I don’t know about you but I like them beautiful, naked, noisy and lively; bikes that is!
If you’re the same then you’ll love the Ducati Monster range.
The Ducati Monster was originally designed by Miguel Angel Galluzzi (god bless him!) and was first launched by the Bologna superbike firm in 1993.
It is a testament to Galluzzi’s vision that the Monster now accounts for half of Ducati’s overall sales.
Like all of the best Ducati’s the Monster is an 90 degree v-twin, often called an L-twin. It has the now infamous desmodomic valve engine lovingly cradled within a tubullar steel trellis chassis.
With its initial launch in the early 1990s Ducati introduced three Monster options; M600, M750 and M900.
The M900, was the first model released in in 1993
The M600 followed a year later in 1994 and the M750 finally graced our shores in in 1996.
Later on a smaller displacement model, the M400, was developed for those countries where the tax system punishes the ownersof large capacity, high performance bikes.
The M400 was mainly aimed at the far east and pacific rim,although it was also sold in Ducatis native market;Italy. The M400 had the same engine components as the M600 but had a shorter stroke crankshaft and smaller diameter pistons.
The design of the Monster remained pretty much unchanged until around 2000, when fuel injection was added to the M900. In 2001 Ducati unveiled the S4, adding a liquid-cooled 4-valve Superbike to the range.
2001 also saw the addition of improved braking capacity using semi-floating front disc brakes with Brembo four-piston calipers, weight was further reduced with much lighter Brembo wheels, and suspension was upgraded to 43 mm Showa inverted forks.
In 2002 a special edition, the first of many; the S4 Fogarty was offered. To guarantee exclusivity it was limited to a production run of 300.
Between 2005-7 the Monster freak could choose from six basic models: the 695, 696, S2R 1000, S4R Testastretta, S4R S Testastretta, and S4R S Tricolore.
The Monster 695 replaced the Monster 620 and was the foundation of the range and offered the greatest power per CC of any Ducati air-cooled engine to date.
The new flagship model;the S4RS Testastretta was a beast and employed the engine from the 999 Superbike and was supplied with Öhlins suspension front and rear and radial front brakes.
The Monster 696 was officially launched in early April, 2008 in Barcelona. It soon became the best selling Monster in the history of the range.
Ducati Followed rapidly with the awesome Monster 1100 in September 2008.
This was Based on the Monster 696, but came with a much larger 1100cc engine, radial brake calipers and a single-sided swing arm.
A sportier edition,the 1100 “S” came with upgraded Öhlins suspension.
Weight savings such as a lighter crankcases and a single-sided swingarm that is 11lb lighter than the
1098 sports bike’s, contribute to making the 373lb bike the lightest in its class.
The Monster has lots oodles of torque much of which is delivered well before the 6,000rpm peak.
It is the torque, combined with lightness that make the Monster so popular.Above 2,000rpm the bike is a delight to ride on tight twisting roads.There may be more powerful bikes but show me something more fun to ride than the Monster and I’ll eat my crash helmet.
For a Ducati the Monster is well priced and relatively cheap to maintain and run.The tank is quite small but even the 1100 will see 50mpg if you don’t strangle the throttle too much.