This true masterpiece of technology and styling cannot fail to take your breath away. Its superbly-balanced lines exquisitely engineer the magnificent "Testastretta" powerplant into a state-of-the-art Trellis frame. The character of this top of the range Monster represents the true hallmark of all Ducati Monsters.
The headlamp fairing, the dual, vertically stacked silencers and the racing stripe that characterises all the naked bikes in the `single-sided swingarm' family, is now enhanced by several pure racing features that underline its thoroughbred looks.
The S4R S is characterised by a Ducati Trellis frame and black swingarm, a front end derived from the 999, and by the Y-spoke wheels. There are many more details taken directly from the Ducati race division that would normally go unnoticed on a faired bike, but are exposed for all to see on this Monster street fighter. Such as the triangular oil cooler and numerous carbon fibre parts, including the silencer cover, front mudguard, cam belt covers, exhaust system heat shield, radiator covers and the side panels. As proof of the painstaking attention to the tiniest details, even the cooling circuit ducts are now forged in aluminium rather than moulded in rubber.
Two attention-grabbing vertically stacked silencers in aluminium, complete the overall super-aggressive but beautifully styled statement of performance and technology.
The same attention to detail was dedicated to the cockpit which is equipped with the same instruments as the S2R but with dedicated model graphics. Additional details are a little easier to miss, like the fuel tank which, while apparently identical to that on the earlier versions, has actually been given a new base which incorporates a revolutionary new fuel pump.
Three different colour schemes for the tank and headlamp fairing are Ducati red, black, and an all-new pearl-white. All schemes are distinguished by the racing stripe (white for the red tank, red for the pearl white, and grey for the black) that slashes the machine from fore to aft and is located in a more central position and wider than that of the previous SR machines.
The end result of the S4R S Testastretta is nothing short of stunning, and that's before you even have a chance to experience its astonishing performance.
One of the most beautifully engineered components on the most powerful of all Monsters is the super high strength steel tube Trellis frame. Stiffened still further on this model the frame is combined with the same single-sided aluminium swingarm that is found on all versions of the SR family.
The main differences are to be found with the suspension and brakes. The front end is equipped with parts taken from the prestigious, high performance 999, starting from the hlins 43mm upside-down forks, with low friction TiN treatment to reduce sliding resistance, which are fully adjustable for preload and damping.
Two 320mm discs and radially mounted calipers represent the top of the range front brake solution fed from radial master cylinders mounted on variable section aluminium handlebars. An hlins rear shock, fully adjustable in compression, rebound, and preload and Y-spoked wheels with exceptional rigidity and low weight complete the chassis set-up.
The previous S4R model was billed as a machine at the top of its class in terms of performance, with its daunting 117hp, but the S4R S Testastretta raises the bar much further by producing a massive 130hp. This engine needs no introduction, it has won fame and respect on the circuits of the World Superbike Championship and in so doing represents the maximum technological expression of Ducati genius: a twin-cylinder engine able to beat the power of its massive rival four-cylinder competition.
For the S4R S the engine was given a dedicated oil cooler designed to offer optimum performance on a naked machine. Further details designed specifically for the powerful Monster can be found in the airbox and throttle bodies with IWP 189 injectors. The exhaust system with catalytic converter brings emission levels to within Euro 3 regulations, a pretty impressive feat for a 130hp.
The `Testastretta' represents a milestone in the Ducati story, its name translated literally meaning `narrow head', and derives from the specific layout of the timing gear, which is characterised by a narrow valve angle enabling a much more compact cylinder head. The result is a clean combustion chamber for maximum combustion and compression efficiency. The flat crown pistons are perfect to ensure a smooth and linear flame front and the specific architecture of the heads, combined with a highly evolved electronic engine management system, guarantees optimal combustion at all speeds for smooth and effective power.