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Ducati MONSTER 1100S Naked Motorbike Review

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Ducati Monster 1100S
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Like the Ducati Monster 696 that arrived earlier in 2008, the bigger capacity Monster range was, after 15 years, in desperate need of an update. And the result is the best air-cooled Monster ever. Only subtle styling tweaks have been applied, but serious thought and attention has been lumped on the engine and chassis components. If it’s a pleasurable, no-nonsense, quality and stylish ride you’re after, this is it.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Being an air-cooled engine, the Ducati Monster 1100's peak power of only 95bhp doesn’t come into the equation, but the way the V-twin delivers the power is a seamless, grunty character-laden joy. Claimed torque of 79ftlb makes the short burst of performance in each gear very satisfying, and deceptively fast. And also very easy to control...  

- Video: Ducati Monster 1100S tested

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The 1100S comes with Ohlins suspension front and rear, whereas the standard 1100 uses Showa. Visually, the forks add a welcome touch of class to the bike with their gold finish and titanium nitride-coated sliders, but practically they’re not the bonus you might imagine. Set harder than the standard forks, most riders wind down the compression damping until they feel just like the cheaper and more supple Showas. The Ohlins work better on track though. The Ohlins shock is a disappointment – it’s hard and has no compression damping adjustment so you can’t wind it off to ease the B-road pummelling. Fitting a softer spring helps. Overall, the Monster 1100S is still a sweet handling bike (all modern Monsters are), but unless you do plenty of track work it’s not the step up over the standard Monster you might imagine.


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

You get more spangly bits on the 1100S than the standard 1100. The S has aluminium front disc carriers, carbon fibre cam belt covers and silencer guards, and the front mudguard is carbon too. Gold five-spoke Marchesini wheels to match the 43mm Ohlins forks are the finishing touch. Everything else is as per the standard 1100. Compare and buy products for the Ducati Monster 1100 in the MCN Shop.

Ducati Monster 1100S (2009-2013)

Detail Value
New price £10,195
Used price range View Ducati MONSTER 1100S bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 1078 cc
Power 95 bhp
Top speed 125 mph
Insurance group 14 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 5
Value rating is 3 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Ducati has got it together and, at last, its motorcycles are tidily put together. There are no unnecessary wires or cables flapping about in the breeze and everything is finished to perfection. From frame to engine cases, everything is new and polished. Fact: we can’t remember the last time a Ducati fell down during testing.


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The problem with the Ducati is, for the performance it offers there is a lot of competition that offers more for the same price eg the Aprilia Shiver and Buell XB12S Lightning. But then it is arguable the Ducati is far better looking and has a shade more credibility when the garage door swings open. Find a Ducati Monster 1100 for sale.


Insurance group: 14 of 17

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Model History

Fifteen years after Miguel Galluzzi’s il Monstro hit showroom floors, we arrive at a completely new model: Ducati Monster 1100.
1993: Ducati M900 S Monster, 904cc, 74bhp
1996: Ducati M900 Monster with basic detail cjhanges and optional flyscreen
1998: Ducati M900 Monster Dark, all-black version, lower price
2002: Ducati M900ie Monster, 904cc, 78bhp, fuel injected, lighter and tweaked components, revised suspension. Monster Dark version available
2003: Ducati M1000S ie, 992cc 84bhp
2005: Ducati Monster S2R, 803cc, 77bhp, single-sided swingarm, side mounted exhausts

Other Versions

The Monster 1100S (£9000) is the hotter version and comes with Ohlins suspension, carbon fibre infill body panels, timing belt covers and front mudguard. Front disc inner rotors are aluminium and the bike is 1kg lighter at 168kg dry.


Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 95 bhp
Max torque 79.5 ft-lb
Weight 169 kg
Seat height 810 mm
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 14 of 17
Engine size 1078 cc
Engine specification Air-cooled, 4v, 90° V-twin four-stroke. Six gears
Frame Steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Rebound and compression damping, spring preload
Rear suspension adjustment Rebound and spring preload
Front brakes 2 x 320 discs with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 245mm disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(2 reviews)

  • Classy Italian.


    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    Its no superbike but its not supposed to be and that's its strength. Absolutely brilliant bike for everyday fun. Power delivery makes sense for 99% of rides. Its a little rough below 4000rpm but then twist further and you ride a wave of L Twin torque that is accompanied by the unmistakeable exhaust roar (esp with twin Termi's)of a Ducati 'on song'. Outstanding handling. Try's adictive.

    13 January 2012

  • Superb in every way


    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    Style with lots of character. 'S' version is worth the extra for the Ohlins alone. Choppy at below 3000rpm, but easy to ride above this. Brakes are top class. reliability and build up with the Jap bikes now.

    13 July 2010


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