You love classic Italian cars but they are too expensive. Welcome to the club. You've chickened out instead and bought something reliable but it now cannot fill that empty feeling in your heart. You know, that feeling that there is absolutely nothing cool about you at all. Perhaps we can get you a tiny dose of Italian machismo with an Italian motorcycle. Think of it as an alternative to a Fiat convertible.
Yep, the air cooled Monster is the 308 GTS of Motorcycles. A Ducati for the common man, you won't need to wear leathers with knee-pucks to ride it. It's got character, but is as easy to ride as a Shetland Pony. It captures all that Italian sex appeal without making you a complete poser. Perfectly compatible with your Levi's and Converse sneakers.
The Ducati Monster is an affordable modern classic and still as Italian as cappuccino. It started life as an amalgam of older Ducati race parts, thrown together as a "standard" motorbike. It sold like gelato, saved the company and invented the "naked bike" in the process. You could own an Italian piece of art and probably sell it down the line for a return better than your US Bank savings account can offer.
The example shown here is impeccably original and would run you less than an engine-out spark plug service on a Testarossa. Now this it the kind of rationalization that just might work don't you think?
There is no shortage of Ducati Monsters for sale, but the tricky part is to buy the right one. That's a bit harder. The ideal scenario is a one adult owned machine, low mileage and completely original. Throw in EFI and adjustable suspension (like this one) and they start getting more rare. Once you start looking here are some things to remind you what to look out for.
Buy a bike that is original as hell. Improvements are NOT what you are looking for if you expect this to be a profitable endeavor. When any vehicle reaches 10 years old it becomes affordable and people use their savings to "fix" them. You must find a machine that has skipped that part of its life somehow. Moreover you must keep it this way so you can sell it for more than the average machine. Oh, and having the original parts in a box somewhere is NOT ORIGINAL, You'll fuck up a number of little fasteners as you endeavor to put everything back to stock while drinking prosecco and you know it.
Buy a fuel injected machine. An EFI bike is much lower maintenance, and frankly Delorto carbs are outright witchcraft to maintain. Carbs on Ducatis fall out of tune constantly and can be very hard starting in the cold. So get fuel injection and skip all the tiny parts that can be temperamental w/in a carburetor.
Buy an air cooled example. They made water cooled examples of many sexy Ducatis, but the cost to purchase and maintain are both greater than the simpler air cooled examples. Insurance will be lower too for the air cooled examples. Keep in mind we are looking for Italian styling, not speed.
Displacement. Seek a bike over 750cc. The smaller bikes are as slow as lawn mowers. You will likely find many well preserved smaller Monsters; don't be tempted. Like the Harley Sportsters, people buy these as starter bikes for spouses and many just don't get ridden. The problem is they are lacking in adjustable shocks, good brakes and lack adequate as power. Basically the bikes with the best specs are 900 and 1000 cc. This example is a 900cc with uses a simple single spark design, not high tech by todays standards, "old-school."
Many positive things to see here:
|S model Monsters included a color matched fairing.|
More on originality. While I'm no fan of fairings on a naked bike like the Monster, you want one if they came with them when purchased, just take it off and store it carefully. Also, the existence of the OEM fairing assures you the previous owner didn't ride the thing into the back of a bus. Factory turn signals seem dated when a bike is 10 years old, but when it's 20 years old they look classic. It's also a good indicator no 25 yr. old has monkeyed around with your wiring harness.
|Big indicators of a privileged life:|
|Another two validation points reflecting low mileage:|
Another temptation to watch out for is replaced or missing foot pegs. The pegs are mounted quite low on Monsters so if anyone wanted to ride aggressively, they would typically need to replace the foot pegs. It's not just the missing OEM parts that are a problem, but the fasteners that are typically long gone too.
Tanks. Early metal tanks are prone to denting because people are stupid and they don't repair easily since the metal is petty thick. 900 or 1000 cc bikes are typically owned by veteran riders, so the tanks are dented less on the sides from falls but more on the top of the tank. Belt buckles banging down onto the top of the tank during wheelies. Naturally mine is metal and is flawless.
Keys matter. The ideal example machine will have 100% of the materials you received at the dealer. For older machines you are talking 2 keys, and a key number tab which simply proves your anal and keep every damn thing. For later examples it means 2 keys and a 3rd red colored key with proves to the motorcycle computer that you are the owner. Of course you can work around not having all the keys, but it's more expensive and time consuming than you might think to correct the issue if you aren't provided with a full set of keys.
Paper work matters. While you can certainly look up everything on the internet, these people salivate over original paperwork. So you should want this crap too. Motorbikes rarely have a window sticker, but there is always paperwork and manuals that make you look like an ideal seller.