As a stable seller in the Italian manufacturer’s line, the Ducati Monster has always helped keep Ducati afloat on several occasions in difficult times. First launched in 1993, the original Ducati Monster spawned numbers of different models and sizes.
Designed by Miguel Angel Galluzzi, the Monster is a naked-style bike defined by its sporting appearance with fully exposed engine and frame. All bikes feature Ducati’s trademark L-Twin, or 90-degree V-Twin engine in a host of sizes. The first generation was made up of air-cooled engines available in 600cc, 750cc and 900cc sizes, called the M600, M750 and M900. All bikes were carbureted and featured almost identical looks, just varying engine sizes.
The Monster 1100 is almost a dead ringer for its smaller sibling, the Monster 696, except for the cleaned up rear courtesy of the single-sided swingarm.
The Ducati Monster line remained nearly the same throughout the ‘90s. It wasn’t until 2000 that any of the Monster models saw major changes, with fuel injection introduced to the Monster range, first to the M900. In 2001 the Ducati Monster S4 was unveiled, which for the first time put a liquid-cooled Superbike engine in their naked platform. Several variations of liquid-cooled Monsters followed, including the limited edited S4R and S4RS Testastretta models. These were highlighted with Ohilns suspension and higher performance Superbike engines, both produced in limited numbers.
Big Ducati Monster news in 2007 was the release of the Monster 696, making for an all-new and totally restyled entry-level Ducati Monster, one which was extremely successful at bringing in potential new Ducati owners as well as women due to its size and low price point. Following this was the launch of the Monster 1100 in 2008, which is based on the same updated styling of the 696 but with a much larger engine and single-sided swingarm, among other things. This marked the first major overhaul for the Ducati Monster since its inception and rounds out the current line, which is made up by the Monster 696, Monster 1100 and tricked-out Monster 1100S, which features Ohlins suspension and limited-edition colors.
Currently Monster sales account for over half of Ducati’s worldwide sales, this for a company known almost entirely for their racing heritage and their Superbike lineup.