1993 – Ducati Monster
The year was 1992, and Ducati had hit financial hardship. Little did the Italian manufacturer know that its latest model, due to be unveiled at the 1992 Cologne Motorcycle Show, would change motorcycling as they knew it.
But, with ‘Il Mostro’ originally destined to be a Cagiva model and Ducati out of favour with its suppliers, it almost never happened…
The 1993 M900 Monster was designed by Miguel Galluzzi (also responsible for Aprilia’s RSV4), who had a simple concept in mind: “all a bike needs is a saddle, engine, two wheels, handlebars and a tank to fill with fuel”. When Ducati then-manager, Massimo Bordi, requested the bike resemble the Triumph from ‘The Wild One’, the Monster was born.
Powered by the 904cc air-cooled desmo V from the 900SS, placed inside the 888’s racey chassis, with inverted forks and Brembo brakes, the lightweight (185kg) Monster boasted agile, sportsbike handling, with 68PS (67hp) and 81Nm of torque at 6,000rpm.
While the initial price tag made riders baulk, the following year Ducati released the more affordable M600 Monster, which boasted a 584cc version of the V-twin, making 51.7PS (51hp). At £5,000, £2,500 less than the original Monster, it was the perfect proposition.
As well suited to the weekday commute as it was a weekend blast, the Monster soon cemented its position as the perfect ‘one-bike garage’. To date, it has been manufactured in almost 40 different guises, and by 2015, had sold over 300,000 units worldwide, with the Monster accounting for over half of Ducati's 2005 worldwide sales and for just over 40 per cent of Ducati’s total sales throughout the ‘90s.