The Monster’s worldwide success and well-earned image as the unchallenged icon of naked motorcycles is the result of investing over 20 years of Ducati engineering, design and styling experience. It is an investment in time, constantly rewarded by being the motorcycle of choice for motorcycle connoisseurs and celebrities, from actors and musicians to Formula 1 drivers and top athletes. The Monster has always been a statement on two wheels, an expression that created a cult following and, above all, a premium lifestyle motorcycle easily accessible to everyone.
The new Monster 1200 and Monster 1200 S present the next generation of this famous family, combining genuine Monster tradition with Ducati’s latest technical solutions to engineer a modern and mature masterpiece. From the super-smooth refinement of the second generation Testastretta 11° DS engine and its Panigale-style direct attachment to the frame, to stunning and industry benchmark TFT instrumentation and best-ever ergonomics, this iconic motorcycle now mixes authentic sport character with lifestyle sophistication.
The new Monster’s larger fuel tank presents an even more muscular image, emphasised by a narrow waistline and an incredibly compact headlamp that creates the overall silhouette of a powerful bull ready to charge. The clean and minimal handlebar area continues the naked icon’s essential character, while attention to detail like the tinted, transparent master cylinder reservoirs add a distinct quality to component finish.
Testastretta 11° DS second generation
The new Monster returns to its outrageous roots with the Desmo, liquid-cooled, 4-valves-per-cylinder, 1198cc Testastretta 11° DS motor. Underlining its naked motorcycle passion with the mantra: “it’s all about the engine”, the new generation models present the most usable, excitement-fuelled power ever delivered by a Monster.
The second generation Testastretta 11° Dual Spark engine, which now becomes a fully-stressed chassis member with Panigale-style attachment points for the Trellis frame, uses a number of important and highly effective features to deliver 135hp @ 8,750rpm and for the Monster 1200 S, an extra 10hp to 145hp @ 8,750rpm. With precise attention to the mapping of the large capacity Desmo engine, Ducati have dialled-in an impressive torque curve to further enhance riding pleasure, generating a peak torque of 87lb-ft (12kgm) for the Monster 1200 and 92lb-ft (12.7kgm) for the 1200 S version, both values @ 7,250rpm.
A number of well-proven technical advancements in Ducati’s twin-cylinder technology have been combined with the 1198’s torque-laden 106mm x 67.9mm bore and stroke to create an exciting, customisable and user-friendly character for the new generation Monster.
Breathing through circular Mikuni Ride-by-Wire throttle bodies, the 1198 Testastretta 11° DS uses the latest fuel injector positioning to target spray directly onto the rear of the hot intake valve instead of the relatively cold surface of the intake port wall. The enhanced vaporisation achieved as the fuel hits the valve, fully atomises the incoming charge, eliminating the chance of compromised combustion efficiency experienced if droplets of fuel enter in liquid form. With the delivery of a fully vaporised inlet charge, the concept of Dual Spark (DS) with two spark plugs per cylinder-head, provides a twin flame-front that ensures complete and efficient combustion across a shorter period of time. The new engine, which is cooled with a stylishly curved radiator equipped with two high-efficiency electric fans, also uses Ducati’s secondary air system, maintaining performance-optimised fuel mapping for smoother cycle-to-cycle engine operation, without compromising emissions.
The Testastretta 11° engine effectively took the fire-breathing 1198 Superbike power plant and re-engineered it with increased user-friendliness. Engineers achieved this to great effect by reducing the amount of valve over-lap from around 41° – typical in performance engines that operate constantly at high RPM – to just 11°, which reduced peak horse-power slightly, but enhanced mid-range and overall smoothness.
The Monster engine features an oil bath clutch with ‘slipper’ function and super-light feel at the lever. Its design uses a progressive self-servo mechanism that presses the plates together when under drive from the engine, enabling the reduction of the clutch spring rates. This results in a much lighter clutch lever at the handlebar, ideal in stop-start traffic or long journeys. When the drive force is reversed (over-run), the same mechanism reduces the pressure on the clutch plates, enabling them to provide a race-like ‘slipper’ action, which reduces the destabilizing effect of the rear-end under aggressive down-shifting and provides a much smoother feeling when closing the throttle or down-shifting under normal riding conditions.
The impressive 50-52mm (1.96-2.04in) section exhaust headers lead the 2-1-2 system through power-enhancing equal lengths that help enable the Monster’s efficient power delivery. The engine management system dedicates a lambda probe to each header, providing precise fueling via a large airbox, while the stylish cannon-style, vertically stacked silencers carry catalytic converters to provide Euro 3 conformity and electronically controlled mid-section valve to optimise exhaust pressures throughout the rev-range. The Monster 1200’s Testastretta 11° DS engine reaches another milestone in Ducati’s constant investment in quality by enabling the distance between major service intervals (valve clearance check) to be set at an owner-friendly 30,000 kilometres (18,000 miles).
While maintaining the vitally important aspects of the original Monster concept, the new generation chassis introduces Ducati’s very latest design techniques. The model’s signature Trellis frame still features predominantly in the overall styling, while its attachment points move directly to the new engine’s cylinder heads, a method pioneered on the innovative Panigale Superbike. This new and compact frame design combined with its large diameter steel tubing has effectively doubled its torsional stiffness compared to previous models.
Considerable attention has been applied to the ergonomics of the new model with a stability-enhancing 60mm longer wheelbase ideal for two-up riding comfort, and handlebars a ride-transforming 40mm higher and 40mm closer to the rider. The brand new seat design with high-grip surface, further enhanced with red stitching on the S model, boasts a comfortable 80mm of foam at its deepest point and presents Ducati’s first-ever adjustable seat height system with innovative simplicity. Using a simple block-and-pin system, the seat is able to be transformed from its standard 810mm seat height to a confidence-inspiring 785mm and even further to 745mm with the accessory low seat — Ducati’s lowest ever. This easy adjustment without changing the overall aesthetic profile of the Monster introduces true ergonomic flexibility to this impressive sports-lifestyle motorcycle.
Perfectly formed grab-rails provide a confidence-enhancing grip for the passenger without compromising the lines of the Monster’s beautifully styled tailpiece. A sleek and sporty single seat cover comes as standard equipment, giving the rear-end a clean and sharp look, further minimalised by a Diavel-style registration plate holder. While enhancing the presence of the new Monster with a more muscular silhouette, the new style 17.5l (4.6 US gal) steel fuel tank is carefully shaped to fit the rider perfectly.
Presenting a clean and minimalist cockpit area, the tapered aluminium handlebars are mounted with Ducati’s well-proven compact switchgear and adjustable brake and clutch levers on radial master cylinders, which introduce tinted transparent reservoirs with stylish functionality. Foot controls are mounted on dark grey, diecast aluminium hangers, contrasting elegantly against the bronze-coloured single-sided swingarm, colour-matched with the Testastretta 11° engine’s outer-cases.
The Monster uses fully adjustable 43mm Kayaba forks up front with a single Sachs unit on the rear adjustable in spring preload and rebound damping, while the Monster S gets the typical ‘S’ treatment with an upgrade to fully adjustable 48mm Ohlins forks with sliders finished in TiN and a fully adjustable Ohlins unit on the rear with integrated piggy-back reservoir. Operating through a progressive linkage, the rear suspension attaches directly from the rear vertical cylinder to a beautifully diecast aluminium single-sided swingarm.
Wheels and tyres
The new Monster rolls on Panigale-style 10-spoke light alloy wheels with rim sizes of 3.50 x 17 for the front and 6.00 x 17 on the rear, while the Monster S sports a new style triple Y-shape spoke design with extra machining. Both models use Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres in 120/70 for the front and impressive 190/55 for the rear, constructed in bi-Compound to combine long lasting mileage with excellent full-lean grip. The high quality tyres use Pirelli’s Enhanced Patch Technology (EPT) to optimise contact patch for improved grip and Functional Groove Design (FGD) to enhance their wet weather characteristics.
Ducati Safety Pack (DSP)
The new Monster 1200 and Monster 1200 S both use Ducati’s Riding Mode technology to incorporate three-level ABS and eight-level DTC into the Ducati Safety Pack (DSP) concept, further underlining the company’s increased focus on performance safety.
Bosch Brembo Braking system with 3-level ABS
Included as an integral part of the Ducati Safety Pack (DSP), both the Monster and Monster S are equipped with the Bosch ABS 9MP controlled Brembo braking system as standard equipment, an impressive combination of state-of-the-art security and proven performance.
The 3-level system provides shorter stopping distances with enhanced stability appropriate for the motorcycle’s environment by being fully integrated with the Riding Modes. While level-1 of the system enables a sport-oriented ABS intervention with no rear lift-up prevention, level-2 delivers the same intervention with rear lift-up prevention activated. Level-3 provides maximum braking stability and rear lift-up prevention.
The Monster uses twin radially-mounted Brembo, four piston, Monobloc M4-32 callipers gripping 320mm discs, while the flagship Monster S is equipped with Superbike-style 330mm discs and M50 Monobloc callipers. Both models use radial front brake pumps with remote reservoirs and a single 245mm disc on the rear gripped by a single Brembo calliper. Typical of all Ducatis, these components ensure high performance braking and set the standard in this segment.
An option to disable the ABS in each individual Riding Mode is available via the instrumentation, and the system allows the setting to be saved and memorised at the next ignition-on.
The Monster’s super compact headlamp assembly uses conventional halogen main light illumination with LED position lights on either side and full LED lighting for the beautifully shaped rear and brake light illumination. The S version of the Monster 1200 extends LED* technology to the directional indicators which also sport a hazard light function, activated by holding the left-turn signal button on for four seconds.
Ducati Traction Control (DTC)
The Ducati Traction Control is an intelligent system which acts as a filter between the rider’s right hand and the rear tyre. Within milliseconds, DTC is able to detect and then control rear wheel-spin, considerably increasing the bike’s active safety and performance, an important component of the Ducati Safety Pack (DSP). The new Monster uses the very latest DTC software, now optimised with seamless intervention to ignition timing only.
The system offers eight ‘levels of sensitivity’, each programmed with a level of rear wheel-spin tolerance in line with progressive levels of riding skills classified from one to eight. Level one is programmed to offer the least amount of interaction while level eight uses the most amount of interaction.
DTC levels are factory pre-set in each of the three Riding Modes, but can be individually customised and saved to suit the rider by accessing the set-up menu within each mode. A ‘Default’ option is available to easily return all settings to factory pre-sets.
Ducati Riding Modes
Ducati’s industry-changing Riding Modes effectively offer optimised settings appropriate to rider and environment by selecting from a choice of three pre-set modes: “Sport”, “Touring” and “Urban”. Each Riding Mode is pre-programmed to instantly change engine character, ABS and DTC intervention – even while riding. The modes are made possible by combining a number of class-leading technologies.
An electronic Ride-by-Wire (RbW) system uses Ducati’s innovative e-Grip throttle to administer different mappings to regulate power delivery, while the Ducati Traction Control system (DTC) uses eight levels of system interaction to enhance control by reducing rear wheel-spin and the ABS processor provides pre-programmed three levels of anti-lock braking.
The “Sport” Riding Mode provides 135hp (145hp for the S Model) delivered with a “High” RbW throttle response, reduced DTC system intervention and level-one ABS of sport-oriented intervention with no rear lift-up prevention.
The Touring Riding Mode provides 135hp (145hp for the S Model) delivered with a “Medium” RbW throttle response, increased DTC system intervention and level-two ABS with rear lift-up prevention activated.
The Urban Riding Mode provides 100hp, delivered with a “Low” RbW throttle response, further increased DTC system intervention and level-three ABS with maximum braking stability and rear lift-up prevention.
The Ride-by-Wire (RbW) system is an electronic interface between the twistgrip and the engine which decides the ideal power response depending on the Riding Mode selected and according to the rider’s throttle input. The twistgrip no longer uses a throttle cable to control the throttle body butterflies, but instead Ducati’s “e-Grip” delivers a signal to a control unit, which in turn operates the butterfly opening. The RbW system enables the use of three different mappings to regulate the power delivery. The three maps offer 135hp (145hp for the S Model) with a “High” sports-type delivery, 135hp (145hp for the S Model) with a “Medium” progressive delivery suitable for touring and 100hp with a “Low” reduced delivery for urban use.
Thin Film Transistor instrumentation (TFT)
The new Monster and Monster S use Ducati’s industry-leading Thin Film Transistor (TFT) technology to present a stunning instrumentation display, which combines exceptional user-freindliness with state-of-the-art information delivery. The system serves the rider with full environment integration by changing both its background image and display layout according the Riding Mode selected.
The fully customisable display is programmed with three different backgrounds for Urban, Touring and Sport Riding Modes and three different layouts entitled “Core”, “Full” and “Track”, each designed to display information appropriate to each of the three Riding Mode environments.
Urban (Core information layout)
In Urban Riding Mode the display adopts the “Core” layout, offering the bare minimum of information appropriate to the urban environment, and in a style immediately and easily readable so that the rider can focus fully on city traffic. The vehicle speed becomes the largest, most prominent piece of information in the centre of the screen with a reminder of the Riding Mode selected below and the time displayed above, a practical feature for those working the full schedule of everyday life. To the left of the time is a reminder of the ABS level programmed in the Riding Mode and to the right the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) level. On the bottom left of the screen by default is the odometer and on the right the engine coolant temperature. Both left and right lower data read-outs are scrollable using the buttons positioned above and below the indicator button on the left-hand switchgear to display trip A, trip B, trip fuel reserve, trip time and lap times (if activated) on the left, and average fuel consumption, actual fuel consumption, average speed and air temperature on the right.
Touring (Full information layout)
In Touring Riding Mode the display completely changes to “Full” layout, changing the background graphic, delivering the maximum amount of information required during a long journey, reducing the size of the speed numerals and replacing the data previously displayed at the top of the screen with a 1,000-11,000 graphic rev-counter. The incremental bars of rpm are animated to adjust the orange and red coloured sections of the rev-range subject to running-in and engine warm-up periods and increase numeral size as each value is reached. With the selected Riding Mode now shown to the left of the speed the entire lower part of the display from left to right is dedicated to time, engine temperature and DTC and ABS levels and on the bottom left of the screen by default the odometer and on the right the average fuel consumption. Both left and right lower data read-outs are scrollable using the buttons positioned above and below the indicator button on the left-hand switchgear to display trip A, trip B, trip fuel reserve, trip time and lap times (if activated) on the left and actual fuel consumption, average speed and air temperature on the right.
Sport (Track information layout)
In Sport Riding Mode the display adopts the “Track” layout, changing the background to a brushed aluminium finish and presenting road sport-essential information only. The rev-counter graphic recalibrates itself in a scale that curves through 90° around the left and upper edge of the main screen in Superbike style, with speed prominently displayed in the centre of the screen and ABS engine temperature and DTC displayed across the bottom from left to right. Positioned bottom centre is the odometer read-out by default, scrollable using the buttons positioned above and below the indicator button on the left-hand switchgear to display trip A, trip B, trip fuel reserve, time, trip time and lap times (if activated) average fuel consumption, actual fuel consumption, average speed, engine temperature and air temperature. All three display layouts feature a setting memory whereby, information scrolled-and-selected other than default setting is memorised by the system and re-displayed upon the model’s next ignition-on.
Fixed icons on the left of the main screen from top to bottom show warnings for left turn signal, main beam, ABS-off and neutral, while from top to bottom on the right of the display are turn signal right, oil pressure, fuel reserve and engine electronics. Countdown icons are programmed to appear on the screen to advise of upcoming scheduled maintenance. Red lights positioned at the top of the instrumentation unit illuminate incrementally inwards to the centre as a count-up warning of over-rev, while below the top, centre over-rev bar is a second bar that illuminates in orange during DTC interaction.
When stationary, the instrumentation doubles as a user-friendly control panel to personalise and save ABS, DTC, and RbW settings within each Riding Mode as well as redesignating any of the three layouts to each of the three Riding Modes. In addition to listing the last 30 recorded lap times, each time also shows the lap number and the maximum speed and maximum rpm recorded during that lap.