We think the new Ducati Monster 1200R looks absolutely fabulous. Every little bit, every detail is just spot on. And the 160bhp engine / 180kg dry weight combo should make the bike a blast to ride!
Ducati have completely revamped the top-of-the-line Monster, and the new Monster 1200R is a proper beast, with 160 horsepower and 131Nm from its 1200cc Testastretta 11° V-twin. According to Ducati, this is a machine that is "able to show its true colours on a race track while making the rider feel perfectly comfortable during daily commutes, thanks to a full-bodied, smooth delivery at low and medium RPM."
The 2016 Monster 1200R comes with a completely redesigned, compact, lightweight and high-slung tailpiece, seat and high-mounted plate holder. The bike features a higher stance than the Monster 1200S, for more extreme lean angles and to make the most of its Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres. As is only right, the Monster R gets a truly monstrous 200/55 x ZR17 rear tyre, new exhaust system, wet-type slipper clutch, an Öhlins steering damper, forged alloy wheels and a smattering of carbonfibre bits, bringing the total dry weight down to 180kg. The new nose fairing, radiator trim with engraved “R” logo, and the two available colour schemes - Red and Black – make sure that your neighbour know you've got the all-new Monster 1200R.
There is also, of course, the full complement of electronics on the 1200R - ABS, traction control and three riding modes, including sport, touring and urban. 15,000km or 12-month intervals are recommended between major services, with valve clearance adjustment checks required every 30,000km. The new Monster 1200R's trellis-tube chassis features attachment points directly on the engine's cylinder heads - something we saw first on the Ducati Panigale. This, according to Ducati, makes the chassis very compact and lightweight and, with large cross-section pipes, gives it great torsional strength, which improves the bike's high-speed riding dynamics.
In keeping with its given mission in life, the 2016 Ducati Monster 1200R also gets new, race-spec suspension - fully adjustable, titanium-nitride-coated 48mm Öhlins forks, and a fully adjustable Öhlins rear shock. Operating through a progressive linkage, the rear suspension attaches directly from the vertical rear cylinder to the die-cast aluminium single-sided swingarm. Meanwhile, the adjustable Öhlins steering damper controls handlebar movement under heavy acceleration and enhances the rider's control over the machine.
When it comes to stopping power, the new Monster 1200R is up there with the best in the business, with twin 330mm brake discs up front, with radial-mount Brembo M50 monobloc calipers (the same bits that you get on the Panigale 1299!), and a single 245mm disc at the back. The braking system is controlled by the 3-stage Bosch 9MP ABS system, which can be disengaged by the user. This, along with ABS and 8-level traction control ensures that the bike remains as safe to ride as possible, even in the hands of relatively lesser experienced riders.
The Monster 1200R's 'thin film transistor' (TFT) colour instrumentation adds to the cool factor, in addition to providing comprehensive information to the rider. The display has three different layouts - core, full and track - each designed to display information suitable for different uses, now with a selected gear indication in each display screen. The bike's headlamp unit uses halogen main light illumination, with LED position lights on either side and full LED lighting for the beautifully shaped rear and brake light illumination. LED technology is also used for the directional indicators, which sport a hazard light function that's activated by holding the left-turn signal button for four seconds.
With the host of changes and improvements that Ducati have provided to the Monster, we think the new 1200R is pretty much up there with the best streetfighters from KTM, BMW, Aprilia and MV Agusta. Hope to meet the new Monster 12 sometime soon...