Ducati Monster SP Review - Exclusive Fun

Published on 25 May, 2024, 6:12 AM IST
Updated on 25 May, 2024, 8:02 AM IST

Arun Mohan Nadar
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5 min read
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Ducati Monster SP

The Monster SP isn’t offering great value or it’s very practical, but it offers a fun riding experience.

Very few two-wheeler brands carry the aura that a Ducati badge does and it does with aplomb. While the Italian marquee has an envious history, it all was only possible owing to one motorcycle and that's the Monster. The Ducati Monster ensured that the cherished Ducati name didn’t vanish in the pages of history as it was the bike that salvaged Ducati from the jaws of bankruptcy. Currently under the ownership of Audi, Ducati is now in its most dominating phase ever and what we are riding today is the flagship monster, the Monster SP!

The Monster SP offers thrilling performance

Red Alert

If it’s a Monster the first thing we have to address is its heart and what a thrilling ride it offers. Exposed in all its glory is the L-Twin engine pushing out 110 bhp and 93 Nm. On paper, it doesn’t sound eyebrow raising and that was my initial impression of the bike as I rolled off the service centre onto the streets of Mumbai. I was riding the bike at a fair clip in Road mode and the Monster felt a bit too well-behaved. A clear patch of road was the excuse I was looking for to switch to Sport mode and boom, the Monster awakened and how! 

While on paper figures aren’t impressive, the Monster SP is beyond numbers.

The rear tyres were sliding in 3rd gear, the traction control system was frantically finding ways to calm the bike and I was screaming and laughing inside the helmet like a kid. Man this is what a Monster is supposed to do and does the new SP deliver on this front. The front wheel has the tendency to salute the tarmac at the drop of a hat and it just makes the riding experience so much wholesome. It isn’t as ferocious as the Streetfighter V4, the Monster SP is more playful and mischievous in that sense and that makes it so much more fun. You’re careful, but never scared of it. 

Low speed character of the Monster isn’t very impressive

While the Monster is fun, it isn't a pleasant ride especially when riding at low speeds. There is hardly any power at lower rpms, which means while riding in city traffic you have to be on the clutch to keep it rolling and avoid stalling. And the clutch action isn’t light by modern standards. Making matters worse during the heatwave was the blow of fiery hot air ready to toast your legs.

The Termignoni exhaust mufflers look hot but aren’t too loud.

The Termignoni exhaust on the SP variant looks cool, while the pops and crackles go so well with its cheerful personality. However, I would have preferred a louder exhaust note to do justice to the mechanical symphony from the L-Twin heart, but then again the exacting BS6 emission norms are to be blamed and not Ducati.

The Monster SP gets premium underpinnings compared to the standard bike

Mad Fun

By now you would have figured that the Monster SP is an exciting and characterful motorcycle on city roads and open stretches of tarmac. Gladly this same nature is carried forward when it encounters a set of curvy tarmac. The Monster devours corners with an appetite of a beast, you feel as if you're part of the motorcycle and the handling is just so precise. Agreed the Pirelli Diablo Rosso IVs aren’t the best tyres out there, but given the balance of the chassis, the handling is superb.

Direction changes are quick and it feels stable on high speed corners

Even direction changes are lightning quick and you sometimes feel as if the front end is floating, which it easily does with a handful of throttle and you’re glad that the SP variant comes fitted with a steering damper. You might be wondering that the ride quality would feel like a trip to the lunar surface but that isn’t the case, not even close. 

The Ohlins suspension offer adjustability and really good ride quality

The Monster SP gets top-shelf suspension kit from Ohlins and the ride quality is supple. Ok, it’s not as good as an ADV tourer, but for a bike of its segment and performance, the SP’s ride quality is really good. It’s able to suppress most of the undulations the streets of Mumbai had to offer and never once did I worry about its belly scraping on some of the Himalayan ranges like speed breakers.

Brembo Stylemas are the best in the business

And when it comes to shedding speeds, there aren’t any better brakes available for production bikes than the Brembo Stylemas. No matter how fast you’re going, you always know that you’re in control and all you need is two fingers to bring the Monster to a stop.

Monster SP

Premium Exclusivity 

There is no doubt in the fact that the Ducati Monster SP is among the most characterful and playful premium motorcycles on sale in India. Its shenanigans will keep you always excited, the handling dynamics will make you grin and the top-shelf components scream exclusivity. However, when you take a look at the price tag, your eyebrows will rise in the same manner the front wheel of the Monster SP keeps raising. At ₹ 15.95 lakh (ex-showroom), it’s the most expensive bike in its segment. Then you have the Triumph Street Triple RS, a bike that not only offers more performance and is also more affordable.

The Monster SP is a bike that doesn’t offer much value, but offers loads of fun

This is where you realise that a bike like the Monster SP isn’t devised by accountants and marketing executives, it’s a motorcycle made by Ducati engineers who wanted to have fun, wanted to express and keep motorcycles exciting. And when you defy logic, you have to defy practicality for exclusivity, for me that’s the essence of the Monster SP.  

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