The New Black: A Ducati Monster 821 by Rough Crafts

Ducati Monster 821 café racer by Rough Crafts
At this point in his career, Rough Crafts designer Winston Yeh is almost cheating. He has such an extensive catalog of top-tier builds, that he can pick and choose the best features of each, and end up with something fresh and fabulous. Which is exactly how he designed this diabolical Ducati Monster 821 café racer.

“It’s called ‘modular design’,” Winston hits back. And he might just be onto something. Rough Crafts is a hitmaker that rarely misses the mark—so why mess with a good thing?

Ducati Monster 821 café racer by Rough Crafts
On this project, Winston duplicated a subframe design that he’d used on a previous Ducati Monster, and modeled the fairing after the one on his groundbreaking BMW R nineT build. The scalloped bodywork, brooding livery, and thoughtful pin-striping are also typical Rough Crafts details, as is the bike’s kooky nickname; ‘Bologna Dogfight.’

“I wanted it to have those classic café racer lines,” Winston tells us. “A bit rounded and elegant—but still very recognizably Rough Crafts.”

Ducati Monster 821 café racer by Rough Crafts
The 2019-model Ducati Monster was chosen for the build simply because the client already owned it. But that suited Winston just fine.

“I’ve always been a big fan of the Monster, especially the 1200 and 821 platform,” he tells us. “The minimal bolt-on tubular subframe makes it very easy to modify with a custom tail. And even though there’s the more powerful V4 Streetfighter in the Ducati line-up, the simplicity of the L-twin engine still makes for a much better platform for a custom build.”

Ducati Monster 821 café racer by Rough Crafts
To kick things off, Winston pulled up the digital files for the aforementioned subframe design and had a new unit CNC milled. It’s far more compact than the stock arrangement, while still paying homage to the Monster’s love affair with trellised frames. Sitting up top is a 3D-printed tail cowl featuring a stunning two-piece leather seat.

The scalloped aluminum fuel tank is custom too. It’s adorned with a Rough Crafts fuel cap and a pair of handmade tank badges.

Ducati Monster 821 café racer by Rough Crafts
Up front, a 3D-printed fairing hosts a trimmed windshield, and a pair of vertically stacked Koso headlights. The parts might have all come from different sources, but the overall look is fluid and cohesive. That’s partly due to the slick livery, which includes carbon fiber inlays on all the parts, and double pin-stripes that trace the Monster’s new lines.

Peek behind the fairing, and you’ll spot a CNC-machined top yoke wearing integrated clip-on bars. Winston specced the Ducati with Motogadget grips and Beringer controls, but kept the OEM switches and dashboard, relocating the latter to mounting points on the new top yoke. A CNC Racing brake lever guard adds a little racing flair.

Ducati Monster 821 café racer by Rough Crafts
Moving to the suspension, Rough Crafts installed an Andreani cartridge kit in the stock front forks, and swapped out the bottom yoke for one from CNC Racing. A blacked-out Öhlins shock props up the rear.

17” carbon fiber wheels from BST help to save weight, while Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV Corsa tires offer sporty grip. The braking setup utilizes Beringer calipers with MotoMaster discs at both ends. The Ducati Monster 821 goes, turns, and stops pretty damn well in stock form, so we can only imagine how much fun it would be in this trim.

Ducati Monster 821 café racer by Rough Crafts
With the Monster almost completely murdered out, it’s impossible to ignore the elegant twin exhaust system that hangs off the right-hand side of it. At a glance, it looks like a pair of headers following each other into a pair of SC-Project retro megaphone mufflers. But the actual flow is two-into-one-into-two.

“I’ve always noticed that Ducati does this two-into-one merge super nicely on both the Monster 821 and the Scrambler series,” he explains. “It’s blended so well, that it looks like the dual headers just flow into each other. I decided to keep that, and then copy it where the collector splits into the twin mufflers.”

Ducati Monster 821 café racer by Rough Crafts
Other upgrades include Sato Racing rear-sets, a Sprint Filter air filter, and Koso LEDs to handle turn signal and taillight duties. Winston also added a neat carbon ignition trim from CNC Racing.

As usual, Winston worked closely with his coterie of local craftsmen to bring his vision to life. Rover Works Custom Paint handled the paint, Anodizing handled all the hard part finishes and Chirui Leather Custom tackled the upholstery. Artitek Ltd. was responsible for all the CNC work, MS Pro was on fabrication, SFC Simon Fiber Craft did the carbon trim, and 2 Abnormal Sides created the tank badges, and CH Moto helped out with the final assembly.

Ducati Monster 821 café racer by Rough Crafts
Does this custom Ducati Monster 821 tread familiar ground for the Taiwanese custom builder? Absolutely. But that’s no bad thing. As far as we’re concerned, the Monster has never looked this good.

If Rough Crafts offered this as a kit, we’d be hard-pressed to say no.

Rough CraftsFacebook | Instagram | Photos by JL Photography

Ducati Monster 821 café racer by Rough Crafts

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