Last year Ducati celebrated 25 years of the Monster. Since its release, the iconic naked bike has gone on to become the Italian’s top-selling motorcycle of all time. If you’re looking to buy a Monster there’s a long list of iterations to choose from. From the entry-level 400cc, all the way up to the brazen 160bhp Monster 1200 R. In 2003 Ducati released the Monster S4R. Powered by a 128hp 999 engine it reinvigorated the then decade-old Monster lineup. For Italian automotive designer Paolo Tesio (aka Tex Design), the S4R offered everything he wanted in a muscle bike, but he had other ideas regarding its styling. So back in 2012, he hatched a plan to reimagine the Monster by developing this bespoke body kit.
“I made my M-S4R for personal entertainment. It was designed to be manufacturable with semi handcrafted methods that would allow a small series production.” says Paolo. “Conceived and designed for the Ducati Monster S4R, S2R, and S, the body kit can be easily installed on all first series models of the Monster (’01 – ’07).”
Like when Ducati released the Monster S4R Paolo’s goal was to reinvigorate the bike. The Monster still offered exceptional performance so his work focused primarily on modernizing the bike’s appearance. Using skills developed during his years working as an automotive designer Paolo laid out a design using 3D software. His design focused on tightening down the bike’s proportions and giving it an aggressive appearance worthy of its namesake.
Once the 3D models were complete Paolo collaborated with CNC experts Marino to machine bucks of the individual pieces. These were then utilized to create molds for the final fiberglass laminated components. When purchased as a complete package it features around a dozen components. The kit is designed to work with the standard Monster fuel tank but pretty much everything else gets replaced. Fitting the body kit to the Monster chassis also required the development of bespoke mounting hardware which Paolo has also created. These include a custom rear subframe and brackets for fitting the fork covers and for relocating the stock instrument cluster.
When building his own M-S4R Paolo made several other design choices to get his bike looking exactly how he wanted. To free up the tail section the factory twin side pipes have been replaced by an underslung QD EX Box exhaust. The Euro 3 compliant system increases performance as well as lowering the bike’s centre of gravity. Most importantly though it helps to tighten the Monster’s proportions by visually pulling the engine and rear wheel together. To keep the Monster looking svelte the stock indicators have been replaced by slimline LED units and there’s an LED brake light recessed into the tail. Meanwhile, up front the standard Monster S4R headlight is gone, in its place is an MH900 unit and the stock handlebars replaced with clip-ons. To drop as much weight as possible Paolo’s also installed a plethora of carbon fibre covers and machined performance parts to his Monsters engine.
The Tex Design Monster S4R kit, which is available online, is purchased as individual components that can be arranged to create a number of different layouts. This adds flexibility and personalization to an already unique design. Paolo has broken the options into 3 categories of Streetfighter, Road Rage, and Sting Racer. The Streetfighter is our pick of the 3 as it celebrates what we love most about the Monster, its naked styling. The streetfighter configuration adds fork covers a headlight shroud and the option to run either a belly pan or engine fairing. The Road Rage and Sting Racer options add a front cowl designed for either the street or race track and remove the ability to run the fork covers.
As with any body kit that makes such a dramatic styling change, there are several adjustments and sacrifices that need to be made to install it. However, these changes also allow for a wide range of custom options to make each M-S4R project truly unique. The most important decision you’ll be left with at the end is whether to paint your custom Monster in classic Ducati red or to go with something more individual – we’d recommend the latter.