Ducati Monster 821 Motorcycle Review & Photoshoot

ducati monster 821 motorcycle review

Are you considering a Ducati Monster 821 for your next bike? Before parting with your hard earned coin, hear us out. In this article we go through several photographic and written reasons as to why you should. And maybe a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t.

Before we get into it, the team at Acle Car Centre deserve a huge thank you for letting us take another one of their machines for a spin. And a big shout out to Shocked Sockets photographer and author Josh Hutcheon for helping with the shoot.

ducati monster 821 norwich

Ducati Monster 821 engine & power

The Ducati Monster 821 bike boasts a whopping 112bhp and weighs in at less than 180kg. Making it easy enough to throw around the corners and pick up with no bother when straightening up. The engine itself is a liquid cooled, 90 degree V-Twin at exactly 821cc.

Not only does it sound the absolute business, it also does as it is told. The Monster 821 has the most responsive engine out of all V-Twins we’ve reviewed. Touch the throttle and you will know about it, and of course so will any bystanders.

ducati monster motorbike
Helmet in frame: HJC F70 Motorcycle Helmet | Photograph by Josh Hutcheon Photography

The chassis

It wouldn’t be a Ducati if there wasn’t a hint of red. The Ferrari of the motorbike world cannot be without their signature colour. Even if a subtle splash on the frame and wheels.

The frame itself is a steel trellis chassis. Not too dissimilar from the super-bike counterpart, the Ducati Panigale. Unlike the larger Ducati Monster 1200, the 821 mounts a standard double sided swingarm.

Who is it for? That’s me in the picture above. I’m 6’2″ and lockdown has got the better of me. I weigh a little more than I would like and spending this much time on motorbikes isn’t helping. Back to the point, I don’t look out of place on this bike and I’m sure anybody a few inches larger would feel comfortable also.

ducati monster off road
Photos courtesy of Adam Rhodes Photography

Starting up

From the minute you turn the key in the ignition, you’re blown away. The digital dash display does a little dance. Showing all the colours of the bow in some creative attempt to get the juices flowing.

On the dash you’re greeted by a full width rev meter at the top. Other displays below include but are not limited to:

  • Speedo
  • Trip mileage count which can of course be converted to total mileage
  • Riding mode with a selection of Sport, Touring and Urban
  • Fuel level
  • Engine temperature
  • Outdoor temperature
  • ABS information
  • All the other mandatory warnings lights you would expect to see on any most bikes

Once you start the bike up you’ll be greeted with that exciting Italian purr. You’ll feel the 90 degree Ducati V-Twin rumble between your thighs. Not to mention scare the crap out of the dog walking past like I did. I swear I didn’t know it was there. Sorry.

ducati monster 821 2015
Photos courtesy of Adam Rhodes Photography

The look, the feel and the trimmings

The Monster 821 has softer aesthetics compared to rival naked bikes. Streetfighters like the MT range from Yamaha tend to have a much more menacing look. That doesn’t necessarily make them a more menacing machine.

From the front of the tank to the tip of the tail, the Ducati displays a smooth wave which dramatically helps with airflow at higher speeds. The rear seat cowl comes as standard with all Ducati Monster 821 bikes from 2015 but is easily removed to allow for a pillion.

On the bike we used a few customisations were made which we weren’t 100% keen on. Following a theme you can see the rear wheel hugger and exhaust guard have been dipped or wrapped with a skull pattern.

This may appeal to some of you. But anybody interested in buying this bike from Acle Car Centre can be at peace knowing these parts don’t cost a lot to redo or replace.


Overall the Shocked Sockets team were impressed with the Ducati Monster. It’s one of the most fun bikes we’ve ridden and definitely a top five contender for sound. If you’re on the look out for a bike which goes “pop pop”, look no further. Importantly the Monster 821 sticks to the road, handles beautifully and is light enough to ride more aggressively with confidence.

The biggest downside to me was the lack of buttons on the dash. Throughout the evening I had “Touring” written across the display. Knowing full well there was a more exciting mode to play with, I didn’t want to stop riding to YouTube how to change it. Hopefully this video clears that up.

The ABS is solid. It allows for stopping as easy as the bike gets going. The suspension is a little stiffer than I’m used to but again makes the bike incredibly responsive on the tighter turns.

The only other negative point to be made relates to the steering. On corners it’s wonderful. However, when you give it some welly and the front wheel lifts, you really notice how light the steering is on this machine. Be sure to keep a steady grip and avoid any movements of the bars that could potentially lead to speed wobble or worse.

All in all, it’s a fantastic motorbike. If you get the chance, go for a test ride and I guarantee you’ll walk away more tempted to take it home if you don’t on the day.

ducati shop showroom norwich

Ducati Monster 821 specs

Engine size821cc
Engine typeLiquid-cooled, 821cc, 8v V-twin
Frame typeTubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity & consumption17.5 litres | 45 mpg
Seat height785mm
Bike weight179kg
Front suspensionUD non-adjustable 43mm
Rear suspensionSachs fully-adjustable shock
Front brakeBrembo 2 x 320mm semi-floating discs, radially-attached M4.32 Monobloc 4-piston calipers, ABS as standard
Rear brake245mm disc 2-piston caliper, ABS as standard
Front tyre size120/70 x17
Rear tyre size180/60 x 17

Ducati Monster 821 photo gallery


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here