Originally featured in Cycle World Magazine
Before we tell you what the Monster is, let’s tell you what it isn’t. It’s not a stripped-down superbike like the Streetfighter 848. Nor is it a bare-knuckle hooligan bike like the Hypermotard. Rather, the new Monster 1200 S is a sporty roadster that’s more at home on a winding back road than strafing curves on the racetrack. And it’s equally comfortable commuting or bopping around town.
All new for 2014, the 1200 S gets the 1,198cc Testastretta 11-degree engine, which in different states of tune also powers the Diavel and Multistrada. In this application, the engine uses smaller 53mm throttle bodies and a higher 12.5:1 compression ratio. The result? Great low-end oomph and a wonderfully shaped torque curve without a single dip in sight. Power builds in a smooth arc, signing off about 500 rpm before redline.
On a twisty road, this engine’s flexibility really stands out. In many situations, two or three different gears will work just fine; it just depends on how much of a hurry you’re in. With Sport mode selected, throttle response is crisp and instantaneous, while Touring softens the hit a bit. For cruising around town, Urban reduces peak power and softens response even more, which also masks the tiny bit of driveline lash and the slightly grabby nature of the hydraulic clutch leaving stops. Fueling is great in all three modes, and the DTC, ABS, and response settings for the three drive modes can be customized via the menu to satisfy your preference.
Despite the Monster’s long 59.3-inch wheelbase (it’s 3 inches longer than the sportiest nakeds) and fairly roomy ergonomics, the 1200 S somehow still feels compact from the cockpit. The minimalist dash, and the fact that most of us can’t see the bike’s front tire, helps create this sensation. Longish wheelbase aside, the Monster really handles well, with light and precise steering, firm (but not harsh) action from the Öhlins suspension, and tons of midcorner stability. It’s sporty without the compromises a track-ready machine puts on rider comfort.
Speaking of comfort, not all is perfect with the ergos, at least where your legs are concerned. Ride with your feet flat on the pegs and leg comfort is decent. But if you like to get up on the balls of your feet, the brackets for the passenger pegs splay your heels out at an uncomfortable angle. Other nitpicks include a rear cylinder header pipe that dumps a ton of heat onto your inner right leg at long stops (and while riding slowly in traffic), plus a slick TFT dash display that’s very hard to read in bright sunlight because of the glare.
Nevertheless, this 1200 S has to be one of the best, if not the best, Monsters ever. Yes, we loved the old air-cooled models, too, but the 11-degree Testastretta is a wonderful motor for a Monster. With liquid cooling and an excellent electronics suite, the powertrain is fully modern, yet it produces exactly the kind of power and accessible torque that these Ducati roadsters were meant to have.
Compared to the three naked superbikes tested in this issue, the Monster 1200 S might seem a bit tame. But if track performance isn’t a high priority, the Monster 1200 S is a great choice that remains true to the name’s heritage.
From our friends at Cycle World Magazine
By Blake Conner
Photographer: Jeff Allen
Our TerraCorsa just keeps going and going! After transforming a 2013 Ducati into our version of a ridiculous "adventure bike," we wondered what else could be done with this amazing machine. When we heard about our friends from See See Motorcycles hosting an "Inappropriate Street Bike" class at the legendary Castle Rock Flat Track, we were in! Who says you can't flat track a Ducati superbike?!
Every summer there is a crazy wait to have your bike serviced. Whether you need a first service, tires or are getting ready for a summer road trip, there's always that dreaded "we're three weeks out" when you call your shop for service.
No more waiting.....we've added hours so you don't have to wait. Easy in-and-out scheduling.
Call now - 503-292-7488
Cycle World Magazine's own Don Canet raced raced up Pikes Peak on a Ducati Multistrada. Ride along and see if you can keep your eyes open!
Sometimes the greatest journeys in life aren't planned in advance, or carefully calculated with time and preparation. Some of the most momentous, life changing adventures are the ones where we wake up with an idea, and we are out the door. Caution is thrown to the wind, and we grab life by the moment and create our own destiny.
Brian is no stranger to this majestic dream. The brave Ducatisti woke up with one goal in mind, and in no time he was setting out on a journey that would take him across over 36 states on two wheels. With nothing but a couple saddle bags and a six string guitar, Brian stopped by Moto Corsa to do some last minute preparations to his Ducati Monster.
After getting some electronics fitted to his two wheeled steed, Brian and his Monster left for one epic ride.
His first stop was going to be from Montana to St. Louis, where he would be meeting up with friends for a road trip, but a change of plans would start him at Dayton, Washington.
Inspired by motorcycling legends like Ewan Mcgregor, and Charley Boorman, and adventure series "The Ranger's Apprentice", Brian has a long journey ahead, zig-zagging across the United States. After heading to Salt Lake City, Utah, he will be representing his Moto Corsa t-shirts through: Missoula, Mt. Billings, Mt. Denver, Co. Albuquerque, Nm. (A stop at the Grand Canyon)Las Vegas, Nv. Virginia Beach, Vi. Niagara Falls, Ny. and Portland, Me.
His final run will be from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, making any stops in between his heart desires! He is posting to the Moto Corsa Facebook page, and you can follow his journey at https://www.facebook.com/MotoCorsa
Take advantage of these special offers on select Ducati models from now until July 31, 2014 and make your summer one to remember.
Hypermotard | $750 in-store credit*
or 1.99% APR** Financing
Purchase a new 2014 Ducati Hypermotard and choose between a $750 in-store credit towards the purchase of Ducati Performance accessories and/or Ducati apparel or take advantage of special financing as low as 1.99%** for up to 60 months.
Multistrada | $1,500 in-store credit*
Purchase a select new 2014 Ducati Multistrada and receive a $1,500 in-store credit towards the purchase of Ducati Performance accessories and/or Ducati apparel.
Eligible models include the following:
2014 Multistrada 1200 S Touring
2014 Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak
2014 Multistrada 1200 S Granturismo
1199 Panigale | Up to $1,500 in-store credit*
Purchase a new 2014 1199 Panigale ABS or a 2014 1199 Panigale S ABS and receive $1,000 or $1,500 respectively in-store credit towards the purchase of Ducati Performance accessories and/or Ducati apparel.
Eligible models include the following:
2014 1199 Panigale ABS
2014 1199 Panigale S ABS
*In-store Credit does not include installation fees or taxes. Some parts and accessories are for off-road use only. Ducati Accessory and/or Apparel In-store Credits are valid for purchases of genuine Ducati Accessories and/or Ducati Apparel only. See your local authorized dealership for details. In-store Credit offers apply to the following new, previously unregistered 2014 model year Ducati motorcycles; Multistrada 1200 S (Touring, Pikes Peak, Grandturismo), 1199 Panigale ABS, 1199 Panigale S ABS, and Hypermotard (excludes Hypermotard SP). Demonstrator models are excluded from this offer. Subject to model availability and dealer participation. Offer valid through July 31, 2014. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer from Ducati. In-store Credit offer valid through participating and authorized U.S. Ducati dealers only.
**Special Financing offer only applies to new, previously unregistered 2014 model year Ducati Hypermotard motorcycles (excludes Hypermotard SP). For approved Ducati Financial Services Tier A+, A, and B buyers, receive Special Financing offer of 1.99% APR financing for 12-60 months, 2.99% APR financing for 61-66 months, or 3.99% APR financing for 67-72 months. For approved Ducati Financial Services Tier C and D buyers, Standard finance rates apply. Special Financing offer available through Ducati Financial Services (DFS), a product supported by VW Credit, Inc. (VCI), a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America Inc. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 1.99%, 2.99%, or 3.99% Special Financing offer for Tier A+, A, and B buyers is available to qualified applicants only. Not all buyers will qualify and if approved may receive a higher rate, depending on credit score. Some buyers will require a down payment in order to receive credit approval. A minimum finance amount is required. Demonstrator models are excluded from this offer. Subject to model availability and dealer participation. Subject to credit approval by DFS, not all applicants will qualify. Financing offer can change or be cancelled at anytime. All prices are plus freight, handling, tax, title, registration, and dealer processing fees. Offer valid through July 31, 2014. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer from Ducati. Special Financing offer valid through participating and authorized U.S. Ducati dealers only.
Valentino Rossi wore these specially designed leathers at the Mugello, Italian Grand Prix. The Dainese racing suit was made in memoriam of his long time friend, and racing compatriot, Marco Simoncelli, who passed away after a crash at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix.
"#thisforSIC58" was created in honour of Marco Simoncelli, and to support charitable projects backed by the foundation dedicated to his memory. Rossi's suit is the first of many original Dainese products worn by world champion riders that will be available on dainese.com
Through the purchase of the nine-time world champion's suit, the lucky winner will contribute to the support of the Santa Marta Project, a day center for the disabled that the Simoncelli Foundation is building near Coriano, Marco's home town.
Each of the items purchased on dainese.com will be delivered to the lucky winners in special display cases, complete with a signature by its first famous owner.
By Blake Conner for Cycle World Magazine
Mugello, Italy—As a teenager, I was convinced that there could be nothing better than being a rock star. Thankfully, a lack of musical talent saved me from a monotonous life spent fighting off supermodels, eating caviar, and driving Lamborghinis like rental cars. Maybe I missed my calling, but I certainly enjoyed the limelight recently at the Mugello circuit in Italy, where I had an exclusive 10-lap ride aboard Ducati’s exotic 1199 Superleggera.
Just how exclusive was it? Well, let me just say that a horde of former world champs waited in the queue behind me for a chance to ride the bike for the first time, Troy-freaking-Bayliss included. I’m still not sure if I was just jetlagged, dreaming, or if it really happened at all.
If you aren’t familiar with the Superleggera, it’s an ultra-exclusive, $65,000 version of the 1199 Panigale R, with weight savings and power output taken to extreme levels. Ducati claims the Superleggera has the best power-to-weight ratio of any production motorcycle in history.
As a matter of fact, this bike is so over the top that it isn’t even eligible for World Superbike competition. First of all, with only 500 examples being produced (all spoken for), it doesn’t meet the homologation numbers required by the rules. Furthermore, at a claimed 366 pounds sans fuel (but with all street equipment in place, including mirrors, signals, and lights), it weighs only a pound more than the WSBK minimum. In other words, in race trim it would need ballast to compete!
I’ve drooled over and ridden many homologation-special, production superbikes over the years (Honda RC30, RC45; Yamaha OW-01, YZF-R7; and Ducati’s R models), but the Superleggera makes those bikes look ordinary by comparison.
But if the Superleggera isn’t intended as the basis for a competition machine, what’s the point? Like the 2007 Desmosedici, the concept was to showcase Ducati’s technical capabilities and answer those “what if” questions by pushing the envelope.
“We asked our engineers to build the best of the best and do everything they ever dreamed of, building this bike for our best customers,” said Ducati’s CEO Claudio Domenicali. “Of course, a lot of the things that we developed for the Superleggera will in the long-term find their way onto our other new bikes, as well.”
On paper, the Superleggera’s numbers are impressive. With its 4.5-gallon fuel tank topped off, the Superleggera, says Ducati, weighs only 393 pounds (30 less than the Panigale R). A hot-rod engine produces a claimed five additional horsepower and a bit more torque than the R model. Adding those figures to the dyno numbers we got on our last R testbike, we estimate the Superleggera produces 186 hp and 90 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheel. The titanium Akrapovic exhaust (in the included Race Kit) adds 5 more hp and shaves another 2.5 pounds of weight. For reference, the 51-pound-heavier BMW HP4 we last tested made 186 hp and 83 pound-feet of torque.
So, how do you skim 30 pounds off of one of the lightest production liter-plus sportbikes ever? Ducati’s team of engineers were given free reign with exotic materials. The Superleggera has a magnesium monocoque frame, a carbon-fiber subframe and bodywork, plus a lithium-ion battery, forged magnesium wheels, and numerous titanium fasteners. Even the Öhlins suspension is ultra light, featuring a FL916 fork with machined billet-aluminum bottoms and a TTX36 shock with a titanium spring.
Not only does the Superquadro engine weigh less than the R’s mill, but some of its weight-saving components allow it to rev to 12,500 rpm (a 1000-rpm bump) and increase power across the board. All four valves (intake and exhaust) in each head are now titanium, as are the Pankl connecting rods. The tungsten-counterweighted crankshaft, which weighs one pound less than stock, works with lighter two-ring racing pistons and a compression ratio that has jumped from 12.5:1 to 13.2:1.
IT WHEELIES AT 150 MPH?
If the spec sheet is impressive, the track manners of the Superleggera are mind blowing. Just a few corners into my first lap of Mugello, I could sense the bike’s feathery feel. With three chicanes per lap, Mugello highlighted the Superleggera’s awesome ability to transition, requiring substantially less effort than any Ducati I’ve ridden.
More impressive was how quickly it could be flicked over, and how stable and grippy the front Pirelli Supercorsa felt once planted. Off-cambers and long corners on the side of the tire were completely drama free. The plush Öhlins suspension ironed out the track’s few bumps, while the incredible Brembos with remote-adjustable MCS 19-21 master are some of the best brakes I’ve ever sampled.
With more torque/power on tap across the board, the Superleggera has a broader powerband than the R, with more midrange oomph and a less peaky nature. Which makes the Superleggera’s new left-handlebar-paddle-controlled, eight-level Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), a welcome addition. Entering the front straight in fourth gear, the bike would wheelie at 150 mph before the system would intervene as I grabbed fifth, only for the front to get light again just before I toed the quickshifter into sixth.
Riding conservatively (with Domenicali watching!) I consistently hit 186-plus mph before braking a bit early for turn one. As the speedometer goes blank at 299 km/h, I’m not totally sure how fast I actually went on the few occasions this happened, but it was really fast. I’ve never experienced this sort of raw acceleration on anything other than the full-blown World Superbikes/AMA Superbikes I’ve ridden in the past. The Superleggera is a truly awe-inspiring machine and it’s almost inconceivable that it’s street-legal.
If charmed experiences such as this come only in 10-lap doses every couple of years, I’m fine with that. Because even the fortunate few who have purchased a Superleggera probably will never get to ride their bikes WFO at Mugello. And that’s something that most rock stars can only dream of, too.