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Ducati Monster 821 Stripe, MV Agusta Brutale 800 and Yamaha XSR 900

Naked bikes in comparison test

Beguilingly beautiful motorcycles for beguiling country road fun: Ducati Monster 821 Stripe, MV Agusta Brutale 800 and Yamaha XSR 900 try to come as close as possible to this claim in different ways.

"Beauty is an open letter of recommendation that wins hearts for us in advance", Schopenhauer already knew. Anyone who just had a cursory look at the test trio of Yamaha XSR 900, MV Agusta Brutale 800 and D.ucati Monster 821 Stripe throws, has to agree with the philosopher. The three not only want to inspire with pure function, but also flatter the eye, with their color scheme or their formidable lines make you want to walk every meter of the route even before the start.

Ducati Monster 821 Stripe, MV Agusta Brutale 800 and Yamaha XSR 900

Naked bikes in comparison test

Monster 821 Stripe maintain their optical stimuli even under objective test conditions? Or is it just the form that blossoms here, pushing the function into the background?

Ducati Monster 821 Stripe – entry-level model of the series

The Ducati Monster 821 Stripe amuses itself with the strong blow of its L-engine over such speculations. Why not? She knows about her history. The two-wheeled beasts have been made in Bologna since 1992. Its design still follows the lines conceived by Miguel Angel Galluzzi.

Even if a lot is new and very different from almost 25 years ago. Air-cooled engines have long since become obsolete at Ducati’s monsters, displacement and performance have grown steadily. The Ducati Monster 821 Stripe as the entry-level model of the Monster series clearly shows this.

Yamaha XSR 900 is based on the MT-09

The MV Agusta Brutale 800 does not look back on so much history of its own. She was born in 675. On this basis, MV later created the sister model with 800 cubic meters, which is now Euro 4-compliant with many updates for testing. The Yamaha XSR 900 has a completely different origin.

Your three-cylinder is based on the current MT-09, which is also homologated according to Euro 4, uses the same chassis construction kit and pairs its technology with an attached, classic-looking dress. This is particularly evident in the 60th anniversary version of the Yamaha XSR 900, which proudly flaunts the tuning fork brand racing block color scheme. The origins of the three bikes have thus been clarified. Let’s get back to the initial question: How does it work?

XSR 900 with 115 hp at 10,000 revolutions

The XSR 900 has the best systems for this. One reason is the potent triplet between the black-washed frame tubes. According to the data sheet, it sends 115 hp at 10,000 revolutions to the rear wheel. He spices up this power with exemplary performance, pushes well below, powerfully in the middle and emphatically above. So far there has been criticism mainly for the response behavior and the load changes of the engine from the MT-09. With the Yamaha XSR 900 the prophecies of doom fall silent. The 847 cubic centimeter drive now has fine manners, across all three driving modes. Even in the most aggressive A-gradation it follows the commands of the throttle hand directly, but with previously unknown flexibility. When it comes to acoustic onomatopoeia, he holds back elegantly Japanese, blowing audibly but not loudly from the short stubby exhaust that peeks out from under the banana-shaped swing arm on the right.

Maneuvered on the wide handlebars, the Yamaha XSR 900 willingly follows every impulse to change direction, sweeping corners with good maneuverability without being nervous. A wheelbase of 1440 millimeters and the trio’s slackest steering head angle of 65 degrees give it a lot of stability right up to brisk country road speeds. Only when the speed is really brisk or the asphalt becomes brittle does the chassis move a lot. The spring elements of the XSR 900, with 137 millimeters of travel at the front and 130 millimeters at the rear, do not always act confidently, especially when it comes to damping. A similar picture emerges when braking. If you don’t fly around the corner at the tip of your hand, the system, equipped with two 298 millimeter panes at the front, will spoil you with its fine effect and controllability. But if the ABS takes control of the stopping distance, the rough regulation screwed up the turn-in point. So it’s better to take the whole thing a little slower.

According to the data sheet, the three-cylinder of the XSR 900 sends 115 hp to the rear wheel at 10,000 revolutions.

With the upright sitting position and the extremely relaxed knee angle, nothing hurts with the Yamaha XSR 900 even after many kilometers of country roads, the pleasure trip through spring, which is awakened to life with the first warm rays of sunshine, could go on forever . At least that’s what the driver thinks. It looks different at the back. The passenger pegs are high and far forward.

This forces the passenger into a peculiar, uncomfortable posture with little contact with the driver. And without handles, every strong braking becomes a spontaneous free flight for the pillion passenger upwards. But: With a payload of just 169 kilograms, the carry-on limit is quickly reached. So it’s better to find the distance on your own and empty the 14 liter tank of the Yamaha XSR 900. With a consumption of 4.6 liters per 100 kilometers, it ensures a range of just over the 300 mark when moved around casually.

Ducati Monster 821 Stripe with the most stable chassis

Next comes the Ducati. The tank of the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe holds a good 17.5 liters. With a fuel-saving consumption of 4.6 liters, they are sufficient for ranges of almost 400 kilometers. The Ducati also takes a different approach when it comes to seating comfort. The rider sits low in the motorcycle, even when the seat bench is locked on the highest step at 830 millimeters. The fuel barrel is bulky, and you have to stretch a lot more to the handlebars, which are comparatively low and far forward than on the Yamaha XSR 900. In addition, if the footpegs are higher, the heels have to be spread wide because of the positioning of the exhaust and the passenger pegs. That disturbs. But you can live with it.

After all, the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe with its L-Twin also throws a hefty pound into the scales. After cool nights it initially only reluctantly accepts commands from the right hand and does not react as cleanly as the two triplets to the spontaneous opening of the throttle valve at the bottom of the engine speed range, but at the latest from 3000 revolutions it is open for all jokes. With a really strong thud – the other two go pale with astonishment – he carries horse and rider through the country. From a good 6000 rpm it tenses the muscles again for a second power spring, fires with gusto from turns until it reaches its maximum output of 107 horsepower at 9500 rpm.

The design of the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe still follows the lines devised by Miguel Angel Galluzzi.

The Ducati Monster 821 Stripe supports the engine-side appearance with the most stable chassis of the test. With a wheelbase of 1,480 millimeters, the 821 lies like the proverbial board on the road. In order to keep her calm, she has to sacrifice a few points on the altar of handiness, but what the heck. The little more effort she will go out again with every line made exactly according to the driver’s wishes.

Even if the front tire whines for mercy under the ABS insert, the rear wheel is dancing around nervously: The front remains calm and stable. Great That doesn’t change when a passenger gets on either. The chassis of the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe among the three beauties of the trio also puts it away most loosely. That’s a good thing because it is really easy to travel with on the Ducati. Close to the driver, blessed with plenty of cushion under the stylish cover, the front passenger will find the best conditions for traveling with them.

MV Agusta Brutale 800 as lively as ever

Sitting in the second row on the MV Agusta Brutale 800 is not that comfortable. The fact that there is a decent place at all is surprise enough. The layout of the airy, lightly constructed rear alone suggested otherwise. One or the other could also cite negative views in the performance data of the 2016 brutals. Because: Well, homologated according to Euro 4, the 798 cubic centimeter triple with its 13.3 to one sporty high density has lost some horsepower, according to the factory. 116 ponies ask for exercise at 11,500 rpm. There were 125 in the previous year. But, to anticipate it: the MV has not lost any of its liveliness. The engine even runs as smoothly as never before, only annoying now and then with slight misfires.

Or to put it another way: The 800 now works really well. The individual aisles are quickly quilted up or down using the Quickshifter. Even better than with a coupling aid. And then there is the suction noise. In the airbox, every oxygen molecule is greeted with a joyful handshake before it surrenders to the injected gasoline and helps to push down the 54.3 millimeter pistons. Goosebumps to order. Colleague Johannes Muller even went so far as to describe the MV Agusta Brutale 800 as “sex on wheels”. The Italian triplet emotionalises, but does not terrorize the environment with noise, but reserves the comfortably beautiful soundscape solely for the brutal throttle. The receipt for the omitted use of the wide speed range is still okay. The MV Agusta Brutale 800 burns an average of five liters per 100 kilometers, which means it can travel over 330 kilometers.

All three with adjustable traction control

However, for the MV experience, the pilot has to have a little capacity for suffering. The handlebars are attached even further forward and lower than on the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe, the hands grip – to put it exaggeratedly – directly on the front wheel axle. As with a super sports car, this ensures a lot of transparency, but also requires commitment. Despite the significantly more conservative values ​​for wheelbase (plus 20 millimeters), caster (plus 9 millimeters) and steering head angle (minus 0.5 degrees) than with the predecessor, the MV has enough space in a telephone booth to draw circles around the other two. There is no handier angle. With its fully adjustable chassis, the MV Agusta Brutale 800 also has the right partner on board and is almost indistinguishable during rapid curve dancing.

But only almost: it does not come close to the qualities of the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe in terms of stability. For this, the fork is dampened too softly in this example, despite the completely closed rebound and compression stage, while the tuning of the shock absorber tends towards hard. Bumps penetrate the vehicle noticeably at the rear. And when braking on the last groove, the fork sags, the rear tire only hops slightly over the road as soon as the fine ABS takes over the dosage. The latter could be crisper. Yamaha and Ducati show how it can be done better. This also applies to the adjustable traction controls. They all have three. With the MV Agusta Brutale 800 the function remains hidden, in the Monster and Yamaha XSR 900 they do their job perfectly.

Beauty has its price

MV Agusta charges 12,680 euros for the MV Agusta Brutale 800, Ducati wants 11,790 euros for the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe. It is less, namely 9,795 euros, for the Yamaha XSR 900 in the King Kenny look. Beauty has its price.

It is all the nicer that this trio is not the decisive ornament, but rather a successful handshake with the function. Just three motorcycles for the heart and mind.

Technical data and measured values

Yamaha XSR 900, MV Agusta Brutale 800 and Ducati Monster 821 Stripe.

Ducati Monster 821 Stripe MV Agusta Brutale 800 Yamaha XSR 900
type design Two-cylinder four-stroke-
90 degree V engine
Three-cylinder four-stroke-
In-line engine
Three-cylinder four-stroke-
In-line engine
injection 2 x Ø 53 mm 3 x Ø 47 mm 3 x Ø 41 mm
coupling Multi-panes-
Oil bath clutch
Oil bath clutch
Oil bath clutch
Boron x stroke 88.0 x 67.5 mm 79.0 x 54.3 mm 78.0 x 59.1 mm
Displacement 821 cc 798 cc 847 cc
compression 12.8: 1 13.3: 1 11.5: 1
power 79.0 kW (107 hp)
at 9250 rpm
85.3 kW (116 hp)
at 11,500 rpm
84.6 kW (115 PS)
at 10,000 rpm
Torque 89 Nm at 7750 rpm 83 Nm at 7600 rpm 88 Nm at 8500 rpm
landing gear
frame Steel tubular frame, engine is load-bearing Steel tubular frame with screwed cast aluminum parts Bridge frame
Cast aluminum
fork Upside-down fork,
Ø 43 mm
Upside-down fork,
Ø 43 mm
Upside-down fork,
Ø 41 mm
Brakes front / rear Ø 320/245 mm Ø 320/220 mm Ø 298/245 mm
Systems assistance ABS, traction control ABS, traction control ABS, traction control
bikes 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17 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
120/70 ZR 17;
180/55 ZR 17
Tires Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
forehead "D"
Pirelli Diablo Rosso III Bridgestone Battlax
S 20 "M"
Dimensions + weights
wheelbase 1480 mm 1400 mm 1440 mm
Steering head angle 65.7 degrees 65.5 degrees 65.0 degrees
trailing 93 mm 104 mm 103 mm
Front / rear suspension travel 130/140 mm 125/125 mm 137/130 mm
Seat height ** 800-830 mm 835 mm 830 mm
Weight with full tank ** 209 kg 199 kg 196 kg
Payload ** 181 kg 180 kg 169 kg
Tank capacity / reserve 17.5 / 2.5 liters 16.6 liters 14.0 liters
Service intervals 15,000 km 6000 km 10,000 km
price 11,790 euros 12,680 euros 9.495 euros ***
Additional costs 305 euros 275 euros 180 euros
Top speed * 225 km / h 245 km / h 210 km / h
0-100 km / h 3.3 sec 3.6 sec 3.4 sec
0-140 km / h 5.7 sec 5.7 sec 5.4 sec
0-200 km / h 13.8 sec 13.0 sec 12.0 sec
60-100 km / h 4.1 sec 3.2 sec 3.3 sec
100-140 km / h 4.5 sec 3.6 sec 3.0 sec
140-180 km / h 4.8 sec 4.5 sec 4.4 sec
Country road / 100km 4.6 liters / super 5.0 liters / super 4.6 liters / super
Reach country road 380 km 332 km 304 km

* Manufacturer information; ** MOTORCYCLE measurements; *** Basic model (60th anniversary version 300 euros surcharge)

Performance measurements

Ducati Monster 821 Stripe, MV Agusta Brutale 800, Yamaha XSR 900: performance measurements.

Cubic capacity counts, there is nothing to be shaken with this ancient wisdom. A good example of this is the Yamaha XSR 900. From its little more cubic centimeters, it conjures up performance curves on the parquet that others can only dream of. Regardless of whether it is torque or horsepower, the Yamaha never lets its supremacy be challenged. Noteworthy: Although it is exhaust-gas cleaned according to Euro 4, it does not lose any performance compared to the factory specification, and even slightly exceeds it. That deserves respect. The MV Agusta Brutale 800 proves that this is not that easy under the strict emissions regulations that are now in force.

116 horses should trot in the lead, 110 have gathered on the test stand. The MV Agusta Brutale had 800 Euro 3-cleaned and still measured 123 PS. So that’s a loss of 13 hp. But that doesn’t detract from the driving experience with the Brutale. The Italian three-cylinder sweeps through the rev range with sheer ease, wants to turn, turn, turn. The other two don’t have that much sporting spirit. The Ducati 821 Monster Stripe develops the most sluggish performance at the bottom, but is almost constant between the competitors from 4000 revs. The extra punch from 6000 rpm is clearly noticeable in the L-Twin from Bologna, which once again creates real fire in the two combustion chambers.


All three bikes are something for the eye.

Max points Ducati Monster 821 Stripe MV Agusta Brutale 800 Yamaha XSR 900
Draft 40 29 34 35
acceleration 40 29 27 29
Top speed 30th 18th 20th 15th
Engine characteristics 30th 20th 22nd 25th
Responsiveness 20th 13 13 15th
Load change 20th 14th 12th 13
Smoothness 20th 11 12th 14th
coupling 10 7th 6th 8th
circuit 20th 12th 11 12th
Gear ratio 10 9 9 9
Start 10 6th 8th 9
total 250 168 174 184

The Yamaha triplet just rocks, can do almost anything really well. The fact that it drops off at top speed is due to the limited top speed. The Yamaha XSR 900 no longer spins in gears five and six. The MV Agusta Brutale 800 masters this chapter quickly and smoothly, reacting smoothly to gas commands. Only the clutch does not want to be properly metered, noticeably jerks when starting sharply. The Ducati Monster 821 Stripe’s performance is also impressive. Of course, the L-Twin does not reach the level of the three-cylinder in terms of engine characteristics, it needs a few more tours for good concentricity. But that can easily be summarized under character. If only the monsters started a little better now after cold nights.

Winner engine: Yamaha XSR 900

Max points Ducati Monster 821 Stripe MV Agusta Brutale 800 Yamaha XSR 900
landing gear
Handiness 40 29 34 31
Stability in turns 40 28 26th 24
Steering behavior 40 28 28 27
feedback 10 7th 7th 7th
Slope / ground clearance 20th 19th 19th 17th
Straight-line stability 20th 14th 13 13
Suspension tuning in front 20th 12th 11 11
Chassis set-up at the rear 20th 13 12th 12th
Adjustment options undercarriage 10 5 6th 4th
Suspension comfort 10 5 4th 6th
Driving behavior with a passenger 20th 14th 10 12th
total 250 171 170 164

Stability wins, that underpins the Ducati. When it comes to cornering and straight-line stability, she collects the most points on her account, and she is also unimpressed by a passenger. Another advantage of the Stripe version: its fork is fully adjustable – in contrast to the normal Ducati Monster 821 Stripe. That gives her the necessary points cushion to win this category. Because the MV Agusta Brutale 800 is close on its heels, scores with its superb handiness, the also huge freedom of lean angle and its fully adjustable chassis front and rear. For the Yamaha XSR 900 it is only enough for third place, it cannot set any highlights in this chapter.

Chassis winner: Ducati Monster 821 Stripe

Max points Ducati Monster 821 Stripe MV Agusta Brutale 800 Yamaha XSR 900
everyday life
Ergonomics driver 40 25th 28 29
Ergonomics pillion 20th 8th 6th 4th
Windbreak 20th 1 0 0
view 20th 11 11 13
light 20th 12th 14th 13
Furnishing 30th 14th 11 16
Handling / maintenance 30th 19th 13 17th
Luggage storage 10 2 1 1
Payload 10 4th 4th 2
Tidy 30th 24 20th 17th
20th 14th 15th 15th
total 250 134 129 127

And again the monster is ahead. It offers the best place for the pillion passenger and with its small lamp cover, at least in the beginning, something like a windbreak. In addition: With the combination of a large tank and low consumption, the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe achieves the greatest range and has to be the last to the pump. With more tank capacity, the Yamaha XSR 900 would be further ahead, with a better pillion seat anyway. So it is only sufficient to rank two in the chapter everyday life, in which the brutal does very well.

Winner everyday life: Ducati Monster 821 Stripe

Max points Ducati Monster 821 Stripe MV Agusta Brutale 800 Yamaha XSR 900
Braking effect 40 32 32 31
Brake metering 30th 27 24 26th
Braking with a passenger / fading 20th 14th 11 13
Righting moment when braking 10 6th 7th 7th
ABS function 20th 15th 14th 12th
Handlebar slapping 20th 12th 11 12th
Systems assistance 10 8th 6th 5
total 150 114 105 106

The brakes and with a formidable effect, almost perfect controllability and almost fade-free: we’re talking about the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe. In addition, your ABS works best, your assistance systems such as traction control work reliably and safely. Noticeable: Particularly when it comes to the ABS control behavior, the Yamaha XSR 900 fails to operate, regulates early and roughly. This can be done better. The MV Agusta Brutale 800 would have been better off with a more controllable braking system and less fading.

Safety winner: Ducati Monster 821 Stripe

Max points Ducati Monster 821 Stripe MV Agusta Brutale 800 Yamaha XSR 900
guarantee 30th 17th 15th 15th
Consumption (country road) 30th 21st 19th 21st
Inspection costs 20th 18th 9 15th
Maintenance costs 20th 9 9 9
total 100 65 52 60

The main difference is the inspection costs: the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe only needs to be serviced every 15,000 kilometers, the Yamaha XSR 900 to the dealer every 10,000 kilometers, the MV Agusta Brutale 800 even every 6,000 kilometers.

Winner cost: Ducati Monster 821 Stripe

Max points Ducati Monster 821 Stripe MV Agusta Brutale 800 Yamaha XSR 900
Overall rating
engine 250 168 174 184
landing gear 250 171 170 164
everyday life 250 134 129 127
security 150 114 105 106
costs 100 65 52 60
total score 1000 655 630 641

Even if the Yamaha XSR 900 can only make a mark on the engine, it is a really good motorcycle for this circuit.

Price-performance winner: Yamaha XSR 900

MOTORCYCLE test result

Four chapter wins mean the overall victory for the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe.

1. Ducati Monster 821 Stripe

A clear success for the Ducati, four chapter wins don’t lie. The monsters spoiled with fine virtues. An important trump card: the chassis of the Ducati Monster 821 Stripe, which works better than that of the standard Monster.

2. Yamaha XSR 900

The Yamaha XSR 900 shines with its engine, it pays for itself with its concept, in which a retro dress is placed on a long-legged road chassis, but also a few disadvantages. Still a great extension of the MT09 construction kit.

3rd MV Agusta Brutale 800

The MV Agusta Brutale 800 simply turns on, its engine is a giver of joy that smoothes age wrinkles, despite its reduced performance, and works smoothly like never before. Only the costs ensure that the face wrinkles again.

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