The Ducati Monster started out as a styling exercise by designer Miguel Galluzzi in late 1992, and was then put into production in 1993. It caused a stir with its styling which set it apart from Japanese offerings at the time. The first model to be released was the M900 Monster followed later by the M600 released in 1994 and M750 released in 1996 (there was also a 400 for the Italian and Japanese markets).
The Ducati Monster M900 featured the engine from the 900SS although the gearing was lowered to work in conjunction with the bike’s lack of fairing and the frame and steering geometry taken from the 888 sportsbike to give it sharp handling. The 600 version appealed to people who had just passed their test and also people of smaller stature due its low seat height, low weight and unintimidating motor: 54bhp. Big horsepower was never the goal with the Monster with even the 900 only pushing out around 80bhp.
The Ducati Monster M900 gave people a cheap way into the Ducati family, a little like the 883 is to Harley-Davidson and like H-D, Ducati capitalised on the bike’s following with a catalogue of factory extras ranging from Marchesini wheels to carbon fibre accessories and even paddock stands. With the Monster appearing around the same time as Yamaha’s XJ600S Diversion, it could be argued that these machines sparked the popular wave of naked middleweights of the time, such as 1995’s Suzuki GSF600 Bandit family.
Build quality is a bit hit and miss on the early Monster M900 but as with most Ducatis they’re usually kept by doting owners who don’t skimp on maintenance, which is a good job really as these need servicing as per the schedule, well at least in relation to belts and valve adjustment. Engine finish can be poor, as can paint and wheel finish. Our advice is to buy a bike with a good history which has had regular belt changes and valve checks as it will be worth it in the long run. Maintained correctly, big mileages are easily achievable on these air-cooled motors, although electrics can be a little suspect including the charging system, so be aware!
If it were me I would go for an early Monster M900 or M900S model in red or yellow, which boasts an uprated motor and has a little bikini fairing, with reasonable miles and at least a service history from a specialist. Modifications are a bonus on bikes like this especially genuine Ducati extras which are well worth having and will add value to the bike (try to get all the original parts if possible though.)
A quick scan on the net and classified ads was rewarded with very few Ducati Monster M900s for sale and those that were for sale had asking prices of around £3000 (but in the last 18 months they’ve been as low as £1600.) A quick search for the 600 and found these selling from £1400 upwards, so with plenty of capacity options and years available, the choice is yours.
Ducati Monster M900 Specifications and Price Values
Engine : 4-Stroke, 90° L-Twin, Desmodromic 4-Valve, Air-Cooled
Bore x Stroke : 92 x 68 mm
Capacity : 904 cc
Compression Ratio : 9.2 : 1
Induction : 38mm Mikuni Carbs
Transmission : 6-Speed, Chain Drive
Power : 65 BHP @ 7.000 RPM (claimed)
Torque : 76 N.m @ 6.000 RPM (claimed)
Dimensions LxWxH : 2.030 x 670 x 1.080 mm
Wheelbase : 1.430 mm
Seat Height : 770 mm
Ground Clearance : 150 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity : 16 Litres
Weight : 185 kg (dry, claimed)
Frame : Steel Trellis Frame
Front Suspension : 41mm Showa Upside-Down, Adjustable Rebound, Compression & Preload
Rear Suspension : Monoshock, Adjustable Rebound, Compression & Preload
Front Brakes : 2 x 320mm Discs, with 4-piston Brembo Caliper
Rear Brakes : Single 220mm Disc, with 2-piston Brembo Caliper
Front Tyre : 120/70 – 17
Rear Tyre : 170/60 – 17
Price New : £6200 at launch
Values Now : £2300-£3500