Ducati Monster… A Historical Timeline

Ducati Monster History

When Ducati unveiled the Monster 900 at the Cologne Motorcycle Show in the autumn of 1992, it created an overnight sensation. As a new naked motorcycle, the Monster introduced a unique street fighter attitude to a new generation of Ducati fans.

The look was defined by its essential approach to motorcycle design, with its bodywork pared down to the minimum and its characteristic twin-cylinder engine fully visible. The Monster 900 went into production the following year.

One of the most popular Monsters of all time was the Monster 600, which arrived in showrooms in 1995. The 600 introduced a less intimidating, yet high quality and quality-performance entry into the world of Ducati.

The sales success of this motorcycle, the lightest and most versatile model in the range, was amazing, and it remains an important contributor in creating the iconic status that the Monster enjoys today.

Filling the void between the 900 and 600, the Ducati Monster 750 was made available in 1996.

Growing popularity of the smallest Monster led to the introduction of the Monster 600 Dark in 1998. The idea of the Dark was born based on the observation that so many Monsters were being customized and what better place to start than with the blank canvas of the Dark’s black matte paint job. The Monster Dark became a style unto itself, with its understated attitude and even more essential and fashionable look.

At the opposite end of the fashion scale, the Monster Cromo 900, with its amazing chrome tank showed up with the Dark. A long list of accessories meant the Cromo was not just a shiny piece of eye candy.

The next stage in development was a substantial restyling of the entire Monster family in 2000. The fuel tank, seat, tail section, and many other components were reshaped and modernized. The 900 received fuel injection, and the Cromo took a year off.

The Monster got a bit more serious in 2001 with the release of the Monster S4, which was powered by the liquid-cooled 916cc Desmoquattro engine. This gave the Monster the superbike-like performance many had wanted, and red rims made the S4 stand out from other Monsters.

2002 saw the first major re-engineering of the original 600 with the launch of the Monster 620. It was the first middleweight Monster to be fuel-injected, and this was combined with significant engine, frame and suspension advancements and updates. The result was a more powerful, smoother-running bike that achieved new levels of reliability and efficiency.

Displacements grew in 2003, with the appearance of the Monster 800 and Monster 1000. The next year, the S4R rocked the Monster world with a 996cc motor and single-sided swingarm. A year later, an S2R with the 800cc motor takes its place in the Monster line.

Showing no signs of slowing down, the Monster line received a performance boost from top to bottom in 2006. The S4R S Testastretta muscles in, with its 130 horsepower motor and high-end suspension. The next year, a non-S version keeps the motor but runs with less-sophisticated suspension. The Monster 695 replaces the 620, featuring improved performance and styling.

2008 saw a yet another new Monster with more refined style and design, as well as an updated motor–the Monster 696. The new wider tank cover tapers to the thin waistline of a narrower seat. The large diameter hybrid trellis frame blends stylishly into an aluminum sub-frame and swingarm inspired by the 2007 World MotoGP title-winning Desmosedici GP7 machine.

In 2009, the Monster line becomes an all air-cooled affair–the 696, 1100 and 1100 S–with the liquid-cooled naked-bike responsibilities being transferred to the new Ducati Streetfighter line.

Ducati Monster Chronology

1992: 900cc Monster is presented for the first time at the Cologne Motorcycle Show.

1993: 900cc Monster with Desmodue engine (two-valve, air-cooled) is put into production.

1995: Monster family expands with the introduction of the smaller 600 cc model.

1996: Monster family is further expanded with the arrival of the 750 cc model.

1998: Monster achieves sensational success with the introduction of the Monster 600 dark, Monster 900 Cromo, and Monster 900 S.

2000: Monster technology and styling continue to develop. The latest arrival is the Monster 900 with electronic injection, and the styling of the entire range is updated.

2001: Evolution of sports models continues with the introduction of the Monster S4 with 916 cc Desmoquattro engine and completely new running gear.

2002: Electronic injection is introduced on the smaller models; the entry-level model now has a larger 620cc engine; all models benefit from the new running gear used on the S4.

2003: The Monster 800 and Monster 1000 are introduced, the latter equipped with the new Dual Spark engine.

2004: The flagship of the Monster range is introduced: the S4R with 996 cc engine, single-side swing arm and totally revised styling and technology.

2005: The family grows with the arrival of the S2R powered by the 800 cc Desmodue engine.

2006: The Monster S2R with 1000 cc engine is born; in addition an authentic, no-compromise bike is introduced, the Monster S4R S Testastretta, a true naked Superbike with all the power and grunt of the Desmodromic Testastretta engine.

2007: The Monster family adds the new S4R Testastretta to its already impressive line-up. Another newcomer is the Monster 695, which replaces the entry-level 620, taking a decisive leap forward in terms of handling, riding pleasure and performance.

2008: The air-cooled Monster 696 is born and a new era begins.

2009: The air-cooled Monster 1100 and 1100 S models are introduced. It becomes apparent that the Monster will be the naked air-cooled platform while the new Streetfighter will be the liquid-cooled platform gong forward.


Written By
More from UMC Staff

The Great Leveler | Motorcycle Destinations

Your Motorcycle Stop This may sound strange, but I regularly hang out...
Read More