Ducati Monster Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,310 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey,
I was just wondering why Ducati would continually make the monster s4/s4r with an outdated superbike engine? Not that the 996 is a bad engine, I agree that its awesome. But it's like they just take the current superbike engine, go back 3-4 years in technology, and stick it in the current high-end monster.
You would think that they would have just made a naked version of the newest 999, and called that the s4r. It could be like the ultimate economy superbike. You would pay full superbike price, except save a few bucks on the fairing, and get a cool look in the process!

I wonder if maybe they just have a bunch of old 996 engines lying around that they needed a use for. Considering that the s4r costs sooo much as it is, its hard to believe that they couldn't have sold a fairing free version of the current superbike for a similar price.

...just a thought
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
241 Posts
Its to use up the stuff they have laying arround. Thats why they had the 916 bwhen the 996 was out and now the 996 with the 998/999. The monster bargin bin bike. Its a good thing dont look as a negative.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,043 Posts
i'd rather they do it this way... probably keeps costs down a little bit. It would be cool if they offered a naked 999, and 749 though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,310 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I dont think it keeps costs down very much though...
The s4r costs a lot of money!
I think that it costs about what you would expect a scaled down 999 to cost, not a discounted leftover 996.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Well, it's still a few thousand less than a 999, and that's a lot of smack. I can think of a few reasons they use the 996 engine. Really, these are just my best swag at the topic.

1. To avoid direct competition in their own line. Lots of people would buy a Monster that had the same engine performance as a 999 if the Monster was cheaper, even though they want a 999 instead.

2. To make the Monster unique. This one's a stretch, but it does have some merit. Probably a better take on this one is that it keeps the "flagship" model (999) unique and seem like it's the company's cutting edge technology.

3. It's cheaper to build. This one makes lots of sense. If you have a few of them lying around then they're essentially free to stuff in a frame. Voila, instant profit margin.

4. It's a percieved upgrade to the S4. Ahhh, evolution at work.
I would be hard pressed to sight the styling of the S4R as an evolutionary upgrade though. Personal opinion......

5. The Monster is their biggest money maker; has been for about a decade. They don't want to price themselves out of the market with the supposedly more expensive engine. Also, you have to make the price and spec just good enough for someone to take the leap over the 900/1000 Monster. Reason #1 also goes along with this one.
 
R

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Too bad they did not use some of those 996 frames and give the S4R an under seat pipe.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,800 Posts
From what I know about motorcycle manufacturing, and manufacturing in general, it's very unlikely that Ducati has any 996 engines 'laying around'.

What I think they're doing is:

A) Making back some of the the money they spent on tooling up for the 996 motor in the first place. Said tooling is horrendously expensive, and the beancounters really like to see it make as much profit as possible. Keep in mind they've got to pay for that tooling long, long before they ever sell the first bike.

B) Using the same mill as the ST4s, that helps keep the cost of of both bikes down a bit.

As far as 'just take the fairing off of a superbike and sell it as a naked" goes, next time you're down at the Duc shop (there's that Duc word again ;D), take a look at any of the SBK's with the skin off. Makes our plumbing-infested S4's and S4R's look like Julia Roberts. It's no small thing finding places to hide all those parts...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,305 Posts
I was wondering this, too...because I notice a LOT of empty holes in my S4R engine where it looks like something was supposed to bolt on to. If they rerun the 996 line, then why all the extra holes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,800 Posts
Cuts down on spare parts inventory, as all stuff is interchangeable. Completely eliminates the documentation cost of new part numbers for minor differences. No need to change any machining tooling or programming.

Gives you someplace to bolt on that chin fairing. ;D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,931 Posts
I was wondering this, too...because I notice a LOT of empty holes in my S4R engine where it looks like something was supposed to bolt on to. If they rerun the 996 line, then why all the extra holes?
The two-valve Monster engine also has a number of threaded holes that aren't used. Some of those are used during the manufacturing process to hold the engine before it goes into a frame. Also, if you look closely at the engines used across the whole Ducati lineup, there are only a few basic engines. For example, the bottom half of my water cooled 944cc ST2 engine looks identical to the 904cc air cooled M900 engine.
 
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
My guess would be they are not trying to recoup tooling NRE as there is without a doubt significant tooling NRE for the 999 engine that also needs to be address.

I think the answer lies in the marketing/strategy realm of their business. Continuing to build the 996 engines adds all sorts of other cost to their supply chain; probably not something that would be done to make their business more cost effective. Just my guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Putting the 999 motor in any "lesser" bike at this point in time would take the shine off the apple a bit. Don't you think? That is most likely the number one reason the 996 motor remains in these other bikes.

Also, a 999 motor tuned for midrange torque in a naked chassis just might make the 999 superbike performance look a bit less super to all but the most hardcore trackday enthusiast and real racers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,310 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Everything you guys say is true...

I just feel bad for the people (not me!!!) who actually have 15 thousand dollars, and have to choose between the monster for style, or the superbike for performance.

I recently did the same thing between a 916 and my current m900 (both worth around 6k). It would be cool if I could have had the best of both worlds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
829 Posts
It is an old Italian tradition. Alfa Romeo built some of their most outstanding cars around this concept. Look around the parts bin, find enough to build a few extra Grand Prix engines, build cars around them and sell them. They were called the 2900 series. Nicknamed the "Immortals", this handful of cars were probably the best automobiles ever made.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top