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DUCATI MONSTER S2R 800 (2004-2008) Review

Published: 30 April 2015

Updated: 30 April 2015

The S2R delivers more pride per pound than anything else

DUCATI MONSTER S2R 800  (2004-2008)

The S2R delivers more pride per pound than anything else

  • At a glance
  • 803cc  -  77 bhp
  • 39 mpg  -  122 miles range
  • Insurance group: 13 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Medium seat height (800mm)

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

The surprise isn't what the S2R is - the 800 engine and S4R chassis/style are proven. The surprise is how well it all blends together and how affordable it is. Under £6k for a posh Ducati? It'll deliver more pride per pound than anything else

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

The real trick with the S2R has been the skill in blending so many goodies with fairly basic (but posh-looking ) cycle parts and engine. So although the USD forks, Ohlins rear shock and motor look the business, in reality the forks are by Marzocchi and are non-adjustable and the Sachs shock is only pre-load and rebound adjustable. The engine is the familiar and versatile, but low-tech, 800DS unit (in place of the S4R's liquid-cooled, four-valve 996 animal) but items like the aluminium swingarm and new brakes help make the S2R a useful 6kg lighter than the old Monster 800. Cracking real world performance.

Engine 5 out of 5

Although the engine was unchanged from the 803cc motor of the M800, the new exhaust helped nudge peak power up one horse to 77bhp, with improved midrange. The result is a lighter and more punchy bike than the M800. The 803cc unit was already a good mix of power and versatility but in the S2R there's enough low-down grunt and smooth delivery to launch out of hairpins with ease, yet sufficient top-end wallop to push the chassis to the full in the fast stuff. 

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

If anything's going to go wrong it'll be the electronics and not anything mechanical. They're put together well, but OE Ducati parts are expensive.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

The impressive spec would be meaningless if the S2R's price was in the same league as other Ducati exotica - but it's not. So you can have your cake and eat it - a fancy, high spec Ducati for sensible money.

Insurance group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The right names and detail touches are all there: single-sided aluminium swingarm (identical to the S4R's), twin Termignoni pipes, wide Marchesini alloys and big Brembo twin discs, right down to the neat alloy badging on the side panels and swish, tapered Magura bars. It's sex on wheels.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2004
Year discontinued 2008
Original price £5,995
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) -
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £20
Max power 77 bhp
Max torque 53.5 ft-lb
Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 39 mpg
Tank range 122 miles
Engine size 803cc
Engine type Air-cooled, 4v desmodromic V-twin, 6-speed gearbox
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 173kg
Front suspension Marzocchi 43mm USD forks, not adjustable
Rear suspension Sachs single shock, adjustable for pre-load, rebound damping and ride height
Front brake Brembo, 2 x 300mm discs with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 245mm disc with 2-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

The S2R gets upgraded with a Desmodue enguine in 2005 but is discontinued in 2008 as the new era of the air-cooled Monster 696 begins.

Other versions

Larger capacity S2R 1000 model was built between 2006 and 2008

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their DUCATI MONSTER S2R 800 (2004-2008) 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 S2R 800 (2004-2008)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
5 out of 5


05 July 2017 by mk2017

really dont like mirrors

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I feel safe
5 out of 5
only on start need more gas (dislike)
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
no corrosion,plastic is ok nothing broken
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
dont have any problem
5 out of 5
original exhaust
Buying experience

private 4.500 eu

5 out of 5

Best handling bike I have ever ridden.

26 July 2015 by Bigxr

This bike just keeps on surprising me. I have owned it for 6 years, and scratched with the fast boys, toured with it, commuted it and this year took it off road and did the Stella Alpina rally on it. I have nothing but admiration for the desmodue motor. I don't know what the MCN reviewer does with his bikes, but I'm getting over 50mpg without taking it easy in the slightest. He must have a hole in his tank to say it only does 35mpg.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Ride quality is perfect for me. I'm 5'9" and about 14 stone. The non adjustable suspension is great, firm and sporty, yet comfortable on a journey. I recently covered 2000 miles in 4 days including motorway, alpine passes and even about 50 miles of off road mountain passes. The off road bit was taken a bit steady, but the rest was enthusiastic. The S2R was perfect. Brakes aren't the greatest stoppie material, but they are two-finger good enough for normal fast riding.
5 out of 5
I love the grunt of the two valve Ducati motors. Loads of torque means you can get it wrong and still power away looking as if you didn't.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
I've covered 15,000 miles on it and serviced it myself. Don't let the uninformed tell you "its a Ducati so its unreliable and expensive to maintain", its not unreliable, and servicing is easy. Keep on top of the chain, change the oil and filters regularly, and every 2 years do the belts. I change the belts myself, it's a 20 minute job (look it up on youtube). The paint, fittings and fixtures are all good quality.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Fuel consumption varies between 50 and 55MPG.
4 out of 5
The bike could do with a fuel gauge but that is just being picky.
Buying experience

Bought it from ebay. It was a risk, but it payed off.

Photo Gallery

  • DUCATI MONSTER S2R 800  (2004-2008)
  • DUCATI MONSTER S2R 800  (2004-2008)
  • DUCATI MONSTER S2R 800  (2004-2008)
  • DUCATI MONSTER S2R 800  (2004-2008)
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