The Monster 821 is one of the friendliest big street naked bikes I’ve ever ridden. It is very easy to ride in the city as well as on the highway. Yes, it might look heavy at 205kg kerb, but the brilliant weight distribution has helped this Italian bike to be agile and fun. The ergonomics in this motorcycle has been updated too and is more rider friendly now. The handle bar has been moved 40mm higher and 40mm closer to the rider and this makes it a pretty upright position. There’s more than enough space on the side of the big 17.6-litre fuel tank to rest your knee. The single-seat is wide, well-cushioned but the new design makes the riding quarters a bit too cramped and needless to say it affects the rider when he decides to go full throttle. But, the seat height is very accessible to a wide range of riders. Why? Because it’s adjustable (785mm-810mm).
The suspension setup of the Monster 821 – 43mm upside-down forks at the front and adjustable monoshock at the rear have been tuned to balance between city and highway riding. It isn’t soft nor is firm, it is semi-soft and this balance soaked most of the bumps and potholes of Mumbai roads with ease. The front suspension isn’t adjustable, so you’ve a certain limitation there.
But the party piece of this motorcycle is its engine and the technology it is loaded with 821cc, L-Twin, 112bhp, 89.4Nm – these figures are surely not best in the segment but it does the job and it does it really well. This engine has the urge to perform fantastically all the time. The mill churns out more low-end torque than you’d expect and it’s the same story at mid-range. Open the throttle, and there’s a sudden surge of power and torque reminding you that this is one of the finer things in life. And this wouldn’t have been possible with the six-speed gearbox that is operated via a light slipper clutch. It is smooth, has the right amount of engagement sound, but I did encounter a couple of false neutrals, especially in the Sport mode. Talking about the modes, this engine is equipped with three maps – Urban – limits the power to 75bhp and the throttle response is the laziest here. I found this to be the most useful during heavy in-city ride and in wet conditions. There’s the Touring mode, which gives you full 112bhp but with decreased throttle response. Sport mode gives you the ability to enjoy the bike more with 112bhp at your disposal and the throttle response here is quicker and more sensitive. The Monster 821 sounds really good at lower-revs, especially in the Sport mode. In Urban mode, there’s a reduced exhaust sound. Also, this motor heats up quite a bit in heavy traffic conditions.
While riding the Monster 821 in city is the best feeling ever, it’s the same story in the corners. The motorcycle with its new chassis is confidence inspiring and has the ability to go faster every time you want to. Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without the awesome Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres, which are grippy and warm up pretty quickly. And there’s more. The Brembo brake setup is equally brilliant, has a very good bite and feedback. Doesn’t matter if you’re hitting the brakes at 70kmph or 140kmph – both the times you’ll have the same confidence level to bring the bike to a halt.