It’s easy to fall for the handsome and charismatic Monster 1200S even before riding it. The TFT instrument panel is as comprehensive as it’s colourful; the Liquid Concrete Grey paintwork looks thick enough to bury a gang of Mafia victims. Neat details include a ski-boot style catch securing the front of the petrol tank, mimicking that of the original M900. The desmo V-twin rumbles and rustles despite being sanitised for Euro 4 emissions regs.
The Monster 1200S’s updates have dragged its price above £14,000, so it’s hardly cheap. (The basic 1200, with less exotic suspension and brakes, and no quick-shifter, costs £11,495.) But for naked fun with reasonable practicality, it’s difficult to beat. The Ducati pulls your arms off when you open the throttle and handles and stops like a thoroughbred fairing-less sports bike. Yet it’s docile and rider-friendly in town; a Bologna-built blend of beauty and the Beast that sums up why the Monster has been so popular for all these years.
Price tag of our bike: £14,495 with grey paint (Monster 1200S in red is £14,295)