DUCATI is best known for making ballistic, blood-red superbikes, but its longest-running and most successful model is the stripped-down Monster range.
This iconic line of stylish street bikes started in 1993 with the Monster 900, and it’s this original model that Ducati has used as inspiration for the family’s newest member – the 2017 Monster 1200 S.
To rediscover some of the first bike’s sleek, sporty spirit, the current Monster 1200 has been updated from nose to tail.
The headlight, fuel tank, seat unit and single-sided swingarm are all new
The headlight, fuel tank, seat unit and single-sided swingarm are all new, and the bike is shorter, slimmer and more compact as a result. The riding position has been tipped forwards, feeling more aggressive as soon as you sit on it.
The 1198cc V-twin engine is more powerful as well, thumping out an incredible 150bhp. Thankfully, the new Monster also has a smarter bundle of superbike-standard electronic rider aids to help you use that power safely – including traction control, wheelie control and ABS that works mid-corner.
Change up and down the gearbox without having to touch the clutch leve
It’s also fitted with a two-way quickshifter, so you can change up and down the gearbox without having to touch the clutch lever. Testing the new bike in the dizzying mountains north of glamorous Monaco, all of these improvements came together beautifully.
The route included a 3,000ft climb on tight, twisty roads where the Monster’s sportier chassis felt right at home.
The bike cut confidently through the hair-raising hairpins, its thundering motor blasting hard out of every turn in addictively dramatic fashion.
The Monster has definitely found its sporty side again.
The new Monster 1200 S costs £14,432 in traditional Ducati red, while the brand-new Liquid Concrete Grey paint scheme of our test bike adds another £200. Not sure which to pick? Take a look for yourself when the Monster arrives in Ducati dealers in January.
To see the Monster in action, head to bikeworld.co.uk or search “bike world” on YouTube.