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Ducati Monster 1200 S in the PS performance test

Handy and cornering stable with the right tires

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The Ducati Monster 1200 S doesn’t tolerate any scheme F. That’s why Rod challenges the PS guys and puts the Ducati to the test in the performance test! Curious? Dock – open fire!

I wanted that. For real! Even if the red iron has almost nothing to do with a racer. There are a couple of things that go for the Ducati M.speak onster 1200 S in the performance test. Firstly, years ago I privately owned a Monster S2R (not long!), Secondly, the Ducati was a new bike on the PS list and thirdly, the twin comes straight from the superbike that my hero Troy Bayliss used to nail his nails with.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in the PS performance test

Handy and cornering stable with the right tires

Ducati Monster 1200 S, yes, silly. My argument: Nobody wants to know whether it is better to hole in with a tennis or golf ball. That was well received, so I was allowed to determine the conditions with the supposed tennis ball.

Conversion from Pirelli Diablo Rosso II to Supercorsa

Most important measure: The original equipment manufacturer tires have to come off the forged wheels! The Pirelli Diablo Rosso II in specification "D" turned the Ducati Monster 1200 S into a stubborn beast when turning. When cornering, you had to push against the inside of the handlebars. The further the tire was worn, the more noticeable it was. For the committed laps, however, something different was in demand anyway, and with the Pirelli Supercorsa things looked completely different. The Duc now followed my will almost completely neutrally. Part one: Start in dragster style.

As if they had suspected this test in Bologna, they gave the Testastretta of the Ducati Monster 1200 S a lot more torque in the lower speed range. On top of that, a clean draft without too blatant hangers and an unbridled, turbo-like acceleration from around 7500 rpm. This was achieved, among other things, through reduced throttle valves, double ignition, realigned injection nozzles and a valve overlap changed to eleven degrees. The first gear engages clearly audible, the engine at medium speed – a rumble of thunder despite the strict 2014 EU standard. The screeching four cylinders next to me can hardly be heard. And off!

Facts like the difficult-to-pull clutch and the long and bony gearshift travel certainly didn’t give the combatant victory. With my motocross experience, I can compensate for these shortcomings. The naturally long Monster wheelbase of 1511 mm does the rest. Victory goes to Bologna like a punch in the face of my opponents, even though the guys with their huge horsepower had figured out chances to judge the narrow 143 hp of the Ducati Monster 1200 S and me. That I had studied the performance curves and the shift diagram in advance and chose the length of the route to be short enough so that it ended at a maximum of 180km / h – well, I just make the rules! Displacement and 124 Nm of torque, instead of disguise and maximum power at high speeds – victory!

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Braking performance predictable, not too aggressive

Second test: cornering performance in tight bends. It’s cute how they really tried everything with mega-hanging-off and breakneck cornering speed on the athletes in the slow corners. The crew cannot be blamed for a lack of skill or a lack of commitment. But physics is physics and they certainly hadn’t expected a drifting Ducati Monster 1200 S..

ABS and DTC on the easily adjustable display to "Off", prepared so drifted into the curve at an exaggerated angle in bold over the rear wheel! Supermoto guys know that. The expensive Brembo M50 brake calipers of the S version do an excellent job, ideally decelerate with over 10.2 m / s² and support me with predictable, not too aggressive braking performance. Even with this extreme anchoring, the very well-functioning Ohlins fork does not completely submerge, and so I can turn the Ducati Monster 1200 S on cleanly, despite the almost non-braking rear wheel stop. My old monster already had that – at Ducati there is probably no rear brakes, the 245 steel disc only shines for the TÜV.

The good slipper clutch makes the whole action easier. At the apex of the very tightly chosen curve, the monster rests on the footrest. I just turn the slightly cranked handlebars to the apex, maintain the drifted lean angle and fire with a mighty roar and full torque on the shortest route onto the straight. The balanced balance and the low center of gravity as well as the wide handlebars really make the new Ducati Monster 1200 S a playmobile. We agree on one more point for me. 2-0.

Le Mans start with the Ducati Monster 1200 S.

Now let’s give the athletes their chance. I was afraid that my opponents would lose their pleasure. Competition three: Race over three laps with a Le Mans start from the side stand. One can imagine that the lap chase on the racetrack is not the chocolate side of the Ducati Monster 1200 S. But then you just do it like SERT in the endurance world championship and look for loopholes in the regulations – or use the good faith of the editors. Because while they are getting into position on the other side of the piste and are still laughing at my suggestion, I am performing the famous key trick unnoticed.

On three it is sprinted to the motorcycle. Despite the high compression of 12.5: 1, the Ducati Monster 1200 S starts immediately and I shoot away. I would have loved to see the guys desperately trying to start their bikes. How long do you think it took them to find out that I had switched their keys in the ignition? It took over two laps for both of them to be within striking distance behind me.

Some components set up very early

The poor Ducati Monster 1200 S had to give up a lot in this race and clearly demonstrated that even a former racing engine does not turn a naked bike into a racing motorcycle. When tilted, some components touch down very early and hard. And it becomes even clearer how difficult it is to position the feet on the notch. On the right the holder for the pillion pegs and the exhaust are in the way, on the left the pillion peg bracket. At the end of the fight my boot grinder on my right foot is completely over the Jordan – and it was new! Thanks to the good-natured driving characteristics of the mounted Pirelli and the chassis that we have adjusted to match, the Monster is otherwise really good. If you enjoy this fine line between maximum inclination and levering it out via the exhaust, brake or gear lever, footrests or stand, then the Duc is so stable that you almost could let it drive alone.

The cornering speed is okay. Even line changes within what is feasible without touching down can be achieved with effortless steering impulses. That pays off when you hit the door, because it’s the athletes’ turn and all I have left is my years of racing experience and that little bit more killer instinct. Unfortunately, the long straight still follows, and the Ducati Monster 1200 S ends at around 255 km / h. What can I say? It’s only 2: 1.

Speed ​​cruising is the real strength of the monsters

Don’t just catch the balance now! Test oven: Medium-speed drive over 30 minutes with a constant lap time. The winner is the one with the lowest fuel consumption with the same lap time. We set the maximum deviation to five seconds. It’s stupid and sounds like scientifically monitored EU emissions test 5.0, but I’m a winner. That’s why I prepared myself here and studied the technical data. With the drag coefficient of naked bikes against disguise, my Latin was also at the end, and the outcome was correspondingly exciting.

Speed ​​cruising is the real strength of the monsters. With little speed it pushes powerfully. The lower third is enough for you, even if it chops and rattles below 3000 rpm. But you never really need to be fat. I ride with the racers almost just above idle. The opponents cannot do that. There is bad agitation in the gear. The Ducati Monster 1200 S usually pulls past at the exit of a curve, and so I keep forcing the guys to gas-killing gas. The Ducati is now fully exploiting its fat torque. Your test bench curve only meets that of the winged 1000s of this competition at 9000 rpm. In front of it, the monster torque mountain rises like the Himalayas over the Eifel. In addition, the athlete has a long gear ratio in the lower gears. The result: gearshifts and unwanted acceleration to keep the lap time. With the 17.5 liter tank capacity of the Ducati Monster 1200 S, the others would have to push for a long time in a long-distance test without refueling, but – luckily for them – we have shortened the matter. In any case, after 30 minutes there is a fuel advantage of 0.3 liters on the best athlete for the Duc. Not an exorbitant amount, okay, but: victory for Rod!

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Faster is simply better

So driving fast is not always the right tactic. But actually I’m the wrong preacher, the goat as a gardener, because faster is simply better. The decisive factor here, however, was the strategy. So is the Monster the better bike? Of course not! I wanted to win and have fun. And the latter is the goal of the Ducati Monster 1200 S. So you have to find the competition that suits it. And you can prepare them accordingly. There are basically three modes available for the electronics. Ideal for all demands. In all three modes (Sport, Touring and Urban), all parameters such as ABS, DTC or Engine (engine power or response behavior) can be freely set. So I preprogrammed three settings so that I can change them with the push of a button while I am chasing the slopes. Okay, for a short time you have to take off the accelerator and brake, but otherwise you can go wild without stopping. A nice gimmick, but also useful are the various displays. Because sport, tour and urban look different, in sport, for example, engine speed and speed are highlighted. The only annoying thing is that the display can hardly be read in strong sunlight.

Another annoyance for show-conscious ice cream cafe wheelie fans is the delayed throttle response on the Ducati Monster 1200 S after the clutch for the raised front wheel has been plucked. It feels like an eternity before the motor converts the desired throttle command into propulsion. A targeted balance is hardly possible. The wheelie is easier by jerking the gas in the first two gears and pulling on the handlebars. Rather unsuitable for the ice cream parlor, because the increase in speed is enormous. Before the sweetness in the mini with the strawberry ice cream can even turn around, you rush one block further into the rear of the school bus. The perceived turbo effect at 7500 rpm is also dangerous on a bike. If you do not expect it, you can certainly not save yourself with the bad rear brake. Backflip – bang! Incidentally, the traction control does not prevent the wheelie at any stage.

Nevertheless: The Ducati Monster 1200 S is a clear improvement compared to its predecessors – to my old S2R anyway. Just how you sit on it. The monsters live from the beefy engine and the sporty sound. Incidentally, I find the curved, mighty “Capricorn” elbow a real feast for the eyes.



Clean power delivery up to the power peak and tons of torque from below – two-cylinder glory.

The new Ducati Monster 1200 S is the best monster update ever – say even the unfortunately somewhat bad-tempered colleagues. The new Ducati is finally moving with the times, is handy and cornering with the right tires. The electronics are easy to use and state-of-the-art. The powerful engine gives the monster an additional character boost. On the racetrack, however, it is actually completely out of place, there have already been sportier offshoots of the model series, and can only be used by experienced pilots with high losses – polished manifolds and other components are damn expensive. The foot space problem is always and everywhere, but you get used to it.

We won anyway, the Ducati Monster 1200 S and I – albeit a bit of cheating. Let’s see what rules I have to try next time. But I heard something from established athletes!

Technical data Ducati Monster 1200 S

As if they had suspected this test in Bologna, they gave the Testastretta a lot more torque in the lower rev range.


Two-cylinder 90 degree V-engine, four valves / cylinder, 101.0 kW (137 PS) at 8750 / min *, 125 Nm at 7250 / min *, 1198 cm³, bore / stroke: 106.0 / 67, 9 mm, compression ratio: 12.5: 1.53mm throttle valves, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath anti-hopping clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat, chain.

landing gear

Steel tubular space frame, steering head angle: 65.7 degrees, caster: 93 mm, wheelbase: 1511 mm, upside-down fork, Ø fork inner tube: 48 mm, adjustable in spring base, rebound and compression traineeship, directly hinged central spring strut, adjustable in spring base, Rebound and compression. Suspension travel front / rear: 130/152 mm, forged alloy wheels, 3.50 x 17 / 6.00 x 17, front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 190/55 ZR 17, first tires: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II, 330 mm Double disc brake with radially attached four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 245 mm single disc with two-piston fixed caliper at the rear, ABS.


Thanks to the good-natured driving characteristics of the mounted Pirelli and the chassis that we have adjusted to match, the Monster is doing really well.

Max. Rear wheel power: 101 kW (137 PS) at 217 km / h

0-100 km / h: 3.2 s
0-150 km / h: 5.3 s
0-200 km / h: 9.2 s

50-100 km / h: 3.8 s
100–150 km / h: 4.2 s

Top speed: 255 km / h

213 kg with a full tank
v./h .: 49.3 / 50.7%,
Tank capacity: 17.5 liters

Set up

Setup fork
stat.neg. Spring travel: standard, compression: 7 K open, rebound: 8 K open, level: standard.

Setup shock absorber
stat.neg. Spring travel: 15 mm, compression: 5 K open, rebound: 15 K open, level: standard.

Base price
15,990 euros

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