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Ducati Monster

A variety of Ducati Monsters from history

Over 300,000 Ducati Monsters have been sold since the range was introduced in 1993 with the air-cooled 904cc M900. From 1993 to 2000 the Monster family accounted for 42% of all Ducati's sales and helped steer Ducati through some troubled times to keep the Bologna company trading.

1993 – M900 Monster

The origin of the species

Ducati unveils the M900 Monster. By combining a steel trellis chassis based around the 888’s unit with an air-cooled 904cc sohc engine from the 900SS, Ducati gives its Monster agile handling and loads of gutsy drive as well as café racer styling. The £7500 price tag is its only issue, a FireBlade cost £400 less.

Specs
Engine: 904cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 67bhp @ 7000rpm
Torque: 60ftlb @ 6000rpm
Weight: 185kg

1994 - Ducati M600 Monster

The baby monster

The first small capacity Monster is unveiled. Taking its styling cues directly from the M900, the M600 uses a smaller 584cc air-cooled 600SS motor in a lower specification chassis with a single front disc. It proves a massive hit all across Europe, thanks in a large part to its budget £5000 price tag.

Specs
Engine: 584cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 51bhp @ 8,250rpm
Torque: 38ftlb @ 6,000rpm
Weight: 175kg

1996 – Ducati M750 Monster

The first failure

Keen to build on the success of the M900 and M600, Ducati transplant the 700 Sport’s air-cooled engine into a fairly basic Monster chassis. A kind of halfway house between the budget M600 and premium M900, the M750 costs £6800 but fails to capture the public’s imagination.

It is discontinued a year later and briefly rebranded the M750 Dark in 1999.

Specs
Engine: 748cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 62bhp @ 7500rpm
Torque: 45ftlb @ 6850rpm
Weight: 178kg

1997 – Ducati M600 Monster Dark

The dark side of the Monster family

Ducati releases the first of its ‘dark’ Monster models, the M600 Monster Dark. This new subclass of Monster comes with a mean and moody look thanks to black paint on their tanks and plastics and silver instead of gold painted frames. The lack of red also drops a few quid off their retail price.

Specs
Engine: 584cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 51bhp @ 8250rpm
Torque: 38ftlb @ 6000rpm
Weight: 175kg

1997 – Ducati M900 Monster Cromo

The first special edition Monster

The new Cromo is little more than a M900 with reflective chrome-look finish on its tank, but it is a toe in the water by Ducati to see if by creating special editions, as many owners were already doing themselves through customization, it could tempt more owners to buy its naked bike.

Specs
Engine: 904cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 67bhp @ 7000rpm
Torque: 60ftlb @ 6000rpm
Weight: 185kg

1998 Ducati M900 S Monster

The first high specification model

Having seen the benefit, and ease, of creating higher specification models with its 748 and 916 sportsbike range, Ducati try the same trick with the Monster.

Avoiding the traditional Öhlins route, Ducati instead upgrade the M900’s Showa suspension to make its forks fully adjustable and the shock a bit better while adding carbon side panels, mudguards and a small fly screen to give a sportier look.

Specs
Engine: 904cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 67bhp @ 7000rpm
Torque: 60ftlb @ 6000rpm
Weight: 183kg

2000 Ducati M900ie Monster

Fuel injection arrives

Two small letters after the Monster’s name signified that the 2000 M900 was the first Monster to gain fuel-injection. Alongside injectors, the M900 also received a refresh with the S model’s uprated forks now standard fitment and a digital dash replacing the old unit.

The motor is also refreshed to produce more power and torque.

Specs
Engine: 904cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 78bhp @ 8250rpm
Torque: 62ftlb @ 6750rpm
Weight: 188kg

2001 Ducati Monster S4

Water-cooling and four valve heads arrive

Ducati takes the controversial (at the time) step of introducing water-cooling in the shape of a retuned 916 motor into the Monster range. The S4 is the sportiest Monster to date but the jumble of cooling hoses detracts from the bike’s traditionally clean look.

Specs
Engine: 916cc, liquid-cooled desmo V-twin, 8v, DOHC
Power: 101bhp @ 8750rpm
Torque: 68ftlb @ 700rpm
Weight: 193kg

2002 Ducati M620ie Monster

The baby Monster grows in stature

A big year for the smallest capacity Monster sees not only did it gain fuel-injection, but its capacity also increased to 618cc and its name changed to M620ie. The first ‘S’ model small capacity Monster is also released and the M750 gains fuel-injection.

Specs
Engine: 618cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 57bhp @ 9500rpm
Torque: 39ftlb @ 6750rpm
Weight: 177kg

2002 Ducati Monster S4 Foggy Rep

King Carl gets his own Monster

To celebrate Foggy’s success in WSB, Ducati releases a limited edition Foggy Rep S4. With a more powerful 916 motor, uprated suspension and a unique paint scheme, only 300 Reps are built.

Specs
Engine: 916cc, liquid-cooled desmo V-twin, 8v, DOHC
Power: 110bhp @ 8750rpm
Torque: 70ftlb @ 7000rpm
Weight: 188kg

2003 Ducati Monster S4R

The first single sided swingarm appears

With the likes of the Aprilia Tuono now on sale, Ducati ups the power of its water-cooled Monster by using a retuned 996 engine. To separate the water-cooled bikes from the air-cooled ones, a single sided swingarm and stacked pipes are also added.

Specs
Engine: 996cc, liquid-cooled desmo V-twin, 8v, DOHC
Power: 113bhp @ 8750rpm
Torque: 72ftlb @ 7000rpm
Weight: 193kg

2003 Ducati M1000 Monster

Bigger capacity air-cooling

Ducati Monster M1000

More of an update than a full-on redesign, the M900ie grows in stature to become the M1000 thanks to a larger capacity 992cc motor. It is joined in the range by the higher specification M1000S and also an M800 with an 802cc air-cooled motor.

Specs
Engine: 992cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 84bhp @ 8000rpm
Torque: 62ftlb @ 6000rpm
Weight: 189kg

2003 Ducati M620ie Monster

APTC arrives

While the actual bike isn’t changed, Ducati adds its APTC (Adler Power Torque Clutch) to reduce the heavy clutch lever action and also add a slipper clutch element. This system is still used on current Ducati models.

Specs
Engine: 618cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 57bhp @ 9500rpm
Torque: 39ftlb @ 6750rpm
Weight: 177kg

2005 Ducati Monster S2R 800

The first change in styling for the air-cooled bikes

The short lived S2R 800 and subsequent S2R 1000 give the air-cooled two-valve Monster range a bit of style by adding the stacked pipes and single sided swingarm from the liquid-cooled models.

Specs
Engine: 803cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 77bhp @ 8250rpm
Torque: 54ftlb @ 6500rpm
Weight: 179kg

2006 Ducati Monster M695

Another growth spurt for the baby Monster

As the M900 has grown in capacity, Ducati also gives the smaller capacity Monster a bit more poke through a larger capacity 695cc engine. The rest of the bike remains virtually unchanged.

Specs
Engine: 695cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 73bhp @ 8500rpm
Torque: 45ftlb @ 6750rpm
Weight: 168kg

2007 Ducati Monster S4RS

The first testastretta Monster

The most bonkers and aggressive Monster to date arrives in the shape of the RS. With Öhlins suspension, lightweight wheels and the 998 testastretta motor from Ducati’s sportsbike, it’s a wild ride.

Specs
Engine: 998cc, liquid-cooled desmo V-twin, 8v, DOHC
Power: 129bhp @ 9500rpm
Torque: 77ftlb @ 10,600rpm
Weight: 177kg

2008 The underseat pipe range arrive

A new look for a new generation

For the first time since its launch in 1993, Ducati completely overhauls the Monster’s look. With underseat pipes and a stubby and squat stance, the new M1100, M1100S and M696 models also gain radial brakes as well as heavily revised motors and chassis.

Specs
Engine: 1078cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 100bhp @ 7500rpm
Torque: 76ftlb @ 6000rpm
Weight: 188kg

2011 Ducati Monster M1100 Evo

Electronics arrive

Having avoided them for so long, the Evo model now adds traction control as well as ABS to the top of the range Monster’s specification. The traditional dry clutch is also consigned to the bin, replaced by an oil-cooled unit.

Specs
Engine: 1078cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power: 100bhp @ 7500rpm
Torque: 76ftlb @ 6000rpm
Weight: 188kg

2013 The Anniversary models

Happy birthday Monster

To celebrate 20 years of the Monster family, Ducati releases ‘Anniversary’ models throughout its range that feature the same gold frame and red paint as the original 1993 Monster M900. But is this a celebration or a wake as there are rumours of liquid-cooling on the horizon and an end to the air-cooled motor…

2014 Ducati Monster M1200 & 1200S

Water-cooling takes over

With the liquid-cooled testastretta 11-degree engine replacing the air-cooled unit and a new sporty attitude, not to mention the very latest technology such as ride-by-wire and a full electronics package, the latest generation of Monster is unveiled and both air-cooling and the 2-valve sohc engine disappear.

Specs
Engine: 1198cc, liquid-cooled desmo V-twin, 8v, DOHC
Power: 135bhp @ 8750rpm
Torque: 87ftlb @ 7250rpm
Weight: 182kg

2015 Ducati Monster 821

The final air-cooled Monster dies

The Monster 821 takes over from the M696 as the smallest capacity Monster in the European market, killing off the last of the 2-valve sohc air-cooled bikes. Like the M1200 models, it’s a new generation and features all the latest tech.

Specs
Engine: 821cc, liquid-cooled desmo V-twin, 8v, DOHC
Power: 112bhp @ 9,250rpm
Torque: 65.8ftlb @ 7,250rpm
Weight: 179kg

2016 Ducati Monster M1200R

A real monster of a Monster

2016 aw the most powerful Monster to date launched in the shape of the M1200R. With a fearsome 158bhp at the rear wheel, it makes over twice the power of the original air-cooled Monster M900. It is also available as an S and standard model.

Specs
Engine: 1198cc, liquid-cooled desmo V-twin, 8v, DOHC
Power: 158bhp @ 9250rpm
Torque: 97ftlb @ 7750rpm
Weight: 207kg

2017 Ducati Monster 797

Air-cooling returns

Ducati Monster 797

2017 saw a return to the air-cooled Monsters for the first time since the 2015 821. Light, easy and lacking electronic gizmos, it is a simple turn-key fun machine that uses the Desmodue V-Twin as the 800 Scrambler range. It is also available in a + model.

Specs
Engine:
803cc
Power:
74bhp@8250rpm
Torque:
50.8ftlb@5750rpm
Weight:
193kg

2018 Ducati Monster 821

Existing bike gets raft of updates

Updated for 2018, the Monster 821 as received a range of small tweaks, including to the styling and the fuel tank, which shrnks from 17.5 litres to 16.5 litres. The engine has also been revised to ensure it complies with Euro4 regulation.

Specs
Engine:
821cc
Power:
107bhp@9250rpm
Torque:
63.4ftlb@7750rpm
Weight:
195kg

The above video shows Senior MCN Road Tester Adam Child riding one of the latest Ducati Monsters; the 821. An update on the previous bike, it sits in direct contention with other premium middleweights, such as the Triumph 765 Speed Triple R and Yamaha MT-09.

The Monster's rivals

Over its 25-year life span, the Ducati Monster family has done battle with a wide range of motorcycles, ranging from the cheapest commuter bikes to the most premium of supernakeds and muscle cruisers. 

This includes bikes like the bargain-basement Suzuki GSF600 Bandit, which went up against the early 600 Monsters as a cheaper alternative to the Italian marque, as well as Honda's CB600F Hornet and the FZS600 Fazer from Yamaha

Sportier Monsters like the S4RS and the current M1200R have also gone head-to-head against fellow European machines, such as Aprilia's Tuono, which has slowly morphed in power, configuration and appeal over its lifetime. 

The current M1200R also faces competition from Honda's latest CB1000R. Launched in early 2018, it bridges the gap between supernaked and retro and offers the same raked-out, big power thrills as the 1200.

This also puts it in direct contention with Ducati's own Diavel range, which appeals to those wanting a more relaxed riding position alongside superbike performance. 

Ducati Monster M900 (1993-2008)

"The funky roadster that effectively rescued Ducati"

The original Monster’s creation as Miguel Galluzzi/Massimo Bordi’s ‘parts-bin special’ (frame is modified 888, engine 900SS, front end 750SS etc) is well-known.

Less so is the fact the funky roadster effectively rescued Ducati. Its simple build saved development costs and its instant appeal spawned a whole family.

Ducati gave the first Monster agile handling and loads of gutsy drive as well as café racer styling. The £7500 price tag was its only issue, with a new FireBlade costing £400 less at the time.

This bike then paved the way for a vast range of Monsters, which span to the present day.

Specs
Engine: 904cc, air-cooled desmo V-twin, 4v, SOHC
Power:67bhp@7000rpm
Torque: 60ftlb @ 6000rpm
Weight: 185kg

Ducati Monster M600 (1993-2001)

Ducati Monster M600

 

"A mini version of the highly-successful M900 Monster"

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

A mini version of the highly-successful Ducati M900 Monster, the 600 has always been a hit with ‘first big bikers’; women especially.

It looks fabulous, sounds even better and offers sprightly, spirited performance. What’s more, the Ducati M600 Monster is an affordable way in to the sought-after Ducati motorcycles brand.

Ride Quality & Brakes: 4 out of 5

With its small size, grunty engine and sporty Ducati 888 geometry, the Ducati M600 Monster is great fun for hurtling around corners.

The suspension works well and the brakes are more than capable of bringing you to a halt. Slow speed work on a Ducati M600 Monster is hampered by a lousy turning circle.

Engine: 4 out of 5

The M600 motor is a toned-down version of the Ducati 750SS lump, it gives out loads of low down and midrange grunt, making it perfect for urban riding or some naughty weekend scratching.

It’s comfortable up to around 80mph but around the ton mark it gets a little wheezy: that, plus the motorcycle’s nakedness, mean the Ducati M600 Monster is less at home on the motorway.

Build Quality & Reliability: 3 out of 5

The Ducati M600 Monster's build quality is good enough and it certainly looks fabulous. Reliability, however, is a touchy subject: some seem to go on forever, others suffer lots of little setbacks. Electrics, especially, are temperamental.

Overall, though, the Ducati M600 Monster is a pretty trusty little motorcycle and definitely worth a try.

Insurance, running costs & value: 3 out of 5

The M600 Monster was always meant as a cheap introduction to Ducati ownership, it’s a bargain if being part of that club is your thing.

The Ducati M600 Monster Dark is even cheaper. You could pick up a Honda CB600F Hornet or Suzuki GSF600 Bandit for less but they don’t come with the Italian allure.

Parts and servicing on the Ducati M600 Monster can be pricey if the bike has been abused.

Equipment: 4 out of 5

Marzocchi forks and Brembo brake calipers signify a high standard of components but the Ducati M600 Monster is, otherwise, a relatively simplistic motorcycle.

A lot of owners add aftermarket screens and carbon fibre bodywork to spruce things up. The low seat makes it extremely popular with smaller riders.

Facts & Figures

Model info

Year introduced

1993

Year discontinued

2001

Original price

-

Used price

-

Warranty term (when new)

Two year unlimited mileage

 

Running costs

Insurance group

13 of 17

Annual road tax

£64

Annual service cost

£60

 

Performance

Max power

53 bhp

Max torque

37 ft-lb

Top speed

116 mph

1/4-mile acceleration

13.6 secs

Average fuel consumption

43 mpg

Tank range

170 miles

Specification

Engine size

583cc

Engine type

4v V-twin, 5 gears

Frame type

Tubular steel trellis

Fuel capacity

18 litres

Seat height

770mm

Bike weight

174kg

Front suspension

None

Rear suspension

Preload and rebound

Front brake

320mm disc

Rear brake

245mm disc

Front tyre size

120/60 x 17

Rear tyre size

160/60 x 17

History & Versions 

Model history:

  • 1993: Ducati M600 Monster introduced. 
  • 1994: A few minor tweaks, such as some gold on the frame and wheels and a silver side stand.
  • 1999: New regulator and a braided clutch hose added.
  • 2001: Ducati M600 Monster discontinued. It was reborn as the Ducati M620 Monster, with fuel injection and a bit more bhp. 

Other versions:

  • Ducati M600 Monster Dark: all black, budget version of the standard Ducati M600 Monster. Matt black tank, no seat cowl. It was introduced in 1997 and discontinued in 2002 when a Ducati M620 Monster Dark version superseded it.

Ducati Monster S4 (2001-2007)

Ducati Monster S4 range

 

"The S4RS is a hooligan’s delight"

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

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 was once the best of the breed.

All Ducati Monster motorcycles need TLC to maintain performance and their looks though.

Ride Quality & Brakes: 4 out of 5

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.

Engine: 4 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability: 4 out of 5

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.

Insurance, running costs & value: 3 out of 5

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.

Equipment: 4 out of 5

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.

Facts & Figures

Model info

Year introduced

2001

Year discontinued

2007

Original price

£8,295

Used price

-

Warranty term (when new)

Two year unlimited mileage


Running costs

Insurance group

13 of 17

Annual road tax

£88

Annual service cost

-


Performance

Max power

97 bhp

Max torque

64 ft-lb

Top speed

145 mph

1/4-mile acceleration

10.8 secs

Average fuel consumption

42 mpg

Tank range

120 miles

Specification

Engine size

916cc

Engine type

8v, V-twin, 6 gears

Frame type

Steel tubular trellis

Fuel capacity

16 litres

Seat height

802mm

Bike weight

192kg

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

History & Versions 

Model history:

  • 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

Other versions:

  • Ducati Monster S2R: 800cc 2-valve engine.
  • Ducati Monster S4R: 996 engine.
  • Ducati Monster S4RS: 998 engine. 

Ducati Monster M620 (2001-2006)

"Offers a way into the dream for those who are just starting out"

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

Ducatis inspire passion and the M620 offers a way into the dream for those who are just starting out.

Like its stablemates, it looks great and sounds gorgeous but complaints about lack of power, basic suspension and its physical size (it’s very small) mean the Ducati M620 Monster is not for everyone.

Ride Quality & Brakes: 3 out of 5

The seat’s low and the motorcycle is light and small: perfect for some, cramped and uncomfortable for others.

The Ducati M620 Monster has low ground clearance, which can prove a problem if you’re 'on it', as can the soft-ish standard suspension settings and less-than-sharp steering.

The light clutch is designed to lessen real wheel chatter on quick down changes and the Brembo brakes are excellent.

Engine: 4 out of 5

The Ducati M620 Monster offers 35cc and 9bhp more than its predecessor, the Ducati M600 Monster. Its air-cooled, Desmodromic engine has plenty of useable power but experienced bikers will find it lacking.

Build Quality & Reliability: 4 out of 5

Good build quality and finish (the frame is taken from the Ducati Monster S4R), that alluring logo on the tank and a traditionally juicy-sounding exhaust add up to an attractive package with the little Ducati M620 Monster.

Ducatis don’t have the best reputation for dependability, however, and parts are pricey. Loyal owners ignore all this, however, and love ‘em anyway.

Insurance, running costs & value: 3 out of 5

The Ducati M620 Monster may have cost a little more than it's Japanese rivals (Suzuki SV650, Honda CBF600, Kawasaki’s ER-6n etc) but you’re buying into an Italian legend so a lot of riders are happy to pay the difference. Ducati reliability can be patchy, so be prepared for more than yearly servicing.

Equipment: 3 out of 5

The 620 is fairly basic - no gadgetry here… It doesn't even have a fuel gauge. However, the electronic dash does have an LCD clock and a fuel reserve light.

There are also extras aplenty to choose from: carbon fibre body parts, performance upgrade kits, bars, brakes, pegs etc from aftermarket suppliers.

The Ducati M620 Monster is great for customising but it might be cheaper to just buy a different motorcycle.

Facts & Figures

Model info

Year introduced

2001

Year discontinued

2006

Original price

-

Used price

-

Warranty term (when new)

Two year unlimited mileage

 

Running costs

Insurance group

11 of 17

Annual road tax

£88

Annual service cost

£50

 

Performance

Max power

63 bhp

Max torque

41 ft-lb

Top speed

125 mph

1/4-mile acceleration

13.3 secs

Average fuel consumption

44 mpg

Tank range

130 miles

Specification

Engine size

618cc

Engine type

4v V-twin, 6 gears

Frame type

Steel trellis

Fuel capacity

14 litres

Seat height

770mm

Bike weight

168kg

Front suspension

None

Rear suspension

Preload and rebound

Front brake

Twin 300mm discs

Rear brake

245mm disc

Front tyre size

120/60 x 17

Rear tyre size

160/60 x 17

History & Versions 

Model history:

  • 2001: Ducati M620 Monster i.e. Dark and 'S' versions launched: fuel injected and with a larger engine than the earlier Ducati Monster 600. Also comes with headlight cowl. The Dark comes with just one front disc and five gears.
  • 2003: Ducati M620 Monster and Ducati M620 Monster Dark take over from i.e. versions. S version discontinued. Dark comes with either twin front discs/6 gear or single disc/5 gear options.
  • 2004: Both Ducati M620 Monster and Ducati M620 Monster Dark get new, lighter clutch.
  • 2005: Revised, wet plate clutch.

Other versions:

  • Ducati Monster 620S: “Sport” version with aluminium swingarm, taller seat, more ground clearance and a headlight cover. Discontinued at the end of 2003.
  • Ducati M620 Monster Dark: cheaper, meaner-looking, matt black version of the standard
  • Ducati M620 Monster, minus a screen and a seat cowl.

Ducati Monster S2R 800 (2004-2008)

‘The S2R delivers more pride per pound than anything else’

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

The surprise wasn't what the S2R was - the 800 engine and S4R chassis/style were proven. The surprise was how well it all blends together and how affordable it was.

Under £6k for a posh Ducati? It delivered more pride per pound than anything else.

Ride Quality & Brakes: 5 out of 5

The real trick with the S2R was 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 older Monster 800.

It offers cracking real world performance, too.

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 was 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.

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

£4,000 to £4,200

Warranty term (when new)

-

 

Running costs

Insurance group

13 of 17

Annual road tax

£88

Annual service cost

£20

 

Performance

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

Specification

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 engine 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

The rest of the Monster range

YEAR INTRODUCED MONSTER MODEL
2006 M695
2007 S4RS
2008 Underseat pipe: M1100, M1100S, M695
2011 M1100 Evo
2013 Monster 20th anniversary models arrive
2014 M1200 and M1200S
2015 Monster 821
2016 Monster M1200R
2017 Monster 797
2018 Monster 821 gains updates

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