Ducati’s Monster was a wonder of parts-bin engineering and basically saved the company from financial ruin, becoming the company’s best-selling model of all time by a healthy margin and bringing Ducati’s mystique to the masses. The four-valve superbikes may have won the glory but they were highly impractical for daily use, expensive to maintain, and far too expensive for the average motorcycle enthusiast. But the Monster, introduced in 1993, used off-the-shelf components almost exclusively: just the tank, dash, seat, and a couple minimal body panels were exclusive to the model. The frame was from the 851 with some minor modifications to the tubing to allow a different airbox: apparently, the remote-reservoir shock from that model is a nice upgrade, if you can find one on eBay. The engine was the Pantah-derived 904cc L-twin from the air/oil-cooled 900SS, and the suspension and brakes were from the lower-spec SS-CR.
It was relatively cheap to manufacture, the standard bars and low seat height made it practical for a wide variety of users, and the handling good enough for its given purpose: urban riding, posing, and wheelies. Best of all, it was an Authentic Ducati and made Authentic Ducati Noises. Aside from your average Harley, you won’t likely find a bike with better aftermarket support than a Ducati Monster.
You can throw money at the motor, stick on the suspension from a 748, fit a high-mount exhaust and go trackday riding. Replace everything on the bike with carbon fiber for a sleek custom show bike. Fit higher bars, a bikini fairing, some soft bags, and take it touring. That was almost the whole point: the Monster provided Ducati fans with a blank canvas so they could build whatever they wanted. Sure the limited steering lock sucked for city riding, and you have to deal with old-school Ducati service intervals: 6,000 valve checks and 12,000 timing belt changes can get a bit expensive if you pile on the miles and don’t do the work yourself.
But the entry costs are incredibly cheap, with well-used examples available for as little as $3,000. Parts are easily sourced and these bikes are relatively simple machines, with only the unfamiliar desmodromic heads a barrier to your average home mechanic. This 11,000 mile example looks to be in very clean condition, with a ton of aftermarket parts and a Buy It Now price of just $4,500.
From the original eBay listing: 1995 Ducati M900 Monster for Sale
Third year of production of the original carbureted, air & oil cooled, 2-valve per cylinder L-twin in OEM Grey livery with Bronze frame and wheels, (the same as the bike featured in the Guggenheims "Art Of The Motorcycle" show and book in the late '90s.) I am the second owner, since 2000. This is a beautiful, low-mileage example; difficult to find in this condition. It is a Cagiva-era bike so sports the elephant logos on many parts. It has never been crashed, down or dropped. Tank is clean, shiny metal inside; steering head bearings are smooth, swingarm bushings tight. It has the desirable "V-2" cylinder heads. The bike starts easily, idles properly and pulls strong through all 6 gears. It features a number of aftermarket parts including:
- Ducati C/F Bikini Fairing
- ROADRACING billet aluminum mirrors
- Corbin C/F cover seat w/Grey piping
- C/F tailsection with integrated turn signals
- Ventilated alloy clutch cover
- Beringer clutch slave cylinder
- C/F slip on exhausts
- Airbox mod with K&N filter
- Mikuni carbs jetted for intake/exhaust mods
The bike is current on service and is approaching it's 12K-mile belt/valve inspection. Tires are older and, while showing plenty of tread, could stand to be freshened.
Included with the bike will be the OEM seat; factory toolkit and owner's manual, an additional period OEM instrument cluster with Tachometer, (the existing speedo will transfer into this unit.) A pair of C/F timing belt covers.
Obviously, the new owner should be prepared to shell out some money for the upcoming service. The valve check is important, but the belt change is absolutely critical: a blown engine will turn your affordable exotic into an expensive garage decoration very quickly. Some of the carbon bits on this bike are from the lower end of the spectrum: you’d never mistake those DanMoto carbon cans for Termignonis, but they probably sound great and look much better than the stock items. And I’m familiar with that ugly War of the Worlds rear turn signal unit but I’d never actually seen on installed before, probably for good reason. Most kits used to clean up the rear of the bike require cutting a couple extended tubes off the end of the frame and many are worried that removing them will reduce the value of their bike. This kit kept the frame intact and incorporated more modern indicator lights into the sides. Definitely not to my taste, but easy to change if you don’t like it.
Overall, the Ducati Monster remains what it was always meant to be: an affordable entry to Ducati ownership. But that means that many examples have been thrashed and abused, making clean, low-mileage examples like this one increasingly hard to come by.
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