This is my 1993 M900, I purchased new from Sonny Angel Motorcycles in San Diego. It is my regular daily all-year-round rain-or-shine transportation, and as of this writing shows 197,046 miles on the odo.
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 previous several years on vintage scooters, 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 used car and a beater bike, or vice-versa, but was really not seeing any newer bikes that I liked much.
Then I saw an article in Cycle World about the new Ducati Monster. It was
*exactly* what I had in mind. 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.
I did. It fits me perfectly, and does everything well except carry passengers very far. (I have now solved that problem by buying my wife her own Monster.)
About 70% of my riding is just daily rounds, commuting, grocery shopping, taking the cat to the vet, etc., usually 20-30 miles a trip. About 25% is travelling, where I'll typically do 5-600 miles a day. About 5% is just fun rides, club rides, etc., which are usually about 100 miles.
It (and I) have spent pretty much all our lives in San Diego, but the last couple of years I've had to travel for work. In 2010 I had a project in Cleveland, and only 4 days between jobs to get there, so I loaded up the bike and bombed it across country -- one 900-mile day followed by three 600-mile days. I am now working in New Hampshire, and fortunately was able to take a couple of weeks off in between, so I rode from San Diego to New Orleans, and turned left, stopped at Barber Raceway for DucStock and the vintage races, and then headed on up to Portsmouth. This winter in NH has been extremely mild, so I've been riding all winter. If this turns into a permanent position and we move here permanently, I expect I'll have to own a car again, but for now it's just me and Patina.
When I got the bike, I quickly made a list of all the slick mods I wanted to make. Carbs/exhaust/tuning, big bore, upgraded suspension, clip-ons, powdercoat tank blue and frame black, anodize forks black, nifty brackets and cool turn signals, carbon fiber tank protector, lighter wheels, tachometer, oil pressure gauge, etc., etc. I then proceeded to ride it without ever stopping long enough to get any of it done. As you can see, this is still the case.
Modifications so far: Barend mirrors and CF 888 front fender right away.
Went down two teeth on the rear sprocket, from stock 39 to 37. Braided steel brake and clutch lines at 35K. Went to a Corbin seat when the original split its cover, went back to the original with a new cover when the Corbin wore out. Upgraded to petal-style rotors at 120K. Got the tank signed by the designer, Miguel Galluzzi, in 2009. Upgraded to Ohlins shock at 185K, when the original blew out. Upgraded to Cycle Cat rearsets, switched to GP-pattern shifting, and got Staintunes, after a lowside in Jul2011.
Major parts replaced so far: Rear brake disk and cush blocks at 90K. Piston rings and alternator bearing at 122K. Clutch basket at 140K. Replaced worn carburetors at 187K. Whole clutch actuation system, from the slave cylinder to the throwout bearing at 195K. Forks need a rebuild; will get that done soon. That's pretty much it.
It's been a peach of a bike, and I plan to keep it forever. I want to do a lot more traveling. I think I'll do a couple of the easier IBA runs this spring, just for fun. Ideally, I'd like to see 500K on it, which will take a few more years.
Photographer - Francis Wiedmann
Location - NCR Ducstock National Ducati Rally, Barber Motorsport Park, Oct. 2011