Ducati Monster 821 Review – Jekyll and Hyde

There are mornings and there are mornings to become Hyde. Such is the morning today, the brash feeling is enticing me to do something evil. Go fast maybe. All I needed was pants of superman but reality struck me sooner than it should’ve. Opened up the garage and voila didn’t realise that the feeling would come back again. The Ducati Monster 821 is here and so is my cape.

The Monster is an extremely prevalent motorcycle from the Italian homeground. So much so that the building where I live, has 2 Monster’s already. The absolute desire of owning a Ducati at not so astronomical price, wasn’t a distant dream with the introduction of the Monster in India. The naked supersports bike still is the primary choice for first-time superbike aficionados. We have the new Ducati Monster 821 with us, let’s find out how the red devil fares over the days.


Ducati Monster is a cult for young superbike owners. It is something like a Hackett T shirt, it requires a lot of saving to buy it but you want one badly. By the face of it, the Monster is quintissentially a hot looking machine. With muscle bulges on the fuel tank, exhaust pipes and even the tail it oozes strength like it would jump and punch you in the face.

The exposed frame and fitness freak headlamps make it look the part. The seat height is a bit on the higher side which also makes room for the engine and suspension to be mounted at the right position allowing more ground clearance so that you don’t hit the massive speed bumps you usually find on roads in India. There is a sizable front liquid cooled radiator setup which allows for better cooling of the brilliant second generation 821cc Testastretta engine which is also shodded into the equally brilliant Ducati Hypermotorad.


The mill produces 112 horsepower at a peak 9,250rpm. Like the supersport bike, the Panigale, the engine is mounted directly to the trellis frame which on the whole acts as a stress member, reducing the overall vibrations of the bike. The motor is connected to a super fast 6-speed gearbox with impeccable ratios within the gears. The M821 has a detachable cowl on the rear seat for those singlehood moments post your breakup. This cowl can be removed or attached by undoing 3 screws under the seat.

The TFT display is intuitive to use and displays information like distance to empty, mechanical malfunctions and driving modes. The M821 comes with 3 driving modes namely SPORT, TOURING and URBAN. The Urban mode is by far the most boring mode of them all as it displaces just 75 horsepower from the engine saving fuel and disallowing massive accelerations from the much powerful 821cc motor. The TOURING mode aka ‘SEE I GOT THE POWER’ mode is best for highway riding and smoother accelerations.


Also the selectable ABS and traction settings are highest in this mode and can also be adjusted individually. The third and by far my favourite side of the M821 is the SPORT aka HYDE mode wherein the motor starts breathing and spitting fire as some witchcraft starts happening. The ABS and traction becomes sharper and the bike does power wheelies in 2nd gear as well.

On the corners the lean is controlled by the traction system with utmost precision. The M821 is plonked with Pirelli Diablo Rosso II which are immensely sticky on dry surfaces as well as boast a good grip on wet. The brakes are Brembo quad pods attached to the 320mm discs in the front and twin pods at the rear with 245mm ventilated discs, these brakes have the power to stop a planet than just a bike. The 3 stage ABS works wonders with the braking setup.


We took the Monster through the City, hooning around with that remarkably sonorous exhaust note which is typical Ducati. With cracks and burbles being prominent on every upshift or downshift, the Ducati M821 is definitely a head turner wherever it goes.

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The liquid engine cooling system ensure that my legs remained cool while waiting at the signals or ploughing through the city traffic. Also the URBAN mode is amazingly easy on the input of the right hand. You really don’t have to keep on braking or make extra efforts to lower down the massive power output while in slow moving traffic. I then took the M821 to the twisty back roads of Delhi and realized how easy it is to ride in and out of corners. With the display set to SPORT mode the sharpness of the throttle input and precision of the 8 stage Traction control system with ABS enhances the riding experience to the max.


With an ex-showroom price tag of INR 10.25 lakh, ex-showroom, the Monster 821 really is an ice breaker. With young buyers looking for sports motorbikes more than just for riding but also for the style statement and pedigree the Monster 821 fits in the bill spot on!

Tech Specs of Ducati Monster 821 in India

Engine Type Testastretta 11° L-Twin, 4 Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, liquid cooled
Displacement 821cc
Bore x Stroke 88 x 67.5mm
Compression ratio 12.8:1
Power 82.4 kW (112 hp) @ 9,250 rpm
Torque 89.4 Nm (65.8 lb-ft) @ 7,750 rpm
Gearbox 6-Speed
Fuel Injection Electronic fuel injection system, 53mm throttle bodies with full Ride by Wire
Exhaust Stainless steel muffler and aluminium and cap; lightweight 2-1 system with catalytic converter with 2 lambda probes
Frame Tubular steel Trellis frame attached to the cylinders head
Front suspension Upside down 43mm forks
Rear Suspension Progressive linkage with adjustable monoshock. Aluminium double-sided swingarm
Front Wheel 10-spoke in light alloy 3.50″ x 17″
Front Tyre 120/70 ZR 17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
Rear Wheel 10-spoke in light alloy 5.50″ x 17″
Rear Tyre 180/60 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
Front Brakes 2 x 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo M4-32 callipers, 4-pistons, axial pump with ABS as standard
Rear Brakes 245mm disc, 2-piston floating calliper with ABS as standard equipment
Dry Weight 205.5kg (453lb)
Seat Height Adjustable 785 – 810 mm (30.9 – 31.9)
Wheelbase 1480mm (58.3in)
Fuel tank 17.5l – (4.6 US gal)
Warranty 24 months unlimited mileage
Service intervals 15.000km/12 Months
Emission Standard Euro 3

Images – The Modern Shutter