The Italian motorcycle industry has been the forerunner in the field of creating cutting-edge motorcycles. Their concepts have inspired countless motorcycle designers, both in Japan and in Europe. From the addition of disc brakes to the innovative use of fuel injection, the Italian motorcycle industry has given us marvels time and time again. Spearheaded by Ducati, the company has launched its latest line of hyper sport street bike, the Ducati Monster 1200 S.
Street bikes have always been Ducati’s forte, spearheading the trend for naked sport bikes; devoid of all forms of fairing, with wider handlebars, and a more upright seating position. Their latest iteration of the Monster line packs in a heavy punch, with the top-end model featuring a displacement of 1198cc, making it one of the most powerful motorcycles in the market, with an astounding 160 horsepower under the hood. The latest model features the quick shifter taken from the Panigale as a standard piece of equipment on the Monster, with dual up shifts and downshifts being controlled with the auto blipper. The system can be easily turned off with the new and improved TFT cluster. An automated traction control system with automated wheelie control provides a sound contact between the upgraded Pirelli tyres and the tarmac.
Design and aesthetics
Looking at the Monster 1200 S, you would be hard-pressed to find any differences, yet the entire beast has been remodelled from scratch. The tall riding position with the reshaped fuel tank lets you envelope your knees against the sides of the tank, protecting it from the blast of heat coming from the powerful engine. The Y-shaped 3-spoke alloy wheels are a departure from the pentatonic alloys found in the previous iteration, while the improved Brembo caliper brakes add enough stopping power without breaking a sweat. Newer Daytime Running Lights and an improved switchgear console provides riding convenience upgrades on the fly, with a redesigned LED headlamp and tail lamp offering ample illumination for the street. While not a definite looker in terms of its fully faired siblings, the Monster sure grabs attention on the road wherever you go.
Built for the street with racetrack-inspired performance, the Ducati Monster 1200 S dishes out a smooth power band, with the torque at the low and mid-range RPMs enough to catapult you ahead of the surging traffic. The nimble bike is easy to manoeuvre, with cornering ABS that activates while leaning to take on twisting roads with elan. The bike has three riding modes; Sport, Touring and Urban, with the Urban mode restricting the power to 100bhp. The new TFT control provides a different display for each of these modes; for example in Sport Mode, the rev counter is the central focus of the console, while in Urban Mode, the Speed is the focus on the display unit. The top-end reaches 11000 RPM which is enough to give it a huge boost of acceleration while pulling out of corners, the motorcycle hits the sweet spot at around 8000 RPM. The shorter wheelbase compared with a sportier position of the foot pegs make the Monster a nimble motorcycle, despite its weight, with short flicks of the handlebars responding appropriate to the direction of movement without feeling the loss of balance. The smooth engine has a bit of a vibration at the low end, but goes off once you hit the 2nd gear.
Compared with its direct competition, the Yamaha MT-10 and the BMW S1000R Sport, the 2017 incarnation of the Monster by Ducati is a fine machine for just about anything, be it on the streets, the highway or the racetrack. While you shouldn’t expect the high cornering capabilities of the Panigale or the Yamaha YZF R1, the Ducati Monster 1200 S can hold its own against the best if the lot other manufacturers have to offer in the segment.