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Ducati Teases New Monster 1200 R – Unveiling Next Week


We knew Ducati wouldn’t sit idly by while competitors ratcheted-up the horsepower wars in the naked category. This morning, MD received the following, brief introduction to the 2016 Monster 1200 R from Ducati – together with the single photo you see above. It doesn’t say much, but it does indicate the production model will be unveiled next week on September 14. Although designated the Monster 1200 R, we wouldn’t be surprised if a version of the 1285 cc v-twin found in the 1299 Panigale S (where it makes 205 crank horsepower) will be found in this new model. Stay tuned.

Here is Ducati’s statement prior to the unveiling:

The most powerful Ducati naked ever is almost here: a more powerful engine, a sportier chassis and an advanced design.

The new Monster 1200 R, will be unveiled during the Volkswagen Group Night in Frankfurt on 14 September. This event takes place just before the IAA 2015 (Internationale Automobilausstellung in Frankfurt am Main) opens its doors to the public. During the show the new Monster 1200 R will be on displayed for the very first time at the Audi booth from September 15 to 20.


  1. hh says:

    If the bike can be ridden within a margin of safety then what’s the problem? If the problem is you and your riding then don’t buy that bike. HP has nothing to do with it.

  2. Fitbar says:

    The marketing may be working on me. I believe my next motorcycle needs to have 120hp, maybe 140. I am in a lower price bracket and need everyday useability, than these top end bikes, but still think that if I don’t get a minimum 120 I would be disappointed? Maybe others feel the same and it does likely improve the bike’s overall performance and enjoyment for many. The hp race seems to serve a good purpose for the consumer as there are lots of choices, and I assume the race improves technology and wins marketing kudos for the brands.

  3. Prg says:

    I own a 1200s. The 1200s has some faults but it has some qualities that you cannot find on other bikes. The 1200s is a phenomenal commuter bike that you can also have fun on. You can ride it all day and it is very compliant. You can put a passenger on the bike with more comfort than any bike outside of a cruiser. Yes it is plush and has an adjustable seat but that is what makes this agile great handling torque monster that gets more than 40 mpg an awesome bike! Yes, It could use a gear indicator, a better instrument display for daylight, 15-20 more overall hp, and better positioning of the exhaust can/ rear foot pegs, however, the other top nakeds have their short comings as well (I tested them all).

    The 1200R sounds exciting but if the plushness of the 1200s is sacrificed I would just prefer for Ducati to make the 1200s without its few faults.

  4. Neil says:

    I get on my 45 HP CB500F and the power is fine. Backroads. Highway. – On the street, you can’t use much horsepower without being illegal, period. You also have to pay for horsepower. I know a few guys with money to burn. It makes a statement. It’s fun. I’ve ridden a 100 HP Multistrada. It flies. With 200 HP, how much am I riding the bike? I CAN ride my 500 on the highway 100%. I took the money I saved and vacationed on the Jersey shore and put a smile on several family member’s faces. – If you have the money, it’ll be a blast to try. But frankly that much power on the street would be a drag to hold back all the time. I did 90 mph on my VFR750 regularly. If you have it, you use it. And if you use 200 HP on the street, good luck with that. My 500 is fun every time I twist the throttle. It’s an amazing little motor.

  5. -D says:

    I thought that once you have crossed over the 200 hp mark, international law explicitly states that the motorcycle is required to have some sort of a fairing. 😉

  6. Grover says:

    At least it’s more fun than reading about the 2015 Vulcan S!

  7. stinkywheels says:

    And I’m sure it’ll take 5k worth of electronics and sensors to ride it. My toolbox and braincells can’t keep it running if it’s REALLY a keeper. Guess what I won’t be trading my 96 Monster in on? They’ve proven they can build an EPA aircooler in the Scrambler. I can’t speak for all but 100hp is great and 130 is getting to be too much for me. I just never get to use all the extra horsies they keep finding.

  8. Uncle F says:

    Here’s to hoping the local Ducati dealers will heavily discount the leftover ’14 and ’15 1200s they have sitting around, seeing as no one wants them with their puny 145hp motor.

    Would be interesting to know if sales of the 1200 monster were down from expectations because of the release of the more powerful 1290 SDR?

    • Blackcayman says:

      I recently did a Ducati Demo Days ride on an MS 1200 and the Monster 1200.

      I have to say, the Monster felt nimble, but the power was just not exciting enough…

    • Prg says:

      I chose the Monster over the Super Duke for a few reasons. I am 5’9″ and I could not plant both feet on the ground. The seat did not have the all day comfort and road compliancy like the Monster. Also, the front end felt very light to me, the front end would become airborne abnormally too easy. Though fun, but not practical when you want to accelerate moderately.

  9. Kiwi Mike says:

    Is the Streetfighter classed as a “naked”?

  10. Fitbar says:

    Sounds to me like we need to debate this, …. ignoring motogp with 250hp, for the Street what works assuming you want fast, responsive, and great handling bike. I am not skilled or knowledgeable enough to pinpoint the perfect hp for a bikes geometry and weight but there seem to be some great bikes with great power on the market. A good example is the ktm 690 just reviewed by that Italian mag: approx 300lbs, 70hp, torquey too and can pass quick moving traffic up to 160k, guessing? Would 100hp still prove a benefit for a bike like this to you? Or is 70 already to much (really? )? What are examples of performance Road bikes that have a perfect power, geometry, and weight? Let the mass debate begin.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      There is nothing to debate in my opinion. It just all depends on what you want from the bike.

      However, one thing I can say with certainty is that I’ve never uttered the words, “This bike has too much power.” But I have often thought to myself, “I really could use a little more power right now.” The great thing about power is that you only need to use as much as you want. All those extra ponies can be kept in reserve like a giant rainy-day fund for when you want or need them.

      That said, for general, multipurpose, street-only riding, I’ve always like the BMW “R” models of their opposed twin lineup. They have never been the most powerful or sharpest handling bikes out there; but the engines offered a very wide band of usable power, the chassis offered excellent stability and handling at sane, streetable speeds, maintenance was quick and easy, and they were very comfortable machines that could be outfitted for a cross-country trip or to just bop on down to the post office. The newest R1200R has more power than the last throughout the rev range, so I’d wager it is better than the last.

    • MGNorge says:

      Debate all we want and there will never be a unanimous consensus. For some, too much is never enough, for others, enough does just fine. I can easily think back to when I first started riding in the mid-sixties and with each new breakthrough of speed and power it was OMG, who can possibly use or handle all that power? In the latter part of the sixties the most powerful mass produced bikes didn’t even make 70 hp and their top speed was around 125 mph! But back then they were thought of as very quick and fast. It’s all in perception and what you feel is right for you. There’s no right or wrong.

    • slipjoint says:

      The market has determined that power is a desirable option that people will pay for. And niche manufacturers have determined that snob appeal, power and free marketing from magazines they can charge a 50% price premium and sell motorcycles and long lead time overpriced parts and services to the market. It works for lots of products.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “they can charge a 50% price premium and sell motorcycles and long lead time overpriced parts and services to the market.”


  11. hh says:

    I am really tired of the HP debate on how much is sensible or useful or not..too much power is when you twist the throttle and the bike accelerates into the future and leaves you behind on the pavement or worse, carries you into a bad future filled with ruin and pain. It does not matter if there is 10 HP or 10,000 HP if that’s what you are riding and everything is going well. Drop the HP debate and dialogue about handling, the riding experience, design, reliability, equipment, all sorts of stuff, but is this enough HP? is angels on the head of a pin..

    • Stratkat says:

      im really tired of the f*****g teasers!!!

    • Dave says:

      The horsepower war has gotten ridiculous. Nobody is “debating”, it seems most are in agreement that it is too much. People want a bike to ride, not to manage. The conversation will continue. Read or don’t.

  12. todd says:

    At some point it doesn’t matter how much power you have, you won’t be able to accelerate any faster. That point is probably pretty low. Weight, location/height of CG, gearing, and wheelbase all go into determining how fast you can accelerate (we’re not even getting into personal capabilities here). Once the front wheel starts to come off the ground you can no longer accelerate. I’m reminded how easy it is to get the front wheel off the ground (reach max acceleration) on a 30hp trail bike.

    A 205 horsepower Ducati will not accelerate at a greater rate than a 150? 125? horsepower Ducati unless they lower th CG, extend the wheelbase, or (gulp) increase the weight. You’ll see, the magazines will sinch down the front forks, add a lowering link, and lay on the tank to get a max 0-60 or quarter mile time.

    Nope, I imagine it’s just for bragging rights…

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      That only applies when you are talking about accelerating from very low speeds or a from a standstill. Sportbikes have never been about 0-60 times or quarter-mile runs: those are just specs that magazines like to generate and enthusiasts like to read about. Twist the throttle on a 205 hp Ducati at 90mph shooting out of a turn into a long straight, and the benefit of 205hp vs. 150 becomes very apparent. There is a reason why Moto2 isn’t the premier class.

      • Blackcayman says:

        THIS ^^^^^^^^

      • Asphanaut says:

        Jeremy if you could post a stupid or boring comment once in a while that would be great just to let us know you’re human. I read this website frequently but almost never post because you’ve already said what I would’ve said if I could’ve said it that well… actually makes my life easier come to think of it.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Awww shucks! Seriously, though, I appreciate the comment. And not to worry: I’m sure I post plenty of stupid comments. But if it is going to be stupid, I at least try to do it with a little panache. 🙂 And given the clever humor and adroit style of your post, I’d definitely say you should leave comments more often.

        • Tom K. says:

          I was going to (jokingly) say that you two guys need to get a room – but I think instead that I’ll just raise the ante in this love-fest by saying there are very few contributors here whose comments I don’t get a kick out of reading. MD, in my opinion, is the best MC site I’ve found. Others may have a bit more content, but none with more down-to-earth coverage or better commenters. Now find something ugly to say about each other so we can get back to normal.

    • Bart says:

      That point has not been reached. The modern high HP bikes (BMW, R1M, Super Duke R, Pani R, etc) blow away any other/lesser HP bike. I know, I’ve ridden them at the track and been left “parked” on the straightaway by these new bikes on my 130 HP track bike, which is not slow off the corners or down the straight.

      They pull away so hard it is amazing to watch, they blow through 150 MPH so fast you have to be there to see it.

      We are in a new era of controllable bikes that accellerate harder and longer than anything ever available for sale to the riding public. They are not for every rider that is for sure, but for $20K they are absolutely amazing/thrilling (and ridable) to put the stick to (on the track!)

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “They are not for every rider that is for sure, but for $20K they are absolutely amazing/thrilling (and ridable) to put the stick to (on the track!)”

        EAT IT CAR WORLD…!!!

  13. john says:

    martin malaga, you need to copyright that quote!

  14. Mark says:

    That’s the DVT engine from the Multistrada with the variable valve timing. It doesn’t look like the Panigale engine. Also the Panigale is a frameless design, this is still a trellis. I’m guessing a hopped up Multistrada / Diavel 11 degree engine which would be much use on the street than a super short stroke race engine.

  15. Gary says:

    They published the one photo that makes me think this: “Is the soul of my boot melting? Are my jeans on fire?”

  16. david says:

    European are in the war of horsepower number. The Japanese did that in the 80’s and 90’s and somehow stopped after that. It doesn’t make sense why a street user needs that 205 HP. To me it’s more a marketing plot to lure more buyers into the show room? If that 200 HP is available at 3,500 RPM, that would be a different story but in reality, NOT.

  17. Martin Malaga says:

    More is better, too much is almost enough…

  18. Brinskee says:

    Here’s the other thing. If they’re squeezing 205HP out of a rumbly, unbalance 1.3 liter V-twin, why can’t the auto makers get 280HP out of a normally aspirated 2.5 liter four cylinder? Maintenance requirements at that level of performance? I’ve never understood this, can someone smarter than me help me out here?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I doubt I am smarter than you, for the record. But I’ll say they could if they wanted to. High-performance motorcycle engines achieve power by spinning at high rpms. I don’t follow cars anymore, but I imagine you could find some naturally-aspirated, high-rpm Ferraris that produce around the same hp per liter as this Ducati. Cars need more torque in the lower reaches of the rev range to accelerate all of that mass, so nothing short of a race car can afford to run as short a stroke (and rev) like high performance motorcycles. You always sacrifice horsepower on the top end to get more power lower in the rev range, all things equal.

      Another reason is mandated fuel economy targets (and consumer expectations for fuel economy). Greater fuel economy is more easily achieved when an engine is tuned for lower rpms as well. Cylinder filling is usually more efficient, and internal friction is much lower.

      The other biggie is durability/reliability/low maintenance. Automobile engines are expected to go 250K miles these days with minimal maintenance and no major work. We were amazed when Ducati stretched their valve service interval to 18K miles.

      Your average, run of the mill car engine is going to be tuned more like a 100hp Suzuki Bandit than a strung out Panigale. Track days just aren’t typically on the agenda.

      • Brinskee says:

        Thanks Jeremy. Makes a whole lot of sense now that I think about it, I guess you need a lot of torque to push all that weight forward and get the wheels turning. Thanks for enlightening me.

        • Dave says:

          In some ways they are and have been (hear me out..).

          The Honda S2000’s engine was a normally aspirated 2.0L that pumped out 237hp at *only* 8,300rpm. That meets the hp/liter figure and from what I’m told by owners, it’s a great car to drive.

          Where you see more of this in practice is in Europe, where smaller engines are being leveraged for real efficiency increases. The Ford ECO Tec 1.0L 3 cylinder comes to mind. My take is that by running these smaller engines closer to their optimum efficiency (higher percentage of max power output), they’re arriving at roughly the same cruise power as a typical larger engine would be running below it’s best efficiency (as almost all engines in cars and motos are applied in the US). I think this is why extremely high performance motorcycles get such terrible mileage on the street, while a 250cc scooter or even a Honda NC700 goes 70-80mpg at the same speeds.

        • todd says:

          Torque doesn’t push anything. You’re thinking of power. It takes more power to move something heavy or more power to move a light thing faster. If the power is at a high RPM then gearing is lowered so that the engine is spinning where the power is. If it’s at a low RPM then it’s geared high so that the engine is spinning where the power is.

          Jeremy is correct that it’s easier to fill a cylinder completely at some RPM than others – not necessarily at low RPM but a RPM that allows the harmonics of all the different passageways to fill (and exhaust) the cylinder above and beyond its capacity.

          What isn’t obvious is pumping losses. It is much more efficient to let air flow through a wide open tube than one with a flap covering part of it. If you gear the vehicle such that the throttle is open more, more of the time, there will be less pumping losses. It takes more throttle to spin a high gear than it takes for a low gear. That’s a significant reason why you get better mileage in 5th gear than in second at any given road speed.

          Motorcycles sacrifice high gear fuel economy for the greater acceleration of a lower gear ratio. You could swap out sprockets so that you’re “lugging” the engine around and get better economy, that’s what Harley does. They sacrifice the acceleration for keeping the engine at a “relaxed” RPM. Except in the case of a high performance engine, the harmonics and flow characteristics of the air passageways and valve timings are not suited for those low RPM and cylinder filling will be less than optimal, efficiency drops. Motorcycles are also not as aerodynamic as most cars making it more difficult to slice through the air as efficiently.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I’ll say they could if they wanted to.”


        speed’s just a question of money, how fast can you go…? (aussie roadside mechanic accent)

    • TF says:

      When you consider that an 80’s vintage F1 engine produced almost one HP per cc, a 200 HP 1300cc engine seems pretty conservative. Of course, the F1 engines were using huge amounts of boost to achieve that so maybe not so different.

  19. Brinskee says:

    205 horsepower.


    Two hundred five horsepower.

    Let that sink in for a moment. It wasn’t very long ago that 205 horsepower IN A CAR was deemed high performance. What is going on here, people?

    I was out yesterday blasting around San Francisco and Brisbane on my 1198S, which makes 170 horsepower, and the whole, entire time I was thinking that there just wasn’t a single reasonable point in a bike having that much power, while simultaneously fighting to keep the front wheel on the ground, and I mean at 100+ it was still a 4th gear fight.

    205HP. Really?

    Fine. I want one too.

    • Aleks says:

      I’m with Brinskee. I doubt Ducati would release a bike that’s unrideable or unmanageable so the electronics should be up to the task. I highly doubt they’ll give it 205 hp but I hope they do. I’m just not that lucky.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I highly doubt they’ll give it 205 hp but I hope they do”

        no worries, it will NOT have 205 hp.

        as some have eluded, that’s not the “S’Quadro” but the older T-Evo based engine. both 90’s but 2 different design architectures.

  20. Stephen Parenteau says:

    For those who feel more is better, they will be happy.
    I’d prefer an 821 or 848 Multistrada.

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