|Engine||90° V-twin, desmodromic valves|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis|
|Wheelbase||1,440 mm (57 in) (all)|
|Seat height||770–800 mm (30–31 in)|
|Weight||168–177 kg (370–390 lb) (dry)
The Ducati Monster (called Il Mostro in Italian) is a motorcycle designed by Miguel Angel Galluzzi and produced by Ducati in Bologna, Italy since 1993. It is a naked bike, characterized by an exposed engine and frame. The deliberate use of the trellis frame in the Ducati Monster is an integral part of the motorcycle's design allowing for both aesthetic appeal and for structural efficiency. In 2005, Monster sales accounted for over half of Ducati's worldwide sales. Ducati motorcycles use almost exclusively 90° V-twin engines, which they call L-twins, with desmodromic valves, and tubular steel trellis frame, features designed by Fabio Taglioni (1920–2001).
The Monster line has had numerous variations over the years, from entry level 400 cc (24 cu in) bikes up to top of the line 130 hp (97 kW) multivalve, water-cooled superbike-engined versions, with as many as nine different Monster versions in a single model year. The Monster's elemental simplicity has also made it a favorite platform for custom motorcycle builders, showcased at competitions like the Monster Challenge. Monsters eventually accounted for two-thirds or more of Ducati's output.
Conception and design
The Monster began as a styling exercise in 1992. The concept for the Monster was one Galluzzi had been thinking about for some time, and it took time to convince the management at Cagiva and Ducati to build it. Ducati technical director Massimo Bordi originated the idea for what they wanted the new bike to accomplish, and assigned the design to Galluzzi. Bordi said he asked Galluzzi "for something which displayed a strong Ducati heritage but which was easy to ride and not a sports bike. He came up with a proposal and I thought, this was the bike Marlon Brando would be riding today in the film The Wild One!" Bordi's intent was to enter the cruiser market, with a bike that was made to be modified and would eventually have a wealth of bolt-on aftermarket accessories rivaling the range of custom and hot-rod parts available for Harley-Davidsons. Previously Cagiva had attempted to move into this market with a more blatant Harley-Davidson cruiser imitation, the heavily chromed Ducati Indiana of 1986–1990. It made poor use of Ducati's desmodromic valve V-twin engines; and a full-cradle frame, not Ducati's signature trellis, played against Ducati's stylistic strengths. Only 2,138 were made over four years. Avoiding another embarrassment competing directly against Harley-Davidson with a banal imitation of the Harley cruiser, the Monster appealed to the same urban, style-conscious buyers who wanted a bike that could make an individualistic statement, but it did so with a motorcycle that they had not quite seen before, and was still unmistakably Italian and a Ducati.
Because Bordi wanted Galluzzi to keep costs low, the Monster was a humble "parts bin special," built not with newly designed components carefully engineered to work in unison, but by mixing and matching parts from existing Ducati models, beginning with the engine and forward half of the frame of a 900 Supersport, a frame descended from the 851 superbike, and the fork of a 750 Supersport. Galluzzi penned a "muscular" fuel tank and minimalist bodywork that produced a visual impression of mass and strength, on a motorcycle that turned out to be surprisingly tiny and agile to the first time rider. Motorcycle Consumer News design columnist Glynn Kerr described the Monster's statement as aggressive, "attributable to the head-down, charging bull stance."
Ducati introduced three Monster models in its first generation: the M600, M750, and M900 (the numbers denote engine sizes). The first M900 was shipped in 1993, the M600 shipped in 1994, and finally the M750 arrived in 1996. In 1999, to close out existing stock of Monster parts, Ducati released several limited edition Monsters many with different levels of accessories, the most notable was the Monster City, which came in a unique blue color and featured leather briefcase style saddlebags and higher handlebars.
From 1994, a smaller displacement model, the M400, which produced 31 kW (42 hp) at 10,500 rpm, was built for specific markets where the tax or license system is particularly harsh on larger capacity or more powerful motorcycles. The M400 was mainly intended for Italy, Japan, and Singapore but was also exported to countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. The M400 was based on the M600 with the same basic engine components, but a shorter stroke crankshaft and smaller diameter pistons.
The bike remained relatively unchanged until 2000, when Ducati added fuel injection to the M900 model. Perhaps more importantly, in 2001 Ducati also introduced the S4, which added the liquid-cooled four-valve Superbike engine to the stable. Other technical changes that year included semi-floating front disc brakes with Brembo four-piston calipers, lighter Brembo wheels as well as 43 mm Showa inverted forks. 2002 saw the introduction of the limited, 300 edition, high-spec, S4 Fogarty.
In November 2005, a new top of the range model was announced: the S4RS Testastretta. This new model uses the engine from the 999 Superbike with Öhlins suspension front and rear and radial front brakes. Also in 2005, Ducati added the S2R Desmodue (two-valved Desmodromic engine) line to the Monster family: styled akin to the four-valve S4R, but with the simpler two-valve 800 cc and 1,000 cc motors in the S2R 800 and S2R 1000, respectively. February 2006 marked the announcement of the 2007 Monster 695. It replaced the Monster 620 and was introduced June 2006.
The Monster 696 was announced in November 2007, and officially launched early April 2008 in Barcelona. Its 696 V-twin features the highest power output per cc of any Ducati air-cooled engine. The Monster 1100 was announced in September 2008. Based on the Monster 696, it comes with a larger 1078 cc engine, a single sided swingarm, radial brake calipers, larger forks and taller suspension. In 2009, Ducati sold over 12,000 696 models, the first of their motorcycles to sell over 10,000 bikes in one year. The 1100 "S" model features fully adjustable Öhlins suspension components, a different colour scheme and aluminium brake disc carriers, which account for a 1 kg weight reduction.
In April 2010, the Monster 796 was announced, producing a factory-claimed 87 hp (65 kW).
In November 2010, Ducati announced the Monster 1100 Evo, replacing the Monster 1100 and 1100s. The exhaust was moved to the side as opposed to underneath the seat, and the dry clutch changed for a wet clutch. Also, there was a change in the paint schemes. Another major change is the inclusion of Ducati Safety Package (DSP) which is standard with the motorcycle. This DSP consists of ABS and Ducati Traction Control.
As of November 2010[update], the Ducati Monster family consists of the 659, 696, 796 and 1100 Evo.
In October 2011, Ducati unveiled a new addition to the Monster family, the 795. Essentially a 696 frame with the larger 803cc engine from the 796 wedged into it, the 795 is aimed specifically at the Asian market and will be assembled in a plant in Thailand.
On September 21, 2008, a gathering of Ducati Monsters in Hamme-Moerzeke, Belgium, broke the Guinness Record for the "largest parade of motorcycles of the same brand and type." 405 Ducati Monsters were tallied.
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