All Duels – Head to head European: the new Monster challenges the Speed ​​Triple! – Two wheels, a handlebar … and a big engine!

Face to face at the European: the new Monster challenges the Speed ​​Triple !

All Duels - Head to head European: the new Monster challenges the Speed ​​Triple! - Two wheels, a handlebar ... and a big engine!

Since the mid-90s, Ducati Monster and Triumph Speed ​​Triple have brilliantly combined a strong visual identity with an engine as big as this! A comparative test between the new 1100 rital and the last vintage of the English 3-legged was required…

Two wheels, a handlebar … and a big engine !

The Speed ​​Triple "victim"
of his success…

Take two of the most villainous roadsters in their class, a sunny day, small turns galore and two Site testers, with the knife between your teeth and the banana from ear to ear. Mix it all up, and you’ve got one of the most anticipated comparisons of the year from the editor of the Journal moto du net! Alas, two small strikes copiously spoiled the party by stealing the Speed ​​Triple from us in less time than it takes to write it … With insane nerve – the motorcycles were less than ten meters! – and an ordinary screwdriver, these two little c … interrupted our duel earlier than expected, depriving you at the same time of several photos and a few measures … Reactive, the police of Reims (51) very fortunately found the Speed ​​the same evening, certainly a bit damaged but in one piece … Once again, sorry, gentlemen of Triumph France…

At the origin of the big sporty roadster in 1993, the Monster was the work of Miguel Galluzzi: at the time, "il Mostro" made the engine of the sporty 851 fit with a shoehorn in a frame – tubular lattice of course ! – snatched from the 900 SS. Rigid, refined to the maximum and requiring a sacred grip to extract all the quintessence, the most famous of the motorcycles from the manufacturer of Borgo Panigale then clears a path unknown until then..

The recipe naturally immediately aroused many favorites, emphasizing with mastery that the essentials of the motorcycle can be summed up in three fundamental points: a devastating face, a healthy and playful cycle part and a living engine providing – big – sensations !

Forget the practicalities, good manners and comfort: the Ducat ‘roadster has been balancing it for 16 years now and despite a complete overhaul in 2009 (read), the philosophy remains intact and the myth preserved…

A rich heritage strewn with kicks in the ass that the Rouge shares with another European, also among the precursors of the genre: the Triumph Speed ​​Triple and its delectable three-cylinder! Stuck at the Italian aspi since 1994, the English is targeting the same segment as its rival: the sporty roadster, without compromise but so enjoyable !

Taking back at the time the 885 cc engine, chassis, wheels, suspension and brakes of the Daytona 900, the Hinckley sensation factory does not give in half measures or the soft consensus: the beast is made for arsouille and continues to improve over the years, while maintaining its devastating and stripped line. Tried by us during its major overhaul of 2005 (read), the Speed ​​Trip ‘seemed at the top of its game and only caught a few details, such as a "special divorce" passenger seat and a total disregard for comfort.

Responsive, the English engineers refined their baby in 2008, but the three-legged naturally retains this compact and collected aspect, largely highlighted by the magnificent black tint of our test bike! A few minor cosmetic changes catch the eye, like the radiator scoops and redesigned rims, tapered aluminum handlebars, polished stainless steel heat shields covering the new oval section exhausts, the slimmed-down tail light and license plate holder, all like the new design of the rear buckle which improves – a little – the fate of the passenger…

On the engine side, Triumph has renewed its famous three-cylinder as is: cubing 1050 cc, it develops 132 hp (106 in France) and 105 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm. Nothing like it to tow the 189 kg dry motorcycle with conviction! The ultra-rigid aluminum tubular frame – combined with adjustable Showa suspensions – retains the same compact dimensions (23.5 ° caster angle and 1429 mm wheelbase, i.e. values ​​close to a sports car!), But adopts now Brembo radial calipers that pinch 320mm floating discs. Well finished, the English is no fault of taste, except for a few welds of the frame which participate however in its raw foundry appearance !

At its side, the Ducati 1100 Monster follows this careful examination out of the corner of its eye with a slight hint of anguish … The Speed ​​Triple indeed sets the bar very high in terms of finish, an aspect on which the Italian has often been negligent … Rizlan necklaces fixing ugly cables directly to the trellis frame, poorly – if at all – camouflaged electrical network: the Monster saga has frequently attracted the wrath of aesthetes !

Retaining the famous air-cooled L-twin with four Desmodromic control valves, the 1100 Monster outputs 95 hp and 103 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. Its look is largely inspired by the M 696 (read our) and the 1100 now embodies the top of the Monster range: the more sporty will have to turn to the bestial Streetfighter which replaces the S4 series (read) !

The Italians took advantage of the big change in their best seller to take care of the details: very sexy in her gray dress that underlines – with more or less happiness according to the tastes – the bright red hue of the famous steel frame, the Ducat ‘makes turn heads and displays a very good quality of achievement. The alloy rims are gorgeous to look at, as are the impressive 43mm fork and Brembo radial mount calipers! Only a marked oxidation of the exhaust and the rear brake spring, as well as some unsightly visible electrical plugs, aroused our ire. !

As on the cadet 696, there is a very thin tank at its base – only 15 liters! – and covered with two plastic parts: less noble for purists, this composition allows however to limit the cost of breakage and to personalize its frame thanks to the new campaign Monster art and the thirteen choices of colors offered by the configurator Color Therapy sure !

Unlike the Speed ​​Triple, the 1100 Monster has a short windshield which houses a complete and fully digital counter: actuated by the left stalk, it includes a total trip, the hour, an ammeter, a tachometer , engine temperature, speed, a shift light and the usual warning lights.

Readable although not very intuitive at first, the Italian dashboard rivals that of the Speed ​​Triple in terms of information: unchanged from the previous model, the Triumph’s dashboard offers a magnificent analog tachometer and two digital dials. If the speed – scrolling under the tachometer – lacks readability while driving and the handling of the small buttons is not always the most obvious with gloves, the quantity of functions delivered by the dials makes you dizzy !

We thus find a totalizer, a practical daily trip, a shift light (going from green to red when the desired speed is reached), an engine temperature gauge, an average and maximum speed trip, the average consumption and instant, the mileage before the next gas tank and a clock! A lot of what to take care of while waiting at the red light, while grumbling about the lack of warning, the turning radius too large, the saddle as high (815 mm) as it is firm and that damn crutch placed under the selector !

For its part, the Ducati laughs by letting its rider benefit from its extreme finesse which allows you to easily put both feet on the ground, despite a saddle height of 810 mm! However, in town, the 1100 Monster does not have anything to show off: its hydraulic clutch is a bit harsh, the warnings are absent for subscribers and the crutching is just as delicate….

In addition, if its turning radius is slightly less than that of the English, the retro chiades of the Ducati hang up those of the cars, while the bi snarls below 3000 rpm. Not to mention the Brembo set which almost makes you lose the front at the slightest reflex braking on a slightly treacherous surface, so much its bite is excessive at the start of the race. !

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