Ducati's iconic Monster nakedbikes are as popular as ever in 2014 – gorgeous looking Italian street bikes built for road-riding fun, comfort and simplicity. But it looks like the days of the air-cooled Monster might be numbered. Ducati today revealed photos and specs for its upcoming 821 middleweight, which seems ready to come in and replace the air-cooled 796. With 112 horses, 65.9 lb-ft and weighing just 395.7 lbs dry, the 821 looks like a great streetbike for those who believe maximum fun is found at the throttle stop.
More isn't always more on the road. The top dogs in the super-naked segment are now skinless superbikes pushing more than 160 horsepower, and many riders are going for less demanding mid-tier bikes they can comfortably hit the throttle stop on without being launched into orbit.
Ducati has found success with its 899 Panigale and 821 Hypermotard, and today it released details and photos of its upcoming Monster 821, which will slot right into the middle of a bustling naked Monster lineup in July this year.
Styled to mimic the gorgeous Monster 1200, the 821 features a liquid-cooled, 821cc Testastretta 11° engine. Lightly evolved from the 821cc Hypermotard engine, it makes the same 65.9 lb-ft of torque but gains 2 extra horsepower, bringing the total to 112.
The Monster 821 gets 8-stage traction control, 3-level ABS and 3 different fuel mapping options, integrated into a riding mode system much like other Dukes. It also gets an adjustable seat height, which is nice, and it weighs in at 179.5 kg (395.7 lbs) dry, so it should feel quite nimble on the go.
Ducati plans to release restricted 25 kW (33.5 hp) and 35 kW (47 hp) versions of the bike in territories with restricted licensing schemes. Personally, I haven't ridden a restricted bike yet that felt as nice as one that was designed from scratch to meet restriction laws, but I'm happy to be proven wrong.
The 821 will sit in between the 696 entry-level Monster and the 140-horsepower bad boy Monster 1200 – right where the 796 sits at the moment. So without confirmation from Ducati, it seems the 796's days are numbered. That would represent a significant moment for Monster fans as the 796 is the last of the traditional, simple air-cooled Monsters. High-performance, air-cooled engines are becoming tougher and tougher to build as emissions regulations grow ever tighter.
You can get the Monster 821 in red or white (with a red trellis frame) – or there's the Dark version in black. Make mine the red!