Living with a 2001 Ducati Monster S4

Termignioni pipes prove a revelation

November 2001

New to the fleet, the S4 raised a few eyebrows among the chaps - the expectation was something more race-rep. But I'm no longer obsessed by sportsbikes and don't feel the need to be uncomfortable all the time in the pursuit of a bit  of fun on a motorcycle.

But you never really grow out of being a twat, and having access to power is quite a pleasure after 50cc's for 2 years. The S4 seems to have rather long legs in the city and since this is where it spends most of its time, it'll certainly benefit from axing the current Elle Macpherson stride into more Toulouse Lautrec type gearing by slinging a larger sprocket on the rear. Still haven't seen the serious side of 120mph, so losing the odd 10mph will prove no great handicap. Hopefully then, the front will then develop serious contact issues with terra firma and a proper Monster-About-Town attitude. Right now, despite it's eight-valve motor, it's a little too friendly, so I'm going to start by finding a set of decent pipes to cure the asthma problem. All in all, the bike's a characterful little chap, making it all the more fun to live with. I'm enjoying every minute.

March 2002

I can't quite believe I'm riding the same bike.

There I was riding around on an asthmatic 2-packs-a-day tuberculosis sufferer, and I didn't even know it. The bike was desperate for a service so here was a perfect opportunity to sort out the respiratory issues. After the usual oil and filters etc. JHP was kind enough to slam on a set of Termignioni pipes, which have proved to be something of a revelation. The bike no longer drags a lardy pair of ally pipes around; in their place sit a pair of sleek oval shaped upswept numbers, which gently hug the tail end of the bike. Sure they lend a more aggressive stance to the bike as well as producing a considerable amount of noise, but they've given the engine purposeful life. You can't help but love the new vocals no matter how anti-social they make you, no matter how much unwanted attention is bestowed upon you.

The free breathing sound of a desmo valve vee-twin is a tasty one. The new pipes have also helped in the parking department. Not only has the bike lost weight on the scales, but it also shows. With a good 6 inches of girth notably absent from where the old cans stuck out, it's freed up a whole heap of spaces only previously available to those with pushbike dimensions. I know this ain't no car, but bike parking in central London is at a serious premium these days.

What's really impressed me though is the dramatic change in power delivery. There's more of it everywhere. The bottom end remains as fruity as ever, only stronger. Midrange feels like the old top-end and the top-end is actually quite fierce. Did you get that? Either way, you wouldn't believe it's the same engine, thanks to those open pipes and a remapped chip.

I have been advised to lose a tooth on the front sprocket as opposed to adding to a rear. This should alter the gear to perfection without the need to mess with the chain. Funnily enough, the sprocket from the Foggy Rep slots in nicely and has just the right number of teeth. Hmmm!