Cycle News

Cycle News 2015 Issue 41 October 13

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 84 of 121

DUCATI MONSTER 1200 R FIRST RIDE P84 This is the second new Monster in two years. The original Monster 1200 S missed the mark, judged as being too much road and not enough track against circuit derived bikes like the BMW S 1000 R and Aprilia Tuono—the 1200 R goes some way to rectifying this. Ducati is aiming this machine at the fast canyon, occasional track-day rider, the guy that knows what he's doing in either circumstanc- es but doesn't need a Panigale to do it. Compared to the 1200 S, Ducati has upped the 1200 R's 11° Testastretta's muscle by 15 horsepower to a claimed 160 at 9250 rpm and increased torque by a claimed 6Nm to 97 lb-ft at 7750 rpm via new 56mm throttle bodies (up from 53mm), in- creased compression from 12.5:1 to 13:1 and increased exhaust header diameter a whopping 8mm to 58mm, matching the lot to a revamped but more aestheti- cally pleasing double barrel muf- fler. The new exhaust helps bring the 1200 R's engine in line with Euro 4 emissions requirements, a target every new bike will now be required to meet. The engine improvements are met with chassis details that have transformed the Monster's handling from a machine that was out of its depths on the track to one that'll ham track days with the best nakeds out there. Gorgeous black Öhlins forks grace the front—a rar- ity for any production bike as Öhlins, like we all know, come in gold—matched to an Öhlins rear that has helped raise the bike by 15mm. The new suspen- sion doesn't give the front any more travel, which is kept at the 1200S's 130mm, but the rear now gets an extra 7mm of travel to 159mm. There's also a nice little Öhlins steering damper mounted on the top triple clamp staring you in the face if you hap- pen to like wheelies—which the 1200 R is very, very good at. It couldn't be any other machine, could it!? The Monster shape is still gloriously similar to the original of 21 years ago.

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