Everything To Know About The Ducati Monster 900

Everything To Know About The Ducati Monster 900

Known for its stripped-down but elegant styling and iconic red trellis frame tubes, the lineup of Ducati Monster motorcycles is celebrating more than 30 years of excellence. Introduced at the International Motorcycle Fair in Cologne in 1992, the Monster is Ducati’s longest-standing nameplate. It’s also their best-selling motorcycle, with over 350,000 Monsters sold in its three-decade history. And rightfully so — we think it’s one of the best Ducati motorcycles ever made. With such a long line of successful sport-naked bikes, it’s worth looking back at the bike that started it all: The Monster 900.

Over the years, Ducati has made several Monster motorcycles, the first being the 900 but engine size has since ranged from 600ccs up to 1200ccs — a key part of the Monster’s popularity. Different engine sizes widened the appeal for riders with myriad needs and skill levels. It’s also relatively inexpensive compared to Ducati’s other offerings, so if you want the street cred of an Italian motorcycle without shelling out the cash for some of Ducati’s more expensive offerings, the Monster is a great model to start.

Historic Monsters

A relatively entry-level machine, the Monster is, at its heart, a no-frills bike. The original Monster 900 (aka M900) was powered by an air-cooled L-twin engine producing 73 hp from a 904cc engine. Manageable enough for beginner riders but powerful enough to keep experienced riders entertained, the Monster 900 offered great balance. And, it turns out, balancing power and rideability is an excellent formula.

The original designer of the Ducati Monster, Miguel Galluzzi, once said, “All you need are: saddle, tank, engine, two wheels and handlebars,” and you’d be hard-pressed to disagree with him. The Monster followed that formula, with a simple design from a distance and a simple user interface. There’s a large and easily visible gauge cluster, a few warning lights, and not much else to distract the rider. Accessibility was part of the design as well, with features like a quick-release fuel tank mechanism that allows for access to the battery, air filter, and fuses.

Over the next few years, Ducati expanded the Monster lineup by adding 600cc and 750cc models and some special edition trims for the M900 called the Monster Cromo and the M900 S. In 2000, the Monster got some significant updates (fuel injection and a digital dash), but the big change came in 2001 with a new 916cc engine and water cooling instead of air cooling.

Modern Monsters

After the change to fuel injection, the Monster 900 was replaced with the Monster S4, and it grew from there. Larger engines were eventually used, including 996cc models and even 1000cc bikes — all to keep pace with rivals.

Today’s version of the Monster 900 is the Monster SP. The 2024 Ducati Monster SP is nimble and easy to ride, with modern tech like wheelie control, unique riding modes for varying conditions, traction control, and launch control. It uses a 937cc Testrastretta L-twin engine that produces 111 hp. Using the same powerplant as the Hypermotard and the Supersport 950, the Monster stays true to its roots by sharing engines with its Ducati stable mates.

Unfortunately, it no longer sports the iconic trellis tube frame that gave it such presence on the road, and it isn’t precisely 900cc’s of engine displacement like the first Monster 900, but the Monster SP has the right spirit. It’s a relatively affordable Italian motorcycle with simple but likable styling and enough power to have a bit of fun.

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