The original M900 Ducati Monster borrowed its six-speed transmission and hydraulically-operated dry clutch as well as its engine from its Ducati 900SS stablemate. The air/oil-cooled, 2-valve-per-cylinder, V-Twin Desmo engine displaced 904cc and produced a claimed 73 horsepower and 56 lb.-ft. of torque. The M900 Ducati Monster was light (408 lbs. dry), compact and at home cruising in the city as well as carving canyon roads.
The M900 Ducati Monster was followed by a variety of Ducati Monsters with differing engine sizes. Model configurations included the: 1995 Ducati Monster 600, 1996 Ducati Monster 750, 1998 Ducati Monster 600 Dark, Ducati Monster 900 Cromo and Ducati Monster 900 S. In 2000, fuel injection – the first real technical advancement – was added. In 2001 the Ducati Monster S4 was launched and featured the liquid-cooled 916 cc Desmoquattro superbike engine and new transmission. In 2002 the displacement of the Ducati Monster 600 was bumped up to 620cc while all models were gifted with fuel injection. 2003 saw the introduction of the Ducati Monster 800 and Ducati Monster 1000.
Though a seemingly endless stream of Ducati Monsters followed the original Ducati Monster 900, the bike had maintained its original style until a new 2004 Ducati Monster model changed everything. The Ducati Monster S4R was powered by a liquid-cooled, L-Twin cylinder, 4-valve-per-cylinder, Desmodromic 996cc engine. With twin, staggered mufflers hanging from the right rear of the bike and a single-sided swingarm, the S4R also denoted a significant styling update to the Ducati Monster line-up. In 2005 the Ducati Monster S2R, with a smaller 801cc engine, joined the league of Ducati Monsters. In 2006 Ducati took the performance of the Ducati Monster to its highest peak with the Ducati Monster S4RS. The S4RS was powered by Ducati’s liquid-cooled, 998 cc, L-Twin cylinder Desmodromic engine producing a claimed 130 horsepower.
For 2007 the Ducati Monster S4R and S4RS gained the Testastretta nomenclature with performance upgrades such as suspension and brake components sourced from Ducati’s 999 model. The Ducati Monster 695 was also added to this year’s model line, replacing the Ducati Monster 620. In 2008 Ducati introduced the air-cooled Monster 696 which set the tone for future Ducati Monsters. Two new air-cooled Ducati Monsters are introduced in 2009, the Monster 1100 and 1100S, as all liquid-cooled Ducati Monsters were discontinued. That same year the Streetfighter model is launched and is Ducati’s new format for high-performance naked bikes.
In 2010 the Ducati Monster 796 joins the stable, and in 2011 the three available Monsters – 696, 796, 1100EVO – can be dressed in a “Monster Art” kit GP Replica collection from Ducati. The kit transforms the Ducati Monster into a tribute of either MotoGP riders Nicky Hayden or Valentino Rossi.