Being an individual with a pretty good amount of knowledge regarding American-made motorcycles, their history, and the mechanics that make them tick, so to speak, I jumped at the opportunity to write about a Ducati bike, as I always take advantage of an opportunity to expand my knowledge of all things motorcycle simply because I love to be on one. So, I spent time reading, surfing sites, and soaking up all I could about the history of the company, the models they have designed and manufactured, and for the purpose of this article, the Ducati Monster 900. Now all I have left to do is have the pleasure of riding one.
The Ducati name seems a bit out of reach for most of us, I think, not to mention the fact that many Americans have developed a strong partiality to American-made motorcycles. Originally an all-Italian-made bike, the Ducati has been referred to as the ‘Ferrari of the motorcycle world’, another strong reason it seems so intangible to the regular, everyday folks who just like to ride. But these bikes have a rich history and have transferred owners before; currently it is owned by Audi as a subsidiary of Lamborghini, but in turn Lamborghini is owned by Volkswagen. However, Ducati maintains headquarters in the Italian city of Bologna. The company itself has had more than its fair share of ups and downs, even having lost a factory to a World War II bombing in 1944, while it was just a manufacturer of radios and related equipment. It wasn’t until afterward that they decided to get their hands dirty making motorbikes So, that was the company’s basic start, but we are here to get to know the 2000 Ducati Monster 900. The best way to accomplish that is to focus on the history of that particular bike, which will give us a better understanding of the model made in that year. Sit back, relax, and prepare to gain some interesting knowledge, and perhaps even a stronger taste for a bike that, until today, you may have felt was completely out of your league. If you have an interest in Ducati’s bikes, particularly the 900 line, then this is for you.
The 2000 Ducati Monster 900: The Starting Line
The Monster has played a very important role in Ducati history; basically, it is often said that if it wasn’t for this particular model the company wouldn’t have stayed afloat throughout and past the 90s at all. Having fallen on hard times financially, and having no credit with any of their suppliers, the bike came very close to never even seeing production. But the company somehow buckled down and got the motorcycle made, releasing it in 1993, and it was a good thing they did. Throughout that decade the bike brought in around 40% of the company’s sales.
Considered a ‘naked bike’ due to its frame and engine being open and exposed, the idea for the motorcycle came to designer Miguel Galluzzi through the spotting of a movie poster of Marlon Brando and the bike he rode in ‘The Wild One’. He ran with the inspiration that struck him, and the Monster 900 was the result. It is really fairly ‘bare bones’, as Galluzzi believed that all a motorcycle truly needed was the essentials: A frame, seat, motor, handlebars, and the like. He didn’t go for all the bells and whistles; he kept things simple, and the concept worked. Aside from a few eye-catching perks like paint and some minor glitz on the wheels and a couple other spots, the Monster 900 (or the Il Mostro in Italian) is a ‘what you see is what you get’ bike
Aside from gaining fuel injection, very little change took place in the design of the bike from ’93 to 2000. The café racer styling remained, as did the general integrity of the mechanics, with only minor changes, such as digital gauges on the dash and a more powerful motor. Otherwise, Ducati has been as true to the bike’s physical design as the bike has been to Ducati, and that fact has managed to keep this motorcycle standing strong; it remains one of their most popular models to date, still selling strong
Specs and Features of the 2000 Ducati Monster 900
So, let’s take a look at the standard specifics that make this great bike tick.
- 6-speed transmission
- 904cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke L-twin engine
- Maximum torque of 74 Nm, or 54.6 ft. lbs, @ 6500 rpm
- Engine Bore & Stroke of 92 mm x 68 mm
- 78 horsepower (58.2 kW) @ 6750 rpm
- 2 valves/cylinder
- Dry weight of 407.9 lbs (185 kg)
- 4.2 gallon (16 liter) – 0.8 gallon (3 liter) fuel capacity
This particular model was built bigger and stronger than its predecessor, the Monster 600. While it came off the line with a pleasing finish on the body, the finish didn’t do well in sun, rain, or snow; it simply didn’t hold up for as long as owners would have liked, and neither did the engine. The paint was known to bubble up when it snowed, and it flaked off before its time. It came with many different bolts, which got the reputation of seizing up, and the main hex bolt would fail an alarming number of times overall. Aesthetically, this bike was simple and attractive in design, and this made it a popular choice, particularly with male riders, gaining it a reputation as a muscle-bike. The original list price for this motorcycle was approximately $10,495, which was the main reason this bike seemed so much like a pipe dream to many buyers, as did any Ducati in general, and that was for the standard version. The low retail price, according to NADA is at $1,440, with a high retail at $1,895.
The Bottom Line…
The 2000 Monster 900 proved a loyal product to its manufacturer, and there were many good reasons for this, from its naked appeal to its power, and beyond. But like any man-made machine, it had, and has, its faults. Ducati bikes are pricey, and this is another setback, considering that the name itself is desirable, but most of that is on a status-symbol level. The fact is that the company has withstood many tests and hardships, and regardless of ownership is still swimming with a fairly strong stroke.
For anyone wanting to own a Monster 900 from this year, now is the time to buy. Purchasing it brand new wouldn’t have made much sense, even for those with the means to do so, especially considering the issues it had. Today, however, maintenance and repairs are much easier to manage from a financial perspective; it’s the parts that might weigh heavy on the wallet.
But that doesn’t change the fact that getting to ride a Ducati Monster 900 would be a wicked fun experience; I do have to say that I likely wouldn’t want to own one, at least, not on my personal salary. But for anyone with the means, by all means do. Ducati does make a bike that is fun to ride, powerful, and imposing to the eye, which is well worth it to many. So if you’re in the market, go for it. Start checking out what is available for sale in regard to 2000 Monster 900s, and you will likely find what you are looking for.
Just remember to have fun, and above all, ride safely.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith