DUCATI MONSTER 600 (1993 - 2001) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
A mini version of the highly-successful Ducati M900 Monster, the 600 has always been a hit with ‘first big bikers’, women especially. It looks fabulous, sounds even better and offers sprightly, spirited performance. What’s more, the Ducati M600 Monster is an affordable way in to the sought-after Ducati motorcycles brand.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
With its small size, grunty engine and sporty Ducati 888 geometry, the Ducati M600 Monster is great fun for hurtling around corners. The suspension works well and the brakes are more than capable of bringing you to a halt. Slow speed work on a Ducati M600 Monster is hampered by a lousy turning circle.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The M600 motor is a toned-down version of the Ducati 750SS lump, it gives out loads of low down and midrange grunt, making it perfect for urban riding or some naughty weekend scratching. It’s comfortable up to around 80mph but around the ton mark it gets a little wheezy: that, plus the motorcycle’s nakedness, mean the Ducati M600 Monster is less at home on the motorway.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The Ducati M600 Monster's build quality is good enough and it certainly looks fabulous. Reliability, however, is a touchy subject: some seem to go on forever, others suffer lots of little setbacks. Electrics, especially, are temperamental. Overall, though, the Ducati M600 Monster is a pretty trusty little motorcycle and definitely worth a try.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The M600 Monster was always meant as a cheap introduction to Ducati ownership, it’s a bargain if being part of that club is your thing. The Ducati M600 Monster Dark is even cheaper. You could pick up a Honda CB600F Hornet or Suzuki GSF600 Bandit for less but they don’t come with the Italian allure.
Parts and servicing on the Ducati M600 Monster can be pricey if the bike has been abused.
Marzocchi forks and Brembo brake calipers signify a high standard of components but the Ducati M600 Monster is, otherwise, a relatively simplistic motorcycle. A lot of owners add aftermarket screens and carbon fibre bodywork to spruce things up. The low seat makes it extremely popular with smaller riders.
|Engine type||4v V-twin, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||18 litres|
|Rear suspension||Preload and rebound|
|Front brake||320mm disc|
|Rear brake||245mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/60 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||160/60 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||43 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£73|
|Annual service cost||£140|
13 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||53 bhp|
|Max torque||37 ft-lb|
|Top speed||116 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||13.6 secs|
|Tank range||170 miles|
Model history & versions
1993: Ducati M600 Monster introduced.
1994: A few minor tweaks, such as some gold on the frame and wheels and a silver side stand.
1999: New regulator and a braided clutch hose added.
2001: Ducati M600 Monster discontinued. It was reborn as the Ducati M620 Monster, with fuel injection and a bit more bhp.
Ducati M600 Monster Dark: all black, budget version of the standard Ducati M600 Monster. Matt black tank, no seat cowl. It was introduced in 1997 and discontinued in 2002 when a Ducati M620 Monster Dark version superseded it.
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI MONSTER 600 (1993 - 2001)
7 owners have reviewed their DUCATI MONSTER 600 (1993 - 2001) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
Annual servicing cost: £300
Ducati's most basic, no-frills motorcycle can be described as a jack-of-all-trades - World Superbike-winning chassis, excellent brakes and a comfortable riding position could make this the only bike you'll ever need. It could definitely do with some more top-end and a better gearbox though.
It is hard to go wrong with a 3-time World Superbike winning chassis (taken straight from the 851/888) and Brembo Goldline brakes front and rear. Suspension is not adjustable but well set-up for sporty riding. The relatively soft seat does not sacrifice comfort despite the stiff suspension. The bike is slim and low, with ample leg room to suit a variety of sizes.
Sadly this is the Monster 600's biggest letdown. Taken straight from the 600SS and dating back to the late 1970s, the understressed air-cooled twin provides good low-end and midrange pull, but the top end is disappointing. Gearbox is very harsh on upshifts, while downshifts are slick. Reliability is good.
Build quality is excellent as you would expect on a Ducati, with high quality materials all around. Paint on the engine is prone to flaking though. Electrics may give some small issues on older bikes. The simple, understressed engine will last forever as long as service intervals are respected.
Parts are easy to find as the majority are shared with all older Monsters as well as the older SS bikes and the 851/888. As the bike is simple, most maintenance can be done at home. Fuel economy is acceptable. Desmo belts must be strictly replaced according to service intervals, as on all Ducatis.
This bike has all you need to go fast in corners...and literally nothing more. Not even a rev counter. No luxuries like a fuel gauge or a clock either, don't even think about it. Aerodynamics? Forget about it. Mirrors are mediocre. However, it is easy to install some side luggage and a windscreen, both provided by Ducati as well as third-party manufacturers.
Buying experience: Purchased online for 2000€.
I do not have comentad
Annual servicing cost: £60
great entry bike in to the ducatista
the single disc brakes are more than enough to grind to a halt, i have a silmotor high level exhaust fitted on mine and it sounds the dogs with baffles removed, much to the annoyance of my neighbours as i start work at 6am
this is my first big bike and the 55bhp is more than enough for me, last time i checked the fastest roads in the uk were only 70mph and i dont plan on using them, fast B roads this bike excels due to its low weight and decent amount of torque, and the sound is amazing
touch wood i have had only starting issues in the cold weather we are having at the moment, though it usually kicks in on the second start, everything else is working great
shop around for parts online and do the work your self, i am no time served mechanic but a haynes annual and good ole google will help do even the most difficult of jobs
this is my first big bike and the 55bhp is more than enough for me, last time i checked the fastest roads in the uk were only 70mph, very basic equipment but how much do you need on a motorcycle
Buying experience: very good, i bought it for £1400 and the bike shop delivered it to my hose free of charge. would i use them again? yes i would if they had my next bike available, i also use them for mot's
Annual servicing cost: £60
I've had the pleasure of owning this simple yet characterful Monster for over 3 years and covered over 10,000 miles (passed the 30k miles now). The Good: Most enjoyable riding experience i've ever had despite being just 53bhp it has plenty of low down torque and awesome exhaust note making cruising even at just 40mph a pleasure. Big 320mm disc up front and brembo 4 pot caliper means very good braking power even for just a single disc as the Monster is a light bike. Rear brake has plenty of bite and can be locked up 'at will'. Happy to cruise comfortably up to around 80mph, above 85mph the engine sounds a little harsher but it can still belt up to 90 if need be. Suspension feels very planted, steering is light and very precise and the bike can cut through traffic like a pro, and the exhaust note/noise lets drivers know you are there. Chain adjustment is rare, despite being a v-twin, just a lube every few rides or every couple of hundred miles. Over the 10,000 miles i've averaged almost 62mpg, best of 66mpg, averaging a cost-per-mile of 10p(Uk figures) its a cheap bike to run. Reliability has been 10/10. Been ridden thru winter and in -6 degrees, it wasn't happy(suffers carb icing below 6 degrees!) but it did it, and finish of parts is still excellent after a wash proving quality components and plating of bolts etc. Good decent sensible headlight and beam pattern. Belt changes take 20-30mins at home and are so easy to do it's crazy. All these non-owners scaring off potential owners with horror stories on belt changes and them snapping, there's not been any instance i've heard of on the forums of them breaking even when 8yrs old! The bad. Being carb'd it suffers carb icing(stalling at low revs-never on the move, just at traffic lights or junctions revs will slowly die down to nothing but always fires up straight away), it starts when temps drop below 6 degrees(idles low even after 3 or 4 miles riding at commuting speeds), get down to about 1-2 degrees and it can eventually stall if throttle not blipped, get into minus figures and the fun starts lol. Front o.e. brake discs from the factory have too much play in the rotors bobbins so if you 'grab' jerkily/learner style the brake lever the front brake may make a resonating noise, but you get used to 'progressively' braking and it will never be an issue. Few false neutrals can be found in the gearbox if you don't move the gear lever positively enough, again, get used to the bike and it will hardly ever happen, gearbox is light and beautiful to use 99.99% of the time. Front forks suffer 'stiction' where the fork compresses but doesn't fully extend unless you lift the weight off it. Just a trait of the forks and never a problem. 'Grumpy' engine when cold, needs choke to idle but won't run happily when riding with choke, get used to riding off and flicking the choke off, and maybe back on when coming up to a junction to stop engine stalling. Only first few mins riding, a 'nack' of getting a feel of the bike makes morning starts quite ok, but an injection bike will seem like bliss to ride in comparison lol. For the first 2 mins at least. Rear tire wear seems to end up flatting off the centre section, probably down to riding low revs/lots of torque/v-twin and WOT, doesn't seem to upset handling even when it looks quite bad so not a worry tbh.
Brakes are tip top, powerful front and very decent rear. Good actuation and feel, rear pedal has little travel and goes solid very quickly but still has good feel and can be applied most of the time when riding normally to slow the bike down just as well as a front would and saves wearing out the more expensive front prematurely. Ride and handling is excellent for this bike, it can lean over quite a way, good ground clearance but exhaust cans may touch down first but i ride corners hard on my bikes and its not happened once so maybe on racetrack??? Soft rear suspension may make taking a pillion an issue if its most of the time, plus the seat is shaped so they may slide back but then this bike isn't for 2 up riding all the time. Odd times-fine.
Brilliant! Lots of low down torque, sounds great, burbles on the over-run, just a lovely noise that only a Ducati can make! Get used to the bike and you know exactly what will upset it, drop near 2k revs in 1st or 2nd may provoke some kangaroo-ing due to it's lumpy nature of a v-twin, but in 3rd you can be gentle and pull away from 2k, it's all about knowing your bike. I hardly ever go above 6k revs, all the power is low down, change up at 5-6k revs and you won't lose hardly any speed as if you ragged it up to 8k revs and you've save potential wear on your engine, and it sounds good and effortless not revving it out while still overtaking cars. It's a little fighter of an engine, always puts a smile on your face with every ride. Being wet clutch there's no Ducati clutch rattle and mines still going well on the original plates at 30k miles. Needs minimal maintenance, services are easy.
Brakes are Brembo, pistons still look good as new with no corrosion even after 30k/winters/minimal cleaning! Being an older bike it seems materials used were much better quality so these bikes last very well, parts aren't cheap but keep a watch on eBay for bargains and collect some spares for the day when you might need them. Belts are 2 yearly intervals and 20-30mins to change with no special tools and easy to do with good access. Never in 3 years and 10,000 miles(20k to 30k now) has it never not started or broken down. Wiring looms are german made, watch for corrosion on the end terminals/connections but same for any bike tbh. Reliability is 10/10, for mine at least. As faithful as they come. Build quality is very good too, access is good to almost everything. It takes me 20mins to have the carb's out the bike from scratch. It's a very simple agricultural technology engine thats built well, being air cooled there's no water pipes or radiators to burst. Not even oil cooling for the 600's.
Service costs DIY are approx £60 a year. Oil 10w 40 semi synthetic is £20(silkolene)-£35(castrol power 1), genuine oil filter is £11, maybe change the brake fluid if need be? It's a basic bike needing basic maintenance, no electronics to reset or fault codes to read. Ducati prices for parts other than service parts may be more than say a Honda but just keep an eye out on auction sites to bag a bargain, put it away and when the time comes to replace its sitting there ready, no need to be trapped into paying dealer prices. Tho for example a rear Brembo brake caliper is £105 including genuine pads so tbh thats as cheap as a Honda and they're not gonna be Brembo! Belts are usually every 2 years, and about £73 for the 600 Monster. Nothing warrants taking to a dealer, its easy to work on yourself.
The layout of the speedo and rev counter and idiot lights is perfect and easy to read, switches are decent quality, throttle is heavier than other bikes(at least on my Monster), heated grips are a good upgrade and i've fitted BMW R1200GS handguards to stop wind chill.
Buying experience: I bought privately from eBay for the going price back then, bike turned out to be just 5 miles away! I'm always sensible and know the warning signs-lots of owners, lack of history, owners description of condition can vary wildly from the truth. Well my Monster was ringing every alarm bell going, poor running, coughing and spluttering above half throttle 7 previous owners, the 'service done by a mate who's a local ducati dealer mechanic so should be spot on' (later transpired to cambelts flapping wildly on the pulleys on inspection after purchase), all of these things were warnings but my heart said this bike was for me and so against everything i believed in when buying a bike i went for it, and i don't regret it at all. That was my experience, and it helped me get to know my bike and the great ducati forum members/friends and suss out which are the decent dealers out there. So don't be afraid to take a risk on one thats not pristine or has a few owners or poor history or 20k miles. If i had gone to a dealer and bought one thats low mileage, pristine, over-valued etc, i'd have missed out on the other side of the Ducati experience of great forums and getting to know other owners and joining in with meet-ups and days out and all the helpful ones that are further afield offering advice and genuinely going out of their way to help a fellow owner trying to fix their Monster. It's a lot of waffle this, but owning a Monster is more than just having another bike, it's a whole community. Back on track, 3 years ago i payed what was the going rate of £1600 for mine, today 3yrs on they are still fetching that price, so in terms of depreciation the older Monsters are great buys.
Mines an '01 M600, done 1400 miles in 2 1/2months ownership and been 100% reliable. Has been my commuter bike in the week and pleasure riding the weekend. Handling is ok, nothing scary to worry about, but there's little adjustment except preload. Engine is excellent-lots of low down grunt, nice burble, air/oil cooled, 2-valve, very simple and mechanically easy to work on. Gearbox can have some big gaps between gears so you may fins some false neutrals but you rarely get them once your used to it. Engine suits the bike perfectly tho runs out of puff after 7k so short shift is best. Can cruise at 80/85mph if need be, but seems happiest from 60-80mph. Low top gear revving, 60mph=4k revs, thats 15mph per 1k revs.You can wor out the rest. Comfortable up to around 45-50miles when seat feels uncomfortable then on, but doesn't get any worse the more miles you do. Honestly the quoted 43mpg is wrong, you will never get less than 50-55mpg. I average 62mpg overall(normally 60-70mpg commuting and weekend blasts in the country). Belts are super easy to do, access is excellent. Reliability has been great, no gremlins, it'll happily start even after a days worth of rain with it being sat outside. Payed £1550 for mine, an '01 Dark M600, 20k miles, average condition(needed tidying) in June 2012. I would recommend it to anyone, parts are £11 air filter, £10.80 oil filter etc. On par with yamaha, honda etc. Overall a great bike with bundles of charactor. Has won me over big time, i used to have Fireblades and a Bandit 1200 before this but my Monster 600 has shown me there's easily as much enjoyment at the opposite end of the speed scale. Don't be put off by the low bhp output, its a light bike and does a grand job making the most of its 53bhp. Try to find a standard one, well looked after and it'll bring many years of pleasure to you!
Excellent handling and just love the engine. Perfect bike for city drive and shorter distances, but expect rough wind on highways. People claim some unidentified electrical problems may occur on some models, for instance I've myself come across two in a short time, although they were easy to fix. If you get one for around a couple of grands it's definately a catch.
Apart from costing a miniature arm and leg to get it seen to sometimes (Rosso Corse are great) it is like being with a feisty, sexy, exuberant sweet heart who know what to do to make you happy. A very sexy, fun bike and perfect for London. People do actually MOVE out of the way when they see it coming along...sweet!