DUCATI MONSTER 1200S (2014 - 2021) Review


  • Torquey Ducati V-twin
  • Öhlins suspension
  • Sporty roadster with a dash of retro charm

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £210
Power: 145 bhp
Seat height: Medium (30.9 in / 785 mm)
Weight: Medium (401 lbs / 182 kg)


New N/A
Used £7,000 - £8,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

In isolation I like this version of the Ducati Monster 1200 S, which has character, looks good and is modern but still very much a Monster. The new liquid-cooled engine is much better than the old bike’s. There’s loads of mid-range and low-down grunt, and it sounds fantastic for a standard naked motorbike.

The handling on the S model is excellent, just as happy on road or track, and light and easy to ride. Yes there are a few niggles, a lack of room for feet if you ride on your toes could become annoying, and some would argue there’s too much cooling and piping on show. But this is the best Monster Ducati has ever made.

Ride quality & brakes

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

Unlike some Ducatis, the suspension is conventional on the Monster 1200 and doesn’t alter as the rider switches between modes. There are different specifications with the Monster S getting Ohlins while the standard model doesn’t.

The suspension works well; especially under load. You can dig the rear into the ground as you wind on the torque and the feedback from the tyres is excellent. My only slight criticism is it feels a little skittish over bumps on the up stroke of the rear shock when it’s not under load.

Ducati Monster 1200S ridden hard around a corner



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

The 1198cc V-twin is very similar to the Multistrada, but with modifications to increase low-down and mid-range power. The grunt gets going early with a satisfying punch from as little as 2000rpm.

Lean back and the front will go skywards with a whiff of the throttle in the first two gears, and thankfully the traction control knows the difference between a wheelie and wheel spin… The fuel modes are easy to scroll through and you do use them and they aren’t just a gimmick, and they can be personalised to your own settings.

The Ducati Monster 1200S engine is excellent

Reliability & build quality

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

The 1198cc engine is tried and tested so shouldn’t throw up any surprises.

Our Ducati Monster 1200 S owners' reviews  don't indicate anything concerning as far as reliability is concerned. Ducati Monster 1200 S in red

Value vs rivals

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

The Ducati Monster 1200 S occupies a niche in the market these days somewhere between a supernaked and a retro.

There are some other options to consider though, including the neo café Honda CB1000R (£11,299 for the last model but there’s a new version for 2021), classy and comfortable BMW R1250R SE (£14,140) and retro flat tracker style Indian FTR1200 S RR (£14,099).

The Monster 1200 S is the most expensive of the pack but with Öhlins suspension and cornering electronics it is also the highest-spec.

Ducati Monster S 1200 vs BMW R1250R SE

BMW R1250R SE vs Ducati Monster 1200 S

We took the Ducati around the UK’s toughest test route, the MCN 250, to find out how it compared to competition from the BMW R1250R SE.

Where the original Monster benefitted from a sportsbike chassis to bring an unexpected level of handling to the naked market, this latest generation has reaped the rewards of modern electronic assists to take it to another level. Aside from a horrible quickshifter, the Monster’s electronics are faultless and the performance of the V-twin combines with a sorted chassis boasting top-rate components.

Next to the Monster the R1250R does lose a bit of its shine, but is far from a bad bike. The traction control struggled with wet and slimy autumnal UK roads but as a do-it-all roadster it is a tremendous ride with a spec list of creature comforts that (at a cost admittedly...) is incredibly impressive. The only fly in the R’s ointment is the fact the Monster is simply more fun to ride.

To be fair to both firms, these nakeds are at slightly different ends of the spectrum. The R1250R is a roadster, aimed at the rider who wants to ride everyday, while the Monster is more aimed at fun weekend blasts. So, if you want a bike to commute on, the BMW would most definitely be the one to go for.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Monster comes with three fuel modes, traction control and ABS although no gear indicator.

Ducati’s Monster 1200 S got a new ‘Black on Black’ livery for 2020, combining strips of matt and gloss black paint alongside streaks of red to create a new understated design to sit alongside the traditional red alternative.

Priced at £15,095 – £200 more than the red version – bikes will arrive in dealers from the end of September 2019 and will come complete with the same features found on the existing S model, including fully-adjustable beefy 48mm Öhlins forks and single monoshock, as well as powerful Brembo M50 monobloc calipers.

Also included is the same 1198cc liquid-cooled V-twin engine, producing 145bhp at 9250rpm, alongside cornering ABS, traction control and anti-wheelie.

This is not the first time Ducati have revealed a dark version of the Monster, revealing a cheaper M600 Monster Dark in 1997 and an M750 Dark in 1999. Unlike those early bikes, this machine is slightly more expensive than the existing 1200 S.

Alongside the all-black body, one of the three Y-spokes on each rim has been finished in red, with the bike also gaining a carbon front mudguard, LED indicators and an up-and-down quickshifter.


Engine size 1198cc
Engine type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 8v desmo V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 17.5 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 182kg
Front suspension 48mm inverted forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Fully adjustable rear shock
Front brake 2x330mm discs. Brembo four-piston radial monobloc calipers. ABS
Rear brake 1x245mm disc, Brembo single-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70ZR17
Rear tyre size 190/55ZR17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 50 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £210
New price -
Used price £7,000 - £8,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 145 bhp
Max torque 92 ft-lb
Top speed 150 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 170 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2014: Model introduced.
  • 2021: Bike goes off sale.

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

8 owners have reviewed their DUCATI MONSTER 1200S (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 1200S (2014 - 2021)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Engine: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Equipment: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £210
3 out of 5
19 June 2023 by Ron eagle

Version: 1200 s

Year: 2017

Loving engine, rides beautifully, engaging engine and personality but for often unreliable

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5


Engine 5 out of 5

Solid, sweet hum has a lot of feel

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

12000 miles in new throttle, kept cutting out, new fuel sensor which just never worked 80% of the time, quick shifter turned off at dealer as unreliable, whole new clutch, parts took a month cost £450 before labour, engine has been solid though

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Good spec, when it’s working.

Buying experience: Bought from dealer just under 4000 miles

5 out of 5 Monster is an appropriate name....
26 September 2022 by Davie H

Version: Black on black

Year: 2020

Annual servicing cost: £260

Highly addictive soundtrack and superb grunt encourages riding behaviour on the naughty side of sensible.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Like most modern sport / street bikes, it will carry pillion at a push but won't match a tourer in that regard. No-one will want to be on the back anyway, the way this bike 'makes' you ride. Standard seat is comfy for longer than a tankful of fuel will last. Surprisingly - no real issues with wind blast either. I had a Street and Speed Triple before this bike and the Monster is noticeably better in that regard. The one niggle for me is the up-quickshifter. It is clunkier than a clunky thing. Coming from the Triumph, it feels like the Ducati version was made by John Deere. The downshifter on the other hand is superb.

Engine 5 out of 5

Five out of five is not enough! It's an absolute peach. I have had faster bikes (race prep ZX-10R, new Speed Triple 1200), but this bike is not focused on outright speed. It just loves to pull, especially at low rpm, and makes the most fantastic noises whilst doing so! The

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Had this bike for 8 months and about 3000 absolutely fault free miles, mostly A/B road spirited runs.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Its a Ducati - so never going to be the cheapest bike to own. Its not crazy though. Likes to eat a rear tyre in under 3000 miles.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Loads of aftermarket options available (at a price) to bling up this model. I have went for a number of parts from Ducabike, inc the clear clutch cover kit and anodised frame bungs (which arguably Ducati should really have considered providing). The expensive but lovely shaped pillion grab rails are perfect for manhandling the bike around the garage. Tank bags are a bit of a nightmare to fit on this. I found the clip on ones meant for enduro bikes (i use GIVI) fitted best, but obscured the entire dash.

Buying experience: Travelled 400 miles to buy from Ducati Aylesbury and collected with a van. Noticed after returning home that the left side radiator bracket had been broken. I thought 'oh here we go, what chance of a result on this', but the dealer was fantastic. They listened to what i said, then called me back to say they had ordered me a whole radiator assy free of charge. I couldn't ask for a better outcome than that.

5 out of 5 Best all rounder contender
18 June 2021 by Rocket

Year: 2017

I bloody love it! It does everything. I do trackdays on it. I tour in Europe on it and go for a blast with my mates on it. I nip in to town on it. Comfortable (1 up), fast, great handling, Italian style and its been reliable. Coming up for 20,000 miles (including Covid!), its a keeper

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Great on trackdays and great on the road. Perfect all rounder

Engine 5 out of 5

Tremendous spread of power. Very torquey, fast and fabulous soundtrack on and off the throttle

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Had reared hub replaced but Ducati paid

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Service intervals are 18000 between big services so it's not bad. Not cheap but worth it

Equipment 5 out of 5

Good as it is, I've personalised mine with a full Termignoni system, lots of carbon bits Rizomi bar end mirrors and some tasteful stickers

Buying experience: Bought it from Ducati Nottingham. Top blokes and great service. They're on your side

4 out of 5 The most monstrous monster
21 October 2019 by Jon

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £200

Truly Monstrous

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The ride is firm but not jolting or unstable corners like on rails. Some tyres are sticky (super corsa's) but don't feel as secure and accurate as others (Metzler Roadtec 01). Very comfortable for rider and pillion. The footrests are very comfortable for road riders who keep need to keep their foot over the brake :)

Engine 4 out of 5

Smooth and fierce like a hammer. Beautiful fuelling but the torque is massive and builds so it is hard for humans to ride above 7000 revs

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

11000 miles no hiccups no problems

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

big services are expensive: also has single sided swing arm so chain adjustment can seize if not stripped and greased

Equipment 5 out of 5

with that engine in that frame what other equipment do you need?

Buying experience: Fine -from a shop

4 out of 5 Classic Italian Muscle
17 April 2018 by Jacob Mannall

Year: 2014

Annual servicing cost: £200

Brilliant bike - with a few drawbacks... Great engine, sound, looks, acceleration, display. Poor foot position, service cost and reliability

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Brakes should be a lot better then they feel, although still have plenty for the job at hand.

Engine 5 out of 5

Fantastic big lumpy twin with good power throughout and 3 engine modes

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Italian electronics are not the best problems with a poor 12v battery trying to turn over two massive pistons. build standard is fantastic though.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

High service costs, high fuel consumption, expensive parts and accessories

Equipment 5 out of 5

Avoid Michelin tyres advised standard Pirellis/bridgestone, no fuel gauge - very missed, recommend changing mirrors to bar end as the standard positions are pretty useless

Buying experience: Dealer £9000 2014 reg 1200s with 8000 miles

5 out of 5 2017 M1200 - a great upgrade!
12 June 2017 by The Bike Dork

Version: 1200 (non-S)

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £180

You buy a bike because of how it makes you feel: this has got the whole package - tons of kerb appeal, shattering power and torque, great handling and that throaty V twin growl (well, with a decat pipe...) Here's my 2 part video review: Part I - general overview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6u91Bk0sSY Part II: POWEEEER! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffHLZUKLF1o

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Solid brakes - not quite M40s but still Brembos - and plush enough ride. Could use a suspension tune up but that'll only cost £70!

Engine 5 out of 5

Not as smooth as a 3 or a 4 but that's the beauty - you get this enormous surge of power all at once that gives the illusion of it being faster than its competitors. Very smooth fuelling in Touring mode, not at all snatchy which is quite something for a huge V twin. Doesn't feel lumpy at all like the 2014 M1200 did.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Reliability not tested yet but the build quality is exceptional. It feels really solid and all the usually cheap looking parts - switchgear, mirrors etc are well designed.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

First service was £180 (600 mile) which is a little steep for an oil change! But the value of the bike is solid - it's as cheap as any other super naked when you factor in the low rate finance.

Equipment 5 out of 5

All the kit you could want, with the possible exception of cruise control. Up and down quickshifter is £240 - a must! You don't get cornering ABS in any bike cheaper than this.

Buying experience: An absolute pleasure although i'd bloody hope so for a £12k toy!

5 out of 5 Worth it in all respects
04 July 2015 by Kean

Year: 2014

Annual servicing cost: £200

Traded up from a Yamaha FZ8 (fantastic bike, fast, comfy and sounds good with an Akrapovic) as this was in another league. I had the standard 1200 Monster for the day when my Yamaha went in for a service, they saw me coming, obviously. I loved it so much, I ordered the 1200s when I came back from my day of galavanting. This is a beautiful bike and the noise it makes really draws attention. I get people staring at her when she is parked up anywhere. You can see little and big boys drooling.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

With Brembo brakes all round and dual discs upfront, she stops as well as a 1299. Ride is good especially with the adjustable suspension. I am 6'3" and have no hassles riding. She is light weight and chuckable in the corners, highly responsive.

Engine 5 out of 5

Engine is rapid, really rapid. Responsive and sounds brilliant, either standard or with the Termignonis, not the smoothest at lower revs, but that is the nature of twins. One has to use 2nd and 3rd in town to keep the ride smooth, open roads and the torque comes alive, crazily so.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Touch wood, no issues as of yet, still early days.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Pricey to buy, but to me, great value. Ducati are quite transparent with their fees.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Added a small fly screen, reminiscent of the original monsters. Tyres are good as standard, but she will get the Michelin Road pilots later on.

Buying experience: Great, purchased from Metropolois in Barnet, recommended.

4 out of 5 Demo
02 May 2014 by

My review is based on just two days of usage but in the absence of any other reviews thought may be useful to others. I was lucky to be given the standard (non S) bike to loan. It is a very comfortable bike (I'm 5'7), seat is plush and comfy, bars in the right place. I didn't find the footpegs to be a problem (size 8). Seemed to offer around 50mpg at motorway speeds and windblast was not a problem at all. Battery – why did Ducati put this by the rear shock? It means you can’t plug a battery optimiser or leads to your heated gear into it. Also has no fuel gauge. It has a real presence so if you are the shy and retiring kind this bike is not for you! Noise is good but a tad loud for my tastes. Looks good, a real head turner. It never felt blisteringly fast but it did pull quickly through the gears. I’m not used to a V2 so probably wasn’t in the right rev band anyway. A smidge jerky at really low speeds. Something I could live with. 3 riding modes probably aren’t needed though. I stayed in Sport mode mostly. I found it entertaining ;-) Overall, if there was no Street Triple in the world I would really consider this bike. A great bike.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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