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Ducati Monster 1200 S in the test

Comparison of model year 2016 and 2017

Euro 4, new electronics, a little more performance, small retouching in optics and ergonomics – on paper the changes to the new Ducati Monster 1200 S seem rather manageable. But on the road it becomes clear that it is more than just a small update.

Ducati’s Monster 1200 is a very good motorcycle, especially the S version. This was already apparent at the presentation around three years ago, and we have known that since the previous major power-naked comparisons. The 2014 top test, for which a Monday machine rolled in, did nothing to change that. She just didn’t want to give in, cause still unclear today. With its muscular, beefy Testastretta-Vau, the velvety-noble driving behavior, with its top brakes and, last but not least, its strong character, the Ducati has stood out M.onster 1200 S drove to the heart of the test team over and over again. There was really only one problem and it was literally at your feet. The arms of the pillion footpegs are so wide on the 2016 model that even the most delicate ballerina ankle boots won’t find space for a bold curve swing. Your own feet are just always in the way. Maybe a little thing, but extremely annoying. But apart from that, there was no real need for action for the Bologna troops with the Euro 4 facelift that is now due. So make it cleaner, attach fork reflectors and activated carbon filters, the usual fine tuning and some newer electronics. The arbor is ready?

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the test

Comparison of model year 2016 and 2017

New color immediately catches the eye

Not at all. Instead of a simple Euro 4 refresher, as it was recently common in the two-wheel industry, Ducati went deeper with the 2017 Monster S and puts a completely touched, subjectively almost new motorcycle on its wheels. But you don’t see that at first glance. If you look closely you will notice the more compact line, closer to the original monster, the narrower tank and the shortened rear. In direct comparison, the connoisseur will surely also notice the steeper steering head (by a full degree to 66.7 degrees) and the shorter wheelbase (1485 instead of the long 1511 millimeters). The somewhat more voluminous exhaust is due to the new standard, IMU lean angle sensors to strive for more safety and the standard gearshift to strive for driving dynamics. What everyone immediately notices is the new color of the Ducati Monster 1200 S. "Liquid Concrete Gray" is subject to a surcharge, brave, because something else (thumbs up!), And is only used by the most hateful keepers of the grail of the (of course still available) Ducati Red dubbed “Audi accountant gray”. In any case, when you sit up, the most obvious innovation is immediately apparent: Jessas, there is finally space for your boots! Thanks to the new passenger footpegs, the Daytonas, no matter what size, are now perfectly supported. If that doesn’t call for an extensive test on the Col!

Sound of the new Ducati Monster 1200 S is more muted

When starting the car, the now muffled, albeit still bass-heavy exhaust sound of the 2017 model immediately catches the ear. In addition to the wonderfully uninhibited, late-pubescent roar, pipes and spurts of the 2016 model, the new Ducati Monster 1200 S looks much more diplomatic. Acoustic advance warning of a Euro 4 barred drive? Yes and no. Taken by itself, Ducati’s 2017 noble naked with rough 142 PS and almost 120 Newton meters of maximum torque is super-full in the chuck, but the popometer and roller dynamometer report, in contradiction to press prose and prospectus, less punch over practically the entire speed range. Around ten Newton meters and 5 HP on average, with 7,000 even 10 HP old is new. Only at a good 9,000 turns and thus shortly before the limiter does the new one pull by. Some engines find it difficult to maintain their pressure under the current standard. It’s not new, but it’s a shame. Subjectively, this impression is even reinforced by the now much more linear engine response.

2017 model a bit smoother in comparison

The old Ducati Monster 1200 S suggests even more power than is already available when applying the throttle in the Sport and Touring riding modes with a highly motivated, some would say over-motivated throttle response. It’s entertaining and fits the unrestrained macho character of the bike, but it bothers you when driving fast and in tight bends. The new one, on the other hand, is exceptionally smooth and predictable in all of the three modes, free of disruptive load changes, and also runs even more smoothly overall mechanically. We think: The bottom line is that the slight performance deficit in comparison is more than made up for by the much better, more precise drivability of the 2017 unit. You just give a little more speed and good. If you like that: the rustic krawallo charm definitely has 2016.

Automatic gearshift more than a gimmick

The new Ducati Monster 1200 S is also ahead of the pack when it comes to transmission, and clearly. The gear changes are still made over short distances and with Ducati’s own crisp detent; hard blows are alien to the gray monster. The automatic gearshift that comes as standard with the S model (with blipper for clutchless downshifting) works excellently, is really fun and allows 2017 to stick to 2016 when accelerating through. It is also really remarkable how much brain capacity the renunciation of coupling frees up for braking point and line. A gearshift is an asset to any form of sporty motorcycle and much more than a gimmick.

2017 vintage has become more manageable

This reorientation of the monsters on the engine side, away from the sledgehammer and towards the surgical set, as demonstrated by the 1200 R, is emphasized by the significantly more playful driving behavior of the new model. Shortened wheelbase, steeper steering head – now damn handy, the 2017 vintage! Wonderfully light-footed and precise, but as stable as ever. As if she hadn’t put on three kilos, but lost 15. So vintage 2017 really trumps on the pass. Not that the old S isn’t a very good bike here (apart from the footpegs), but the new one is simply better. And more mobile and faster. With the current Ducati Monster 1200 S, the well-known idiosyncratic, somewhat stubborn driving behavior of Ducati’s naked clan, which has become less and less pronounced over the years, is finally a thing of the past. The turning in is so wonderfully effortless, not the slightest trace of hip stiffness, and even less momentum when braking. All of this is partly due to the new, good Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3. It usually leaves the extremely grippy, but cold and wet rather wooden smearing Diablo Corsa, which was mounted on the test motorcycle instead of the standard Rosso 2, on the country road look pretty old.

There is a tie in terms of chassis components

The chassis components are largely the same. Both motorcycles have a fully adjustable Ohlins USD fork with a fat 48 millimeter standpipe diameter and a fully adjustable, deflector controlled Ohlins damper (now seven millimeters longer) on the rear wheel. However, we liked the set-up of the new Ducati Monster 1200 S a little better: A little tighter at the front, a little more sensitive at the rear, it is now a touch more balanced. However, the 2016 model doesn’t have to hide. Both feathers are valuable and for highway robbers with large reserves. However, red and gray come on very late, but rather unsightly with the exhaust flap cover facing to the right. However, if you notice this, you can attach the last-Rille hardworking star to your lapel.

Biggest difference in electronics

However, the 2016 model is properly canned when it comes to electronics. Initially, both offer, as we know it by now, the same three driving modes (Sport, Touring and Urban) with stored but freely configurable values ​​for power output, ABS and traction control. The ABS of the old Ducati Monster 1200 S is already working fine and sporty late, but allows robust stoppies. Their traction control also pleases with filigree, but in a direct comparison remarkably to alarmingly late control intervention, even on the higher levels. The 2017 model shows again that the greatest development steps are currently to be found in the bits and bytes. Thanks to an inertial measuring unit (IMU), the electronic brain of the new monster always knows about the current driving situation and can adjust control interventions accordingly and thus carry out more precisely. The TC succeeds in doing this extremely well. Depending on the level selected, it cuts propulsion at exactly the right time, continues to work very gently and then quickly releases power again. It does not restrict sports drivers in any way (neither did the old one) and offers a tangible increase in safety (that was not entirely certain). The ABS now also offers a cornering function, which is not only appreciated by those slowing down in a corner. The coordination of the anti-lock device is now a little less toxic overall, which reliably prevents the rear wheel from rising in the two more defensive levels, but somewhat at the expense of maximum braking performance.

New wheelie control

The old Monster S with the same (Panigale) brake hardware (330 mm discs, Brembo M50, radial pump) achieves the shorter braking distance thanks to the longer wheelbase. The nicer dosability, the crisper initial bite, however, offers new, probably thanks to the now installed sintered metal brake pads. The wheelie control that is now available does its job very well, although it would actually be necessary there because of the explosive power delivery of the old Ducati Monster 1200 S. A quick rise of the front in the lower gears prevents it rather abruptly, a creamy front wheel glider in gear step three, on the other hand, allows it without further ado in a sporty setting. Kind. What else was there? The elegant LCD instrument looks the same, but thanks to a slightly steeper angle and better contrast, it is now easy to read even in direct sunlight, and offers tour goodies such as fuel gauge and remaining range in addition to a gear indicator. The new rear is only slightly more uncomfortable than the old one, but the pillion passenger handles are missing, also for storing luggage. The newly designed headlight has stylish daytime running lights, but the old one shines a little brighter. After all, the range is slightly lower due to the slightly increased consumption (5.1 instead of 4.9 liters) and one liter less tank volume.

MOTORRAD conclusion on the comparison test

Far more than Euro 4 and new footrests: thanks to a lot of fine-tuning in all areas, new is unexpectedly clearly ahead of old in the end. Engine running and responsiveness, automatic gearshift, fast-paced, neutral handling, broadband initial tires and, last but not least, the great active control electronics add up to a real leap. The old Ducati Monster 1200 S booked the even crazier punch and a heart-rending, limitless engine sound. The red one was a good motorcycle. But the gray is consistently the better.

Used Ducati Monster 1200S in price comparison

1000PS marketplace app

The choice on the used market is huge.

If you are looking for a Ducati Monster 1200S, you will be delighted by the large selection on the used market. Most used bikes are in classic Ducati red, while some naked bikes are available in gray or white. Here is a current market overview: used Ducati Monster 1200S in Germany.

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