Ducati Monster 1200 (2014 - 2021) Review


  • More relaxed approach to a big naked
  • Great roadster looks
  • Engaging riding experience

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £230
Power: 143 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.3 in / 795 mm)
Weight: Medium (470 lbs / 213 kg)


New N/A
Used £6,800 - £8,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

A polite, distinguished, well-dressed gent in a crowded class of frantic, lunatic supernakeds. The 2014-2021 Ducati Monster 1200 stands out for the fact that it isn’t a stripped-down superbike, making for a calmer character than the Yamaha MT-10, BMW S1000R, or Aprilia Tuono V4.

Instead the Monster is built as a more considered, civilised roadster, intended to offer the same cool and class as its air-cooled predecessors, but with added punch, comfort and practicality.

This isn’t the first water-cooled Monster: the S4 (916 engine), S4R (996 engine) and S4RS (998 engine) had all come and gone long before the 1200 arrived in 2014. When it did, the Monster 1200 replaced two of Ducati’s large-capacity nakeds – both the simple, stylish two-valve Monster 1100 Evo as well as the ferocious, focused 1098-powered Streetfighter.

As a result, the 1200 sits squarely between those two extremes, with more power and tech than the 1100, but a more relaxed riding position and a less-aggressive attitude than the Streetfighter.

There are two versions of the Monster 1200, with subtle but noticeable differences between them. The first-generation bike, which ran from 2014 to 2016, is the slightly easier to ride and more practical of the two, thanks to its larger 17.5-litre fuel tank and more substantial pillion seat (including a pair of standard-fit grabrails). The second-gen model arrived in 2017 and brought a much sportier set-up, with crisper steering, extra power and smarter rider aids.

Ducati purists may point out that the 1200 lacks the visual simplicity that made air-cooled Monsters so appealing, while adrenaline junkies and track addicts will scoff at the Monster’s lack of savage silliness and fast-group pedigree. Both are fair points – but if you stop comparing it and just view the Monster 1200 as its own thing, there’s loads to love about its rich, vibrant engine and welcoming, engaging ride.

During 2014 MCN ran a Ducati Monster 1200 on our long-term test fleet, and found it to be savagely quick and capable, but not the greatest bike for covering long distances in comfort. 

Ducati Monster 1200 right bend

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Monster 1200 prefers to roll steadily into turns, rather than snap quickly. On the first-generation model, handling is defined by its rearward weight bias (52.5% of the bike’s mass sits on the rear tyre).

Ducati had been so keen to create this low, lazy centre of gravity they even moved the battery down to an odd spot on top of the swingarm, near the shock. That relaxed, stable nature extends to its lengthy wheelbase (1511mm) and a riding position far more upright than previous Monsters (handlebars sit hands 40mm higher than the old 1100).

While the 1200 handles easily and naturally at first, up the pace and you’ll notice how it steers from the rear wheel, sort of like a '90s sportsbike. There’s a similar touch of reluctant understeer if you start to push it hard, too. In part, that sense of the 1200 riding low at the back is also a result of its reasonably accessible seat height.

Cornering quickly on the 2014-2021 Ducati Monster 1200

The second-generation Monster has a sportier setup. For 2017 a new swingarm chopped an inch out of the wheelbase, while a longer shock nudged seat height up by 10mm, reduced rake angle by a whole degree and tipped weight balance forwards. You can sense its more up-on-its-toes stance, from the faster turn-in, to its more neutral behaviour mid-turn and the clearer feedback from front tyre to fingers. If you want to ride, let’s say "enthusiastically", this is the model to go for.

The later model is also a better bet because it provides more room for feet to move around. The original Monster 1200 is fine if you ride with your heels on the pegs, but on the balls of your toes you’ll find your heels hit the pillion footpeg hangers. And because they’re cast in the same part as the rider’s footpegs, they can’t be removed. From 2017 the pillion pegs were redesigned to give more room for a rider’s feet and could be unbolted – though some riders find their boots then rub on the swingarm instead.

Both S versions use fully adjustable Öhlins forks and shock, which are set up fairly firmly for the road. Look in the owners manual and you’ll find Comfort settings detailed, with big reductions in compression damping front and back – worth trying if you prefer a plusher ride. Brakes are Brembo’s exceptional M50 calipers, so there’s no shortage of stopping power, though some owners prefer aftermarket pads for more bite.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

A fantastic, engaging and flexible road engine. Ducati’s 1198cc V-twin had previously been used in the 1098R, 1198, Multistrada 1200 and Diavel 1200, but was detuned notably for the Monster. Where it made 170bhp in the 1198, 150bhp in the Multistrada and 160bhp in the Diavel, the Monster 1200 S claimed 143bhp (and 133bhp for the non-S model). On the surface, many saw that as disappointing – particularly given it was replacing the 153bhp Streetfighter.

But beyond the headline figures there’s no shortage of speed. With narrower throttle bodies than the Multistrada, the Monster actually made more power and more torque from tickover to 7500rpm – meaning it also hits harder in the midrange than an 1198. And that’s where this motor is at its best: thundering from mid-corner with as little as 3500rpm on the colour TFT dash. The rev counter turns orange at 6000rpm, shortly before a whopping 92ftlb of torque is served up at 7250rpm. Sounds fantastic too – a rich, bassy boom that’s noticeably noisier than the later Euro4-compliant model.

Ducati Monster 1200 right side

While the second-gen bike is slightly down on sound, it’s up on power. Ducati went back to the Multi’s larger oval throttle bodies, but boosted the motor’s overall performance with a higher compression ratio. Power (for both standard and S versions) rose to 148bhp, with torque up to 93ftlb.

Equally impressive is that no harm was done to bottom-end power, throttle response, fuelling or manners – the Monster doesn’t hiccup or hesitate even in its most aggressive Sport mode. There’s also a Touring setting, with the same peak power but a more measured throttle response, and an Urban mode that caps power to 100bhp. If you like electronics, it’s also worth noting that the 2017-on S model comes with a two-way quickshifter, which means you don’t have to touch the clutch lever for either up or downshifts.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Generally very good. If you think ‘Ducati’ means a steady stream of mechanical and electrical issues, you might be disappointed to discover that most Monster 1200 owners report little to no serious problems. Some find their bike reluctant to find neutral, which can be a clutch issue – sometimes the system needs bleeding; less frequently the hydraulic pressure needs checking or adjusting, which is a job for a dealer.

Speaking of bleeding, weak rear brakes get mentioned too, and the caliper can be a pain to bleed properly. Rough engine running could be a throttle position sensor issue, or could be a consequence of fitting an aftermarket exhaust (de-cat systems are popular) and/or air filter without remapping the ECU.

The 1198 motor was fairly well established by 2014 and its (relatively) soft tune in Monster trim means it’s not highly strung. In fact, it can manage up to 9000 miles between oil changes, and up to 18,000 miles between valve clearance checks. Those aren’t the kind of distances a manufacturer slaps on a product unless they have confidence in it.

Ducati Monster 1200 trellis frame and engine

A full Ducati service history is well worth having, as the service schedules are a fiddly mix of both time and mileage. Franchised dealers are more likely to have completed any occasional service bulletins too, which often get missed by home mechanics. Also note that cambelts need replacing every five years at most – so all early models should have had the work done by now, no matter how low their mileage.

One last thing to check: in late 2018, an official recall was announced covering almost a thousand Monster 821, 1200 and SuperSport machines to have their gearshift lever checked and potentially replaced. To check, you can put your VIN number into a page on the Ducati website and see whether there are any outstanding safety campaigns on your bike.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Monster 1200 S was never built, intended or sold as a ‘budget’ choice. Even back in 2014 it cost over £13,000 new, with 2017’s updated model bumping that to around £14,500. Today it’s £15k – serious money.

Used prices start around £7000, with non-S versions only a few hundred quid cheaper. If you want the sportier 2017-on version, they start around £8000, though many are still asking for more than £10k. That’s still decent money, though roughly comparable with a similar-age Triumph Speed Triple R.

Ducati UK has its own Approved used-bike scheme, which comes with 12 or 24-month warranties. Naturally, it’s not the cheapest way to buy a used Monster 1200, but worth considering for the added peace of mind.

Running costs are a mixed bag. Fuel economy isn’t too bad for a whacking great booming V-twin – owners report a fairly typical 45mpg. Service costs are considerably lower than Ducatis used to be but remain above-average, with an annual service costing around £270, and a valve clearance check likely double that.

Insurance premiums are fairly typical – roughly comparable to a Triumph Speed Triple. One benefit to the Monster’s slightly more restrained character is that it’s likely to attract fewer hooligan riders than, say, an MT-10, Tuono or KTM Super Duke, with that difference reflected in premiums.

Ducati Monster 1200 wheelie


4 out of 5 (4/5)

The ‘S’ model means standard spec is pretty high, with its Öhlins suspension (instead of Kayaba forks and Sachs shock on the non-S bikes) and quality Brembo one-piece calipers. First-generation S models also came with LED indicators, a carbon mudguard and smarter machined wheels. The colour TFT dash looks natty, but annoyingly doesn’t include either a gear position indicator or a fuel gauge.

The newer S model has a slightly higher electronic spec, including its two-way quickshifter, plus an inertial measurement unit (IMU) which allows for cornering ABS, lean-sensitive traction control and separate anti-wheelie settings. The 2017-on bike gets a gear indicator and fuel gauge too. All models have three riding modes (Sport, Touring and Urban) which adjust throttle response, traction settings, ABS and dash layout.

One small but pleasing detail is that the Monster 1200 has an adjustable seat height – in fact, it was the first Ducati with such a system. Pop the seat off, remove four plastic parts and reposition a rubber-mounted metal bar, then refit the seat. On the original bike it adjusts height between 785mm and 810mm; on the second-gen it’s 795/820mm.

Used bikes will invariably have aftermarket pipes fitted – perhaps Ducati’s official Termignoni exhaust, perhaps not. Whatever the brand, they don’t add value. if anything, use it as a haggling point if the owner doesn’t have the standard silencers too.

Ducati Monster 1200 in mountains


Engine size 1198cc
Engine type 4-valve, liquid-cooled, twin-spark L-twin
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 16.5 litres
Seat height 795mm
Bike weight 213kg
Front suspension 43 mm Kayaba fully adjustable USD fork
Rear suspension Progressive linkage with Sachs fully adjustable monoshock, aluminium single-sided swingarm
Front brake 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M4.32 callipers, 4-piston, radial pump with Bosch cornering ABS
Rear brake 245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper, with Bosch cornering ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 54 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £230
New price -
Used price £6,800 - £8,500
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 143 bhp
Max torque 92 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 197 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2014-2016 Ducati Monster 1200

Road-focused, well-mannered naked is the most powerful, practical and polite Monster yet built. 1198cc V-twin makes 133bhp in the standard bike, or 143bhp in the S model. Engine also forms the core of the chassis, with a short steel trellis frame joining cylinders to headstock, and single-sided swingarm mounted to the crankcases. Loads of bottom-end punch, decent service intervals, upright riding position, rear-heavy weight bias and slightly lacking footroom make this far more at home on the road than on the track.

2017-on Ducati Monster 1200

A longer shock and a shorter swingarm give the second-generation Monster 1200 a sportier stance: taller, sharper, with more weight over the front end. Power rises to 148bhp for both S and non-S models, without compromising bottom-end or midrange thump. Smarter IMU-informed rider aids, a two-way quickshifter, and more info on the clocks. Redesigned pillion pegs improves rider’s footroom slightly. Fuel tank drops by a litre, while pillion seat shrinks and grabhandles disappear.

Owners' reviews for the DUCATI MONSTER 1200 (2014 - 2021)

2 owners have reviewed their DUCATI MONSTER 1200 (2014 - 2021) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your DUCATI MONSTER 1200 (2014 - 2021)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Equipment: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £230
4 out of 5 Flawed but I love it.
13 November 2023 by Moz

Version: Standard

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £230

3.5* bike I reckon. As it's relatively tech free its been fairly reliable over the 25,000 miles all year use that I've used it for. Actually quite comfortable over distance and completely buffeting free at a sustained 90 on the motorway ( which is more than can be said for my Tracer 7 ). I put some some SW Motech legend bags on it for touring with a tail pack. Not great tie down points but it does come with the loops under the seat for a Kriega pack. The best feature for me is the engine - I fell in love with lumpy Ducati's in the early 00's so I want that hammering low down twin. I think that the DVT is an abomination, if you want smooth then get an XR. Thankfully the gearing is pretty good so stick to 1st/2nd around town and it's fine. Way different to something like a 999. And whilst I'm not convinced that a 60bhp triumph needs rider modes the touring mode does actually make life a little easier around town but the fuelling is so good it's fractions. I would say that the bad point is the handling. It's fine, and if you ride fast A roads superb, but on tight switchbacks it's a bit slower and hard work than something like an MT09. I think this probably has a lot to do with ones weight being over the front wheel so it doesn't feel quite as agile to turn. My very skeptical friend rode it and this was his opinion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYp3XYHDf1A

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

The standard model has quite forgiving suspension, which does a good job of soaking up the worst UK roads. Whether the Ohlins of the S model is better or worse for you only a back to back ride will tell. I now have an Ohlins rear after said debacle but the standard KYB/Sachs set up is fully adjustable and not 'budget' by any means. I have ridden a few bikes adorned with Ohlins which were way too harsh for my roads, yes they are superior items but sometimes they require a new spring rate, etc. You are perched right over the front wheel to the point that you can only see road so its wristy. Some tank grips will improve everything. I found this bike OK comfortable. I swapped an XSR900 for it where no matter what I tried, upholstered seat, blah blah, it was just too uncomfortable for me. I did long days touring and it was good, not as good as my Tracer 7 but better than most that I've tried. And if you do need to blast down the motorway for an hour it's blissfully silent! The rear brake is nothing more than an expensive brake light switch.

Engine 4 out of 5

I love this engine. I love lumpy V twins that I have to feather around town and then hammer out of corners .I'm not saying that they're better than an IL4 but I do roll my eyes at the "...it can pull from 30 in top..." nonsense. I always buy bikes based on fun factor and how they ride rather than pointless accessories even though I do 20,000 miles a year. Other than down the pub or the slip road GP I couldn't imagine ever needing more power.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

The main issues have been: The radiator bracket breaking and then the radiator failing. £1000 more or less for the Rad but it's easy to fit oneself. I was able to get mine repaired my Serck Motosport - recommended. O ring seal on the clutch push rod, check this first before assuming a slave cylinder issue - £1 for the O ring and a doddle to replace. Some parts of a Ducati seem to tarnish as soon as you leave the show room like the axle nuts and sachs shock. But most of the issues were before I bought it and with some TLC and ACF50 its come up remarkably well considering I've ridden it in the winter salt. The front cylinder is horribly exposed so the paint will lift there ( put on the evotech full rad/oil guard if you get one in mint condition ) and the paint is also lifting around the oil pump. I've had seizing issues with the Brembo calipers. I rebuilt the front and rear - the front was simple enough but the nature of the rear being underslung means that the caliper itself gets corroded so the pads don't slide. Remedy this with a file. You must remove the header studs asap and copper grease them. Ducati use silly 6mm studs which corrode overnight and invariable require the Thread Doctor at Desmo time. Other than the Radiator the biggest issue that I've had ( so do Multis and Diavels ) is the way that the rear shock is recessed into the swingarm. Galvanic corrosion means that the head of the steel bolt almost welds itself to the swingarm and it's in the lap of the gods whether you can get it out. I personally had to remove the swingarm and replace with a second hand swingarm and shock. It took me 2 days with 2 cans of plusgas and a club hammer to get the pivot bolt out ( same issue ) replace these with some Duralac marine jointing compound. ASAP take the rear hub out and use some good quality grease. This is my biggest issue with bikes in general nowadays, and especially European ones, is whether they're built to be chopped in every 3 years on PCP and never worked on? In defense of this bike though I have ridden it all year and all roads, mostly B roads and 'unclassified' so compared to other Euro brands I'd stand by it.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

£230 would be about the annual oil change service if taken to a dealer. Minor services are 9000 miles/annual so that's the likely cost. Avoid using the dealers for any other work like tyres, pads, etc. Just get the stamp in the book and the service light removed. New belts are required every 5 years or 18,000 miles. Desmo service every 18,000 miles. The Desmo service is expensive but this is mostly due to how labour intensive it is. I have a brilliant independent Ducati specialist and at £45 an hr it's still around £650-£850 so a dealership may be nearer £1300, especially when the studs break. But I can say that based on my mileage that a Monster is cheaper to run than a Speed Triple with their quite frankly ridiculous 12k valve service. An MT10 may be cheaper to run depending on fuel prices... As you can imagine it eats consumables. Roadtec 01 SE's last around 4500m. M9RR's 2800m. But I do prefer the feel of the M9RR's on the bike and now I have a separate tourer it's not so much of an issue.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Other than a USB port under the seat it doesn't come with a lot. Some Oxford heated grips are a must. The optional quick shifter is functional at best so you'll use it occasionally. It is the worst bike that I have ever owned for throwing shite up your back, even with the stock tail, so feel free to replace. Use Evotech for as many things as possible as they're great quality. The OEM flyscreen works well and looks good. Oberon clutch slave cylinder. SW Motech SLC side carriers don't look all that bad and offer protection. SC Project slip on shows more of the rear wheel. Tyre wise the GT Angel 2's and Roadtec 01SE's work well for touring. I like the M9RR's currently but now I'm doing low milage on it.

Buying experience: I bought second hand from a Triumph dealer. They were poor. Very poor. If you're in the south then Moto Rapido for tech advice, Ducati Alton for spares ( somehow cheaper than Rapido ) and PG Performance for work.

4 out of 5 Owning a 2015 Monster 1200 S
26 September 2022 by Donald McCaw

Version: 2015 Monster 1200 S Stripe

Year: 2015

Front brakes are excellent and rears are very soft. The rears need to be bled two or three times a year. Low-end grunt is great and so much fun. The bike feels very solid and predictable with no surprises. The gauge cluster is good when out of the sun, but in the sun it is almost worthless. The sun pretty well washes out any chance of reading anything off the gauge cluster.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

When the rear brakes are bled in in good working order, I have zero complaints on the bike. It’s so much fun to ride. I get tons of compliments on my 2015 Monster 1200 A Stripe.

Engine 5 out of 5

Such I strong power band with lots of low end grunt. Revs easily to redline with no surprises. Love the SOUND!

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Except for the rear brake soft issue, I have had zero problems with my bike since new in 2015. That is with 42,000 kilometres. Had a little bit of the clear coat on the paint of the rear seat cover come off. Could be because of poor application. No leaks, nothing weeping, no part failures. No corrosion anywhere.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

My main service is oil and fluids checked and changed. Had the Desmo service done last year at 30,000 kilometres. Done by a certified Ducati mechanic but not at a certified Ducati dealer. That cost was $1,200 Canadian...

Equipment 4 out of 5

I love the solid feel of the bike and ease of use. Easy to check fluid levels. I have left the bike totally stock except for tyres. I found the Perelli Corsa IV a big step up in handling. Also wear much better.

Buying experience: I bought from the dealer here in Edmonton Alberta. I got a pretty good deal on my 1200S. I worked them hard over a 4 week period. Got lots of extras tossed in on top of $1,500 off the $20,000 price tag. Free $800 Ducati riding jacket, free $900 Arai helmet, free $250 riding boots and 35% off on any other accessories.

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