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Ducati Monster 1200 S (2014) in the driving report

Monstrous recipe, current technology

The new Ducati Monster 1200 S – built according to a tried and tested monstrous recipe, perked up with a fresh design and upgraded with the latest technology. In Tenerife, MOTORRAD was able to hunt deer.

Ducatisti – of course, these are the very exasperated Ducati freaks, whose heartbeat has long since taken over the unrhythmic pulse of the V2 and who see the world through fiery red glasses. And then there is the Monsteristi, at least that’s what you call it D.ucati the fans of the V2 naked bike. It doesn’t come really smoothly over the lips. But no matter if Monsteristi or Monster fans: They are all badly infected. Sporty drivers who like puristic technology in attractive, crisp packaging. There are at least 275,000 of them – in any case, Ducati has been able to sell so many machines from the Monster series in 20 years, spread over a whole range of variants with the most varied of cubic capacities, of course always powered by V2 engines.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the driving report

Monstrous recipe, current technology

Monster 1200 S immediately identifiable as such, but technically significant changes characterize the new model.

Muscular with a dash of Diavel and Panigale

Thanks to the new chassis construction with a reduced lattice frame and the short stub tail, the Ducati Monster 1200 S picks up on current style elements from Diavel and Panigale. And the successor to the air-cooled Monster 1100 is now water-cooled, as only the S4R special models used to be. The Testastretta V2 engine of the 1200 series comes from the Multistrada, which was updated in 2013 with double ignition.

The basis is the tamed version designed for torque with eleven instead of 41 degrees of valve overlap. The injection nozzles are now aimed directly at the intake valves, and a secondary air system smooths the response with reduced pollutant emissions. With the Ducati Monster 1200, a higher compression and smaller, now round instead of oval throttle valves should result in more torque. Furthermore, the heads got reinforced screw points so that the short front frame and the shock absorber could be screwed directly to the engine. The advantage of this design: The frame is a good kilogram lighter than the lattice frame of the Monster 1100, while the torsional rigidity of the frame-motor combination is about twice as high. And the now fully loaded Desmo-V2 moves even more into the center of the action, also optically.

Naked bike

Presentation of the Ducati Monster 1200 S

Strongest monster of all time

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Tank capacity increased from 13.5 to 17.5 liters

There have also been major changes in ergonomics. In fact, the new Ducati Monster 1200 S feels considerably more comfortable. The handlebar ends moved four centimeters higher and further back. Bigger Northern Europeans are finally sitting relaxed, the rubber grips sit comfortably in the hand. The footrests are not positioned as far back as you would expect from a Ducati, and you don’t sit cramped even with long bones. Almost as is Ducati-typical, the heels still hit the pillars of the pillion pegs or the exhaust mudguard on the right.

The seat cushion, which is now wider and more luxuriously padded, is really comfortable. The seat height of the Ducati Monster 1200 S can be adjusted twice. With two thinner accessory bench seats or a thicker one, seat heights from extremely low 745 to up to 830 millimeters can be achieved. Ducati donates the cover cap for the pillion seat as standard. The tank capacity has been increased from 13.5 to 17.5 liters so that the monster driver can fully enjoy the improved seating comfort. Nevertheless, the waist in the knee area remains nice and slim.

Less explosiveness, more usability

With a nominal 145 hp, the Ducati Monster 1200 S maintains a respectable distance in terms of performance from the latest streetfighter creations from BMW and KTM. The basic model delivers 10 hp less, which is achieved solely through different mappings. Particularly clever monsterists might come up with the idea of ​​installing the S-Mapping on the significantly cheaper base machine. Ducati puts a stop to this with a tricky software.

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Ducati Monster 1200 S with relentless punch

The Italians deliberately throttled the Testastretta engine, which has proven to have more potential at the top, in favor of better drivability. “Performance redefined” was the internal specification from company boss Claudio Domenicali to the development department, Ducatis should now be less explosive and spectacular, but more user-friendly. New notes from Bologna, the direction is right. Probably one of the reasons that the 155 hp Streetfighter S flew out of the Ducati program in 2014, it was notorious for its nasty character.

But don’t worry, there is still more than enough power available. The even pressure in the lower and middle speed range easily outweighs the flattened zenith. The Ducati Monster 1200 S pushes powerfully and with a gentle but relentless punch and lets the front wheel float a hand’s breadth above the asphalt in second gear – provided the driver adjusts the assistance systems accordingly.

Three driving modes change the character of the machine


The TFT display offers many more design options than conventional LCD counterparts, but it is not always easy to read.

There is a lot to be adjusted here. It takes a little until you have figured out what possibilities the on-board electronics offer. At least the important programs, the three driving modes, are easy to switch while driving. This allows the character of the machine to be changed in a flash, as is the case with Panigale, Diavel and Multistrada. In sport mode, the response behavior of the Ducati Monster 1200 S is very direct, almost a little aggressive. The traction control regulates quite late, and the ABS allows pretty spectacular stoppies. The touring mode makes everything more moderate and gentle. Stoppies are effectively suppressed, the performance remains uncastrated here. Only in urban mode is it reduced to 100 hp, traction control and ABS then regulate very defensively.

The currently active mode can be quickly identified from the display layout, which switches over in the same way as the three modes. The color TFT display makes the usual monochrome displays look old, it is more comparable to the display of modern smartphones. Unfortunately, it is not easy to read under all lighting conditions, especially since the sky is reflected in it. Information is offered in abundance, but two substantial things are still missing: surprisingly there is no gear indicator, and the on-board computer only provides information about the fuel level to the extent that a kilometer display starts when the reserve light comes on. Further information levels can be called up from the handlebars within the three basic layouts. As with Multistrada, Diavel and Panigale, the riding modes of the Ducati Monster 1200 S can also be composed individually. These settings are saved and used the next time the device is switched on.

Predictable neutrality and unshakable stability

Game stuff? So the digital allergy sufferer could perhaps criticize. But the possibilities of modern electronics are not only entertainment, but also useful – the assistance systems are welcome helpers anyway. The real enthusiasm still evokes the good old mechanics, more precisely the pulsating 90-degree V2 with its incomparably smooth thrust and unique character. When fully fueled, the Ducati Monster 1200 S, which weighs less than 200 kilograms, snaps out of the corners so hard that hardly anyone will miss a horse in the lead. There is no hole, not the slightest dent, in the entire speed range, the thrust comes very evenly and with impressive power. When it comes to draft, the monsters certainly don’t have to hide from the nominally superior Super Duke R or S 1000 R. This dynamic driving spectacle is accompanied by a not too loud, voluminous rumble from the two damper cartridges.

The decisive factor for having fun on winding roads is not just a powerful drive, but the overall package. There was a lot of criticism here in earlier Monster versions. This is different with the Ducati Monster 1200 S. You don’t just sit well, you drive well too. The new model is not trimmed so sharply for handiness, nor does it drive like a converted superbike. Rather, it is characterized by predictable neutrality and unshakable stability. The monster precisely follows the pilot’s wishes and cannot be disturbed even on bumpy terrain. This was achieved on the one hand by the six centimeters longer wheelbase, on the other hand by the slightly rear-heavy weight distribution. The static load on the rear wheel with the driver is 2.5 percent more than on the front wheel. One reason: the battery is now behind and deep down between the swingarms.

Better balanced than any monster before her

And the very fine and transparent Ohlins suspension certainly makes a significant contribution to the predictable, neutral driving behavior. The Monster is by no means rock-solid, as was the case with previous models. The Ducati Monster 1200 S offers a surprising amount of comfort, and it looks better balanced than any monster before it. Brembo brakes of the very best round off the package, the S version shows off high-end M50 calipers like those installed in the Panigale. Obviously, their bite was too much for the developers, because sintered coatings with a different mixture make the stainless steel stoppers in the S-Monster appear a little dull. But that doesn’t change the fact that the maximum deceleration due to the wheelbase and the center of gravity is enormous.

With a sharpened blade, Ducati is entering this year’s particularly heated battle for the crown in the Big Naked segment. And with her explosive drive and civilized manners she will be able to have an important say. And for monsters who don’t like red: The Ducati Monster 1200 S is also available in plain white. In any case, it remains wild.

Technical specifications


Muscular, with a dash of Diavel and unmistakably monster.

Ducati Monster 1200 S.

Engine: Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, two overhead, toothed belt-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, desmodromic actuation, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 53 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 520 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: 1024 cm³

Compression ratio: 12.5: 1

Rated output: 106.6 kW (145 hp) at 8750 rpm

Max. Torque: 125 Nm at 7250 rpm

Landing gear: Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 43 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

Dimensions + weight: Wheelbase 1511 mm, steering head angle 65.7 degrees, caster 93 mm, spring travel f / r 130/152 mm, seat height 785–810 mm, weight with a full tank of 209 kg *, tank capacity / reserve 17.5 / 3.5 liters.

Guarantee: two years

Colors: Red White

Price: 15,990 euros

Additional costs: 305 euros

Differences between the Monster 1200 and the S version

  • 10 HP less power, 6.5 Nm less torque thanks to modified mapping.
  • Fully adjustable upside-down fork from Kayaba instead of Ohlins.
  • Directly hinged shock absorber from Sachs without compression adjustment instead of a fully adjustable Ohlins damper.
  • Front fender made of injection-molded plastic instead of carbon.
  • Simpler Brembo brake system, front with monoblock pliers M4-32 instead of the lighter M50, plus 320 instead of 330 discs.
  • Cast wheels instead of forged wheels with a Y design.
  • Silencer painted silver instead of black.
  • Price 13,490 instead of 15,990 euros.

Original monster M 900


It all started with the M 900.

This is how it all started: In 1992 Ducati presented the Monster 900 with the two-valve V2 from the 900 SS and tubular frame from the Superbike 851 at the IFMA in Cologne. Technician legend Massimo Bordi was the father of the monsters, the design comes from the Argentinean Miguel Angel Galluzzi. The air-cooled Desmodue had a peak output of 78 hp.

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