Another big contributor to the 1100's superior handling is surely the Bridgestone BT016 rubber fitted as standard. Nearly every bike we've tried these tires on has responded favorably, and the Monster is no exception. Steering is quick and precise while remaining delightfully neutral, bump absorption at all lean angles is superb, and overall grip is excellent. Even wear rates after extended canyon flogs seemed reasonable, considering the tire's traction.
Radial-mount/four-piston Brembo calipers clamping down on 320mm discs are actuated by a new radial-pump master cylinder, which Ducati claims offers 17 percent more power using the same brake setup and equivalent lever pressure to the 696. Our subjective impressions back that claim, with the brakes also offering much improved performance over the old S2R setup.
Slowing all this performance is ably handled by the radial-mount/four-piston Brembo calipers actuated by a radial-pump master cylinder. We weren't too enthused with the S2R's brakes, but the 1100's are a completely different proposition. Power, feel, and progressiveness are worlds better with the new setup, although we did notice a slight tailing off in braking power when the brakes are really used hard; nothing terrible, mind you, but noticeable nonetheless. Interestingly, the rear brake seems fairly useless in all but the slowest riding situations, with no real power or feel to speak of.
A Better Monster?
As the large-displacement Monsters began to let their engines get ahead of chassis development with ensuing model years since the original, we were afraid that Ducati was perhaps getting a little carried away with the integration of its models' chassis componentry. With the new Monster 1100, that issue in the bloodline has been stopped. The new bigger Monster has the right balance of engine power and handling to offer up the type of performance that can satisfy a wide range of riding skills and usage scenarios. And wasn't that what it was meant to do originally?
Ducati Monster 1100
+ Stronger, smoother engine
+ Better chassis, brakes
+ More steering lock
- Tall first gear
- Small fuel tank
- Tight bar/fuel tank clearance at full lock
x A much better, stronger, more balanced Monster
SUGGESTED SUSPENSION SETTINGSFRONT Spring preload: 9 turns out from full stiff; rebound damping: 1.5 turns out from full stiff; compression damping: 1.0 turns out from full stiff.
REAR Spring preload: 25mm of thread showing on shock body; rebound damping: 8 clicks out from full stiff.
'09 Ducati Monster 1100
Type: Air-cooled, 4-stroke, L-twin
Valve arrangement: SOHC, two valves/cyl., desmodromic actuation
Bore x stroke: 98.0 x 71.5mm
Compression ratio: 10.7:1
Induction: Siemens EFI, 45mm throttle bodies, single injector/cyl.
Front suspension: Showa 43mm inverted cartridge fork, 5.1 in. travel; adjustments for spring preload, rebound and compression damping
Rear suspension: Sachs single shock, 5.8 in. travel; adjustments for spring preload, rebound damping
Front brake: Two, radial-mount/four-piston Brembo calipers, 320mm discs
Rear brake: Two-piston caliper, 245mm disc
Front wheel: 3.50 x 17 in., cast aluminum
Rear wheel: 5.50 x 17 in., cast aluminum
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Bridgestone BT016
Rear tire: 180/55ZR-17 Bridgestone BT016
Rake/trail: 24 deg./3.4 in. (87mm)
Wheelbase: 57.1 in. (1450mm)
Seat height: 31.9 in. (810mm)
Fuel capacity: 3.8 gal. (15L)
Weight: 412 lb. wet; 389.2 dry
Instruments: Digitek digital LCD dash with bar graph tachometer, digital readouts for speedometer, multi-function readout for clock, odometer/tripmeter, oil temperature, battery charge level, lap time; warning lights for neutral, high beam, low oil pressure, turn signal
Quarter-mile: 11.46 sec. @ 114.05 mph (corrected)Top speed: NARoll-ons: 60-80 mph/3.33 sec.; 80-100 mph/3.96 sec.Fuel consumption: 35 to 39 mpg, 38 mpg average