For some, and understandably so, the 147-horsepower Monster 1200 may prove to be too much bike and the 797 too small and rudimentary. The 821 comes in as the Goldilocks option: it utilizes the same frame, brakes, tank and headlight, the beautiful, if intricate, color TFT instrument display and traction control and ride mode system as the more expensive 1200 — but delivers it all in a much more manageable, affordable package. In that respect, Ducati is one of the few manufacturers making an entry-level bike with top-level state of the art tech, instead of holding out just because the engine is on the smaller side of the spectrum.

2018 Monster 821

Engine: 821 L-Twin
Weight: 430 lbs
Horsepower: 109
Torque: 63 lb-ft
MSRP: $11,995

That seems to be the magic of the Monster. The Scrambler may be its own sub-brand, but the Monster has its own following under the larger Ducati umbrella. It offers the same styling with different levels of performance, attracting a wider array of riders. It’s succeeded with an architecture Ducati got right the first time and has simply fined tuned over the years in small, minute increments like Porsche has done with the 911. Its basic architecture makes for a fantastically handling and great looking bike. The Monster can make a superbike rider just as happy on mountain roads as it can a sport standard rider.

The 821 certainly isn’t a paradigm shift in the Monster universe, but what it gets right is bringing upper-echelon sportbike technology within the grasp of new riders — or riders not interested in spending nearly $18,000 for what should be standard on any modern sport bike.

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