It doesn't look dramatically different at first glance, but the 2014 Ducati Monster 1200 S gains a slew of modifications that make this naked bike's personality much closer to its menacing moniker than ever before, while still maintaining an air of civility.
2014 Ducati Monster 1200 S Review: What's New?
For starters, gone is the air-cooled, 1,078cc L-twin that powered its predecessor, replaced by a liquid-cooled, second-gen derivation of the 1,198cc Testastretta 11˚ mill that powers the Diavel and Multistrada. The Monster application has the same heads, valves, cams, and timing, with throttle bodies which are round (vs elliptical) for better lower and and mid-range power.* The engine is now a fully-stressed member with the trellis frame, and produces 135 horsepower in standard form (which is priced at $13,495), and 145 hp in the S model (priced at $15,995). Torque comes in at 87 lb-ft and 92 lb-ft, respectively, and the engine is fed by a larger 4.6 gallon tank (1 more gallon than before), which is now constructed of steel, not plastic. Reducing the valve overlap from 41˚ to 11˚ means less horsepower but more torque and smoothness, specifically in the mid-range areas of the powerband. Power is fed through a slipper clutch and a 6-speed transmission with, of course, chain final drive.
A new TFT display offers three different layouts based on three riding modes: Urban, Touring, and Sport, which can be individually tailored using parameters like Traction Control (1-8, or off), ABS (1-3, or off), Ride-by-Wire throttle (high, medium, or low, which is specific to each mode), and wheelie control. In Urban, the speedometer serves as the primary display; in Touring, the tachometer takes on secondary importance; in Sport, the tachometer is the main focus. The three modes can be changed while riding (when neither the throttle or brake are being applied), but customizing each mode requires the bike to be stationary.
The Monster 1200 rides on new lightweight 10-spoke 17-inch wheels, and the standard version gets 320mm front Brembo monobloc brakes while the S is treated to Panigale-spec 330mm stoppers; both are ABS units. The standard model gets Kayaba forks and a Sachs rear monoshock, while the S is graced with TiN-coated 48mm Öhlins forks and Öhlins rear shock with an integrated piggyback reservoir.
The Monster's new chassis enables double the torsional stiffness, using bigger diameter steel tubing (despite achieving lighter weight); overall, dry weight climbs 28 pounds. Also revised is the new aluminum swingarm, which now holds a license plate holder with a tidy LED lamp. The wheelbase has been lengthened by 2.4 inches while the handlebars have been raised 1.6 inches and moved 1.6 inches closer to the rider. The saddle is now longer, and with 3.1 inches of foam at its deepest point, comfier, as well. The seat is also height adjustable, offering a seat height as low as 30.9 inches, or 29.3 inches with an optional accessory seat-- Ducati's lowest perch, ever, which makes it even shorter than the Diavel's 30.3 inch saddle.
How does the new 2014 Ducati Monster 1200 S ride? Click "Next" to find out.
(* A previous version of this review incorrectly stated that the engine is based on the Panigale's powerplant.)