In early 1993, I had just gotten my first job with a real future, and was looking to get some real transportation. I'd spent the last several years on scooters (a 1960 Heinkel and a 1962 Maicoletta) with occasional assist from a really ratty 1971 Honda CL350 that I had literally found in a compost heap. It had been fun, but I was ready for something a bit more fast and reliable. I was looking to spend about $10,000, and was trying to decide on whether I was going to get a decent car and a beater bike, or vice-versa, but was really not seeing any newer bikes that I liked much.
I liked light, sporty, and nimble. I liked the power curve of a twin.
I'm a vintage-bike kind of guy, and I like a more mechanical look, with no fairing. The only bike available at the time that came close to this was the Buell, but it was (a) too expensive, (b) slow, (c) ugly, and (d) badly built. So I was trying to decide if I was going to skip the twin idea and get a CBR600 and streetfighter it, or if I was going to get a pair of Norton Commandos and rebuild them in alternate years. Then I saw an article in Cycle World about the new Ducati Monster. It was exactly what I had in mind. However, at the time Ducati didn't know if this thing was going to sell, so they stated the intent to build only 5,000 and allot each dealership two, and see what happened. So, no time to waste, I decided that the idea of having a car was overrated, got my money together, looked in the Yellow Pages for the nearest Ducati dealer, and headed on over. This was in July 1993. I handed over my wad o' cash, having never seen the bike I was buying in person, nor having ridden a Ducati of any kind, and hoped that I liked it when it got here.
It then took three months to get it, but I liked it very much.
I rode that one as daily transport for 24 years and 265K miles. At which point, almost 4 years ago, it got squashed by a hit-and-run driver. Otherwise, I'd still be riding it, and be over 300K miles by now.
I got a 1995 M900 to replace it, and am riding that one now.
Because I wanted one.
I specifically bought an S4 because it has the original monster style (if you ignore the radiator).
I wanted a four valve version as they make more power than the air cooled monsters of that era but I'm not a huge fan of the single sided swing arm or the exhaust set up of the S4R/S4RS.
Only things I don't like about the bike is the combined rider/pilion foot rest/exhaust bracket and the fuel stains and cracked instrument lenses.
All of these things are forgotten as soon as I start it up.
I bought an S4RS Tricolore in 2007 because I thought it looked badass. Had an accident and it was a total loss : ( and went to a 1098 after that for17k miles. Traded that in on a Monster 1200R because the chance to own an R model Ducati was too rich to pass up. Plus the first owner was a salesman at the Ducati dealer and had put lots of goodies on it. Low miles at the right price. I jumped all over it.
I bought a used ‘07 S4RS and it is my favorite bike. It took a while to get comfortable with the singl side swing arm and radiator, but I was always attracted to Monsters and I felt like they were getting more complex every model year and I didn’t want all the electronic help. The S4RS has really good power and suspension. I have back issues so my SS is a short ride bike for me. I really am attracted to the 2 valve Monsters, like a 1000S, but I don’t need both. I like the 1200 too, I considered buying one if I couldn’t find a decent S4RS.
I liked the look when they first came out. But iirc they were on the expensive side for me then, and reported to be maintenance intensive. Eventually I made more money and Ducati makes them more reliable. I decided to quit waiting after more than 20 years. Got my Monster 1200 about 3 1/2 years ago, and it has been my only bike for the last 3 or so. Love it. Put over 20,000 miles on it so far. All fun, no commuting.
Already had my 851 SP3. It was/is a 'special' machine. It wasn't/isn't meant to be a daily rider. It ISN'T a daily rider unless you are surrounded exclusively by properly twisty roads. I liked the looks and specs of the Monster. I wanted to stay in the 'family' for a daily rider. It took longer than I planned but, I finally got one in '01. Still have them both.
In 2018 an '03 620ie Dark was bought by local independent Ducati Bike shop. 1800 miles, one owner (a lady who had died) been laid up for a few years.
The shop did the main service on it and I rode it away.
I do pre use checks, It starts, I go riding, I clean it and more checking after the ride. It's powerful enough and small enough for me.
I removed the standard mirrors and added bar end ones and a small rack. I keep looking at changing things, then think "why - it's fine as it is". The tank seemed a bit short on capacity at first but then after a tank full, about 120 miles, I'm ready to get off and walk around anyway.
I wanted to get into riding motorcycles and was looking for something that would represent a nice blend of style and performance. I wanted something that offered a fairly neutral body position and that worked for someone my size (about 6'4" and about 230 pounds). I considered a few different models, but a 1200s seemed like the best balance of those factors to me.
I've only had it for a few months and I've learned a lot from it already and about motorcycles and riding more generally - I'm fortunate to have the guidance of friends and some other athletic experience that has translated nicely to help me on the learning curve (and I think my overall body size has made handling the bike easier), although I am still very much a beginner in my mind.
On the Monster, I immediately hated the rear fender and I quickly learned to hate the stock mirrors - I've addressed both of those. I am finding that I don't like the seat much and I want to improve that so that I can shift my body more readily on the bike and so that the default body position doesn't drive me into the tank so much. I really enjoy the looks overall and the rest of the performance of the motorcycle - I still need to spend more time optimizing the set-up.
If I were to make the decision again, I would probably make the same decision on the 1200s, although I am tempted by the streetfighter. At this stage in my learning curve I think it is unlikely that any incremental performance from the streetfighter would matter at all to me, but the seat and seating position on the streetfighter would probably be better for me. If I can solve my seating issues on the Monster then it will be perfect for me at this stage (and perhaps at all stages), and I think that the Monster is a much better looking motorcycle than the streetfighter.
I have an older 2008 695 and love it. What a nice change from the position and seemingly unlimited power of other bikes. It is like a (more) modern version of bikes I rode as a kid where the fun was in the maneuverability of the machine while having enough go to assertively get by cars and other street creatures. Small, agile, light, easy to maintain and just a lot of fun. Plus it sounds fantastic and was cheap!