2017 Ducati Monster 800 Spy Shots

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

The return of the air-cooled Monster!

Many a Ducatisti bid a sad farewell to the air-cooled Monster when Ducati introduced the liquid-cooled 1200 and 821. Those same traditionalists might be happy to learn Ducati is developing a new Monster using an air-cooled engine.

2015 Ducati Monster 821 Review – First Ride

Spy photographers spotted a couple of test mules in Italy that show what looks to be the Scrambler engine in a new-design trellis frame. The new model appears to use the same engine and swingarm as the Scrambler as we can see from the animated overlay below:

The new air-cooled Monster appears to have borrowed much from the 803cc Scrambler, including its exhaust system and rear suspension. New aluminum wheels replace wire-spoke wheels, and suspension travel looks to be slightly less.

Aside from some engine covers, the V-Twin motor appears outwardly similar to the one in the Scrambler. It’s likely Ducati may have hot-rodded it somehow to yield a bit more power than the 70 rear-wheel horsepower in Scrambler tune. The trellis frame is a departure from the Scrambler’s and much longer than the truncated one found on the liquid-cooled Monsters, continuing rearward alongside the rear cylinder. From the rear angle shot we can see the red steel tube subframe connecting to the rear shock and continuing up through the tail and peaking out from under the passenger seat.

The liquid-cooled Monster 821 had a wet weight of 453 pounds, only eight pounds less than the Monster 1200. Hopefully, an air-cooled Monster using the 803cc engine will have a wet weight closer to that of the Scrambler’s 410 pounds.

A dual-disc brake setup replaces the Scrambler’s solitary rotor, with modern radial-mount Brembo calipers. We can assume the electronics package includes traction control, ride modes and antilock braking.

Also new is the headlight, an evolution of the current Monster’s headlamp with the addition of Euro-4-mandated daytime running lights in a strip of LEDs running across the lens.

Its price will likely fall between the Monster 821 and the high-end Scramblers, so we’ll guess an MSRP of about $11,000. Full details will be revealed at this fall’s motorcycle shows.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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4 of 31 comments
  • Gabriel Owens Gabriel Owens on Aug 27, 2016

    With a nice set of rearsets the clearance on the bike is gonna be fuggin stadanky

  • QuestionMark666 QuestionMark666 on Aug 29, 2016

    More poorly differentiated product from the muddled marketing that is Ducati. Too many similar models has diluted the brand identity and confused consumers. The air cooled Monster is a weak idea in the soft Scrambler market. You have the similar Hypermotards, Look at dealer's inventories, demand for that Scrambler line peaked last year. Too many models means breaking no new ground just reseeding the same fields over and over again. 7 scramblers, 6 Monsters, 3 Hypermotards all complete in some venn diagram type look at the markets.

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    • QuestionMark666 QuestionMark666 on Aug 31, 2016

      I work with euro brand retailers, the Multistrada even enters the picture with the Monster 1200 and the new Hyper is right in there too. A manufacturer's job is to sell retailers bikes we sell to consumers. More models means the dealer has to hold more inventory.