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I'm new to the board and the time is approaching for me to buy a bike. I've decided on a pre-'00 M900 since I like to tinker and want the simplicity of carbs. Would there be certain years that I would need to pay particular attention to while inspecting? I have read about cylinder studs breaking on '94s... what else? Many of these will be modded so I need to be able to justify say a '94 versus a '97 that are similarly priced. Also, I would get a bike with under 15k miles. Thanks for any input.
 

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'94, ya may have to change the cylinder studs if it hasn't been done already. Ducati used stainless and they are prone to break, but the '94 M900 is the beast you want!
 

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My 95 has been pretty reliable. Just normal wear and tear items (including fuel pump overhaul which is cheap if you do it yourself).

I seem to remember some years may have had smaller valves, like maybe '97? Someone else may be able to chime in on this issue.
 

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I've researched it a bit, and if I was buying a carbed Monster today I'd get a `99 M900S.

It's got the best OEM suspension (41mm adjustable showas and an ohlins shock) and componentry (little CF pieces here and there) and lots of the small bugs in the earlier bikes were fixed by then.

The M900S waas introduced in 1998, but the `98 version didn't get the ohlins in the back.

The `99 M900 Chromo should have the same suspension as the 900S and most of not all of the extra CF, etc. Ian Falloon also claims that the 900s and the chromo have 3 more HP than the plain jane M900 because they went back to the SS style heads. (Falloon's books are kinda eurocentric and on a few occaisions don't apply to the US)

On that note, early M900 has engines identical to Supersports at about 74 hp, but in 1997 Ducati put heads with smaller valves on the Monsters which is supposed to have dropped the power down to 67 hp (they claim to have done that in an effort to improve torque). All `97s have that engine, in `98 the M900S got the SS engine back, and in `99 the M900S and the Chromo had the SS engine. (By 1998 the smal valve engine was rated at 71 hp though...)

I don't know anybody who's been around Monsters that thinks the small valve engine is better, so you might want to avoid those.

You might want to pick up Ducati Two-Valve Twins by Ian Falloon. I've seen it available at Borders and B&N, as well as Amazon.com

HTH,
--Fillmore
 

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I don't know anybody who's been around Monsters that thinks the small valve engine is better, so you might want to avoid those.
The small valve engine might just be smoother and have more midrange power. I lived with one for six years and was happy with it.

I like the looks of the 94-97 bikes better because they have the nicer looking font and come with carbon sidecovers. The more modern Ducati font started in 1998 and that's when they substituted plastic for the sidecovers.

For maximum performance, the 99 M900S would be the best choice, unless the bike you're looking at has some good suspension modification.
 

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I really like my '94 M900. But as Jeff said, the '99 got the goods when it comes to suspension bits. My forks are non-adjustable, which drives a tweaker like me crazy...
 

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I have a 93 M900, it has had no problems. It has been on 2 trackdays and is strong. It has had several mods done and is still fine. My personal feeling is older models Monster's are better. ;)
 
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My 1996 M900 ROCKS......

and yes it is a tinker-toy....a regular magnet for upgrade parts

It is well made/assembled, has the big valve heads, the right head studs and it is a Cagiva era machine

If I were to consider an updated machine I would look at the M1000 DS....

I'm kinda partial to the air-cooled series and do want to get a 1993 original issue bike as well

The 99 is likely your best bet if you want to stay with carbs
 

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Although my FI has worked flawless, I wish I had carbs for ease of tuning.
 

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Neat thread. I bought a 94. I don't really have as much experience with different years to offer a better analysis, but I'm very happy with my bike.

I was able to find a totally stock (except for tank ding) bike with about 4,000 miles on the clock. Got it for $4k.

This is significant for a couple reasons. Since I don't have a lot of cheese in the bike, it freed me up to do all the mods I wanted (including complete disassembly, just because I could). It's not like I'm making a payment on it or anything. Just a thought.
Dion
 

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Much will depend on how much you want to fool with it. Carbed Monsters will allow you some flexibility there. Older M900's will also make upgrades (big bore kit, high comp pistons, head work, etc, etc) more sense. I'll vote for a 97 M900, like mine!. I rebuilt the top end this summer with high comp pistons and it runs really well, even with small valves. However, usually the last run before major changes is the best, so you might want to look for a '99. :p
 
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You might want to pick up Ducati Two-Valve Twins by Ian Falloon. I've seen it available at Borders and B&N, as well as Amazon.com
Does this book compare the specs and bits for each of the Monsters by year/displacement/model? Things get pretty confusing without a comparison - you know, what kind of rear shock came stock on a 98 M900S, etc. etc. etc.
 

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I bought a 94 with the 944 kit and all kinds of goodies on it for $3500 it has 13k mi. and was not runnin perfect but I got it for so cheap that after some work (thats the fun part) it is runnin really well. I have already started the fun mods and I dont feel like Ive sunk a fortune into it. By the way, it is very fast!
 
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Yes, it goes year by for each model and displacement. It was published a few years ago, so I think that it stops at `99 or `00.

--Fillmore
That sounds useful. I notice that the FAQ here has a placeholder for "Model Comparison." FAQ's can be difficult to prepare and update, but Ducati newbies such as myself would really benefit from a FAQ on this subject. I'll buy you a beer if you put one together. [smiley=wink.gif]
 

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Maybe I'll have to do that...

You found my weakness, beer is my kryptonite. :)

--Fillmore
 
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