As promised, Ducati has taken the covers off the new Monster 1200 R which is the most powerful naked bike Ducati has ever built. Compared to the Monster 1200 S engine, the twin-cylinder “R” version delivers 10% more power and 5.5% more torque. At 160 hp and 97 lb-ft, the Monster 1200 R takes the crown away from Ducati’s discontinued 1098 Streetfighter.
The Monster 1200 R’s Testastretta 11° Dual Spark engine is equipped with a new 2-1-2 exhaust system with 58 mm diameter pipes and redesigned twin silencers. Although their routing has not been changed, the exhaust pipes have a new cross-section with a diameter that’s been increased by 8 mm to boost engine efficiency which now breathes better thanks to a new throttle body. The original round design with 53mmdiameter bodies featured on the Monster 1200 has been replaced in the new version by a larger, oval section design with a 56mm equivalent diameter. A lower-height cylinder seal has made it possible to increase the compression ratio from 12.5:1 to 13:1, improving combustion efficiency.
It’s not all about horsepower however. The Monster 1200 R pretty much gets the best of everything possible including upgraded Öhlins suspension, Öhlins steering damper, a newly styled tail, forged wheels and various bits of carbon fibre. That reduces wet weight down to 207 kg from the standard Monster 1200’s 209kg.
The high-tech suspension system features new, fully adjustable dia. 48 mm titanium nitride-coated Öhlins forks with black-anodised bottoms and bodies and a fully adjustable Öhlins rear shock. Operating through a progressive linkage, the rear suspension attaches directly from the rear vertical cylinder to the die-cast aluminium single-sided swingarm at the opposite end. The Öhlins suspension package is completed by the adjustable steering damper that controls handlebar movement under heavy acceleration and enhances the sports inspiration of the instrument panel view.
The appearance of the bike is changed slightly, with the revised tail section creating an increased gap between the tyre and seat assembly, making the rear look more streamlined, further enhanced by the new design of the high-mounted aluminium plate holder, fully exposing the 200/55 rear tyre; both the rear and the front tyres are mounted on 3-spoke, Panigale R-inspired forged wheels.
The Monster 1200 R is also equipped with the Ducati Safety Pack including the ABS and Ducati Traction Control systems to enhance vehicle performance, optimise control and improve overall riding safety and also provides three riding modes – sport, touring and urban.
No word on pricing yet but expect a decent premium over the current top of the range Monster 1200 S Stripe.