2016 Ducati Monster 1200 R finds room for more power [w/video]

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Ducati is always looking to eke just a little more power of its bikes, and at the Frankfurt Motor Show the Italian, motorcycle specialists are giving the Monster some extra grunt with the newly launched 1200 R. The cycle is equipped with the company's upgraded 1.2-liter Testastretta two-cylinder engine to offer 158 horsepower and 97 pound-feet of torque. That's about an extra 15 hp and 5 lb-ft over the current Monster S. The gains come thanks to tweaks like increasing the compression ratio to 13:1 from 12.5:1 and fitting an exhaust with a larger interior diameter.

Beyond just installing an improved engine to the current bike, the Monster 1200 R also sees some weight savings thanks to a new tail section, forged wheels, and a carbon fiber front fender. The curb weight falls to 397 pounds, versus 401 from the S. Revised, adjustable forks, shock absorber and steering damper from Öhlins are fitted, as well, and the result is a higher stance that allows for a greater lean angle when things get twisty.

The 1200 R comes standard with traction control and three-mode ABS system, and they are fully adjustable. Three riding modes also tweak certain presets for city, touring, and track excursions. Buyers can order the latest Monster in black or red. You can check it out in the video below and the gallery from Frankfurt above.

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Ducati Monster 1200 R

Meet the Monster 1200 R, the most powerful and sophisticated new addition to the Monster family. The new Monster 1200 R has been designed for all those who make sports performance their lifestyle and wish to turn each ride into an adrenaline-packed experience without forgoing the essential, practical appeal of a naked model.

Equipped with a 1200 cc Testastretta 11° DS "R" version twin-cylinder engine, the Monster 1200 R takes the Ducati naked sports bike concept to the extreme. Compared to the Monster 1200 S engine, the twin-cylinder "R" version delivers 10% more power and 5.5% more torque. Its 160 hp and 13.4 kgm (97 lb-ft) torque turn the Monster 1200 R into a naked supersport bike able to show its true colours on a race track while making the rider feel perfectly comfortable during daily commutes - thanks to a full-bodied, smooth delivery at low and medium RPM.

The "R" spirit that inspired the new Monster 1200 is immediately recognisable in its completely redesigned, compact, lightweight and high-slung tailpiece, seat and high-mounted plate holder. The bike set-up and technical features are in line with the power rating of its "R" twin-cylinder engine. The latest naked model out of the Ducati factory features a higher stance than the Monster 1200 S, for more extreme lean angles and to make the most of the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres. At the rear end, grip is guaranteed by the 200/55 x ZR17 size tyres.

The Monster 1200 R is equipped with new suspensions and Öhlins steering damper, and separate rider and passenger footpegs to enhance its racing-inspired riding experience. The new naked sports model by Ducati is even lighter than the S version thanks to the new tailpiece, forged wheels, and carbon fibre components - bringing the total dry weight down to 180 kg (397 lb).

The nose fairing, radiator trim with engraved "R" logo, and the two available colour schemes - Ducati Red and Thrilling Black – give this bike the unmistakable, sophisticated, sport-inspired Ducati touch.

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. This package is managed by three different Riding Modes (Sport, Touring and Urban): three different Monster R 'souls' delivered by different settings of the power mode, the ABS and Traction Control systems.

Monster 1200 R
• Colours
1. Ducati Red with R livery, Ducati Red frame and Dark Chrome wheels
2. Thrilling Black with R livery, Dark Chrome frame and wheels

• Standard equipment highlights
o Testastretta11°DS,1198,4cc,160hp"R"versionengine
o Exhaust with pentagonal section twin silencers
o Euro 4 conformity
o Sport seat with model ID plate
o New design passenger seat cover
o Separate rider and passenger foot peg supports
o Billet machined footpegs
o Nose fairing
o Carbon fibre front fender
o 3-spoke forged wheels fitted with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres,120/70ZR17at the front and 200/55 x ZR17 at the rear
o New 48mm adjustable diameter Öhlins forks
o New Öhlins adjustable shock absorber
o Öhlins adjustable steering damper
o 3 Riding Modes
o Ducati Safety Pack (3-level ABS,8-level DTC)
o Colour TFT instrumentation display

The iconic Monster design of the tank blends with the sport-inspired, elegant lines of the rear, creating a compact, lightweight assembly immediately evocative of high performance and power. The Monster 1200 R has been substantially revised to make it visually compact, lightweight and high-slung. The single-piece rider and passenger seat is shorter and thinner if viewed from the side, with a tapered, sharp-edged look in the passenger section.

This motorcycle's higher stance features 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 new, separate rider and passenger footpegs are unmistakably race-derived and create a more streamlined side view - also enhanced by the new, oversized exhaust in line with Euro 4 standards and perfectly integrated with the new rear design.

The finishing touches to the Monster 1200 R design can be seen in the nose fairing and the longitudinal graphic pattern inspired by the iconic Ducati Corse stripe. The exclusive character of this model is reflected in the painstaking care for detail: the radiator metal covers have a graphic "R" design obtained by sand- blasting, while the bi-material seat has contrasting seams and a metal plate bearing the name of the model.


The new Monster 1200 R is powered by the "R" version of the liquid-cooled 1.198,4 cc Testastretta 11° DS engine with 4 valves per cylinder. The Monster 1200 engine version has been revised to increase its efficiency to a maximum power of 160 hp (117.7 kW) at 9,250 rpm and a maximum torque of 13.4 kgm (97 lb-ft) at 7,750 rpm, whilst maintaining smooth delivery at low and medium RPM, typical of latest-generation Testastretta 11° DS power units. The Monster 1200 R engine is in line with the Euro 4 pollution control standards.

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 53mm- diameter 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.

Compared to the twin-cylinder version powering the Monster 1200 S, the "thrust" of the "R" version remains strong and vigorous beyond 7,000 rpm, adding extra power and torque throughout the rev range. A thrilling experience on track, where all the potential of this engine unravels for maximum excitement as the rider long-shifts through the gears all the way up to 10,200 rpm. During road use, at lower RPM, delivery is consistently smooth and responsive to throttle opening, with 75% of the torque already available at 3,500 rpm.

The Monster has a wet clutch with 'slipper' function actuated by a Brembo master cylinder. Thanks to its progressive self-servo mechanism, it can be operated smoothly and progressively.

15,000 km (9,000 miles) or 12 month intervals are recommended between major services, with valve clearance adjustment checks only required every 30,000 km (18,000 miles).


As with the rest of the Monster family, the signature Trellis frame remains a feature of the Monster 1200 R, with attachment points directly on the cylinder heads, a race-derived solution pioneered by the Panigale for the first time in the world of production motorcycles. Thanks to this configuration, the resulting frame is highly compact and lightweight and, with large cross-section pipes, it offers massive torsional strength - a characteristic which enhances the dynamic profile of the Monster 1200 R.

The rear sub-frame is also attached directly to the engine, creating a compact structure designed to support the new passenger footpeg brackets - now a separate design from the rider's, to guarantee greater freedom of movement for the best road and track sports riding experience.

The rider and passenger footpeg mountings are made of forged aluminium and support aluminium billet- machined footrests with a surface pattern designed for enhanced boot grip during riding. The rider's footpegs have aluminium heel guards in line with the sports character of the new Monster.

To ensure lean angles suitable for track use, the chassis set-up has been raised by 15 mm both at the front and at the rear end, and the seating height has been adjusted to 830 mm (32,7 in) accordingly. The 'ergonomics triangle' has been preserved to ensure a natural riding position and improved control during both road and track use and help the rider complete more laps with less effort.

Another major focus of attention was weight reduction. The new tailpiece, wheels, carbon fibre parts and the new footpegs together made for a 2kg (4.4lb) weight saving - down to a total dry weight of 180kg (397lb). A critical factor in weight saving was the use of forged wheels - making the Monster R even more agile in tackling corners thanks to the reduction in unsprung weight and inertia.


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.

Wheels and tyres

The Monster 1200 R features 3-spoke light alloy forged wheels inspired by the Panigale R design and is fitted with Pirelli DIABLOTM Supercorsa SP tyres - 120/70 ZR17 at the front and 200/55 x ZR17 at the rear. DIABLOTM Supercorsa SP is applied technology at its best: embodying all the experience and racing expertise acquired by Pirelli as the sole supplier to the World Superbike Championship since 2004, this tyre designed for road use can offer the ultimate racing experience, allowing the user uncompromised enjoyment of a top-performance product both on the road and the racetrack. The structures and compounds of the DIABLOTM Supercorsa SP, directly derived from WSBK competitions, optimise the performance ensured by the tyre profiles. The 200/55 ZR17 rear tyre in particular has a carcass made from high-module fibre and a bi-compound tread with polymers ensuring quicker tyre warm-up and constant grip in any riding condition. The perfectly paired front and rear profiles ensure greater handling and agility. The bi-compound tread pattern features long longitudinal grooves, expanding from the central profile area to the shoulder, ensuring regular wear even in the harshest riding conditions. The distinctive element of the DIABLOTM line is a 'naked' shoulder area, ideal for sports riding where maximum adhesion and constant grip are a must.

Braking system

The Monster 1200 R braking system is the very best of the Brembo production range and includes twin radially-mounted M50 Monobloc callipers gripping 330 mm discs at the front - the same components that are part of the equipment of the 1299 Panigale supersport model, actuated by a master cylinder with remote reservoir. At the rear, the Monster 1200 R features one 245 mm disc gripped by a single Brembo calliper with sintered friction material pads to improve efficiency. The braking system is controlled by the triple stage ABS Bosch 9MP system - which can be disabled by the user.

Ducati Safety Pack (DSP)

The Monster 1200 R is equipped with the DSP (Ducati Safety Pack) system including the ABS and Ducati Traction Control systems to enhance vehicle performance, optimise control and improve overall riding safety. This package is managed by three different Riding Modes (Sport, Touring and Urban): three different Monster R 'souls' given by different settings of the ABS and DTC (Ducati Traction Control) systems.


The Monster 1200 R standard equipment includes a Bosch ABS 9MP controlled Brembo braking system with an integrated pressure sensor as part of the Ducati Safety Pack (DSP). The 3-level system provides shorter stopping distances with enhanced stability in any riding condition by being fully integrated with the Riding Modes. While level-1 of the system enables a sport-oriented ABS intervention with no rear lift prevention, level-2 delivers the same intervention with rear lift prevention activated. Level-3 provides outstanding braking stability and rear lift prevention. The ABS action can be disabled in any Riding Mode and will not be reactivated upon the next Key-On.

Ducati Traction Control (DTC)

The DTC (Ducati Traction Control) is able to detect and control rear wheel-spin, considerably increasing the bike's active safety and performance. The Monster 1200 R uses the very latest DTC software, optimised to guarantee seamless response to ignition advance only. The system offers eight 'sensitivity profiles', each set to offer a level of rear wheel-spin tolerance in line with progressive levels of riding skills, classified from one to eight. Level one is programmed to offer the least amount of interaction while level eight uses the highest degree of interaction. DTC levels are factory pre-set in each of the three Riding Modes, but can be individually customised and saved to suit the rider's characteristics by accessing the set-up menu within each mode. The DTC action can be disabled in any Riding Mode and will not be reactivated upon the next Key-On.

Ducati Riding Modes

The Ducati Riding Modes offer different factory settings designed to optimise vehicle behaviour according to riding styles and environmental conditions. The Monster 1200 R comes equipped with three Riding Modes (Sport, Touring and Urban) - each programmed to adjust the Ride-by-Wire (RbW) engine control system and the ABS and DTC intervention levels. The modes are made possible by combining a number of class- leading technologies. If the Riding Modes can be changed while riding, the customised setting of ABS and DTC can only be changed when the bike is stationary with the throttle closed.


The Sport Riding Mode provides 160 hp (117,7 kW), delivered with direct Ride-by-Wire throttle response, reduced DTC system intervention (level 3) and ABS high braking performance (level 1) with no lift prevention.


The Touring Riding Mode provides 160 hp (117,7 kW), delivered with a more progressive Ride-by-Wire throttle response, increased DTC system intervention (level 4) and ABS-controlled lift prevention (level 2).


The Urban Riding Mode provides 100 hp (73,5 kW), delivered with a progressive Ride-by-Wire throttle response, further increased DTC system intervention (level 6) and ABS ensuring maximum braking stability and lift prevention (level 3).

Thin Film Transistor (TFT) colour instrumentation

The Monster 1200 R dashboard has a latest-generation TFT colour display. The display has three different layouts, named Core, Full and Track, each designed to display information suitable for different uses, now with a selected gear indication in each display screen.

In the Urban Riding Mode the display adopts the Core layout, offering the bare minimum of information in line with urban use. The vehicle speed becomes the most obviously visible piece of information at the centre of the screen, with indication of the gear selected on the right.

In the Touring Riding Mode the display changes completely to the Full layout, delivering the maximum amount of information required during a longer trip.

In the Sport Riding Mode the display switches to the Track layout, offering only the information required when sports riding. The graphic rev-counter recalibrates itself according to a Superbike-derived layout.

The Monster 1200 R TFT screen is customisable and the user can choose a preferred display, regardless of the selected Riding Mode.


The Monster 1200 R's headlamp unit uses halogen main light illumination with LED position lights on either side and full LED lighting for the beautifully shaped rear and brake light illumination. LED technology is also used for the directional indicators which also sport a hazard light function, activated by holding the left-turn signal button for four seconds.

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