Sicily and the road to Mt. Etna, the famed active volcano, was the location for the launch of the 2011 Ducati Monster 1100.
Ducati and Mercedes AMG have a strategic partnership to such a degree that they are now even launching their vehicles in the same location.
I'm only doing some testing on the 2012 Ducati Monster 1100, of course, so here's some first impressions.
Compared to the last generation Monster 1100, which was the original evolution, the 2012 (early release) sports five more horsepower, making it a rounded 100 horsepower.
It's also the first time we see full traction control on an air-cooled Ducati motorcycle. The new traction control has been adapted to the simpler nature of a Monster and you get four levels rather than eight.
I tested with the setting on level 2 in the morning when it was a bit damp after some rain that fell during the night and at level 1 and off during the rest of the day.
The Ducati Safety Pack that consists of mentioned traction control and ABS brakes will be unique to this Monster as Ducati feel there's no need for traction control on either the 696 nor the 796.
This and the new exhaust system now distinguishes the Ducati Monster 1100 much more from its smaller siblings than before. There are other updates as well which I'll deal with in the full review.
On the way up and down from the Etna base camp I had some serious fun on the new Monster 1100 EVO and full throttle corner exits on great lean was the norm.
There's not a hell of a lot that can go wrong on the Ducati Monster 1100 EVO in terms of rider error apart from overcooking corner entries really. So the safety pack works despite one Italian journalist binning it on the way up due to one of the aforementioned rider errors. The riding position is slightly less extreme but still sporty.
The Ducati Monster 1100 EVO is a sportbike and much more so than the 696 and 796. The ABS brakes really are good and they only have to stop 169 kilo's. All in all a very worthy evolution of the 1100 model.