The Ducati Monster is often regarded as the machine that saved the Bologna brand and with 250,000 models manufactured, it’s still one of their most popular motorcycles.  2015 will see six variants of the Ducati Monster, with the latest model being the new Monster 821.

We lent Geoff Hill from the Daily Mirror (and round the World travel writer) our demonstration machine to get his thoughts. “Powered by the same 821cc engine that is used in the Hypermotard, the seating position is classic Monster: upright and hunched slightly forward over those wide supermoto-style bars.

There are three power modes, Urban, which reduces the power to 75bhp for pottering around in town or rain, Touring, which gives full power but a softer throttle response for bimbling about on the open road, or Sport for getting down to business and enjoying the fact that a large airbox and new exhaust  let the engine breathe and boosts max power slightly from the Hypermotard original to 112bhp.

That surge of power is accompanied by a fabulous V-twin snarl, possibly the finest motorcycle sound on the planet, aided and abetted by a new exhaust valve to let it sing properly at higher revs.

The Brembo brakes are brutal but smooth and precise, helped by ABS and a new slipper clutch to stop the back wheel locking up during extreme downshifting, while handling, though not quite as clinical as the Triumph Tiger 800 or the Yamaha MT-09, is agile and neutral thanks to the wide bars, steep fork rake and a shorter wheelbase, lighter weight and narrower rear tyre than the 1200.

That combination also makes the bike slightly skittish on rough surfaces, but never in a fashion that makes you want to get off and walk home to your mum in tears. Which is probably a good thing, since when I was growing up she was always telling me to be careful of those monsters down the road!”

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