Story by Alan Cathcart// Photos by Alan Cathcart
November 1 2014

Maxed-out Midi-Monster

With the introduction of the 821 Testastretta 11° into the mid-sized Monster, Ducati’s most successful model keeps getting better

2014 Ducati MONSTER 821

The importance of the Monster to Ducati’s balance sheet can’t be overstated. Indeed, the Italian sportbike manufacturer only stayed in business long enough to eventually be acquired by the VW/Audi Group two years ago because back in 1990, designer Miguel Galluzzi converted a factory 888 Superbike into the ultimate, in-your-face streetfighter by stripping off the bodywork, hanging a light, horn and licence plate on it, and labelling it Il Mostro – the Monster.

The Monster has been hugely successful, representing over 50 percent of the company’s total production for the past 21 years. The debut of the all-new Monster 1200 at the EICMA trade show in Milan, Italy last November was, however, just the antipasto to the main course, which has now arrived in dealerships in the shape of the new Monster 821.

Think of the 821 as the Monster family’s equivalent of the Panigale 899 versus its 1199 big brother, complete with the same cost-cutting, twin-sided swingarm instead of its sibling’s single-sided design statement, but otherwise near-identical chassis layout. As its name suggests, the Monster 821 uses the new, liquid-cooled 821 cc Testastretta 11° engine, claiming 112 hp at 9250 rpm, which represents a massive 25 hp increase over the 796 Monster. To drop the price, there’s less high-spec hardware hung on it than on the 1200. At $11,990 for the Dark version, it’s only $295 more than the air-cooled Monster 796.

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