Ducati Monster 1200 R

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1-34 MONSTER 1200 R

Boom, there it is. Say ciao to the all-new Ducati Monster 1200 R – Bologna’s most powerful naked bike to make production – complete with added sporting pedigree, a stiffer chassis, and sharper, more aggressive aesthetics over previous Monsters.

Instead of the suspected DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) motor that was debuted in the 2015 Multistrada, the Monster is powered by an updated 1198cc Testastretta 11° Dual Spark ‘R’ lump, making a claimed 160bhp and 97lb-ft – 10% more power and 5.5% extra torque over the previous incarnation. Ducati says the Monster delivers 75% of its torque at 3,500rpm – the perfect factoid to whip out when Officer Dibble questions the mahoosive wheelies.

Where’s the extra oomph from? As well as internal tinkering, there’s a new exhaust with 58mm diameter pipes, and the older 53mm throttle bodies have been replaced by larger oval 56mm puppies. Compression has been upped from 12.5:1 to 13:1. Despite the additional grunt, service intervals remain at 9,000 miles and valve clearance checks at 18,000 miles.

Housing the Testastretta lump is a steel trellis frame. Nothing new, I hear you bark. Well, there is a sort of monocoque nature to the 1200 R, as the frame mounts directly to the cylinder heads (the rear subframe also mounts directly to the engine). This new formula results in a lighter, more compact chassis, and better torsional rigidity according to Ducati.

Geometry wise, the new Monster is 15mm higher at either end to allow for some naughty lean angles, and Pirelli Supercorsa SPs (and the 200-section rear hoop) are a sign of the 1200 R’s intent. It comes as no shock to see Öhlins adorning the Monster, with new 48mm titanium nitride-coated forks supporting the front-end and a fully-adjustable shock sorting the botty. Thanks to sexy forged wheels and a carbon fibre medley, there’s a dry weight of 180kg, which is 2kg lighter than the 1200 S.

Ball-busting M50 Monoblocs grip 330mm discs at the front (lifted from the Panigale) and the R features the triple-stage Bosch 9MP ABS unit, which can be turned off. Other electronic aids come via Ducati’s fabled Safety Pack and comprises eight-level traction control and three-way riding modes – Sport, Touring and Urban, with varying quantities of electronic assistance and power.

UK prices have yet to be finalised, though we can expect the Monster 1200 R to land in dealers in January 2016. 44Teeth will be on the world press launch in a few weeks, with a full review and video to follow. Got any specifics? Leave a comment below or email us.

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