By: Dave Abrahams
Frankfurt Motor Show - Lending some Italian pizzazz to the Audi stand at the Messe is Ducati's latest streetbike - the Monster 1200R.
Boasting a (slightly) detuned version of the 1198cc L-twin used in the company's previous superbike, it's Bologna's fastest, most powerful naked machine yet, with 117kW at 9250 revs and 131Nm at 7750rpm on tap - and 75 percent of peak torque available from 3500rpm upwards for an ass-kicking, wheelie-pulling, eat-my-dust midrange.
Compared to the standard 1200 Monster, the Ducati dottori have upped the compression from 12.5 to 13:1, opened up the throttle bodies from 53mm to 56mm-equivalent ellipses, revised the cylinder heads to match and fitted a completely new exhaust system with 58mm header pipes.
The 1200 R shares its ultra-legible instrument pod (the best in the business by a long way) with the new Multistrada, and has the same on-the-fly choice of three rider-customisable engine response modes, three ABS settings and eight traction control settings.
EXTRA GROUND CLEARANCE
The frame has also been revised with a new, lighter rear sub-frame supporting a restyled mini-tailpiece, dedicated brackets for the rear footpegs and a longer rising-rate linkage to raise the rear ride height by 15mm for extra ground clearance.
Suspension is by industry leaders Ohlins, with 48mm upside-down forks and an offset gas-charged rear monoshock, each adjustable for everything but the colour of your girlfriend's panties.
The brakes have been lifted direct from the Panigale superbike, with a radial master cylinder controlling M50 Grand Prix-spec callipers on 330mm front discs, and a neat twin-piston calliper on a 245mm rear platter.
We're waiting on a reply from Ducati SA as to when the Monster 1200 R will be released in South Africa and what it will cost.
FACTS – Ducati Monster 1200 R
Engine: 1198cc liquid-cooled four-stroke L-Twin.
Bore x stroke: 106 x 67.9mm.
Compression ratio: 13.0:1.
Valvegear: DOHC with four desmodromic overhead valves per cylinder.
Power: 117.7kW at 9250rpm.
Torque: 131.4Nm at 7750rpm.
Induction: Ride-by-wire Synerject-Continental electronic fuel-injection with two 56mm-equivalent elliptical throttle bodies.
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital with electronic advance.
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated multiplate wet slipper clutch.
Transmission: Six-speed constant-mesh gearbox with final drive by chain.
Front Suspension: 48mm Ohlins inverted cartridge forks adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping.
Rear Suspension: Single-sided aluminium swing-arm with progressive linkage and Ohlins gas-charged monoshock adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping.
Front brakes: Dual 330mm semi-floating discs with Brembo M50 radially-mounted four-pot opposed-piston monobloc callipers and ABS.
Rear brake: 245mm disc with twin-pot opposed-piston Brembo calliper and ABS.
Front tyre: 120/70 - 17 tubeless.
Rear tyre: 200/55 - 17 tubeless.
Seat height: 830mm.
Kerb weight: 207kg.
Fuel tank: 17.5 litres.