2007 Ducati Monster S2R 800
Almost perfect but...By (I am an Owner) on Feb 03, 2009
The S2R800 is so light and liveley that it lulls you into a false sense of security, then snatches it back just as you become to feel at home with it. It has you exploring those little side roads that you wouldn't bother going down with a bigger, heavier bike, then without warning as you attempt ... a 'u'-turn in the lane it has you looking inept and incompetant as the poor steering lock makes such a simple manouver almost impossible. I have got very used to modern bikes being more capable than my abilities but, I am afraid the S2R is very lacking when pushed hard. It squirms uncontrollably and almost loses it completely when being nailed on long, edge of tyre, sweeping high-speed bends, bends that my previous bikes R1100SS, SP1, TL1000r and GSXR750 would laugh at. Then perhaps I am asking too much of what is in effect a 'budget' bike with sporting pretentions. However, I don't think that throwing money on Ohlins and the like would improve the issue, it is a frame re-think that is needed here. My final issue is not major but so irritating, it is with the handlebars which are just a little too straight for my liking and over long journeys become a bit of a pain, all it needs is a slight bend back and all would be fine. Renthal and the like do not seem to offer an alternative so you will have to live with it. My advice is to ride one first and make your own mind up.
Now the good news, the S2R800 is supremely light and flickable with a super-light clutch and lovely growl from the old L twin. I have the factory cans, ECU and airbox setup, well worth the near exorbitant cost if you intend to keep the bike for a few years. The sound, while not is the same ball-park as my old SP1 with full Achropovics is nevertheless heaven. low speed manouvering in traffic is a boon with the S2R800 provided you don't make a wrong turn and have to face the inevitable 'u'-turn. Insurance is cheap and fuel consumption is good even when ridden hard. I have not had the bike long enough to comment of reliability but I have had no issues in almost two years.
I would buy another S2R800 but only if I could change the 'bars and get more lock then I could use it as a second, more useable every-day bike.