Equipment – Election of the 8 products of the year JPMS 2011 –

Ducati Monster 821 and Yamaha MT-09 in comparison

Racy Italian versus reserved Japanese

The middle class has long outgrown the bread-and-butter image. It has leveled off at displacements of around 800 cm³, recorded decent growth and meanwhile has real cream slices ready. Like the Yamaha MT-09 and the brand new Ducati Monster 821.

Tech and powerful big bikes are usually in the spotlight. You set highlights, no question about it. But you don’t always have to be great to achieve great things. Because other trends are currently in vogue and are increasing in popularity and market shares: namely mid-range bikes around 800 cm³. As the D.ucati Monster 821 and the Yamaha MT-09. A lot of power, crisp design, easy handling. That works. The MT-09 is one of the vertical takeoffs of the year. Almost a quarter of all newly registered Yamahas were MT-09 in the first half of the year. Grumpy three-cylinder, nimble chassis and appetizing cost price, many grabbed this eye-catcher.

Ducati Monster 821 and Yamaha MT-09 in comparison

Racy Italian versus reserved Japanese

Monster 821 sends to catch prey.

Italian joie de vivre versus Japanese restraint

Who is the prey and who is the hunter here has to be seen first. It is a contest of concepts, of philosophies. Three-cylinder in-line in the aluminum chassis against V2 in the tubular trolley. The Yamaha MT-09 positions its rider upright, very close to the straight handlebars on a narrow, hard bench. The Ducati rider finds space in a softer, padded seat, feels a little more in the motorcycle, with his upper body leaning slightly forward. While the Yamaha starts to work with a discreet growl, the Ducati Monster 821 wakes up with a loud rumbling with a powerful bass, which also lets the neighbors participate in the morning start-up procedure. Italian joie de vivre versus Japanese restraint. Yet. The first gear of the Yamaha engages with an audible thud. The controllability of your clutch is moderate. The smooth-running monster clutch can be dosed a little better when starting, which also offers an anti-hopping mechanism.

Once it has started rolling, the Yamaha MT-09 quickly makes it clear who is setting the tone here in terms of engine technology. The three-cylinder delivers full power from the first meter. No matter what gear, no matter what speed, the comfort zone of this power plant stretches between 2000 and 11,000 rpm. One twist of the wrist and the MT-09 pushes forward powerfully and confidently. Combines pulling power with fiery revving. The bottom line is that it’s a pretty cool country drive. However, the triplet accelerates quite accentuated. Like the Ducati Monster 821, the MT-09 also has three riding modes, which, unlike the Italian, all release the same top performance. She acts most gently in B-mode. The standard mode, active every time the ignition is switched on, is noticeably more direct to the point. Much harder, almost aggressively, the MT-09 reacts to gas commands in A-mode, so that you stick to standard or B-mode depending on your nature. Together with the rather bony gearbox, the points of criticism of the cultivated running Yamaha triple would already be listed.

Naked bike

Yamaha MT-09 in the top test

Queuing for the fleet manager

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Yamaha MT-09, Triumph Street Triple and MV Agusta Brutale 800 in the test

Three-cylinder nakeds in horsepower comparison

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Ducati not so polished, but more emotional

What does the Ducati Monster 821 have to oppose? After all, its 821 cm³ twin has already convinced in the Hypermotard. In the Monster, too, the 11 ° -Testastretta, as the 821 is called because of its tame valve timing with only 11 ° valve overlap, with excellent smoothness. Without rattling and fidgeting, the ride-by-wire controlled V2 runs smoothly at 2500 rpm. Goes to work in the monster trim (different exhaust, airbox and injection bridge than with the Hypermotard) below 3000 rpm but rather cautiously. Then comes to life with a mighty bite and really tears. At first glance, it seems dynamic and powerful.

But the twin does not achieve the punching power of the Yamaha MT-09 in the medium speed range. For example, the Ducati rider is always one or two gears lower than the Yamaha rider during rapid overtaking maneuvers and intermediate sprints, whose machine – one mustn’t forget – with a fuller torque curve is a whopping 17 kilos lighter. However, the picture changes from 6000 rpm. Then the monster comes huge, hangs greedily on the gas, hammers up the speed ladder with joy and roaring and turns with vehemence. Vibrations are naturally present, but never take on an unpleasant level. The Ducati Monster 821 doesn’t seem so polished and powerful, but more emotional and original. A somewhat rougher, but warm character.


Two different concepts, two different characters, one result: maximum fun.

The presentations on the chassis are similar. In terms of handling, the Ducati Monster 821 offers a good class standard. Doesn’t work into the curves with over-motivation, but also doesn’t resist playing with changing slopes. She seems calm and focused. Even at a accelerated pace, it does not stumble. Your spring elements are tuned tight enough. At the rear maybe a bit too tight, because even with the rebound stage fully open, the rear still rebounds very slowly. This is not very comfortable on quickly successive paragraphs. Like the poorly responding fork that carelessly rumbled over minor bumps. Jagged changes of lean angle do not appear quite as smooth when cornering wildly.

After all, the Ducati Monster 821 is still stable on the track even at high speeds and only looks a bit wobbly on large slopes. Your brakes take a long time, could only be more finely dosed. For this, the Bosch ABS regulates sensitively and can be set in three stages from super sharp without lift detection for the rear wheel to sovereign with maximum braking stability. The complete Ducati Safety Pack includes a soft, eight-stage traction control.

Fewer opponents than many more brothers in spirit

The Yamaha MT-09 has to fit with ride-by-wire, multi-level ABS or even traction control. But it is more agile and agile in the curves. Steers in with a light hand and willingly falls into lower inclines, into which the Ducati Monster 821 wants to be more consciously guided. Amazingly, she has the slimmer waist, the tighter knee. Their spring elements have longer spring travel than those of the Monster and are comfortably soft. The fork carefully filters bumps out of the asphalt. Everything would actually be fine and you could really put the spurs on the thing. Especially since the brakes are easy to grip and can be dosed perfectly.

On the one hand, however, the tips of the boots touch the ground early on the low-mounted notches, and on the other hand, the framework moves quickly when cornering, the Yamaha MT-09 lacks precision when turning and gutters through the curves with a happily bobbing tail. Not worrying. But also not sporty and stable. The spring elements can be adjusted in preload and rebound, but even largely closed damper screws do not elicit the necessary tightness from them. If the Yamaha is more manageable, more sensitive, more direct, the Ducati is more binding, more stable, and calm. In addition, the Ducati Monster 821 can cope better with an additional passenger. He would choose the Ducati anyway, if it offers him the much more comfortable place.

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Ducati Monster 821 in the top test

A crowd-puller even while standing

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Ducati Monster 821 in the driving report

Water-cooled little monsters

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Ducati Monster 821 and Kawasaki Z 800 in the test

Two concepts, one champion

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At least in the short term, there is agreement at the pump

Both then agree again, at least for a short time, at the pump. With 4.3 (Yamaha MT-09) and 4.5 liters, both are modest. While the Ducati driver has already returned from paying and is getting ready to continue, the Yamaha driver is still busy pouring the last of the maximum 14 liters into the tank (Ducati Monster 821: 17.5 liter tank volume), which can only be filled in with patience. On the way home, the Yamaha rider is happy about the slightly better view in the mirrors and the slightly brighter light when it gets dark. His Yamaha MT-09 looks properly processed, shines with aluminum handlebars, adjustable spring elements and a deflection for the shock absorber. But things like the cheap cockpit or the non-adjustable clutch lever show the successful dictation of the red pencil. Because even if Yamaha has now raised the price to 8225 euros, the MT-09 is still a great offer.

Ducati buyers have to dig much deeper into their pockets at 10,695 euros. The Ducati Monster 821 squeezes things like strut deflection, aluminum handlebars or adjustable spring elements (only adjustable preload at the rear). Nevertheless, it is not cheap. The clear, informative cockpit, which can be operated from the handlebars, is just as pleasing to the eye as the beautifully made swing ends, the neatly welded tubular space frame or the neat equipment, which even offers a height-adjustable bench. So in the end the two are less opponents than much more brothers in spirit, with an unmistakable character. Different, but so are the tastes.

Technical data and measured values


Performance measurement.

Amazing: The Yamaha MT-09 delivers more power over the entire speed range. In addition, there is significantly more torque in the middle and especially in the lower range up to 3000 rpm. You can feel it every time you turn the throttle. The steep rise in the Ducati Monster 821 from 6000 rpm, where it generates a lot of power, is also clearly visible. The Yamaha cuts the speed in fourth and fifth gear because of top speed.

ENGINE Ducati Monster 821 Yamaha MT-09
type design Two-cylinder four-stroke-
90 degree V engine
Three-cylinder four-stroke-
In-line engine
coupling Multi-disc oil bath-
clutch (anti-hopping)     
Multi-disc oil bath-
Boron x stroke      88.0 x 67.5 mm 78.0 x 59.1 mm
Displacement 21 cc 847 cc
compression 12.8: 1 11.5: 1
power 79.0 kW (107 hp)
at 9250 rpm
84.6 kW (115 PS)
at 10,000 rpm
Torque 89 Nm at 7750 rpm 88 Nm at 8500 rpm
landing gear Ducati Monster 821 Yamaha MT-09
frame Tubular space frame
from steel
Bridge frame
made of cast aluminum
fork Upside-down fork,
Ø 43 mm
Upside-down fork,
Ø 41 mm
Steering damper
Brakes front / rear      Ø 320/245 mm Ø 298/245 mm
Systems assistance ABS, traction control SECTION
bikes 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/60 ZR 17 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Tires Pirelli Diablo Ross II front "D"       Bridgestone S20 "M"
Dimensions + weight Ducati Monster 821 Yamaha MT-09
wheelbase 1480 mm 1440 mm
Steering head angle 65.7 degrees 65.0 degrees
trailing 93 mm 103 mm
Front / rear suspension travel 130/140 mm 137/130 mm
Seat height¹ 800-830 mm 810 mm
Weight with a full tank¹ 209 kg 192 kg
Payload¹ 181 kg 173 kg
Tank capacity / reserve 17.5 / 2.5 liters 14.0 liters
Service intervals 15,000 km 10,000 km
price 10,690 euros 8,295 euros
Price test motorcycle 10,690 euros 8,295 euros
Additional costs 305 euros 170 euros
MOTORCYCLE readings Ducati Monster 821 Yamaha MT-09
Top speed * 225 km / h 210 km / h
0-100 km / h 3.3 sec 3.3 sec
0-140 km / h 5.7 sec 5.4 sec
0-200 km / h 13.8 sec 11.5 sec
60-100 km / h 4.1 sec 3.3 sec
100-140 km / h 4.5 sec 4.0 sec
140-180 km / h 4.8 sec 4.4 sec
Consumption highway / 100km 4.5 liters / super 4.3 liters / super
Reach country road 389 km 326 km

*Manufacturer information; ¹MOTORWHEEL measurements



Italian joie de vivre versus Japanese restraint: Ducati Monster 821 versus Yamaha MT-09.


  maximum number of points Ducati Monster 821 Yamaha MT-09
Draft 40 29 33
acceleration 40 29 31
Top speed 30th 18th 15th
Engine characteristics 30th 20th 25th
Responsiveness 20th 13 14th
Load change 20th 14th 13
Smoothness 20th 11 14th
coupling 10 7th 7th
circuit 20th 12th 11
Gear ratio 10 9 9
Start 10 8th 9
total 250 170 181

Clear matter for the famous three-cylinder of the Yamaha MT-09. Although it is not perfect either, load changes and shift work could take place a bit more smoothly. While it offers pressure in all situations, the Ducati Monster 821 stands out especially in the second half of the speed range.

Winner engine: Yamaha MT-09

landing gear

  maximum number of points Ducati Monster 821 Yamaha MT-09
Handiness 40 29 31
Stability in turns 40 27 25th
Steering behavior 40 26th 26th
feedback 10 7th 7th
Inclined position 20th 19th 17th
Straight-line stability 20th 14th 13
Suspension tuning in front 20th 11 12th
Chassis set-up at the rear 20th 12th 12th
Adjustment options undercarriage 10 2 4th
Suspension comfort 10 5 7th
Driving behavior with a passenger 20th 14th 12th
total 250 166 166

Practically a stalemate in the landing gear chapter. While the Yamaha MT-09 scores with its handiness and comfortable chassis, but leaves behind when cornering quickly, the Ducati Monster 821 has advantages in terms of stability, freedom from leaning and when transporting a passenger, but offers lower suspension comfort.

Chassis winner: Ducati Monster 821 / Yamaha MT-09

everyday life

  maximum number of points Ducati Monster 821 Yamaha MT-09
Ergonomics driver 40 25th 28
Ergonomics pillion 20th 8th 6th
Windbreak 20th 0 0
view 20th 11 13
light 20th 12th 14th
Furnishing 30th 18th 15th
Handling / maintenance 30th 19th 17th
Luggage storage 10 2 1
Payload 10 4th 3
Tidy 30th 24 19th
processing 20th 13 15th
total 250 136 131

Whether you prefer the almost supermoto-like seating position on the tight Yamaha seat or the more integrated seating position on the Ducati is a matter of taste. Better light and mirrors give the Yamaha MT-09 points, more range due to the larger tank of the Ducati Monster 821. The possibilities for luggage storage are modest with both.

Winner everyday: Ducati Monster 821


  maximum number of points Ducati Monster 821 Yamaha MT-09
Braking effect 40 32 31
Brake metering 30th 22nd 26th
Braking with a passenger / fading 20th 14th 13
Righting moment when braking 10 6th 7th
ABS function 20th 13 12th
Handlebar slapping 20th 12th 12th
Ground clearance 10 8th 7th
total 150 107 108

Another head-to-head race. Both the Yamaha MT-09 with better controllability and the Ducati Monster 821 with even more bite and more nimble ABS offer good brakes. It also stands up more strongly when braking in an inclined position.

Safety winner: Yamaha MT-09


  maximum number of points Ducati Monster 821 Yamaha MT-09
guarantee 30th 17th 15th
Consumption (country road) 30th 22nd 23
Inspection costs 20th 18th 15th
Maintenance costs 20th 9 9
total 100 66 62

Two-year mobility guarantee and 12,000 inspection intervals (Yamaha MT-09: 10,000): points victory for the Ducati Monster 821.

Winner cost: Ducati Monster 821

  maximum number of points Ducati Monster 821 Yamaha MT-09
Overall rating 1000 645 648
placement 2. 1.
Price-performance note 1.0 1.9 1.2

Price-performance winner: Yamaha MT-09

Narrow point win and 2500 euros cheaper than the Ducati Monster 821, so the Yamaha MT-09 is clear.

MOTORCYCLE test results


In a direct duel, the Yamaha MT-09 narrowly prevailed against the Ducati Monster 821.

1. Yamaha MT-09

The great handling and this excellent country road engine are their strengths, which also make you forget weaknesses in throttle response and shifting. The Yamaha MT-09 doesn’t come across as emotional as the Ducati Monster 821.

2. Ducati Monster 821

Second place is first loser? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that. The Ducati Monster 821 stands at eye level, offers an intense driving experience with its easy-to-turn, powerful twin, but would appreciate fine-tuning the chassis and pulling power.

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