I recently burbled on about an entry- level bike that has held its value and it’s now occurred to me that the Harley 883 is not alone.
The Monster, not the 916, was the bike that saved Ducati. The Italians did away with everything that wasn’t essential (even the rev counter on early models), styled it superbly, priced it right, and watched the money roll in.
However, the Monster has now moved upmarket. From being the essential naked Ducati, it’s grown in capacity, power, sophistication and everything else. And early Monsters are now ridiculous value for money.
Guess how much for a 15,000-mile 620? Fourteen hundred quid. Yes, really. A bit less buys the earlier carbed 600 model. Sure, they’re not that quick – 110-115mph is about your lot - but they are incredibly tough and (I know this is subjective) but the air-cooled Monsters have a purity and simplicity of line that the current models simply lack. Even the Monster Dark (a sort of cheaper version of an already cheap bike) now looks edgy and, well, street.
My personal pick would be a carbed 750, because I ran a carbed 750SS (same engine) for 17 years and it was wonderful, and I’d avoid the 900s (not as solid, nasty dry clutch), but the 750 is rare whereas the 600 is plentiful.
The other thing is that you don’t often see ratty ones. Not many people keep a Ducati parked outside through a UK winter. Most will have good service histories, and the 600s (and 750s) are actually very easy and cheap to work on. You won’t lose money and you can’t buy anything cooler for the cash.
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