2014 Ducati Monster 1200 First Look

November 4, 2013
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Ducati Motor Holding CEO Claudio Domenicali unveiled the new 2014 Monster 1200 and 1200 S during the 2013 EICMA show in Italy. The Monster 1200 joins the 899 Panigale and 1199 Superleggera in the Bologna-based marque’s new-for-2014 line-up. A fourth new motorcycle is promised as well, but that particular model is set to be launched early next year.

1200 S
Ducati Monster 1200 engine
(Above) The 2014 Ducati Monster 1200 S boasts 145 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque. (Below) The new Testastretta powerplant is a fully stressed member of the chassis via Panigale-style attachment points to the frame.

As the new flagship model in the Monster family, the 1200 sources the Superbike-derived 1198 Testastretta 11° DS engine that produces a claimed 135 horsepower at 8750 rpm and 87 lb-ft of torque at 7250 rpm. The S version ups the ante to 145 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque.

To help achieve a more “rider-friendly” character, engineers reduced valve-overlap on the 1198 engine from close to 41° down to 11°, improving low- and mid-range performance. 53mm Mikuni ride-by-wire throttle bodies are positioned to optimize fuel delivery and the Dual Spark (DS) configuration “provides a twin flame-front that ensures complete and efficient combustion across a shorter period of time.” A wet, multiplate clutch offers “slipper” functionality.

The new Testastretta powerplant is a fully-stressed member of the chassis and is mounted via Panigale-style attachment points to the tubular steel trellis frame. Geometry changes, from an extended wheelbase, higher handlebars and a new seat design promise to make the 1200 more suitable for two-up rides. Ducati offers its first-ever adjustable seat height system as well, utilizing a block-and-pin system which allows riders to move from 31.8 inches down to 30.9 inches. The 1200’s fuel capacity is up to 4.6-gallons and wet weight is claimed at 461 pounds.

The 1200 comes with a fully adjustable 43mm Kayaba fork and a single Sachs shock with spring preload and rebound damping adjustability. The 1200S gets a fully adjustable 48mm Ohlins fork and an Ohlins rear shock with integrated piggy-back reservoir.

Both versions are equipped with a Bosch ABS 9MP controlled Brembo braking system, which has three ABS levels to suit rider preference. The 1200 uses twin, radial-mount four-piston Monobloc M4-32 calipers on 320mm discs out front while the 1200S comes with 330mm discs and M50 Monobloc calipers. Rear braking on both models is handled by a two-piston caliper gripping a 240mm disc.

Ducati Monster 1200

The 1200 rolls on Panigale-style 10-spoke alloy wheels while the 1200 S sports a new Y-shaped spoke design. Both models come with Pirelli Diablo Rossi II tires.

Ducati Traction Control is standard and has eight levels to choose from. Traction control levels are pre-set within each of the three Riding Modes (Sport, Touring and Urban) available, but can be individually customized and saved according to rider preference.

Urban Mode reduces horsepower to 100 and lessens the ride-by-wire throttle response. Traction control intervention is increased while the ABS system activates rear-wheel lift prevention. In Touring Mode horsepower is kicked back up to full potential, ride-by-wire throttle response is upped to “medium” delivery with traction control and ABS remaining the same as in the Urban Mode. Sport Mode provides optimal horsepower, high throttle response, reduced traction control and no rear-wheel lift prevention. Instrumentation display changes with each riding mode as well.

“Three of the stunning new models for 2014 will be presented at our stand here in Milan and we are certain that the vast ‘Ducatista’ fan base will be delighted with them,” explained Domenicali of the latest Monster. “In addition to the 899 Panigale, which will be making its official public debut, we will also be presenting the 1199 Superleggera, an incredible motorcycle engineered to levels of technology and performance never seen before on a production bike. Only 500 of these individually numbered motorcycles are being built, and 90% of them have already been sold, even before its official presentation. And finally, comes the long-awaited new Monster 1200, a sports bike that with its advanced technology, is also perfect for everyday use. Rider-friendly with enhanced safety and always a sure source of endless enjoyment, it also provides the sophisticated character and thrill of being a true Ducati.”

The 2014 Ducati Monster 1200 is listed at $13,495 while the 1200 S comes in at $15,995.