Ducati 821 Monster for 2018
19th October 2017
Testastretta 11-degree engine | Quick Shift DQS
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300,000 Monsters and counting. That's how many of these iconic motorcycles are claimed by Ducati to have been built.
Well, for 2018 the production line will be getting a boost with the new 821 Monster which will be officially launched at the EICMA Show between 7th - 12th November.
In most respects, the newcomer looks much like the current 821 model. If you squint and squat, that is. But there are significant differences revealing that Ducati has been listening carefully to customer feedback and has been tweaking this bike appropriately.
The wonderful 821cc Testastretta 11-degree engine is, as before, the centrepiece of this Bolognese creation. This liquid-cooled 4-valve (Desmodromic) L-twin dimensions are still 88mm bore x 67.5mm stroke. The compression ratio is still 12.8:1. Max power is still rated at 109hp
80kW @ 9,250rpm. Maximum torque kicks in with 63lb-ft (86Nm) @ 7,750 rpm. The gearbox is still 6-speed. Final drive is still chain.
The front fork is still a 43mm inverted Ducati-built unit. Rear suspension is still a progressive linkage c/w adjustable monoshock connected to a double-sided aluminium swinging-arm.
There's no change with the 120/70 ZR 17 front tyre, the 180/55 ZR17 rear tyre, the 10-spoke light alloy wheels, or the 2 x 320mm semi-floating discs with radially-mounted monobloc Brembo M4-32 calipers, or the 4-piston, axial pump with Bosch ABS as standard equipment. As for the rear brake, that's still a 245mm disc with a 2-piston caliper.
So much for the similarities. What's changed is the freshly-sculpted fuel tank which has a new ski boot style securing clip. There's a full TFT (Thin Film Transistor) colour display. The rider and pillion footpegs have been separated. The headlight is conventional halogen with LED parking lights. The tail light is LED. The tail end is restyled. Ditto for the exhaust and silencer.
▲ Ducati is also offering three packages: Sports, Touring or Urban, but we can't see a lot of touring going on with this bright yellow fun bomb exploding between your legs.
To compliment all this, Ducati is offering three riding modes, traction control, and Ride-by-Wire throttle. And if you're one of those guys who just can't gear up or down fast enough, you can opt for a plug-in Quickshift (DQS) kit to boost the required changes. And you'll perhaps sleep a little more soundly thanks to Ducati's anti-theft system.
Best of all, it feels like Ducati's returned to the original Monster sauce and has included just enough retro flavouring, but without producing an overly synthetic ketchup. Consequently, it's a pretty compelling package that delivers the right noises, the right moves, and at a competitive price starting at around £9,900 plus or minus a few shillings.
▲ Three colours are available for the new 2018 821; yellow, red or black. Frames and wheels are black for all models.
▲ Ducati reckons you're looking at 30,000km (18,750 miles) between having those Desmodromically actuated valves checked. Meanwhile, you're looking at 15,000km (9,375) between oil changes, or annually.
Once again, we're looking at Triumph and thinking about how well this Italian roadster compares with the Hinckley equivalent. Both firms are great marques and have created fantastic motorcycles with poise, charm, excellent performance and clear identities.
Nobody at Sump has ever owned a Ducati, but one or two of us are now slowly succumbing to temptation.
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