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Monster 1200 R – the strongest monster that ever existed.

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R for racing, radical, classy.

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Typically monster: the characteristic appearance remained, only the rear was more delicate.

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Tight leadership: The additional punch makes the front twitch occasionally.

The standard steering damper is good for the Monster R..

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Imposing: The massive bends dominate the chocolate side of the Monster R. But the brutal impression is deceptive. The potent V2 can be dosed very easily.

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Ducati Monster 1200 R.

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Ducati Monster 1200 R.

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The modified exhaust system finally leaves more room for the foot.

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Ducati Monster 1200 R.

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… raise the ride height by 15 mm. The result: two degrees more freedom from lean angles.

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Swedish steel: The 15 mm longer fork and the 6 mm longer strut (both from Öhlins)…

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Smartphone: The look of the colored TFT display is impressive, as is the new gear indicator. Only a fuel gauge is missing.

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Ducati Monster 1200 R.

Ducati Monster 1200 R in the driving report

Power elite with 160 hp

After the basic S and Stripe version, the Ducati Monster 1200 R is now the hour. With 160 hp, the new red one picks up on the spirit of the young power elite from Aprilia, BMW and KTM.

Dark green, well-tended lawn, a gently undulating topography and an undisturbed view of the surrounding area. Actually only Tiger Woods is missing. But the golf star would look in vain for sand bunkers and greens on the Circuito de Ascari near Málaga if instead he would find a 5.4 km long posh asphalt strip harmoniously integrated into the landscape – and a motorcycle that has long since proven its license to play : the D.ucati monster. The Italians have brought almost 300,000 models to the public since the original Monster M 900 was launched in 1993, and in the course of this time they screwed a large part of their propellants from the air-cooled two-valve engines to the current 1200 Testastretta four-valve engine between the tubular struts of the beefy Naked.

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Ducati Monster 1200 R in the driving report
Power elite with 160 hp

Ducati Monster 1200 R on. A stately 4700 euros more than the basic version and still almost 2000 euros more than the S version costs. But hello, who will let bourgeois thoughts spoil the moment of coronation? After all, the 1200er-R is the strongest monster that has ever existed. 160 PS, proclaims the data sheet, the noble red should move closer to the up to 172 PS strong power-naked elite from Aprilia, BMW and KTM.

Ducati Monster 1200 R with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP

Which is why the Ducati Monster 1200 R can confidently act cautiously in the pit lane despite a respectful distance. Two liters more silencer volume enforced homologation according to the Euro 4 standard that came into force in 2016. It feels like it rolls a tad quieter than its group of sisters, but still with a dull, hearty thump proudly towards the slope. Three millimeters larger, now oval-shaped throttle valves, increased compression and with a 58 millimeter diameter just as fat manifolds as the Diavel – these are the ingredients for the top form of the short-stroke engine. Measures that are conducive to top performance, but not to the traditionally somewhat bumpy concentricity of the Ducati L-Twins in the lower speed range. But don’t worry, the engine management system puts its hand smoothly between the throttle valve and the drive chain, giving the new model below 3000 tours the same, somewhat uneven, but overall cultivated appearance of the weaker Monster models. Great. And still checked.

Because for the time being it will be the last time that the digital tape of the rev counter falls below the 3000 mark. A track marshal opens the piste for the Ducati Monster 1200 R. Until the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP – the remaining monsters roll on the tourist-oriented Pirelli Diablo Rosso II – are up to temperature, there is time to acclimatize. The seating position, as successful as on the new Monster models launched in 2014. The Monsteristi were delighted with the handlebars, which were four centimeters higher and further back compared to the previous models, and the well-padded bench.

Power-V pushes evenly through the rev range

That also makes the Ducati Monster 1200 R appealing. Better still: the modified exhaust and footrest system finally leaves more space for the foot, so that the right heel of the boot is no longer straddled by the heat shield. Only when there is a pronounced hanging off in right-hand curves does the boot heel gently touch the aluminum cover. Oh, racetrack. Gas! The L-Twin continues seamlessly at a gallop, which has already been indicated by the proper manners when strolling around the pit lane. Scribing from below? Sudden performance boost? Speed ​​greed? None of that. Just like its weaker sisters, the Power-Vau pushes evenly through the rev range. Only the front wheel, which keeps jerking upwards, shows the additional pressure from the engine room and quickly makes the Ducatist feel cocky. In a jiffy, you catch yourself squeezing out the maximum power, only shifting up when the red warning lights, flickering excitedly, sound the alarm at the engine speed limit of 10,200 rpm. It was seldom easier to give spurs to 160 horses than with this wonderfully controllable engine.

It is not that easy to recapture the herd. Like Bull Terriers, the unchanged M50 monoblock brake calipers from the Panigale bite into the two 330 mm discs. So vehemently that even in a hurry they ask for a carefully dosed hand so as not to let the front nod too violently the first time they put it on. In an inclined position, the Ducati Monster 1200 R reacts more sensitively to the careless finger on the brake lever, probably also because of the wider 200 mm rear tire, it looks restless and quickly hits the line with a spike.

But even if the radius should then go a little faster than planned, the Ducati Monster 1200 R has reserves. Although the Öhlins spring elements are identical to the S-Monster in terms of both spring rate and damping, they are longer and raise the ride height by a total of 15 millimeters. The Duc gains two degrees (50 instead of 48) more lean angle. But here, too, the racetrack shifts the dimensions. If the line is flowing, the footrest on the right and the gear lever on the left scoot across the asphalt. Experiences that are seldom made off the race track – and thus, despite all the marketing geared towards racing, indicate the real habitat of the noble monsters: the country road. There, the sensitive Öhlins components are not compressed by hard changes in lean angle or last-groove braking maneuvers, but – as with the S edition – smoothly iron bumpy slopes. In the corner of the provincial streets, the newly integrated gear indicator in the colored TFT dashboard is also pleasing. Even if the display still fades in sunlight and a fuel gauge is still missing.

The R is said to have shed two kilos

Swam over it. Because while the sport mode is welcome on the racetrack and ABS and traction control hardly interfere even on the chase for times, the Ducati Monster 1200 R’s touring set-up, which moves more gently to the electric accelerator, will please when wagging country roads. Then the ABS – as with its smaller sisters – will suppress any stoppie approach and the slip regulator will skilfully readjust when you pull too hard on the e-gas. Which is why it will never need the urban mode, which is limited to 100 hp, in everyday life.

Speaking of everyday life. The seat height, which has increased to 83 centimeters due to the longer spring elements, can now only be readjusted with a 20 millimeter lower accessory bench, unlike the height-adjustable seat of the S version. The slimmer rear end with the license plate holder now attached to the top was pleasing. Together with the 1.5 kilogram lighter forged wheels in Panigale look, it is also responsible for the Ducati Monster 1200 R’s little fasting. The R is said to have slimmed off two kilos, so it would have to weigh 211 (factory specification 207 kg) according to the S model, which MOTORRAD weighed at 213 kilos. Little things that may stand out on the racetrack, but remain of minor importance on the country road – and for this reason position the R model as a luxury monster. Ducati estimates that ten percent of all Monster fans will treat themselves to the strongest in the future.

What’s new?

engine

  • Throttle valve diameter enlarged from 53 to 56 mm
  • compression increased from 12.5 to 13.0
  • Diameter of the elbow increased from 50 to 58 mm
  • silence increased in volume by 2 liters
  • Top performance increased to 160 hp (factory specification)
  • Euro 4 homologation

landing gear

  • Spring elements extended by 15 mm (fork) and 6 mm (shock absorber)
  • Ride height raised by 15 mm
  • Lean angle increased from 48 to 50 degrees
  • Rear tire in 200 instead of 190 format
  • Slimmer rear (Seat height not adjustable, license plate holder mounted on top)
  • Forged wheels in the look of the Panigale
  • Braking system (Brembo M50 monoblock) from the Panigale
  • Footrest system new for driver and passenger
  • Öhlins steering damper standard

miscellaneous

  • Gear indicator in the display
  • total weight reduced by 2 kg to 207 kg (factory specification)
  • Cockpit fairing standard

Technical specifications

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