First test of Foggy rep Monster S4

Published: 01 August 2001

According to the crowds at Brands there is only one Carl Fogarty. Fortunately there is more than one Fogarty replica. First there was the 996SPS Foggy rep. Now there is the Monster S4 Foggy rep.

So what’s so different that this one costs £11,000? For a start it’s more powerful than the old 916 the liquid-cooled engine is taken from and the Foggy eyes stickers leave you in no doubt this is something different.

Like the MH900e and the 996R launched this year the bike was sold exclusively over the internet and no matter how much you plead they won’t build any more than 300. £11,000 for a Monster is silly money but they don’t build them like this very often.

Everything about this bike is special from the uprated engine with power up from 101bhp to 110bhp, uprated suspension, pipes, paint scheme, front and rear paddock stands, a cover for your bike, and an etched plate with the Foggy signature and the exclusive number of the bike you’re looking at.

Instead of Ducati’s usual team of designers the firm looked to a man called Aldo Drudi, a well-known leather and helmet designer, to create the ultimate version of the Monster.

The Ducati Racing red paint work has been covered with bands of black and white to give the bike a racy yet slightly retro feel. The screen and fuel tank carry the Foggy logo with a pair of Foggy’s signature eyes and on the front mudguard is the Ducati shield.

The two-colour saddle is like a race seat and made from anti-slip material and the footrests and wheels carry across the frame’s colours to keep it consistent. There’s also nitride-coated front forks.

Other than that there’s carbon-fibre windscreen, mudguards, belly pan, radiator cowls and high-level exhausts, saving 5kg over the standard Monster S4 which is itself lighter than a 996 anyway.

Unsurprisingly it rides like a Monster S4 with extra guts and less weight. Which all in all is very impressive. It gives the impression of some of the first Monsters – a bit more alive than the current ones and slightly twitchy handling.

To sit on it feels quite different. The frame has been modded from the S4 and is a modified version of the one used in the sports tourer ST4. The bars are lower and the seat has been moved pushing the weight of the bike and rider further forward.

The general feeling you get is of immediate urge with a deep almost race bike roar from the Termignoni exhausts. A sound even more amplified by the pipes which feel like they finish somewhere just off the rider’s back. It’s not a Monster – it’s a 916 in combats and camouflage.

It rears up in first gear without even trying, the same thing happens in second and shift to third and its still lifting its front wheel. It makes more power and torque than the 916 the engine originally came from and you’re not carrying around a great big fairing over the front.

It’s pretty brutal, more like a homemade streetfighter more than most sanitised production bikes. Come out of a corner and you really do have to be careful on the throttle as there’s so much grunt. Inexperienced hands could find the whole thing a bit mind blowing.

The suspension feels a lot firmer on the standard S4 and the whole bike feels a whole lot sharper with light and accurate steering. On slightly bumpy roads under so much power the bike can start to get into a bit of a tank-slapper but it’s not a problem, just something the steering damper has to work at to sort out.

It’s not lacking in precision though and it can lean over with the best of them helped by the losing of the Monster’s normal pipes. Where the standard Monster would grind out this one still has more to come and carries a lot of corner speed.

It’s a thoroughbred with a price and limited run to match. And it’s a real hoot. Whether or not it’s an £11,000 hoot is not really an issue. They’ve been sold and if you wanted one the chances are you’d have to pay more than that for any collector to part with it.