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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > Issue 322 January 2017 > GREY MATTERS

GREY MATTERS

Stung by criticism of its new creation being a mere facelift, Ducati was at pains to point out the many pertinent parts that have been changed to create the new Monster 1200 S

The letter S may follow R in the alphabet, but Ducati has practically Tflipped this on its head in creating the new Monster 1200 S with the middle of the big Monsters set to usurp the current (and unchanged) R. True, the casual observer may dismiss the latest in a very long line of Monsters as a Euro4 box ticked, but the nuanced changes to the machine merit a more thorough examination – the test involving a thrashing of it in the hills above Monaco. Home to millionaires every other day of the week, Ducati invited the paupers to the principality where we’d hear about the myriad of changes made to both the standard Monster 1200 and this souped up S.

The styling changes to the bike are slight, but impactful all the same. A slimmer figure, shorter wheelbase and natty new headlight give the geeks something to go on, while the spec sheet also reveals a near ten kilo weight loss and a steroid injection – to the tune of 15bhp against the outgoing standard model (5bhp versus the outgoing S). Hang about, weren’t Euro4 bikes supposed to have been robbed of power?

Add to this Ducati’s latest generation of electronics, including an IMU, a cornering ABS system, Ducati Wheelie Control and a fancy colour dash, and finally a quickshifter (though only standard equipment on the S), and all of a sudden the Monster 1200 suddenly looks to be back in the game. The S version stakes its claim for playing with the class’s ultimate toys with a set of Öhlins suspension, Brembo M50 calipers, lighter Y-spoke rims and a carbon fibre mudguard. Though still 10bhp down on the Monster R’s output, its electronic additions and shared ancillaries make a serious claim top be the head of the family, no longer the consigliere.

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