Ducati certainly has a large and passionate following and fans are always talking about their sexy superbikes and how they fared in the latest race, but when it comes to sales, the Monster, the naked, fairly upright and much more basic member of the Italian family is the big winner, and without it, Ducati would be far less successful than it is today. Ian Falloon, well known for many expert reviews of specific motorcycle marques and models, turned his attention to the Monster and the new Ducati Monster Bible is the impressive result.
The Monster was a classic “parts bin special,” created in 1991 by designer Miguel Galluzzi. He built a stripped down version of a Ducati 888 Superbike and that was his daily ride to work. Claudio Castiglioni saw him riding it one day and immediately told him to get it production ready. Cagiva owned Ducati at the time and the plan was to sell the Monster as a Cagiva model. Massimo Bordi, Ducati’s manager, saw the 900 Supersport wasn’t selling well so there were a lot of engines available and wanted to use them instead of the 888 plus there was a battery fit problem trying to squeeze the battery for the 888’s fuel injection into the Monster package. With many of the components for the Monster coming from Bologna, why not build it there and call it a Ducati? And so it is.
If you remember the first Monster 900, the appearance took some getting used to. It set the stage for all of the models to follow but it was very different from the Ducatis we were used to seeing. After all of these years, the Monster now looks perfectly normal and it’s become extremely popular, but it’s the rare person who can keep all of the various Monster models and variations straight.
If you’re even casually familiar with the Monster, you already know there have been air cooled and water cooled bikes, 2 valve, 4 valve, 600cc bikes, 1100cc bikes, and everything in between with numerous R and S versions, special paint and finishes, limited production specials, the variety is mind boggling. Lucky for you, Ian Falloon has written the definitive book on every one of those models year by year, carefully explaining the changes, the high points, the weak spots, everything you need to sort it all out.
There are 160 pages and 150 high quality photos, closeups, tech specs, drawings, it covers it all. Beginning with the Monster’s first appearance and ending with the 2011 model year and current developments, it’s a fine resource for the Ducati section of your bookshelf. The book is brand new and just becoming available. I rate this one a definite “buy.”