It was 1992 when Ducati introduced the world to a new model called Monster. Designed by Miguel Galuzzi, the naked bike was much more than just a new model, luring a whole new generation of riders that appreciated the combination of everyday practicality with the sportbike genes that had helped build Ducati's legendary status.
A quarter of a century and hundreds of thousands of Monsters later, Ducati puts the unavoidable update of the Monster 821 to good use by honoring the 1992 original M900.
The Monster 821 was first introduced in 2014, built on the smaller-capacity Testastretta engine of the Hypermotard 821. Over the last three years, the Hypermotard family upgraded to a bigger 939 cc unit, while the 821 cc version of Ducati's V-twin remained in production only in the Monster. The 821 bridges the gap between the entry-level air-cooled Monster 797 and the 1200 big boys' toy with the Panigale superbike engine.
For 2018, the 821 had to align with Euro 4 mandates, so Ducati retuned the engine accordingly and added a new exhaust system and catalytic converter, resulting in a minor loss of 3 hp (2.2 kW) for a maximum output of 109 hp (80 kW) at 9,250 rpm and 86 Nm (63.4 lb-ft) at 7,750 rpm.
The most obvious changes to the bike revolve around its styling, as the fuel tank, tail unit, front fender and headlight have been redesigned in order to better fit the 1992 Monster 900 silhouette. Ducati has even reintroduced the aluminum clip that secures the front part of the fuel tank – which now holds 16.5 liters (4.4 gal), one (0.26 gal) less than its precursor.
Other than the aforementioned changes, everything else remains as we know it from the 2014-2017 models, including frame, suspension and brakes. The Monster is equipped with a full electronic arsenal that includes ride-by-wire throttle, ABS, selectable riding and power modes, and traction control. It can also be optionally outfitted with a quick shifter kit from the Panigale superbike.
One last change that we note on the 2018 Monster 821 is the color TFT dashboard, straight off from the Monster 1200 models, configurable to three different display modes (urban, touring and track), and ready to connect to Ducati's multimedia system via Bluetooth.
In Italy the new Monster 821 will retail from €11,440 and will be available in red, black and yellow solid colors. The latter is a historic color that will bring back fond memories to Monster riders of the past, and is returning to Ducati's range only for the specific anniversary model.