The 1997 Ducati 750 Monster motorcycle drew lessons from the past to set a standard for the future.
While a swoopy, full-coverage fairing was a defining necessity for any self-respecting sportbike of the 1990s, a new breed of performance machine was beginning to bloom.
Stripped of all non-essentials, bikes like Ducati's Monster were starting a new trend toward minimalist motorcycles.
On the Monster, there's nothing to shroud the tubular trellis frame
or V-twin engine. As opposed to Ducati's race-inspired sportbikes that carried exotic four-valve, water-cooled V-twins, the Monster came with a less-sophisticated air-cooled, two-valve engine, though it still sported the company's signature desmodromic valve actuation.
The machine's simplistic nature meant even a tachometer was superfluous, but the approach resulted in a feather-light curb weight of just 390 pounds.
As a result, the Monster followed a formula that proved so successful with American muscle cars of the 1960s: light weight, powerful engine, basic amenities, low price. Introduced in 1993 with a 900-cc V-twin, smaller 750- and 600-cc Monsters followed, though the last wasn't sold in the United States until recently.
On the next page are more pictures of the 1997 Ducati 750 Monster.