Ducati Monster 1200 S long-term test update 2: Settling in

Ducati Monster 1200 S

First service done, now for the fun to begin

WITH THE Monster and I racking up well over 1000 miles together, last week I finally took it back to Ducati HQ so it could get its overdue first service.

A quick oil/filter change and a check over later and now I’m legitimately allowed to give it near-death in every gear. In fact, with the weather being so good for the past few days, I’ve been doing exactly that on the long way home from work each evening.

Plans for making it louder and more powerful-er are afoot, but during the last week, I’ve simply been enjoying using all its revs and getting to know it a bit better on some of my favourite roads.

What I’ve learnt this week

The Monster 1200 S gets bastard hot when the suns out. If I get stuck in traffic or stop at a set of traffic lights on the 1200 S, it’s not long before the engine starts trying to render the inside of my right thigh into crackling. I’m just hoping it never gets to the point where it starts cooking sausage and meatballs… With the weather being so spectacularly warm this week, I’ve frequently ended up shifting around to stop the sting from the heat coming off the exhaust pipes.

After having this bike for just over a month now, I’ve also learnt that it isn’t that great in traffic – the wide bars that are so are welcome when the pace is quick on a country road, can hamper things when I’m trying to squeeze past a bus and a cement lorry. It’s a minor criticism though because for the command they offer, wide bars are fine by me and the thought of narrow handle-sticks on a bike like this isn’t a nice one.

There’s not enough steering lock angle, so when trying to worm between cars, there can be a lot of paddling back and forth, but again this is something only crops up occasionally and doesn’t deter from my enjoyment of the bike.

What I like

The burble of the exhaust, even as standard, is lovely. And the induction roar as the revs rise sounds like Cerberus being let loose from the gates of hell.

What I don’t like

The inside of my right thigh getting a roasting if stopped for more than 7 seconds when the sun’s out. And while I think of it, those fork reflectors need to go in the bin.

Click here for the Ducati Monster 1200 S long-term review part one