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We found the third-generation Ducati Monster 1200S to be a comfortable but quite capable sport bike during our First Ride. But what if you love the new bike's brawny looks but don't think you'll need the full 1200cc V-twin? At first blush, we'd say you might be crazy, but Ducati is looking out for you with the latest addition to its lineup – the Monster 821.

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Better Riding Through Science

The Ducati Monster 1200 S has the power-to-weight ratio of a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse and the contact patch of a playing card. I'm elbows deep into leaning this pulsing, growling, screaming red animal across a one-lane hairpin on the edge of a volcanic island, when a sequence of questions flit through my mind: What if I hit a patch of gravel? What if a car rounds the corner and barrels toward me? What if I overcook the bend and somersault down the mountain, followed by a tumbling

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Ducati has unveiled the third generation of its naked (read: fairing-less) motorcycles, comprised of the Monster 1200 and 1200 S, at the press conference ahead of the 71st International Motorcycle Exhibition (EICMA) in Milan, which starts tomorrow.

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Amidst recent rumors, Ducati has officially announced that its CEO of North American operations, Michael Lock, will step down at the end of July to pursue other opportunities.

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Ducati Monster 796 – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Ducati Monster 1100 by Christian Audigier – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Ducati Monster 1100 and 1100 S

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Click above for more shots of the Ducati Streetfighter

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Click above for more shots of the Ducati Monster 1100 and 1100 S

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Click above for more spy shots of the Ducati Monster 1100

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