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Ducati MONSTER S4 Naked Motorbike Review

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Ducati Monster S4/S4R/S2R/S2R1000/S4RS motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Take one ageing naked roadster, add the Ducati 916/996/998 series sportbike motor, tweak the suspension and paint it red. It's been a winning formula for Ducati and the latest Ducati Monster S4RS, with its Ohlins suspension, radial brakes and 130bhp engine is possibly one of the maddest roadster motorcycles money can buy. All Ducati Monster motorcycles need TLC to maintain performance and their looks. 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Once you ride the larger Ducati Monster S4R motorcycle, it's hard to get your head around the idea of owning the lower-spec Ducati Monster S2R with its feeble 800cc engine, or the earlier Ducati 916 powered Ducati Monster S4 bikes. The first Ducati Monster S4 was good fun in its day, and the engine still makes plenty of grunt for road riding, it's just that the latest Ducati Monster S4Rs is a hooligan's delight.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Again, things gradually improve throughout the lifespan of the Ducati Monster S4/S4R series. Suspension is sporty, a bit hard for some people, but offers precision and the chance to enjoy the motorcycle on twisty roads. You could trackday a Ducati Monster S4Rs and not embarrass yourself. The Ducati Monster S2R isn't in the same league, but makes a softer, more relaxed road motorcycle for weekend fun at a slower pace. 

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

There are some lovely bits of engineering on the Ducati Monster S4 series. Classy suspension, brakes and a more comprehensive dashboard than the old 90s Ducati Monster motorcycles. You get an immobiliser as standard too. On the downside a small fuel tank and joke pillion position restrict the practical side of the motorcycle.

Ducati Monster S4/S4R/S2R/S2R1000/S4RS (2001-2007)

Detail Value
New price £8,295
Dealer used prices
£3,350 (2001) - £3,550 (2001)
Private used prices
£3,010 (2001) - £3,190 (2001)
  View full used price info
Engine size 916 cc
Power 97 bhp
Top speed 145 mph
Insurance group 13 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 3 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Ducati Monster S4R series in particular look stunning, but all the Ducati Monster motorcycles take a huge amount of cleaning to keep corrosion at bay. The motorcycle is packed with nooks and crannies where grime builds up and the Ducati 916, 996 and 998 series motors need more TLC than the average Japanese V-twin as well, plus the fuel injection can feel a little bit on/off sometimes.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The naked roadster motorcycle market segment is one of the most competitive in biking and the Ducati Monster S4Rs at nearly ten grand new, is an expensive, albeit beautiful sounding, summertime toy. At the entry level end, the Ducati Monster S2R 1000 looks the best buy of the range with a punchy 1000cc engine and seven grand price tag, but you could find a whole boatload of big roadster motorcycle for the same dosh that can handle pillions/touring and deliver more performance.

Insurance

Insurance group: 13 of 17

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Model History

2001: Ducati Monster S4 launched                                                                  2003 Ducati Monster S4R appears with 996 motor.
2004: Ducati Monster S2R appears with 800cc engine, plus Ducati Monster S2R Dark variant.
2006: Ducati Monster S2R 1000 launched.
2006: Ducati Monster S4RS with 998 motor, Ohlins, radial Brembos etc launched - the best Ducati Monster ever.

Other Versions

Ducati Monster S2R: 800cc 2-valve engine.
Ducati Monster S4R: 996 engine.
Ducati Monster S4RS: 998 engine. See above.

Specifications

Top speed 145 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.8 secs
Max power 97 bhp
Max torque 64 ft-lb
Weight 192 kg
Seat height 802 mm
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 120 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 13 of 17
Engine size 916 cc
Engine specification 8v, V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Steel tubular trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all Ducati MONSTER S4 motorcycles for sale

Ducati
MONSTER S4

23250 miles

£3,100

Ducati
MONSTER S4

9852 miles

£2,699

Ducati
MONSTER S4

9500 miles

£5,495

Ducati
MONSTER S4

17750 miles

£4,495

Ducati
MONSTER S4

12650 miles

£3,300

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(5 reviews)

  • Monster S4

    hornseyboy

    Average rating rating is 2

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I brought my Monster S4 with just 5,500 miles on the clock, and it came with nearly £2000 worth of main dealer service bills – That should have been my first warning sign ! The bike has now cover nearly 16,000 miles in total and all I can is that it’s the most unreliable bike I have ever come across in my 25+ years of riding. The dealer network and serving costs, even from indies specialist is nothing short of a joke. Allow £650 plus for a belt service that needs to done every 2 years regardless of mileage is totally unrealistic in this modern day ( my old Fireblade didn’t did a spark plug change until 16K miles ) I would sell it tomorrow but the S4 has an immobilizer issue now that even…….Ducati UK can’t resolve ! Avoid avoid avoid at all cost to your wallet.

    22 April 2013

  • Monster S4RS Tricolore

    rossdean

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Excellent and fun bike with fantastic acceleration and handling. The ride position is agressive and adds to the desire for speed. You can reach 100 mph with acceptable windblast in a very few seconds so care and experience are required :-) Okay for touring - the tank's capacity is a bit small though. The colour scheme is just the business.

    22 February 2009

  • monster S4

    sad500

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Superb motorcycle, quick, comfortable and just great fun to ride. Crap tank range but cant have everything. I just love riding it!!

    31 March 2008

  • s4r mean machine

    TERRY MAXWELL-SHORT

    MALAGA , GS

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    i love my s4r it is what i like and want in a bike, iwas in the local malaga bike store for a new (helmet) and came away with a reciept for the s4r that blue with the offset stripe yummy, apart from the test bike mine was the first to come out the dealers, did i like the looks and comments i got (well a tad maybe)out of the bikes we ride and the ones for the tours it is still my fav steed, i love the power, and for me it handles as i want of it, my son on the other hand prefers the 620i or the buell,suits me!

    07 April 2007

  • A great choice for your first bike - beauty and power (but not too much to worry you!).

    pjhoughton

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    My S2R 800 is my first 'big bike' having taken my test after about a year riding around on a Honda 125 Varadero. For me the Monster is ideal as it is perfectly manageable and well behaved but quite exciting enough for me at the moment without generating any fear of running away with you. It looks simply superb and the naked style ensures the airflow reminds you slow down! On the motorway or in town it has performed faultlessly and has considerably more to teach me over the coming months. Strengths: Styling, size (I'm 6'2" but its entirely comfortable), gearing and smoothness of engine response, big back wheel. Weaknesses: Turing circle is not great and a passenger peg just randomly fell off! Expensive Ducati servicing but such exclusivity and technology always comes at a price.

    13 June 2006

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