Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

33 photos

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Noticeable negatively: When folding up, the tank gets stuck at the front, so the hinge at the back must be unscrewed.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Noticeable negatively: The limp-looking rubber cover on the ignition lock covers the front tank bracket.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Noticeable negatively: The plastic caps for the seat adjustment sit loosely and fall down when you move.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

A positive thing: Despite the sweeping tubular space frame, the steering angle is quite acceptable.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

When something touches down, it is usually the shoes – because of the wide footrest supports, it gets tight on the pegs.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Directly hinged: the Ohlins shock absorber is fully adjustable.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

A lot of information in the display (a different division for each driving mode), a gear indicator is missing.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

The bench can be adjusted in height in two positions, which is a bit cumbersome.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Their creators compare the silhouette of the new Ducati monster with that of an aggressive bull.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

There it belongs: The new monster loves great freedom. Her favorite are lively country roads with a gourmet surface.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Top values: The monsters’ brakes are convincing in all situations.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Nicely done: The mighty single-sided swing arm is not only elegant, but also stable.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Standard: LED rear lights and delicate turn signals. The pillion handles are large and easy to grip.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Stable lateral position: The tightly tuned chassis enables sporty pursuit.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

In contrast to the expensive S version, the cheaper Monster has cranked valves.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

The compression adjustment on the fork is only on the right handlebar.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

2500 euros cheaper and simpler: Monster 1200.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Competition: BMW S 1000 R.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Competition: Honda CB 1000 R.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Competition: Triumph Speed ​​Triple.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

The strongest monster ever

Its creators compare the silhouette of the new Ducati Monster 1200 S with that of an aggressive bull. MOTORRAD played the torero in the arena of the top test course.

It should look beefy, a monster. Powerful, broad-shouldered, muscular. And it does, the new Ducati Monster 1200 S, although it breaks with some traditions. The stubby tail with the license plate holder attached to the side reveals elements of the Diavel. It also took over the curved manifold guide from it. And the wheelbase of 1511 millimeters, which is quite long for a naked bike. For comparison: Current power naked such as BMW S 1000 R (1439 millimeters wheelbase) or KTM Super Duke (1482 millimeters) are significantly shorter. But the guys from Bologna must have thought something when they gave their new bull this design to take with them. And that has to be extended. The Ducati, which weighs only 213 kilos, feels like pushing and maneuvering M.onster 1200 S heavier. And while driving?

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Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test
The strongest monster ever

Ducati Monster 1200 S 40 millimeters closer to the handlebar, which is now also higher. Another typical Ducati phenomenon: the feet hit the heels, in this case on both sides of the massive arms of the pillion pegs. Not bad, one thinks, just keep introducing them. But then the tips of your boots scratch the asphalt in an inclined position, which makes best times in the slow slalom of the top test course more difficult and also otherwise interferes with fast rides through corners with a steep incline. 

Ducati Monster 1200 S is no quiet step

Before every ride, however, there is the awakening. It is a morning after a clear and cold night when the starter pulls the crankshaft with difficulty. This happens slowly, as is typical for Ducati, and sounds like a dull battery. But it is ultimately due to the design, Ducati has been using quite weak starters for a long time, which additionally have to compress the intake mixture to 12.5 to one via the powerful pistons. To save one’s honor, let me say: The Testastretta 11 ° DS engine always starts, even after a cold night spent outdoors.

It is basically the same drive that is currently installed in the Multistrada and from this model year in the Diavel, but in both cases it provides a little more peak performance. Characteristic of the current version is the valve overlap reduced to eleven degrees and double ignition. For use in the new Ducati Monster 1200 S, Ducati forego maximum performance in favor of more pressure at low and medium speeds. The technicians achieve this by using smaller round throttle valves instead of huge oval ones, as well as increased compression. The injection nozzles have been realigned for better fuel atomization. The fact is: Despite the throttling, the 1200 S with its propagated 145 hp is the most powerful Ducati monster of all time.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Naked bike

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the PS performance test

Handy and cornering stable with the right tires

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Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Naked bike

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

The strongest monster ever

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Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Naked bike

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the PS driving report

Sportiest monster of all time

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Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test

Naked bike

Ducati Monster 1200 S (2014) in the driving report

Monstrous recipe, current technology

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Brochure specification of 145 hp is almost reached

So let’s enjoy the power. Good for those who live somewhere out in the country and after a few meters turn onto the country road. If, on the other hand, you have to poke through city traffic to work with the Ducati Monster 1200 S in the morning, you should be wide awake right away. Because the mighty V2 rumbles and rattles roughly in the cold running phase and does not hang on the gas as creamy as you would like. You can certainly look at this stubborn behavior from different angles. Anyone who dismisses a well-behaved and smoothly running two-cylinder à la Yamaha MT-07 will find the expressions of life of the Ducati Monster 1200 S to be uncultivated. Italo fans are turned on by the fantastic heartbeat, that pulsating, bassy beat that all 90-degree V2 engines from Ducati have. It conveys strength, vitality and pure zest for life. So it arouses anticipation of driving even when idling. But in the morning he also wakes up the neighbors. Because the Ducati Monster 1200 S is not exactly a quiet step, the Italians are still world champions when it comes to sounding out acoustic limits. Especially when accelerating hard, the machine roars aggressively like a bull in the arena.

The Ducati Monster 1200 S starts rumbling and rattling through the lines of cars into the metropolitan cauldron, and when the engine is up to operating temperature after around two kilometers, it hangs noticeably better on the gas. How can be selected via the three driving modes: In the sport mode, gas commands are implemented directly and hard, which makes sense on the racetrack and on a brisk home route. Touring mode is recommended in all everyday situations. The throttle response is also engaged here, but no longer as rough as in the sport mode. In both driving modes, the engine serves its maximum output of measured 143 hp at 8500 rpm and its maximum torque of 124 Nm at 7500 rpm. The prospectus specification of 145 hp is almost reached. The homologation value, however, is clearly exceeded. Because in the papers Ducati shows only 137 hp for the S model. Very irritating, after all, unlike a KTM 1190 Super Duke R, almost all of the promised horsepower are there.

107 hp in urban mode, stoppies in sport mode

But back to the driving modes of the Ducati Monster 1200 S: The most sophisticated version of the V2 runs in urban mode, but at its peak there are only 107 hp available and the torque is reduced by around 25 percent over the entire speed range . In this snuffling mode, the V2 hangs on the throttle as smoothly as silk, behaves in the same way as the throttle grip position and shows the lowest load change reactions. One thing is clear: Urban mode is exactly the right choice for inner-city journeys and when it is wet.

But it’s not just the response to throttle commands that is different within the modes. The traction control and ABS are also adapted to the intended use on the Ducati Monster 1200 S. For example, the traction control in sport mode allows a lot of slip, and the ABS intervenes quite late. This can sometimes lead to unwanted stoppies when braking hard, the driver must actively prevent the rollover. While the rear remains on the ground when braking in urban mode, with still excellent deceleration.

Thank goodness every commuter will end work at some point, and the road beckons. This is where the new drive can show what it can do. The Ducati Monster 1200 S takes you over sweeping curves into the sunset. And the grin under the helmet is as if painted on. It’s wonderful how the fat V2 catapults the load forward. From medium speeds on, the Testastretta engine pushes so powerfully that you might think that a turbocharger is working. A look at the full load curve of the performance diagram hardly explains this explosive characteristic, it is almost linear. No, the kick is generated by programming the ride-by-wire, which only lets the throttle valve open slowly and thus creates this turbo effect in the lower gears at 5000–6000 rpm. The delayed, aggressive performance boost is great on the one hand, especially when you are turning out of the curve onto the straight or want to overtake and snap forward as if fired from a cannon. On the other hand, there are situations in which it can be annoying. Especially if you want to drive fast in a confusing twist of curves and often overshoot the desired turn-in point due to the explosion in performance.

Wants to be balanced in an inclined position using the handlebars

Perhaps this is why they gave the new Ducati Monster 1200 S such effective brakes. Traditionally, little more than their existence can be expected from the rear brake: on board so that the TÜV does not complain. Up front, Ducati relies on the same hardware that compresses the super sporty Panigale. In the Ducati Monster 1200, with the long wheelbase and the upright seating position, the stoppers decelerate extremely efficiently: it is a brutal 10.2 m / s² in sport mode, the system also achieves an enormous 10.0 m / s² in touring and still a hefty 9.8 m / s² in urban mode. The braking power can be adjusted very well. It all sounds perfect.

But where there is a lot of light, there is usually also shade. And there we come back to the bull. Because you have to really take the Ducati Monster 1200 by the horns to turn. Basically, the wider the arches and the more glamorous the asphalt skin, the more faithful the monsters are. But as soon as the curves get tighter or you have to chase the bull through switchbacks, work is called for. That surprised the testers, because at the presentation (see driving report in MOTORRAD 5/2014) on Tenerife, the Ducati Monster 1200 appeared neutral and precise. At the time of going to press it was not clear what the reason for the different driving behavior was.

It shouldn’t be because of the tires, because in both cases Pirelli Diablo Rosso II was raised in the special specification D. The test machine wants to be balanced in the inclined position via the handlebars
nothing works here alone. In addition, the Ducati Monster 1200 S understeers, often driving more curves than planned. Only with a lot of practice and once you have got used to the peculiarities of the Italian will you succeed in following the ideal line. The phenomenon increased proportionally with tire wear, as it turned out in the course of the test.

Motor as a supporting element for tubular space frames

Unfortunately, there was no time to try other tires in the top test of the Ducati Monster 1200 S, MOTORRAD will do so as soon as possible. Lowering the front of the vehicle with the fork bars pushed through did not bring any improvement. In any case, it’s great to be able to rely on a stable chassis. The stable tubular space frame uses the engine as a load-bearing element. This combination is said to be almost twice as rigid as with the Monster 1100 Evo and at the same time 1.23 kilograms lighter. The directly hinged, fully adjustable Ohlins shock absorber is supported on the cylinder head. A fully adjustable 49er upside-down fork from Ohlins guides the bike at the front. Both suspension elements are sporty, but still convey sufficient comfort and respond very well.

The question remains: is the new Ducati Monster 1200 S only something for real fans due to its Taurus allure? The 1200 is for sure the strongest monster ever. Fans will appreciate that. Monster newbies will also get their money’s worth, because the motorcycle is very emotional and touches all the senses. You can certainly make friends with the stiff steering behavior and the explosive power delivery. And some people love the monsters precisely because of their rough edges.

Technical specifications

Engine: Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, two overhead, toothed belt-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, operated desmodromically, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 53 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 460 W alternator, 12 V / 10 Ah battery, hydraulic Actuated multi-disc oil bath clutch (anti-hopping), six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary gear ratio 2.733.

Bore x stroke: 106.0 x 67.9 mm

Displacement: 1198 cm³

Compression ratio: 12.5: 1

Rated output: 101.0 kW (137 hp) at 8750 rpm

Max. Torque: 125 Nm at 7250 rpm

Landing gear: Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 48 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, diameter 330 mm, four-piston -Fixed calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 245 mm, two-piston fixed caliper, traction control, ABS.

Forged aluminum wheels: 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17

Tires: 120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17

Tires in the test: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II, front “D”

Dimensions + weight: Wheelbase 1511 mm, steering head angle 65.7 degrees, caster 93 mm, spring travel f / h 130/152 mm, permissible total weight 390 kg, tank capacity / reserve 17.5 / 3.5 liters.

Service data: 

Service intervals: 15,000 km

Oil and filter change: every 15,000 km, 3.7 liters

Engine oil: SAE 15W-50

Telescopic fork oil: SAE 7.5

Spark plugs: NGK MAR9A-J

Idle speed: 1300 ± 100 / min

Tire pressure solo (with pillion passenger) front / rear 2.3 / 2.5 (2.5 / 2.8) bar

Guarantee: two years

Colors: red, white

Price: 15,990 euros

Additional costs: 305 euros

Set up

Setup country road

All revolutions counted from the closed position:

Rebound: 12 turns
Pressure stage: 12 turns
Preload: 6 turns *

Rebound stage: 23 revolutions
Pressure stage: 6 turns
Preload: 30 millimeters

* Counted from a fully relaxed position

MOTORCYCLE measurements

Ducati Monster 1200 S (values ​​in brackets: Ducati Monster 1200)


Top speed *: 255 (250) km / h

0-100 km / h: 3.2 (3.2) sec
0-140 km / h: 5.0 (5.1) sec
0-200 km / h: 9.2 (9.6) sec

60-100 km / h: 3.3 (3.1) sec
100–140 km / h: 3.2 (3.3) sec
140–180 km / h: 3.7 (3.7) sec

Speedometer deviation:
Effective (display 50/100): 48/97 km / h

Tachometer deviation:
Display red area: 10,500 / min
Effective: 10,400 rpm


Country road: 4.7 l / 100 km, super

At 130 km / h: 5.6 l / 100 km

Theor. Range of the country road: 372 km

Dimensions + weight

L / W / H: 2160/895/1195 mm

Seat height: 765/795 mm

Handlebar height: 1050 mm

Turning circle: 6700 mm

Weight with a full tank: 213 (215) kg

Payload: 177 kg

Wheel load distribution front / rear: 49.3 / 50.7%


MOTORCYCLE measurements engine

Only slightly weaker: the cheaper sister Ducati Monster 1200 has only five hp less power than the S version. However, this is hardly noticeable when driving. What the full load curves do not show: From mid-rev, the power shoots up when accelerating in the lower gears.


MOTORCYCLE measurements transmission

The gearbox is well translated for the country road. Despite the narrow spread of the last gears, you don’t miss any overdrive.

Driving dynamics

Handling course I (fast slalom)
Lap time: 20.0 sec
Reference Speed ​​Triple: 19.7 sec

Vmax at the measuring point: 105.5 km / h
Reference Speed ​​Triple: 113.5 km / h

Stable and handy, the Ducati Monster 1200 S rushes through the fast course. At the turning point, the rear brake must be used to adapt the brakes to keep the monsters on course. Speed ​​and time are great. 

Handling course II (slow slalom)
Lap time: 28.3 sec
Reference Brutale 1090: 28.1 sec

vmax at the measuring point: 53.2 km / h
Reference Brutale 1090: 55.8 km / h

The chassis responds sensitively and provides excellent damping. The Monster 1200 S tends to understeer on the pylon course. Only the touching feet limit time and speed.

Circular path (Ø 46 meters)
Lap time: 10.8 sec
Reference Brutale 1090: 10.3 sec

vmax at the measuring point: 49.0 km / h
Reference Brutale 1090: 52.6 km / h

The drainage channel in the middle of the circular path is filtered away by the chassis. The Ducati Monster 1200 S remains very well on course and is stable.



The control behavior of the ABS is adapted to the respective driving mode. The sport mode regulates the ABS more roughly, the rear wheel can also lift off and you can roll over. In touring mode, ABS and traction control work in the middle range, and stoppies are also possible here in the event of emergency braking. Urban mode does not allow this, and the ABS of the Ducati Monster 1200 S then regulates it very early.

Brake measurement from 100 km / h
Reference BMW K 1300 S: 37.5 m; Residual speed: 9.2 km / h
Ducati Monster 1200 S Touring mode: 38.6 m; Residual speed: 16.7 km / h
Ducati Monster 1200 S Urban mode: 39.0 m; Residual speed: 19.4 km / h

Also driven: sister without S

2500 euros cheaper and more simply equipped: The Ducati Monster 1200.

The basic version Monster 1200 is 2500 euros cheaper than its sister with the S. How does the “economy version” drive?

The differences are marginal: The cheaper 1200 monster produces five hp less on the test bench, it weighs two kilograms more on the scales, runs 250 instead of 255 km / h and is exactly 0.4 seconds in the sprint from zero to 200 km / h slower. In addition to small things such as silver instead of black silencer covers and larger indicators in the basic version, the most important differences are found in the chassis components and the brakes: while the basic version has 320 millimeter brake discs and radially screwed Brembo M4-32 calipers at the front, The Ducati Monster 1200 in the S version was given another ten millimeter larger brake discs and the expensive Brembo M-50 calipers. In everyday life, however, this difference is hardly noticeable. Both stoppers are easy to dose and decelerate brilliantly, whereby the S-brake is a touch better to dose.

Ducati Monster 1200 is no less fun in everyday life

The differences are greater on the chassis side. The Ohlins suspension elements of the Ducati Monster 1200 S respond more sensitively than the Kayaba fork and the Sachs suspension strut installed in the basic version. The Ohlins shock absorber can cope better with two-person operation than the Sachs counterpart. It springs more comfortably, although the basic setup is just as tight as that of the Sachs shock absorber.

Nevertheless: The Ducati Monster 1200 is no less fun in everyday life. The different weight of the rims has no noticeable influence on the driving behavior. When switching, the S version seems a bit livelier, subjectively accelerates a little sharper.

Is the expensive Ducati Monster 1200 S worth it? A matter of opinion, the great brakes and suspension elements of the S certainly bring more prestige. The differences in driving operation and the slightly better performance hardly justify the surcharge.


BMW S 1000 R.
Four-cylinder in-line engine, 160 hp, weight 207 kg, 0-100 km / h 3.3 seconds, Vmax 258 km / h, consumption 5.6 liters, ABS, from 13,190 euros (including ancillary costs).

Honda CB 1000 R.
Four-cylinder in-line engine, 125 hp, weight 220 kg, 0-100 km / h 3.2 seconds, Vmax 230 km / h, consumption 5.4 liters, ABS, 11,755 euros (including ancillary costs).

Triumph Speed ​​Triple
Three-cylinder in-line engine, 135 hp, weight 221 kg, 0-100 km / h 3.2 seconds, Vmax 248 km / h, consumption 5.4 liters, 12,435 euros (including ancillary costs).


engine maximum number of points                   
Ducati Monster 1200 S.
Draft 40 36
acceleration 40 34
Top speed 30th 24
Engine characteristics 30th 23
Responsiveness 20th 14th
Load change 20th 13
Smoothness 20th 9
coupling 10 8th
circuit 20th 11
Gear ratio        10 9
Start 10 7th
total 250 188

The Testastretta 11 ° DS engine makes the Ducati Monster 1200 the most powerful monster of all time. The 143 hp powerhouse delivers good acceleration and torque values, but could run more smoothly. Domes require strength in the fingers, which is particularly annoying in the city center. Until the engine is really warm, the throttle response is quite harsh. Points are also deducted for inharmonious power delivery: the engine sometimes reacts quite aggressively to gas commands.

landing gear maximum number of points                 
Ducati Monster 1200 S.
Handiness 40 28
Stability in turns 40 31
Steering behavior 40 23
feedback 10 9
Inclined position 20th 18th
Straight-line stability 20th 16
Suspension tuning in front 20th 15th
Chassis set-up at the rear 20th 15th
Adjustment options undercarriage      10 6th
Suspension comfort 10 6th
Driving behavior with a passenger 20th 13
total 250 180

Take the bull by the horns: Although the Ducati Monster 1200 S is quite handy, it is stubborn in tight radii, its steering behavior is anything but neutral. In addition, the machine is understeering. Nothing happens here by itself. Commitment is required. The firm chassis, on the other hand, is completely unimpressed. It serves good feedback, keeps the load safely on course in curves or at top speed, even offers a little comfort and can even handle the weight of a seasoned passenger.

everyday life maximum number of points               
Ducati Monster 1200 S.
Ergonomics driver 40 26th
Ergonomics pillion 20th 11
Windbreak 20th 0
view 20th 12th
light 20th 14th
Furnishing 30th 21st
Handling / maintenance      30th 17th
Luggage storage 10 2
Payload 10 3
Range 30th 23
processing 20th 13
total 250 142

If you wouldn’t have believed it: The pillion rider sits nicely padded and even finds a good grip on the handles. The only drawback: the seat of the Ducati Monster 1200 falls slightly to the rear – you slip. The luggage storage is poor, which is not unusual in this vehicle category. And the load capacity is not exactly generous at 177 kg. During processing, the fiddly seat adjustment, rickety pillion pegs and the folding mechanism of the tank lead to deductions.

security maximum number of points           
Ducati Monster 1200 S.
Braking effect 40 34
Brake metering 30th 27
Braking with a passenger / fading 20th 12th
Righting moment when braking     10 6th
ABS function 20th 15th
Handlebar slapping 20th 13
Ground clearance 10 6th
total 150 113

Formidable: The brakes of the Ducati Monster 1200 S are great. The stoppers not only have a crystal clear pressure point, they are also very effective. The control behavior of the Bosch ABS is perfect. The Monster twitches its handlebars only on extreme bumps, and it does without a steering damper.

costs maximum number of points            
Ducati Monster 1200 S.
guarantee 30th 17th
Consumption (country road)    30th 21st
Inspection costs 20th 20th
Maintenance costs 20th 7th
total 100 65

Confident: A major inspection of the new Ducati Monster 1200 is only due every 30,000 kilometers, which keeps the costs manageable. In view of the performance, the consumption is low at 4.7 l / 100 km.

Overall rating maximum number of points         Ducati Monster 1200 S.
Price-performance note    
1.0 2.5

The rather high basic price of the Ducati Monster 1200 in connection with the number of points unfortunately only gives it a mediocre mark.


The new Ducati Monster 1200 S continues the tradition of the model family. It is emotional, but has the rough edges that fans love. Those who accept the not entirely neutral steering behavior and the aggressive power delivery get great cinema, but have to dig deep into their wallets. The monster also sets itself apart from the visually pleasant
mostly angularly styled competitors.

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