Review: 2013 Ducati Monster 1100
Cast your eyes upon the motorcycle on this page. Is this not one of the most gorgeous two-wheelers on the planet? I’ve always had affection for Ducati Monsters, and this Valentino Rossi commemorative edition is as exotically Italian as Monica Bellucci.
Rossi, a seven-time world champion, signed with the Ducati Moto GP team after winning championships with Aprilia, Honda and Yamaha. It seemed like a match made in heaven — an Italian superhero competing against the world’s best aboard an Italian motorcycle.
Ducati was so thrilled with the arrangement that it built this special-edition Monster. Rossi was so thrilled that, after two lacklustre seasons with the hometown crew, he went back to Yamaha.
Ducatis aren’t mainstream motorcycles. They’re brimming with Italian personality — high-strung, perhaps a little on edge. But the engineering is first rate and Ducatis have an intangible “feel” that other mass-produced motorcycles just can’t match.
You want refined? Look elsewhere. The Monster’s 1,078 cc, air-cooled, two-valve engine is a three-ring circus of valve clatter, vibration and general macchina musica. It’s the most powerful air-cooled Ducati ever, with 100 horsepower and 76 lb.-ft. of torque. At low revs, it bucks, snorts and lurches like a top fuel dragster on Mexican gasoline. Hit 2,500 r.p.m. and it smoothes out (relatively speaking) and flexes its substantial muscles.
The stiff hydraulic clutch has a narrow engagement point; combine that with the temperamental engine and the Termignoni pipes that rattle windows at 100 paces, and it’s impossible to depart a stop sign or traffic light unobtrusively. It’s necessary to employ full throttle launches that draw the attention of the policia and the ire of the general populace.
Antisocial? Yes, but oh-so-much fun.
Contrary to current philosophy from the Far East, the M1100 features a trellis steel frame that looks spindly but isn’t. It’s incredibly strong and ties everything together in a tight, rigid package. The design and craftsmanship of the frame alone is almost worth the price.
The instrument panel is an LCD type, with a sweeping tachometer, a digital speedo and the usual info with volts, lap timer, trip meter, clock and total kilometers.
Upon starting, the dash resets itself to show total kilometres. If it’s on the trip meter when I shut it off, chances are I want the trip meter when I start again. The LCD icons look a bit cheesy and thin, and the entire cluster is mounted so low that you must take your eyes off the road ahead to read the dash.
And the speedometer is wildly optimistic, even for the Italians. A GPS-certified 100 km/h was indicating 113 on the Ducati.
But none of that matters when you’re booming through your favourite twisties, the Monster reacting almost telepathically to the inputs you’re giving the controls. The steering is light, sharp and precise and the suspension keeps both wheels firmly in contact with terra firma.
Ducatis are built for riders and the riding position is quite good. The bars are reasonably wide with a comfortable rise for good leverage around town. The pegs are nicely positioned and the seat is better than most hyper-sport bikes. It’s not something I’d want to ride to the East Coast but I did a few day trips and it was quite bearable.
With the way the bike rides and handles, it’s a shame that the fuel tank holds a paltry 13.5 litres. On one tank of very easy riding, the low fuel light came on at 146 km and the Monster swallowed almost 10 litres of 95-octane go-juice, for an abysmal 6.8 L/100 km. Hard riding will have the fuel light mocking you at just over 100 km.
Rossi’s nickname is Il Dottore or The Doctor (a European form of respect) and the commemorative Monster is festooned with Rossi’s No. 46 and “The Doctor” emblems in prominent places. But all the Rossi stuff is like putting lipstick and rouge on Cindy Crawford. Sure makes it pretty, but there’s a fairly decent platform to start with.
The Monster M1100 Evo is what’s known as a “character” motorcycle. It’s expensive, demanding and not for everyone, but for those who can put up with it, “que bella macchina.”
PRICE: Rossi Replica sold out, 2013 model, $14,245
ENGINE: 1,078 cc, V-twin, air-cooled, two valve, EFI, six-speed
POWER/TOURQUE: 100 hp, 76 lb.-ft.
FUEL CONSUMPTION L/100 km: 6.8 to 8.0
COMPETITION: MV Brutale, Triumph Speed Triple, Yamaha FZ1
WHAT’S BEST: Stunning looks, sensuous exhaust note, exclusivity.
WHAT’S WORST: Vibration, fussy clutch, poor fuel range.
WHAT’S INTERESTING: Most powerful air-cooled Ducati.
Used All Used Vehicles
Become a member
Register now to access all features including:
- Save and ask friends to review vehicles
- Exclusive rebates & offers from local dealers
- Premium content, reviews and tools
All for free!
Already a member?
Registration 2 of 2
Welcome to Wheels!
As a final step we've sent a confirmation to your email address as a security measure. Please click the link in the email to complete your registration.
Terms of services
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, TORONTO STAR IS PROVIDING THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES ON AN "AS IS" AND â€œAS AVAILABLEâ€ BASIS AND MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IN ANY CONNECTION WITH THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEB SITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. TORONTO STAR DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THEIR CONTENTS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL TORONTO STAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF INCOME OR PROFIT, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES), EVEN IF TORONTO STAR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEBSITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. IN NO EVENT SHALL TORONTO STARâ€™S TOTAL LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE.X