In 1992, Ducati was a relatively small manufacturer known for its competent, though somewhat unconventional, sporting motorcycles. At the time, posters of the 916 were yet to adorn the bedroom walls of a generation of teenagers, Carl Fogarty had not yet given the marque four world championships, and the Desmosedici’s first MotoGP race was still a decade away. In September of that year, Ducati introduced the M900 at the Cologne Motor Show, unveiling a new design ethos that was culturally modish and quintessentially Italian. It would be perhaps more significant to the future direction of the marque than even its greatest racebikes.
The machine was nicknamed “The Monster” because of its Frankenstein assemblage of parts: an air-cooled Desmodue engine from a 900 Supersport, a modified trellis frame from the 851/888 superbike, and an inverted fork from a 750 Supersport. The Monster, with more upright ergos reminiscent of the 750 GT from decades earlier, was a Ducati designed for the streets, not for the racetrack.