Would you pay $70,000 for a really light Monster?

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On paper, it’s nearly impossible to convey the feeling something handmade to a pedantic degree of perfection has over something mass manufactured. My one-off, MotoGP-spec Icon one-piece is a great example. Its freedom of movement, weight (11lbs!!) and fit are just fucking perfect and every second in it is sheer pleasure. But, look at it on paper and it’s hard to justify over a nice off-the-rack suit of the kind that’s available anywhere for around a grand. The thousands of dollars difference is based on the subjective. Same goes for these news NCRs. They’re based around a Ducati Monster 1100 Evo motor, but cost up to $69,900. I bet they’re worth every penny, if you want the pinnacle of air-cooled twin performance that is.

There’s two models here: the basic NCR M4 retails for $49,900 and comes with a lightly massaged 1100 Evo motor kicking out 107bhp and 84lb/ft. Its party trick is weight: just 130kg/286lbs (with oil and battery. That’s down from 169kg/373lbs (dry) on the regular Monster.

Want something even specialer? The $69,900 NCR M4 One Shot ups capacity to around 1,200cc, power to 132bhp and torque to 105lb/ft (for perspective, a water-cooled 1198 has 97lb/ft) and weight drops to a positively ridiculous 126kg/278lbs. If you’re a bike nerd like me, you heart palpitates at numbers like that. My palms are sweaty.

NCR gets that much power out of a Monster motor through a billet stroker crank, titanium connect-ing rods, titanium hardware throughout and NCR-EVR slipper clutch.

How about that weight? A titanium frame and subframe along with carbon fiber tank,wheels, instrument cluster, airbox, oil cooler housing and fenders are to thank. Other upgrades include a central electronic package allows for quick disconnects by way of top grade military connectors along with access to many features by way of an USB computer inter-face and software. There’s also the usual exotic parts like billet triple clamps, fork bottoms, rearsets along with Brembo radial controls and calipers and Ohlins suspension front and back.

The bikes also use an neatly modular fairing, enabling the front headlight/instrument cluster to be changed to a mini, half or full fairing with the simple swap of two bolts and a connector. The same can be done with the tail section. The stock titanium rear subframe assembly can be swapped for a full carbon fiber street tail or carbon race tail with 5 bolts and a connector. The goal was to be able to swap from street trim to track trim in less than five minutes.

“After riding one, it’s difficult to enjoy a motorcycle that weighs 100 to 150lbs more, regardless of its horsepower,” says NCR COO and designer Joe Ippoliti.

Availability will initially be in North America before spreading to Europe and other markets in the near future.


  • Myles

    In a heartbeat, it would make most bikes feel like you’re always riding two-up.

    On that note, the first ride after a long day of two up riding is fucking amazing. I feel like Ben Spies, the bike is so much more manageable.

  • bluemilew


  • Groomez

    specialer? wait, nevermind – went to urban dictionary. NCR makes me nut my pants


    I would buy a used light airplane with that money. Why did you hyphenate “inter-face”?

    • another Nik

      You could buy 3 used light airplanes with that money…

  • Anthony Parker

    Looking at that Monster makes me feel kinda funny…..”like when we used to climb the rope in gym class!” NCR bikes are amazing….and I want one!

  • Penguin

    Carbon tank, wouldn’t want to use that too much on the road. Liking the titanium frame though but would it be too stiff and inflexible for a decent chassis?

    • Sean Smith

      Titanium isn’t that stiff.

    • http://overshadowed.com/ overunder

      Actually isn’t titanium is a softer metal? I found ti bicycle frames to be too flexible for my taste.

    • http://respectthetrade.tumblr.com/ KR Tong

      Titanium tubing compared to aluminum tubing: Half the weight, twice the strength, and six times less rigidity. To make titanium as stiff as aluminum, you’d need to make it heavier than Aluminum, but it would be bombproof.

      Titanium also has another problem, like steel, where it’ll soften up even more after use. There’s a limit on how much fatigue will occur, and the tubes themselves won’t break, but you want to keep an eye on welds for cracking.

      Modern tubing is something else tho. http://www.litespeed.com/bike.asp?content=Archon-Ti

      • Edward

        I´m under the impression steel work hardens, not softens. Are you talking about plastic deformation that would occur from bending or a large imapact? Oe do you mean that just from torsional forces Steel and Titanium loose rigidity over time?

        • http://respectthetrade.tumblr.com/ KR Tong

          My experience comes from riding bike frames. Old used Ti and Steel frames become very soft in terms of their ride quality.

      • rohorn

        Where did you pull your Ti info out of? Try the “matweb.com” site – it’ll help if you know what you are looking for/at.

        Here are some numbers for 4130n steel, 6061-T6 aluminum, and 6AL-4V titanium, all common alloys:

        Density, lb/ci: .284/.0975/.160
        Ultimate Tensile, PSI: 106,000/45,000/143,000
        Yield Tensile, PSI: 66,700/40,000/128,000
        Modulus of Elasticity, KSI: 29,700/10,000/15,200-17,400

        Looking at the Elasticity numbers, Ti is about 1.5 times STIFFER than aluminum and about half the stiffness of steel. Ti is twice, not half, the weight of aluminum. Compare the strength numbers…

        Yes, Ti work softens – but only at very elevated temperatures – this is a major concern for riders pedalling around, say, the planet Mercury.


        Oh yes – if you want really bad info about materials and design, hang around bicyclists – the overwelming majority of them are conceited retards. You can make a bicycle frame than weighs the same and rides the same out of ANY metal – the differences are entirely in the section and wall thicknesses. I don’t normally admit it, but I ride about 10 times more miles on the bicycle frame I built than miles I ride on my motorcycle (soon to include one with the frame I made).

        • Penguin

          This is why I do love HFL so – every day is a school day.


        • http://respectthetrade.tumblr.com/ KR Tong

          I like how you take the time to call me a conceited retard, post the physical properties of metals and then explain why they don’t matter, because it all comes down to the tubing.

          In other words: I’m right, and you just picked a stupid argument.

          And I apologize if my layman’s speak threw you with regards to titanium softening. I’m talking about fatigue limits of the material. In other words: A load bearing beam of steer or titanium will require less force to bend over time until its fatigue limit is reached. This is an issue in how the steel and titanium was cooled and modern tubing doesnt have quite the same problems.

        • jonoabq


        • Thom

          @ Rohorn-Couldn’t agree more and I’m a bicyclist as well as calling one of the top US framebuilders a friend .

          Ti softening under even a racers ass aint a gonna happen in your lifetime

          Steel , unless its been crashed or compromised as well

          Carbon fiber is the only thing you need to worry about with its crash once and trash it , as well as its propensity to delaminate below the surface , therefore being undetectable until total failure occurs ( see Porsches engineering papers to confirm this little ditty )

          Aluminum frames , even properly engineered are too damn stiff as well as unrepairable

          Thems the facts KR be it in laymans or engineering terms

          My personal preference being a well built Steel frame properly maintained .

          • http://respectthetrade.tumblr.com/ KR Tong

            If you read what rohorn’s saying, he’s not actually disputing my post. He’s getting his data confused by forgetting ti is heavier than aluminum only when their rigidity is equivalent, and Steel is stronger than aluminum when their volume is equivalent. How many times are either the case in tubing? Not in the last fifteen years.

            • rohorn


              There is nothing confusing about the data. Your take on it – and what you think I said – violates simple math, hence, I won’t argue with it.


              Good framebuilders always have some great stories to tell in private, don’t they! If you ever make the acqaintance of any serious aerospace engineers, ask them what they think about the gross majority of CF bike frames out there.

              Almost forgot – I sure hope the bike is worth that much to as many people as possible. But I’m not one of them. To me, it is the equivalent to a kevlar covered titanium framed Stearman biplane. Sure, it would be a the hottest and most amazing Stearman ever, but I’d rather have a heavy and non-exotic F-86 (Not my definitive list of aircraft, but that should make the point).

              • http://respectthetrade.tumblr.com/ KR Tong

                Hah yeah that crappy CF must be why all pro racers in every category are using steel and aluminum and ti…. oh wait.

                Dude your numbers compare an equivalent volume of each material. Since when do you compare tubing by volume of raw material?

                Whats your website? Im curious what your bikes look like. Oh, just found it. Explains a lot. You should ask what those aerospace engineers think about that handlebar mustache. Specifically what laws that thing is violating.

                -Conceited R.

                • rohorn

                  (Just ignore the brat, maybe his parent(s) will remember where they left him and take him home…)

                • http://respectthetrade.tumblr.com/ KR Tong

                  LOL you really picked this one as your battle. Alright bud I’ve got a few questions for you:

                  I said “To make titanium tubing as stiff as aluminum, you’d need to make it heavier than Aluminum, but it would be bombproof.”

                  You said ” Ti is twice, not half, the weight of aluminum.”

                  Please, explain how you’re right and I’m wrong

                  Then please explain what “fatigue limit” means regarding the physical properties of steel and titanium.

                  And if you’ve been in the game as long as I have you’ve heard many stories about old Ti frames becoming increasingly soft and having issues of cracks in the welds that are associated with fatiguing of the titanium caused by the improper tempering of the tubing. Please explain how this is “retarded.”

                  Then please explain how you would describe the differences between your average aluminum, steel, and titanium frame built in the last ten years. Use your understanding of materials as well as your experience of riding to convey to another rider the differences of weight, ride quality, vibration absorption, responsiveness, and other characteristics that would be pragmatic to a comment section on a motorcycle blog.

  • Corey

    Doesn’t hurt that it’s facking gorgeous.

    In a word, or two….

    Frakk yes.

  • http://pics.zenerves.net/index.php?gallery=vehicules tropical ice cube

    Meh. Do I need to be remembered that anything is possible with tons of money? I don’t. But for the trick frame, which is only assess-able if one of you HFL gang test-drives it, the rest is just Most Expensive stuff bolted on. I am not looking down at that splendid engineering feat, more dubious about the rate of 1000′s U$D to get 1000nth of an gram less on some fender or clutch cover.
    Nice richman’s whim anyway, there’s no denying that.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    Straight up – you can piss that off.
    That means hell no, I would not pay that much for a really light Monster. That kind of cash would be much better invested in a Desmosedici.

    No denying that NCR make sweet bikes though. Probably the pinnacle of handmade pedantic perfection, but if I wanted a special Ducati I would be handing over (a most likely significantly smaller) wad of cash to Radical Ducati…

    • Max Headroom

      +1: Radical Ducati Rock.

  • Tony T.

    Can’t you buy a bike with a better power/weight ratio for less money? A BMW S1000RR has a P/W ratio of 1:1.9 and this Monster is looking at 1:2.1 for something edging close to 3x the price. That could buy quite a few tires over the years.

    • Tony T.

      OK, after looking at the pictures I’ll shut my damn mouth. Statistics don’t measure up well to passion.

  • http://respectthetrade.tumblr.com/ KR Tong

    Needs more carbon fiber.

  • oldnick

    HFL. Why do you torment me so? This is like seeing a stunningly beautiful woman that you know is well out of your league; it taints the beauty of all other women that you see.

    • Edward

      Welcome to the internet man, where dreams die hard deaths of seeing what else is out there.

  • super20

    “. . .and every second in it is sheer pleasure. . .”

    You’re still talking about the suit, right?

    As for the bike, I think I found something that makes the EBR look like a bargain.

  • Chris

    If I had the loot, no doubt would I buy that bike. That’s art. I love the exhaust on that thing, it suits the style of the monster so well. Ive rarely dreamed of wining the lotto, but I am right now.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

    Is that an eccentric leverage adjustment for the rear shock?

  • todd

    Id prefer the EBR1190RS….. it has a better seat

  • DoctorNine

    Not that this isn’t nice, but I’d rather have an 1190 from EBR. Same principle, but better execution, for less currency. In my opinion, of course.

  • Dan

    Is that headlight an off the shelf item? I was wondering if there was a bolt-on “old” style light for the new monsters.

  • John

    I love it. My kind of machine. If I were rich, THAT bike would be my choice. I dumped a stupid amount of money into my old ’97 Monster 750. I tried to get close to this new NCR bike with my limited funds.

    I “get” this bike. It speaks to me. I want!!!

  • Deep6Dive

    Just saw this bike at barber motor speedway, I have a stain in my pants.

    • Deep6Dive

      Oh and if I happened to rob a bank and had a spare 70k, this would be on the top of my list.

  • Gene

    So unless you’re Bill Gates/Jay Leno level of rich, where $70K is your dinner bill on a weekend, how the hell do you ride a bike where a spot of oil in a corner could cost you $35K?

    I mean, it’s awesome, and I’d love the hell out of one, but I’d be too terrified to roll it down these streets.

    It’d be like if Rossi gave me one of his M1s… yeah, that sucka’s not leaving the living room floor…

  • Thom

    NCR builds a Hell of a Ducati

    But $70K for ANY street M/C ?

    Not in this lifetime .

    Crazy I might be , but stupid , not a chance

    FYI From the word on the streets 90% of NCR’s bikes wind up in a collection or the owners living room , never seeing track or street . Can’t confirm that , but thats the scuttlebutt going round

  • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

    I can’t image spending a down payment on an awesome house on a motorcycle, pretty much ever.

    Still awesome, though. I am surprised more manufacturers don’t use Ti, though. Especially Ducati; you’d think a Ti trellis frame could be lighter/stiller than steel. Obviously I’m not a metallurgist, but it might be a good compromise between the good-flexing of Al, and the stiffness/lightness of CF.

    • Eric

      It’s a PITA to work with.

  • Frosty_spl

    Didn’t that Milliona cost $35k or something. This seems like a shit ton.

  • Deep6Dive

    That’s basically a track bike. I would be a complete waste and insult to the bike unless you track day it…..

    so you’re looking at 70k for a bike, and thousands of dollars a year paying to get on the track.

    The frame is insane to look at and what you’re missing out on is the 848 and the GT1000 they make…..amazing.

  • Deep6Dive

    the one with out the tail is 49,995 not including tax title and all that bs…….. I got a quote from an italian guy that works for ncr. in italian.

  • 2ndderivative

    I know you guys don’t like doing test rides, but surely you can make an exception for this?

  • Mike

    So is that how much cash it takes to make one of the new-generation Monsters look decent?
    I kid, I kid.

    If I had $70k to spend on a bike? Yes. HELL yes.

    Past a certain point value goes out the window & pure lust takes over.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    This Monster is why we need to have rich friends, who have good taste and let us play with their toys.

  • http://www.faster-faster.com fasterfaster

    The bike is unquestionably worth $70k. Nobody does what NCR does – it is a leap beyond custom, and into a realm somewhere between customs, race chassis builders like Bimota and FTR, and tuners – nor with the same rigor and attention to detail.

    I hope there are plenty of folks with deep pockets and adrenaline addictions that get that.