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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.