DUCATI MONSTER 1000 (2003-2005) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"For schmoozing about town there's really nothing more rewarding"

Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding

"For schmoozing about town there's really nothing more rewarding"

  • At a glance
  • 922cc  -  85 bhp
  • 42 mpg  -  140 miles range
  • Insurance group: 14 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Medium seat height (800mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

For schmoozing about town there’s really nothing more rewarding than a Ducati Monster 1000 with its easy-going dual spark (DS) motor. With its handsome, air-cooled V-twin hanging out in the breeze and trademark trellis frame the Ducati Monster 1000 is the quintessential roadster motorcycle.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Pleasant, very pleasant. The Ducati Monster 1000 is perfect for demolishing A-roads with its loping pace, but press on and you’ll quickly find the pegs grinding on dry tarmac, with the cans not far behind. The Ducati Monster 1000's Brembo brakes are tried and trusted, combining well with the chassis to leave you with a feeling of real confidence.

Engine 3 out of 5

The Ducati Monster 1000's mambo comes courtesy of the factory’s punchy 1000cc Dual Spark motor. It’s versatile and reliable, though it will require expensive cam belt changes every two years or 12,000 miles , which means a bill of around £700 a time. The Ducati Monster 1000's motor is not exactly stressed with a mild 80bhp, but it suffices.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The Ducati Monster 1000 isn’t a motorcycle to ride through winter. That way it’ll stay gorgeous for longer. Traditional Ducati electrical woes seem to have been largely sorted, though if you plan to lay your motorcycle up for the winter a trickle charger’s advisable or the Ducati Monster 1000 can flatten it's battery quickly.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

Compared to the pricier, Ducati 996/998-powered Ducati Monster S4R the Ducati Monster 1000 feels a bit underwhelming. And against the belting Kawasaki Z1000 it’s both dearer and slower. But the name on the tank is worth it for the snobbery value alone – and with some fruitier, preferably carbon, cans on the back you’ll soon feel better about choosing the Ducati Monster 1000. Find a Ducati Monster 1000 for sale.

Insurance group: 14 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Ducati Monster 1000 is equipped with span-adjustable levers and an ignition-based immobiliser as standard and there’s a raft of official tuning and luggage kit to be had from the factory if you want to modify your Ducati Monster 1000.

Owners' Reviews

3 owners have reviewed their DUCATI MONSTER 1000 (2003-2005) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 4.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 3.7 out of 5
4 out of 5

Monster Fun

28 March 2010 by Largemonster

I have had a Monster 1000ie for a year now - following ownership of a Monster M600, Honda Blackbird and Kawasaki ZZR. The Monster is great for the daily 10 mile commute. Why? It has upswept remus cans, so everybody knows I am coming - the Duc sound... Read more is pretty hard to beat from the 1000 lump! It pulls really well and will go past anything. In black with retro stripes it looks pleanty cool enough, it really digs down when you pull away and it has good road prescence. Having owned crazier bikes this one does it all, handling could be a bit better as it turn in a bit, the 600M was lighter and cornered better, but perhaps some adjustment to suspension will fix. If you are thinking of a Monster 1000 you wont be disappointed!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

The Monster is Ready...

10 February 2010 by MrMcGoohan

The title is what showed up on my phone 2 days before I went to collect my mildly customised Monster 1000 SIE (see pic on my profile). Having not been on a bike for a year following a rather large crash in the 3rd lane of the A1 near Darlington, i... Read more was a bit apprehensive as this bike is a different style, riding position and is more powerful. Oh, and it was wet and foggy and i didn't know the road (brilliant!) However, i needn't have worried. this is a very comfortable and controllable bike, it took me just 15 minutes to forget that i told everyone that i would be Mr Sensible until i got the feel for riding again! The bike is much lighter than my old Triumph Speedmaster (190kg vs 230kg) and as a still relative novice, this makes a huge difference. The bike is fast but manageable and leans into bends easily, so flattering not very good riders (like me) clear dials and easy to use controls, my only criticism is that the indicator switch does not seem to fall naturally to my thumb so found myself looking for it on occasion and once i hit the horn, that will pass with time. It has a fuel warning light, trip computer and a clock. Given the ease of technology these days they could have put more on, but, ho-hummm. Has an alarm and immobiliser as standard that works well. The modifications on the bike make it look really good (I think) and the exhausts make a fantastic noise! I wouldn’t have bought the bike with the lower pipes on, these MIVV ones tucked under the seat and make it look really sporty. I would guess they have added a bit of power, but the bike could do with more (for top end, not acceleration), something in the summer I will look for advise on. All the Carbon fibre bits look great and no doubt help a bit with power to weight ratio. Over all a very good buy for a bit of fun on, that you can modify and get plenty of nice comments about.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Italy's finest - if you don't love it, you're wrong!

30 September 2006 by daveslade

I was originally looking for a Monster 600 or 750 but got such a good deal on this one that I couldn't resist. Have had the bike for 18 months now and loved every single mile. Didn't enjoy the two months it was off the road waiting for parts from... Read more Italy after a nasty tankslapper. However, I took this opportunity to replace the standard pipes for high level Termi's - should be compulsory on all Ducatis. The sound is awesome and has improved the already strong mid-range. The Monster is one of those bikes that seems to attract attention from non-bikers as much as bikers. It is certainly a bike which is full of character and ensures that every trip is an experience. However, if you are used to a Jap four cylinder you might think that "experience" is more of an "endurance"! Strengths: Looks to die for, wonderful V-twin engine, great sound (with Termi's fitted), sharp handling. Weaknesses: Ride is a bit firm for my liking. Backup from Ducati in Italy was very poor - ten weeks for a pair of handlebars?

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 3 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2003
Year discontinued 2005
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 85 bhp
Max torque 64 ft-lb
Top speed 138 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.1 secs
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 140 miles
Specification
Engine size 922cc
Engine type 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 190kg
Front suspension Preload, Compression, Rebound
Rear suspension Preload, ride height, compression, rebound
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2003: Ducati Monster 1000 introduced in October along with M1000S version.
2005: Ducati Monster 1000 discontinued in January.
2005: Ducati Monster 1000S version discontinued in September.

Other versions

Ducati Monster 1000S: Slightly sportier version of the motorcycle with a nose fairing, colour matched seat cover and carbon-fibre bodywork.

Photo Gallery

  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Suspension
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Suspension
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati Monster 1000 motorcycle review - Riding