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Ducati’s New Breed Of Monster 1200s! The 1200, 1200 S & 1200 R!

Ducati kicked this year’s EICMA show to a flying start with an incredible press-conference. While the highlight was most definitely the new 1299 Superleggera, it was the more affordable models that caught our eyes the most. We did a brief overview of all of Ducati’s new unveilings, but here, we’ll go into a little more depth about the all new Ducati Monster 1200. Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali insisted that the whole new range of Monster 1200 were more or less brand new machines; while a lot of work has certainly gone into them, “new” might be a bit of a stretch, though.

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Even though the new 797 will be (most likely) commanding the bulk of the Monster sales for 2017, it’s the 1200s that have our attention. The new range of 1200s come in three distinct versions: the base Monster 1200, the very cool Monster 1200 S, and the range topping Monster 1200 R. All three have seen some nice changes, including revised engines, slimmer tanks, redesigned tails, and most importantly, an all-new electronics package that takes direct inspiration from the 1299 Panigale.

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Despite the engine having to have a significant re-jig thanks to Euro4 rules and regulations, the Monster 1200 and 1200 S versions have actually had a nice power increase. Their Testastretta 11 DS engines displace 1,198cc but now produce 150 hp at 9,250 rpm (up 15 hp from the last year’s standard, and 5 hp more for the S version) and now boast 126.2 Nm torque at the 7,750 rpm marker. The Testastretta unit has also been treated with all new throttle bodies, and a twin exhaust arrangement.

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The body has been updated and now has a wide range of new features, including a new headlight assembly, a new license plate holder, a revised tail, and neat under seat passenger handles too. Visually, there aren’t too many differences between the standard model and the “S” version, save for the suspension and color options. The standard model comes with Kayaba forks and a Sachs spring at the rear, while the S version comes with Ohlins suspension front and back. Both have the newly designed and more muscular single sided swing arm, which is a real nice touch.

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Both models have also been updated to accommodate an onboard IMU that measures all the necessaries for improved traction control, wheelie control and cornering ABS. Despite their similarities, only the 1200 S comes with a quickshifter (up and down) as standard. The base model can accommodate one, but it’s only offered as an optional upgrade.

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The base Ducati Monster will only come in Ducati Red, but the Ducati Monster 1200 S is offered in the usual red configuration, or the awesome and intimidating Liquid Concrete Grey. We like the grey best. It’s unorthodox for a Ducati, but it really works.

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And then there was the Monster 1200 R…

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There aren’t too many naked roadsters that you’d be able get the full “elbow” down on, but we reckon the new Monster 1200 R could handle the job. And here’s a picture as proof… Anyway, the new flagship Monster has a different version of the Testastretta engine, and that very engine is capable of an output of 160 hp at the 9,259 rpm margin, and pushes out 131 Nm of torque at 7,750 rpm. It’s not as much as some of its competitors, but it’s definitely a more comprehensive package than everything else in the segment.

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Like the rest of the 1200 range, it comes with a lot of sophisticated onboard technology such as ABS, traction control and the like, but it’s the other goodies that really set it apart from the crowd. Brembo M.50 calipers and 330mm discs give the Monster 1200 R a near superbike spec braking system, and the stopping power is complimented with the impressive suspension suite from Ohlins. Fully adjustable 48 mm forks sit in pride of place at the front, while a single Ohlins shock handles the rear suspension duties. Oh yeah, throw an Ohlins steering damper into the mix too. Forged wheels and Pirelli SuperCorsa tires are also thrown in for good measure.

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The 2017 Ducati Monster 1200 R will be available in traditional Ducati Red or the more intimidating Thrilling Black. But with specs this good, who cares about the color options?

Categories: Motorcycles

Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…