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.For more great motorcycle articles and pictures, check out: