The Ducati Monster is a motorcycle that was designed by Miguel Galluzzi. Production of this motorcycle started in Italy in 1993 and it is considered to be a “naked bike” with its characteristic exposed engine and frame. The use of the trellis frame on this bike was a deliberate decision by Ducati and was chosen for both its aesthetic appeal as well as for structural efficiency. Sales of this bike accounted for over half of Ducati’s total international sales as of 2005. A majority of Ducati’s motorcycles use 90 degree V-twin engines, which are called “L-twins” and use desmodromic valves as well as a tubular steel trellis frame.
There have been a number of different variations with the Monster line, including the entry level 400 cc bikes as well as the higher end 130 hp multivalve water-cooled superbike-engined models. The sheer simplicity of this motorcycle’s design has made it a popular choice for those who build custom platform motorcycles, many of which have been showcased at a number of competitions throughout the world. It didn’t take long before Monster bikes accounted for 2/3 of Ducati’s total annual output.
Initially, the Monster started out as an exercise in styling in 1992 and was never planned to actually be sold on the market. The entire concept for this bike had been discussed for a very long time and it took a while before management was convinced of its potential. Massimo Bordi was responsible for creating the final design of the new bike and came up with some very unique and innovative ideas that gone on to influence many other bikes in the future. The initial intent with this vehicle was to enter the cruiser market, but those plans ended up changing over time.
Bordi made a point of keeping production costs low with the Monster that was designed with not entirely new components that were made to work together in unison perfectly. Parts from existing Ducati models were mixed and matched together to create this one. Both the engine and forward half of the frame of the 900 Supersport was used for the construction of the Monster as well as a frame that is derived from the 851 superbike and the fork form the 750 Supersport. This motorcycle achieved great success in a number of markets, becoming one of Ducati’s top sellers.
There were three different Monster models introduced in the first generation of this motorcycle, including the M600, M750, and M900. The M900 was initially shipped in 1993, the M600 shipped out in 1994, and the M750 was launched in 1996. Ducati released a number of different limited edition Monsters which different levels of accessories, the most noteworthy of which is the Monster City, which was available in a blue color as well as leather briefcase style saddlebags and higher handlebars. There was a smaller displacement model called the M400 launched in 1994 and it was capable of producing 42 horsepower at 10,500 rpm. This bike was built for a select few markets where the tax or license system is particularly harsh on larger capacity motorcycles.
The Monster 796 was announced in April of 2010 and is capable of 87 horsepower. The Monster 1100 Evo was announced in November of 2010 and effectively replaced the Monster 1100 and 1100 bikes. The exhaust on this bike was moved to the side as opposed to the under the seat. The paint schemes for these bikes was also changed. By November of 2010, the Ducati Monster line consisted of the 659, 696, 796, and 1100 Evo. As a whole, the Monster has undergone a number of changes and is considered to be one of Ducati’s most successful motorcycles.