DUCATI MONSTER S4 (2001 - 2007) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Take one ageing naked roadster, add the Ducati 916/996/998 series sportbike motor, tweak the suspension and paint it red.
It's been a winning formula for Ducati and the Ducati Monster S4RS, with its Ohlins suspension, radial brakes and 130bhp engine is the best of the breed. All Ducati Monster motorcycles need TLC to maintain performance and their looks.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Suspension is sporty, a bit hard for some people, but offers precision and the chance to enjoy the motorcycle on twisty roads. You could trackday a Ducati Monster S4Rs and not embarrass yourself. The Ducati Monster S2R isn't in the same league, but makes a softer, more relaxed road motorcycle for weekend fun at a slower pace.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Once you ride the larger Ducati Monster S4R motorcycle, it's hard to get your head around the idea of owning the lower-spec Ducati Monster S2R with its feeble 800cc engine, or the earlier Ducati 916 powered Ducati Monster S4 bikes. The first Ducati Monster S4 was good fun in its day, and the engine still makes plenty of grunt for road riding, it's just that the later S4RS is a hooligan's delight.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The Ducati Monster S4R looks stunning, but all the Ducati Monster motorcycles take a huge amount of cleaning to keep corrosion at bay. The motorcycle is packed with nooks and crannies where grime builds up and the Ducati 916, 996 and 998 series motors need more TLC than the average Japanese V-twin as well, plus the fuel injection can feel a little bit on/off sometimes.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The S4R is an expensive, albeit beautiful sounding, summertime toy. At the entry level end, the Ducati Monster S2R 1000 looks the best buy of the range with a punchy 1000cc engine but you could find a whole boatload of big roadster motorcycle for the same dosh that can handle pillions/touring and deliver more performance.
There are some lovely bits of engineering on the Ducati Monster S4 series. Classy suspension, brakes and a more comprehensive dashboard than the older 1990s Ducati Monster motorcycles. You get an immobiliser as standard too. On the downside a small fuel tank and joke pillion position restrict the practical side of the motorcycle.
|Engine type||8v, V-twin, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Steel tubular trellis|
|Fuel capacity||16 litres|
|Front suspension||Preload, rebound, compression|
|Rear suspension||Preload, rebound, compression|
|Front brake||Twin 320mm discs|
|Rear brake||245mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||42 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||-|
13 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||97 bhp|
|Max torque||64 ft-lb|
|Top speed||145 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||10.8 secs|
|Tank range||120 miles|
Model history & versions
2001: Ducati Monster S4 launched
2003: Ducati Monster S4R appears with 996 motor.
2004: Ducati Monster S2R appears with 800cc engine, plus Ducati Monster S2R Dark variant.
2006: Ducati Monster S2R 1000 launched.
2006: Ducati Monster S4RS with 998 motor, Ohlins, radial Brembos etc
Ducati Monster S2R: 800cc 2-valve engine.
Ducati Monster S4R: 996 engine.
Ducati Monster S4RS: 998 engine.
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI MONSTER S4 (2001 - 2007)
6 owners have reviewed their DUCATI MONSTER S4 (2001 - 2007) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
Visceral, raw and old skool. Looks amazing. I love it. I've had Ferrari drivers wind their windows down to ask me for a few blips of the throttle! Now I know why the previous owner had tears in his eyes when he sold it to me.
Very powerful brakes (Brembo). The bike handled like a bag of crap when I got it as the tyres were square and the suspension settings were all over the place. The steering lock was way out too. Once these were rectified, it handles OK but takes some commitment (my previous experience was Japanese superbikes). It sits low at the rear so the steering is slow but stable. I can get a wriggle on if needed but that's not what this bike is about.
Mega, too much for the chassis TBH, but I like that. Mine has full Termi system, open airbox and race ECU.
I've owned mine for 5 years (the bike was 7 years old when I got it). The rectifier failed and stranded me at a motorway junction which was scary, but that's a relatively common thing to go on all bikes. All other expenses are consumables, although the front discs warped, even though they were hardly worn.
More expensive/involved to service than other bikes but nothing extra-ordinary. Start it up and you soon forget the costs.
Two wheels, throttle, clutch and brakes. That's all and that's enough for me.
I brought my Monster S4 with just 5,500 miles on the clock, and it came with nearly £2000 worth of main dealer service bills – That should have been my first warning sign ! The bike has now cover nearly 16,000 miles in total and all I can is that it’s the most unreliable bike I have ever come across in my 25+ years of riding. The dealer network and serving costs, even from indies specialist is nothing short of a joke. Allow £650 plus for a belt service that needs to done every 2 years regardless of mileage is totally unrealistic in this modern day ( my old Fireblade didn’t did a spark plug change until 16K miles ) I would sell it tomorrow but the S4 has an immobilizer issue now that even…….Ducati UK can’t resolve ! Avoid avoid avoid at all cost to your wallet.
Excellent and fun bike with fantastic acceleration and handling. The ride position is agressive and adds to the desire for speed. You can reach 100 mph with acceptable windblast in a very few seconds so care and experience are required :-) Okay for touring - the tank's capacity is a bit small though. The colour scheme is just the business.
Superb motorcycle, quick, comfortable and just great fun to ride. Crap tank range but cant have everything. I just love riding it!!
i love my s4r it is what i like and want in a bike, iwas in the local malaga bike store for a new (helmet) and came away with a reciept for the s4r that blue with the offset stripe yummy, apart from the test bike mine was the first to come out the dealers, did i like the looks and comments i got (well a tad maybe)out of the bikes we ride and the ones for the tours it is still my fav steed, i love the power, and for me it handles as i want of it, my son on the other hand prefers the 620i or the buell,suits me!
My S2R 800 is my first 'big bike' having taken my test after about a year riding around on a Honda 125 Varadero. For me the Monster is ideal as it is perfectly manageable and well behaved but quite exciting enough for me at the moment without generating any fear of running away with you. It looks simply superb and the naked style ensures the airflow reminds you slow down! On the motorway or in town it has performed faultlessly and has considerably more to teach me over the coming months. Strengths: Styling, size (I'm 6'2" but its entirely comfortable), gearing and smoothness of engine response, big back wheel. Weaknesses: Turing circle is not great and a passenger peg just randomly fell off! Expensive Ducati servicing but such exclusivity and technology always comes at a price.