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Ducati Monster 1200 S and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

For 2017 the Monster got a little more compact. The Euro 4 exhaust does not interfere visually

Game overview: high-contrast, elegant TFT display with comprehensive statistics

Buckled up: pretty details like the tank cap put the transfer costs into perspective

Footwork: Fully adjustable Öhlins damper ensures the best possible contact with the pitch

(Pre) stopper: Brembo radial brake pump with adjustable lever brakes very well

The round and the angular: excellent readable tachometer and digital unit

Adjusting wheel: The Öhlins shock absorber is of course fully adjustable even with Triumph

A matter of adjustment: cable clutch trains the forearms, lever is adjustable

Clean finish: The workmanship of the Speedy is beautiful with a great attention to detail

The Speedy has also become a bit more compact in a very subtle way over the years

The new Monster dribbles unexpectedly, thanks in part to new Pirelli socks

Sit flat, drive up! In the 2017 season, too, the 1050 triple pushes out of the depth of the displacement

Ducati Monster 1200 S and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in a comparison test

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in a comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test

Ducati Monster 1200 S and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R.

Raw power in an extravagant package

Raw power in pretty naked bikes is exactly your thing? Then walk in and take a seat for the international classic on two wheels – with the Ducati Monster 1200 S and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in the test.

Zack, the surprise was perfect. Attentive readers will certainly remember when the British underdog duped the confident Italian in the group of naked bikes at the 2015 Alpine Masters. Speed ​​Triple S beats Monster 1200 R, base model sends top-of-the-range variant home! Bright commotion in the betting shops and internet forums. Angry Tifosi suspect shift! Scam? In the end the referee was bribed?

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Ducati Monster 1200 S and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R.
Raw power in an extravagant package

Monster 1200 S repositioned and put on the exercise plan in winter camp handling. In any case, the 2017 monster showed enormous progress in the test match against the 1200 S from the previous year. Shorter wheelbase, steeper steering head, Pirelli Diablo III socks, quickshifter with blipper for an ice-cold finish in front of the goal and on top of that the latest electronics for evaluating the game situation, the current year made the previous year’s eleven simply look old. Especially for the away game in southern France, the new Monster has put on her lucky jersey in "liquid concrete gray". Kick-off for the top-class naked thriller!

The cast already shows where the duel is headed. At a sporty high 840 millimeters, the Triumph driver acts on a narrow, firm bench and crisply oriented towards the front thanks to the rather low handlebars and quite long tank. The knee angle is also sporty due to the rather high notches. R as in Racing, although the ergonomics are practically identical to that of the S basic model. The Monster Pilot, on the other hand, is a little more integrated into the action, is happy about the slim waist, more compact dimensions and a very close knee joint on the now one liter smaller tank. The seat bench a little lower, the handlebars a little higher and wider, the knee angle a little more open, so the bottom line is that the Monster 1200 S gives itself a corner, demanding less without neglecting the sport. New outriggers for the pillion footpegs are a huge benefit, as in contrast to the past, these are no longer in the way. Smaller drivers should tend to feel more comfortable on the Monster, while larger drivers will find more open space to the rear on the Triumph. The bottom line is two all-round successful naked ergonomics: England aggressive, Italy compact. It’s a matter of taste.

The same applies to the chassis and handling of both Passathletes. It is well known that the Speedy storms with stability until it is impossible to go, full and safe on the ball. The Showa-sponsored basic version already has high-quality damping, while the R equipped with Öhlins only appeals to a “Mü” finer. Even if the Speedy is not really chubby at 220 kg and the Monster is only four kg lighter, its mass or, more precisely, its higher center of gravity is always present. Not so much as a stubbornness, but more in the form of Manuel Neuer-like reliability. Diving very deep is always possible, you can trust this chassis practically blindly. In direct comparison, however, the monster dribbles the Englishwoman dizzy with the light-footedness of Lionel Messi, making her look a little like Diego Maradona after his heyday. The handling camp has turned the new monster into a really nimble machine. This is also not at the expense of stability, which does not quite come close to that of the Speedy, but is completely sufficient in itself. The monster simply offers the higher fun factor.

Their spring elements, also from Öhlins, are generally not quite as tightly tuned and offer a little more comfort, and if necessary also have a wide adjustment range. Both motorcycles steer in with great precision, but the Ducati does this with very little effort, while the Triumph wants to be directed rather firmly. Both England and Italy rely on Pirellis for the first soling. The new Rosso III of the Monster is much broader and does not allow itself any gross bad passes in the winter season, while the Supercorsa SP der Triumph then shows its best performance in the warm south.

On the engine side, two different concepts compete against each other, but it is surprising how close the 1200 L-Twin and a three-in-a-row with around 150 cubic displacement deficit are in the end. Both offer a beefy acceleration from the depths of the displacement and a well-trained middle, only in the upper speed range can the fiery Ducati unlock itself significantly. If the previous year’s models with Euro 3 competed against each other, things would look a bit clearer, but the Desmo-Twin had to leave more springs than the Hinkley-Dreier when it was adapted to the new emissions standard. The trumps almost traditionally with fine running smoothness and excellent throttle response. The driveability of the 1050, how it snaps out of turns powerfully but without any deceit, is world champion. What is new in this duel is that a Ducati can do it just as well. Adjusting to Euro 4 may have cost the Testastretta some of its youthful anger, but it also finally taught him adult behavior. Gone are the days of boisterous brisk throttle response, now the Desmo-Twin is a team player and delivers precisely the performance that the coach demands. That might seem less spectacular, but it wins points. In addition, the new engine runs more smoothly mechanically, which is almost unheard of for a Vau-Zwo.

Further development also with the transmission, where the Duc gear steps are now much smoother, but still precise. As an S version, the new Monster also has an automatic switchgear with blipper as standard, and it’s so good that you almost have to suspect doping. By shifting gears without interrupting traction, firstly, by doing without the coupling, secondly, it brings concentration for the essentials, and thirdly, by practicing exactly through the corridors, enormous pleasure. In contrast, the solid gearbox of the Speedy with slightly longer shift travel is okay, but nothing more.

The bits and bytes of the control electronics were also replaced as part of the Ducati model update. The Monster now runs with an IMU sensor system, which, in addition to cornering ABS, also enables traction control to work depending on the lean angle. If the old Monster was still roughly on par with the current Speedy without this system, the new one would be merciless. Like a good Libero back then, the TC always manages to be there when you need it and always not to be there when you don’t need it. With the Triumph, on the other hand, which has to do without IMU trickery, the control interventions are less gentle and less accurate. In the “Road” stage, the TC might slip in a little early for some sports fans, but in Track mode, the Speedy gets a yellow card for dangerous play from tight turns. There isn’t much in between. In general, the Ducati with its freely configurable driving modes not only offers better functionality and a greater variety of options, but also much easier operation. Although the modes ("Rain", "Road", "Sport" and "Track") of the Speedy are basically suitable, and there is a freely adjustable "Rider" mode, its menu navigation initially seems as tidy as the Brazilian defense on you pretty bad day.

Keyword defense: Both cars are equipped with Champions League stoppers. Brembo M50 monoblock radial calipers bite, pressurized by Brembo radial pumps, in 320 (Triumph) or 330 (Ducati) discs. It remains to be seen whether the 330s are needed away from the race, they certainly make an impression at the regulars’ table. The braking performance and modulation are first class here as there, although in both cases the ABS tuning in the tame driving modes dilutes the enormous potential of the stoppers somewhat. The more defensive control behavior compared to last year’s monster prevents stoppies, but is at the expense of the maximum delay. Even the Triumph anchors surprisingly cautiously in the road modes, then lifts the hoe with an ambitious bite in the track mode. It doesn’t have any cornering ABS, but few should miss a wheelie control like the Duc’s.

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