New Motorcycle/Review


DUCATI MONSTER 900

By
Alexis Bachofen

Upon first mounting the Italian retro bike, I was unsure what I was going to be writing about the Monster but as it turns out, looks aren't everything and in the Monster's case not even nearly.

1992 marked the launch of the Ducati Monster and a new benchmark for all other manufactures to compete against. Few have! Ducati seized a sliver of the motorcycle market and released a striped down aggressive looking street bike unto an unsuspecting public. The Monster was an instant success, proving there was a large market for retro-style muscle bikes. Now revamped for 2000 with digital fuel injection, providing quicker and smoother power delivery and various other features the Monster is sure to remain a firm favourite with all riders from all walks of life.

Can you think of a better way to enjoy a beautiful winter's day than to ride through the hills of Rolleystone? A couple weekends ago, when it wasn't raining, I took the opportunity to enjoy a couple twisty roads through the hills and really put the Monster through its paces. The 900, with its improved shock absorbers float's through corners. As if riding on a cloud the Monster feels stable and will push your enjoyment to new heights. Approach a bend. Release the throttle and hear the V-twin decelerate. It's bliss! Power delivery is smooth and once in the corner you can apply throttle and propel through, motoring along on a knife-edge. No, it's not as fast as riding an R1, Ninja or GSXR but it is just as much fun. What more do you need?

In the city the Ducati is ecstasy. Its riding position is extremely comfortable with the rider's weight perfectly placed for optimum distribution. It never feels heavy, whether stuck in lifeless traffic or going around slow corners the Monster never twitches or makes you nervous. Even in the wet I found the Monster well behaved. Being noisy it also offers the added bonus of safety. A friend of mine once said" loud pipes save lives", and he's not wrong. Drives hear you coming from miles away and are even polite enough to sometimes move out of the way to let you buy. I put that down to the annoyance of the loud pipes rather than motorcycle curtesy. As all bike riders will know, an Australian Car Driver's perception of a motorcycle doesn't rate much higher than kangaroos on the road.

Admittedly for the rider it's a little windy on the freeway, but a stylish front faring piece, that will help, is available.

The simple fact remains, the Ducati Monster turns heads! Whether booming down a suburban street or parked in a city centre, young and old alike stop and gape at the Ducati dream-machine, gazing in awe at an untouchable fantasy un-affordable by most. What a good thing it is that those beholders have no idea that the Monster 900 sells for only $15,300 - Now for the prestige attached to owning a Ducati that's not a lot of money to be paying. In addition to receiving a respectful nod wherever you go you also get the added bonus of fun and performance attached to owning an Italian sports bike. Many thanks to Ken at Fraser Motorcycles in Dainella for the test bike, "I want one!"

Available in red, yellow, blue, silver, black, Metallic Dark, Matt black - (Special red, yellow, black).


Engine Type:        Air-cooled, L twin cylinder,
                    2 valve Desmo distribution.
Bore & Stroke:      92 x 68mm
Displacement:       904cc
Compression:        9.2:1
Carburetion:        Dynamic Fuel Injection
Starter System:     Electric
Lubrication system: Dry sump
Transmission:       6 speed with straight gears
Frame type:         Tubular steel trellis
Suspension Front:   43 mm Showa upside down forks
            Rear:   Progressive linkage with adjustable monoshock
Wheels:    Front:   Three spoke light alloy, 3,5x17"
            Back:   Three spoke light alloy, 5,5x17"
Brakes:    Front:   2x320mm discs
            Rear:   245mm disc
Tyres:     Front:   120/70 Vr 17
            Rear:   170/60 V 17
Fuel Tank:          16L (3L reserve)
Wheelbase:          1.430mm
Ground clearance:   N/A
Dry weight:         407 lbs.
Top Speed:          +220km/h
Horse Power:        72 bhp

Alpinestars clothing: www.alpinestars.com  

Arai Helmets: www.araiamericas.com

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