November 16, 2005 Ducati used the opening of the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan yesterday to show two new motorcycles – one you can buy and a concept that Ducati is considering for production. The bike you can buy (as a 2007 model in 2006) is the new king of the naked bike class, the MONSTER S4RS TESTASTRETTA, a minimalist machine powered by the legendary Testastretta engine which has won several World Superbike championships and puts 130 brake horsepower on the tarmac (150 bhp with an optional exhaust). Equally as delectable and appealing as the S4RS was the Hypermotard concept machine – an extension of the supermotard class of machines using an air-cooled 1000 Dual Spark engine and weighing in at just 175 kilograms.
The Hypermotard is an interesting concept, taking advantage of the compactness and agility of a traditional supermotard, but upping the ante with potent street power thanks to the new air-cooled twin engine. The front of the bike is as slim and compact as a single cylinder, in part thanks to the engine layout, but also due to the absence of weighty cooling radiators.
Pared down to its essentials, the Ducati Hypermotard is an extreme performance, over-the-top motorcycle. Its purpose is single minded. Incredibly slim, compact and exceptionally light, this bike offers what no Supermotard can: speeds exceeding 220KPH on the race track, fuel injection and 100 horsepower tipping the scales at 175 kg dry.
A rigidly triangulated tubing Trellis frame and track tested chassis geometry is matched with state-of-the-art suspension. Start off with the road-holding of huge 50mm Marzocchi R.A.C. forks, gripped by a triple screw lower fork crown, then add an Ohlins remote reservoir shock that mounts to a stout single-sided swingarm. Ultra light forged and machined Marchesini racing wheels are paired with a single radial mounted Brembo four piston, four pad calliper gripping a 320mm disc up front and a 240mm disc at the rear.
The 1000 Dual Spark engine power delivery is smooth and linear, which augers well for the roads it seeks, which are neither. A Slipper type racing clutch makes aggressive downshifting and heavy braking more exciting and by damping the abrupt engagement of lower gears while entering a turn. Magnesium engine covers subtract more weight for a feathery feel and athletic manoeuvres.
Ducati S4RS Monster
Ducati has always believed in the “naked” bike formula, launching the bike that began the current trend in 1993 and since then continually enlarging, refining and improving the Monster breed.
In 2004 the arrival of the high-powered gritty S4R represented a major milestone in the history of Ducati bikes, while 2005 saw the launch of the S2R: more docile and with a less daunting powerplant, maintaining the hallmark appearance of the super bad S4R but appealing to those who don't insist on extreme performance. Offered in 800 cc and 1000 cc versions, with two valve Desmo and air cooling, the SR2 immediately won favour on the international market, as proven once again by the massive number of sales.
Inevitably the S4R was billed as a machine at the top of its class in terms of performance, with its daunting 117 HP, but the S4RS takes things much further.
After having transferred the Desmoquattro engine of the 996 onto a naked machine, the Italian company set about making the most difficult and daring transplant, leading to the installation of a twin cylinder Testastretta series powerplant in the classic Monster trellis frame.
Alongside the classic Monster machines, which have achieved record sales and long occupied the position of the most envied, the most admired, and - of course - the most widely imitated bikes, for 2006 Ducati is extending its range still further, focusing on the SR series, better known to the biking community as the “single-sided swingarm” family, distinguished by an aggressive, captivating and exclusive appearance.
For the new season Ducati is offering an all out machine, an authentic superbike with the fairings removed, while maintaining the unparallel power and grunt of the desmodromic "testastretta" powerplant.
This new gem comes with a brand new nametag: the Monster S4RS is destined to become the new benchmark in this segment.
The appearance is that of a breathtaking special machine, hither to only present in the realm of fantasy: the Monster S4RS Testastretta is now an alluring reality that breathes sheer force of personality in every tiny detail. The headlight shell, the dual vertically stacked silencers and the classic racing stripe (in this case wider and in a central rather than lateral position) that characterises all the naked bikes in the "single-sided swingarm" family, is now enhanced by several pure racing features that can hardly be missed and that serve to exalt the raw thoroughbred looks of this fantastic machine.
The S4RS is characterised by a red frame and black-painted swingarm, by the evolved front end, derived from the 999 series, and also by the Y spoke wheels that underscore the concept of the quintessential stripped Superbike. There are many more details taken directly from the Ducati race division that may go unnoticed on a bike with fairings while they're right in the spotlight on this Monster street fighter.
Consider, for example, the triangular oil cooler and the large number of carbon fibre parts, including the silencers cover, the front mudguard, the timing belt covers and the exhaust pipe heat shield. There are also numerous apparently secondary components, such as the cooling circuit ducts, now forged in aluminium rather than moulded in rubber, bearing witness to the rigour of the design project and the painstaking attention to the tiniest detail.
Two attention-grabbing vertically stacked silencers, manufactured by Termignoni in aluminium fibre, complete the overall super-aggressive and beautiful styling, with a hard-hitting statement of performance, technology, and exclusiveness.
And the same attention was dedicated to the cockpit, equipped with the same instruments as the S2R but with dedicated graphics for this version. Finally, there's one highly original solution that may be missed at a glance: the tank, while apparently identical to that on the earlier versions, has been given a new base, which incorporates a new fuel pump.
There are also brand new colours, coordinating the stark black of the frame with three colour schemes for the tank and headlight shell: red, black, and an all-new pearl white. All the bikes 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, located in a more central position and wider than that of the previous SR machines. The end result of the S4RS Testastretta is nothing short of a dream ticket that satisfies the eyes and feel of even a casual observer even before they get a chance to get to grips with the astonishing performance.
The heart of the most sports oriented and most powerful of all Monster machines is the super high strength steel tube trellis frame, which has been stiffened still further on this bike with a series of solutions that leave the dimensions unchanged. The frame is combined with the same single-sided aluminium swingarm found on all versions of the SR family. The main differences are to be found in the areas of suspension and brakes, which incorporate elements from even more exclusive series than those on the Monster S4R, which was the top of the range up to the end of 2005.
The front end is equipped, almost exclusively, with all the parts of the most prestigious and high performance 999 machines, starting from the Ohlins 43 mm upside-down fork with low friction TiN treatment to reduce sliding resistance and provided with all imaginable adjustment facilities for preload and damping. Also the two 320 millimetre discs represent the top of the production range, but in this case there are a few differences with respect to the axioms of the Superbike world, as can be found in the reservoir and master cylinder mounted on the variable section aluminium handlebar – specially designed for this version; the front brake callipers and handlebar-mounted master cylinders are of the radial type. The Ohlins trademark can also be found on the rear shock, which in this case hails from the most professional series and comes with a host of adjustment facilities for compression, rebound, and preload. The similarities with the chassis of the 999 family don't stop here but continue with the adoption of the Y spoke wheels which, apart from their undeniable aesthetic appeal, bring exceptional qualities of rigidity and low weight.
Equipped with an automatic choke, for this project the engine on the S4RS was given a dedicated oil cooler designed to offer optimum performance on a naked machine. Further details designed specifically for a more powerful and more exclusive Monster can be found in the airbox and the throttle body with IWP 189 injectors, not to mention the exhaust system with catalytic converter, which helps to bring the emission levels to within the limits imposed by Euro3 regulations, which is a pretty impressive feat for a 130 HP naked bike that is tagged to become a benchmark in its class from all standpoints.
The Testastretta – a milestone in the Ducati story.
The name of this engine (literally "narrow head") derives from the specific layout of the timing gear, which results in a reduced angle between the valves in the cylinder heads. The result is a compact and clean combustion chamber for the maximum combustion and compression efficiency: the flat crown pistons are perfect to ensure a smooth and linear flame front. 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 in all conditions.
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning