The Ducati Monster maybe a absolute blast but takes a real man to tame this one...
Click to read: Ducati Monster S4R owners reviews, Ducati Monster S4R specs and to see the Ducati Monster S4R image gallery.
MONSTER MONSTER! AN unfaired bike with a real 110 rear-wheel bhp is an absolute blast. The 996cc engine lays down plenty of torque at low revs but wallops out massive power from the midrange up. The engine has a rough, raw charm about it that hints at the power on tap, and it's no slouch - this Monster will easily make the speedo read into the triple figures with a top speed of around 150mph. Provided, that is, you can hold on - that bikini fairing does almost nothing to shelter the rider.
The brakes are strong and handling fast and nimble, against some naked bikes' sludgy steering. Like all Monsters the riding position isn't very comfortable, in fact it's thoroughly uncomfortable, but owners seem to just grin and bare it. It takes a real man to tame a Monster, obviously.
Like all Dukes, proper care is needed - which isn't cheap - and don't even think of buying a second-hand Ducati that doesn't have a full service history from an authorised Ducati dealer. Cam belts need changing every two years, no questions asked, irrelevant of mileage, and there are other expensive parts that also need extensive TLC.
Other bad points? The steering lock is rubbish so town work can be awkward and it's almost too fast and powerful for slow traffic, which is hard to forgive on an upright bike that looks so cool. Also the clutch is mega heavy, which only accentuates the bike's lack of town ability, and the mirrors aren't very good.
It's easy to knock the Monster but it has proved a very popular bike and, while not as strong as it was, the Ducati logo is still a cool one to have on your tank. If you want a Monster but think the S4R may be a bit full-on, then a new S2R 800 for not much more money is well worth considering.
Key ID: twin stacked silencers and mini fairing plus 'Dodge Viper stripe' paint.
Walk away: if the cambelts haven't been replaced on schedule
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