Getting up close and personal with Ducati’s iconic Monster by the people who live with it day in, day out...
Click to view: Ducati Monster owners reviews, specs and image galleries.
Genre busting is an over-used phrase, but it’s completely accurate when applied to Ducati’s Monster. When it was launched in 1993 we hadn’t seen anything like it before. Somewhere between retro and streetfighter, Monsters are minimal, stiff, purposeful and very cool. The original 900 version was crafted from an 888 Superbike chassis with calmer steering plus the ancient, but effective, 900SS V-twin engine and upright bars.
The result was a unique bike with sharp looks and plenty of personality. It’s a great town tool although a poor steering lock and firm suspension stops it from being King of the urban jungle. It really shines on smooth back roads but, once again, that hard suspension pisses on the bonfire if the surface deteriorates. The original bike isn’t that great over distance but later models got a small but effective bikini fairing, which makes a big difference to wind blast and can be fairly easily fitted to most naked models without if required. It’s still no tourer though.
All that makes it sound like it’s flawed. In a way it is, but no machine does everything well and the Monster is still a very competent all round bike. It’s a very desirable machine and one you buy for emotional not logical reasons, like most Italian bikes. It’s a superb bike to ride and a great entry into Ducati ownership.
A survey like the one this article is based on only works when you don’t cast the net too wide. We’ve included all air-cooled monsters in this article except the very latest 696 and 1100 models which are so new they’re barely second hand bikes.
Like all Ducatis, some pub experts will tell you they’re unreliable. But 75 owners filled in our survey and they’ve covered a massive 829,372 miles between them on their Monsters, so believe what you read here, not what the pub expert says.
Continue the Ducati Monster lowdown
Engine a/c, 4v, carb’d, v-twin, 583cc Power 53bhp @ 8,250rpm Torque 37ftlb @ 7,000rpm Dry weight 175kg Seat height 770mm Fuel capacity 16L Top speed 115mph
Engine a/c, 4v, injected, v-twin, 618cc Power 63bhp @ 9,500rpm Torque 41ftlb @ 6,750rpm Dry weight 168kg Seat height 770mm Fuel capacity 15L Top speed 120mph
Engine a/c, 4v, injected, v-twin, 695cc Power 73bhp @ 8,500rpm Torque 45ftlb @ 6,750rpm Dry weight 168kg Seat height 770mm Fuel capacity 14L Top speed 125mph
Engine a/c, 4v, carb’d, v-twin, 904cc Power 73bhp @ 7,000rpm Torque 56ftlb @ 6,000rpm Dry weight 185kg Seat height 770mm Fuel capacity 16L Top speed 125mph
Engine a/c, 4v, injected, v-twin, 803cc (992cc) Power 77bhp @8,250rpm (95bhp) Torque 54ftlb @ 6,500rpm (69ftlb) Dry weight 173kg (178kg) Seat height 800mm Fuel capacity 15L Top speed 130mph (140mph)
Posted: 25/04/2012 at 02:39
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