New items 2001


New items 2001

Blame obligated

No sooner had Cagiva’s aggressive raptors been up to mischief than criticism for Ducati‘s monster. Too little power, the concept is outdated. Ducati’s answer: Monster S4.

Not that Ducati would tremble with fear at the thought of Italian archenemy Cagiva. The fact that their new raptors mercilessly boil the monster family in all tests may not have frightened the Bolognese particularly. Because word got around in Italy too: The best motorcycle cannot be sold without well-functioning sales, a reliable spare parts supply and qualified customer service. But Ducati knows: It is only a matter of time before the ambitious Cagiva bosses set the right course and grow into serious opponents. And then your own weapon should not be blunt.
And it is sharp, the weapon. It will be called Ducati Monster S4 and will carry the engine of the successful super sports car 916 as part of the touring sporting ST 4. With an output of 101 hp, although below its potential, the water-cooled four-valve engine should act with better manners and even more torque in the lower speed range. A significantly shorter translation of the upper four gears and the secondary drive will also benefit the sprint strength more than the top speed of the monsters.
The stiff chassis of the ST series guarantees that the Über-Monster does not stumble. With a steering head angle of 66 instead of the previous 67 degrees and a wheelbase extended by ten millimeters to its 1440, the new Monster will cause little excitement even at higher speeds. A 43 mm upside-down fork from Showa at the front and a central spring strut from Sachs at the rear ensure the appropriate ride comfort.
What the S4 lacks, on the other hand, is the classic handlebar. Two handlebar stubs, attached above the fork bridge, still ensure the comfortable seating position that is familiar from the Monster models. The cockpit also remains unchanged except for the upper part of the speedometer scale. Also known: the Brembo brake system with large 320 mm discs. What is new, however, are lightweight five-spoke wheels measuring 3.5 x 17 at the front and 5.5 x 17 at the rear.
And since the eye is well known, the new Monster handlebar cover, fenders, side covers and timing belt cover are made of elegant carbon fiber laminate, just like the expensive 996 SPS. What the Bolognese expect from customers as financial compensation for their latest creation has not yet been found out. The price should be around 23,000 marks.
In addition, Ducati will greatly revise the 996 super sports car. In addition to changes in design, a modified engine with 998 cc, new cylinder heads and more power (around 145 hp) is expected. The previous 996 engine, on the other hand, drives an S version of the ST 4. However, it is questionable whether these innovations will keep the Italian competition in check.
It really accelerates and brings two interesting innovations from Aprilia. A great travel enduro and a tourer with sporty genes. Both models are equipped with the Mille‘s tried and tested V2 engine, even if the performance versions have been adapted accordingly for the intended use.
Cagiva is also doing a lot for the coming year and will be the naked bike M.V Agusta Brutale present. However, not with a displacement of 960 cm3 as expected, but with the existing 750 four-cylinder engine. In addition, the Raptor series mentioned at the beginning will have offspring. The first prototypes of the baby raptors with the Suzuki SV 650 engine have already been spotted in Italy.
On the other hand, there is complete radio silence at Laverda. And at Benelli, the first 150 units of the Tornado are to be manufactured in autumn for homologation purposes, but series production of the extravagant super sports car is not expected to start until spring 2001.
After the takeover of Moto Guzzi by Aprilia, the plant on Lake Como limited itself to the production of the California model range. The rustic V11, on the other hand, was brought to the Aprilia parent plant in Noale. There they want to wean it off the chassis weaknesses with the know-how of the Aprilia technicians. As soon as commuting at higher speeds is eliminated, Aprilia wants to pass on the knowledge gained to V11 customers immediately. Whereby we would have come back to the beginning of the story: Good motorcycles are one thing, good service is another.

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