster 821 Dark Edition

Ducati says the 821 will be available in dealers beginning in July, in red with black wheels, white with red wheels, and the all-black “dark” edition. What this means for Ducati’s current Monster lineup, which features five different models already, remains to be seen. But expect at least one of the smaller displacement models to be discontinued.

Ducati Monster 821

  • http://motocynic.wordpress.com/ Scott Otte

    It’s really too bad that they’re not doing the Single Sided Swingarm for the smaller bikes (899 and this). Since this motor is more than enough for my needs, it’s just not quite as sexy.

    • Mister X

      When did horsepower become the definer of Hooliganism, back in the day I was quite the hooligan on my Kawasaki Bighorn 350, so, big horsepower, I didn’t need no stinkin’ big horsepower. Of course I was a bit more of a hooligan on my buddy’s Kawi Z-1, but it was heavy and didn’t handle so well on the twisties if you really got on it.

      • Doug Erickson

        hooliganism isn’t hp; it’s weight and torque and suspension. top speed is for squids, not hooligans.

        • Mister X

          Where did say anything about top speed or squid like behavior, you’re projecting.

      • http://motocynic.wordpress.com/ Scott Otte

        You asking me when did horsepower become the definer of hooliganism? I’m not making the claim … rideapart is.

        • Mister X

          So sorry, my bad.

    • Ken Lindsay

      My plated WR450 is a hooligan bike. I work to keep the front wheel down!

  • the antagonist

    I know the dual sided swingarm is a common, even cliche, complaint against Ducati’s “little brother” bikes, and I don’t mind it at all on the 899 or 696, but it looks wrong on this bike. Weird, because I think think the M1200 is very sexy. And this one is so similar, but just a few minor changes throw the design off balance.

    That, and it’s only 5 pounds lighter than the 1200. I’d just spend the extra couple k and get an M1200.

    • Clint Keener

      yea, that M1200s out the door is $18k.

      • the antagonist

        The S is. But the base M1200 is only 13.5k. Not chump change. But if you’re already willing to spend 11k on the 821, I couldn’t see not being willing to spend 2.5k more to get the big Monster.

        If this bike were @ 10k, or offered something the big Monster didn’t, like significantly lighter weight, I think it would be a different story.

  • tobykeller

    If you can’t be a hooligan with 112 hp you’re doing it wrong

    • Richard Gozinya

      Yeah, if anything dilutes its hooligan status, it’s the weight. Street Triple’s way lighter, and cheaper.

      • Reid

        Exactly. The 696 weighed something like 355 dry. Monsters aren’t supposed to be full-size-heavy.

    • Wheelier

      As long as it can wheelie, it’s worthy of the name!

    • MichaelEhrgott

      My XR650R makes 62 hp, weighs ~300 lbs and its more hooligan bike than anything.

      • SXV 550

        I might have you beat :P

        • MichaelEhrgott

          Is it plated?!? :)

          • SXV 550

            Certainly!

  • Nemosufu Namecheck

    Love the Ducati Special Editions – should have bought a Diesel Monster when I had the chance.

    • orthorim

      A double-edged sword, design-wise. Looked at the Diesel up close; it had so many super cool features, stitched leather, et cetera. However, it also had Diesel logos to go with the Ducati logos, all in all way too much branding going on on this bike. Branding isn’t cool. And double branding sucks in particular. I don’t know why they don’t get that…

      • Nemosufu Namecheck

        Thats a good point – its easy to overdo branding.

  • Christopher

    Oh, I see. We need a litrebike+ in order to be a hooligan now, because 112hp just doesn’t cut it anymore. WTF? And in the next breath we’ll discuss with glee the resurgence of small-displacement bikes because *gasp* they’re fun to ride and aren’t stupid to insure?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooliganism

    “With a claimed 112 hp and 65.9 ft-lb of torque at 395.7 lbs dry, the 821
    will be a peppy ride around town, if not quite rowdy enough to claim
    hooligan status (you’ll need to spring for the 1200 for that)”

    This statement makes the entire review Lame.

    • Ayabe

      *slow clap*

      Indeed a “real hooligan” bike should just engage TCS whenever you go towards the throttle, means you’re riding a man’s bike, oh what fun.

    • zion

      Pretty sure I can get “rowdy” on 112hp. Besides it’s not “around town” I want to ride, I want curves and twists and so on. For that, 112hp will be just fine, thank you very much.

      • orthorim

        Um, if you make full use of all 112 HP around town you won’t be riding very long – you’ll be either in a hospital or in jail. So I’m not sure how one needs *more* than that to be a hooligan.

        • zion
  • Richard Gozinya

    Ducati’s going in the wrong direction with the Monsters. The biggest one should be putting down about 100hp at the wheel, and then focus on making the things as light as possible.

    • Reid

      We’re on precisely the same page. I looked at getting a 696 for just that reason.

      • Lourens Smak

        M696 has about 80 horsepower if I’m not mistaken. Enough for good fun, sure, but is it enough to be called a “monster”?

        The lightweight/cheaper Ducati will be here soon I think, in the shape of the Scrambler. But that one will probably not have enough power for you… ;-)
        (I’m assuming it will either be <48hp for Euro regulations, or very easy to restrict to <48hp. The original M600 Monster was 53hp, btw.)

        • Reid

          It’s going to take about $2,000 extra for my 690 Duke to have CLOSE to 80 hp lol
          I think I’ve moved past my car-guy quest for more more more more hp.

        • Wheelier

          The Ducati was never called a “Monster” because of its monstrous power. The early ones had only about 50 hp, after all, when all their other models at the time made more than double that.

          • Lourens Smak

            That’s not really true… it was a different time then (1994? something like that anyway) all the Ducs had much less power, except maybe the top-of-the-line 916 which was probably 110-120hp or so. The SS range was all well below 100hp, including the 900SS. (80hp, wikipedia says)

            Anyway, today in 2014, a “monster” with 53hp would make a lot of people laugh hysterically, even if it looked monstrous.

            • Richard Gozinya

              He still has a good point. The Monster was never meant to be some super powerful bike. It was always meant to be very raw, lots of attitude. But definitely a street bike, not something built for the track, where high power actually matters. Also, considering that it’s a naked, putting down more than 100hp at the wheel is essentially useless for anything other than bragging rights. And on the weight issue, this thing is actually heavier than the S2R1000, which had a larger engine, though a bit less power. Ducati’s going in the wrong direction.

              • Justin McClintock

                Pretty sure the Monster got it’s name because it was originally a kinda hacked together parts bin bike….like Frankenstein’s monster.

    • TechGuy5489

      Light is expensive. The monster exists as an entry into the brand not a flagship technology demo.

  • devillock

    So I guess my KTM990SMR at 114hp is not a very hooligan bike… coz I would not be able to do anything remotely fun and badass on a 114hp supermotard…

    Do you even ride?

  • Jack Meoph

    As an owner of a 2014 796 Monster all I can say is: still no gear indicator?

    • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

      As the owner of a 2006 Kawi 650R… what’s a gear indicator?

      • DratonKagolira

        Lolzzz…

    • orthorim

      What’s a gear indicator for?

      • FiveG

        Figuring out if you can still downshift one more time as you approach a 130 degree switchback.

        • orthorim

          I’d argue that in that situation stomping on the shifter to see if it works one more time is going to be faster than looking at your instrument panel. Also you can keep your eyes where they belong, on the road. (Hmmm… phrasing?)

  • zion

    $10,995 for black, $11,495 for red or white.

    • hunkyleepickle

      if thats the case, i’d sooner spring for the hypermotard. get that sexy swing arm, same engine, and be a little more unique than the countless monsters out there

      • zion

        I got the MSRP’s right off of Ducati’s website. I’m thinking they’ll drop the M796, as the price point starts at $10,495. You’re right with the Hypermotard, but I think it’ll boil down to the aesthetics for most people. Some people love how the HM looks, some don’t.

  • hunkyleepickle

    so the hypermotard line has a SS swing arm, the monster lineup except the 696 has a SS swing arm…. what gives ducati?

  • Enntense

    A true “hooligan” bike for ducati would be wedging an 11 degree 1198 motor into a Hypermotard….I can see the massive wheelie loop out insurance claims already…

  • Doug Erickson

    no single-sided swingarm? no thanks. while i like the exhaust, i’ll look for a used or nos 796.

    • Michael

      I’m with you, I would only buy a Ducati with a single-sided swing arm. This model is a big mistake for two reasons: 1) too heavy and 2) double-sided swing arm.

      • Bluesceyes

        Its the new calling card for the mid-level bikes. Mini-gale comes to mind…

  • Flying Couch

    I’d rather have that than the 1200.

    But I’m more interested in the Scrambler than either of them.

  • Mykola

    That sure is a fussy-looking bike. I think I’ll keep looking for a 620 or 695 on Craigslist.

  • TechGuy5489

    I put the fixation people have on single vs double sided swing arms right up there in merit with hipsters insisting that a bike should only have one front rotor/caliper because dual rotor/caliper setups aren’t retro enough. The single sided swing arm is inferior from a performance standpoint and exists purely as bling. That’s not to say that the swing arm on the 821 doesn’t look cheap or that the one on the 899 doesn’t look like Ducati yanked it straight from a 675R but double sided is the proper performance call. They’re lighter and they hold up to cornering forces much better than the single sided alternative. There’s a reason the real race bikes aren’t built that way.

    • Flying Couch

      I’ll never understand it either. It’s the biggest thing that keeps me from even considering old Monster S2Rs. I actually think both the 899 and M821 look WAY better than their upmarket counterparts, and I credit them having double sided swingarms with most of the improvement. Same goes for the 696 vs. the 796/1100, and why I’m reluctant to even look at the Hyperstrada.

    • orthorim

      I thought the SS swing arm on my Hypermotard would compromise stability – it doesn’t, it’s the most stable bike I’ve owned. Stable as in hits corners at 90 mph like it’s on rails. Also, it looks hot when parked. So no complaints on the SS swing arm from me; at the same time a double sided one looks just fine too. Not that big of a deal either way. From an engineering perspective I’m sure single sided provides more of a challenge but they seem to have solved that.

    • FalloutNL

      Though it was a little while ago, I seem to recall the 916 winning quite a lot of races.

      (And it looks so much better.)

      Anyway, yeah Monsters should be a bit lighter than this. They should look better as well.

  • Justin McClintock

    “Ducati builds some of the most beautiful and iconic superbikes in the world, but” this isn’t one of them. Seriously, the whole frameless thing does not translate well to the Monster line. At all.

  • Bluesceyes

    Is it me or does Ducati marketing look just like HD marketing. At least two bikes with a person sitting on one and a couple more just standing near it. The caption would be, “Hey, look at us! We have the same bike. Let’s stand around and talk about how cool we and how helmets would ruin our magnificent hair so we don’t even bring them.”
    Weren’t these things made for…riding?

    • orthorim

      If it was HD marketing those dudes would be twice the size.

  • http://www.tonupjax.com/ Peter

    “Perhaps as important as the engine’s performance is its appearance, as the iconic style of the Monster leaves the big twin exposed, low-slung and raw.” Seriously? How can you even make that statement? Where IS the engine?- I can’t see it. All I can make out is a small case side cover, plastic belt covers, exhaust heat shield, hoses, wires, more plastic covers, some radiator (with plastic covers), a glimpse of airbox (again, plastic), a hint of a cylinder base, a peek of valve cover (right there in between the sea of plastic). I remember when Ducati engines were works of art to look at. What has happened, Ducati? How on Earth could anyone find this abomination stylish?

    • orthorim

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

      Ducati did it right with this bike. A naked bike is supposed to show off the raw insides – hoses, wires, etc are all part of that. The idea is that all is exposed – hence the name, naked. Naked doesn’t mean compromising on performance to achieve a certain look (“hey, let’s make an air cooled engine, it looks better and screw performance”). Nor does it mean adding some covers on the “ugly” parts – there are no ugly parts. Don’t hide those hoses – proudly show them off!

      I think it’s awesome, personally.

      • http://www.tonupjax.com/ Peter

        orthorim,

        If the engine truly were exposed on the new Monster I’d agree with you- but it’s not. Yes, the Desmodue air-cooled engines were pure art, but even on the Desmoquattro & Testatsretta-powered Monsters you could still SEE the engine. Sure, the plumbing was exposed (it’s functional, not ugly) but you could also see the sump, the engine block/cases, both cylinders, both cylinder heads, the throttle bodies, etc… it was obvious you were looking at a Ducati L-twin engine. This new Monstrosity, for reasons beyond me, is riddled with plastic covers that actually hide the engine- how does that make sense? At a glance, it isn’t even obvious what engine this bike has- a mortal sin on a “naked” Ducati.

        Maybe I’m jaded having owned an M750, a GT1000, an S4RS, and raced a SS800 and a 748S. Part of the pride of ownership of a Ducati is the aesthetics, which the Italians have honed into an art form. Recently, however, it seems as though they’ve gotten lost in the wilderness and can’t find their way out. When I look at a naked Ducati, I expect to see an engine- not layers of plastic in an indecipherable jumble hiding what we are left to assume is an Italian twin underneath. That’s just not the way it should be.

        • orthorim

          I can make out one plastic cover on the “offensive” side of the bike. That’s odd, I agree it shouldn’t be there.

          But I think it’s wrong to complain about functional parts covering up the engine. And the pretty side of the bike is gorgeous!

  • enzomedici

    Single sided swing arm? Man, there is no pleasing this crowd. What about the single fork front end? Are you holding out for that too? I’m holding out for the single wheel Ducati, until then, forget it.

    • Speedo007

      Most Ducatis can be used as single wheel motorcycles already :)
      I do think though the the standard swingarm ruins a bit the looks of the otherwise great looking exhausts. But for the price it’s quite a bike. At the very least they should have painted the swingarm black no to make it stand out as much.

  • RideaTart

    Surely no one would argue that this isn’t a lot of street bike for $11,000, especially if TC, ABS, and RBW are all things you want. If you don’t want those things, there’s always the Striple.