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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking through this month's issue of Motorcyclist and they have reviews of 16 "fun" bikes, inlcluding the S4R. Somewhere in the review they said something that I took to mean they thought the styling of the S4R- and the Monsters in general- had seen its day and wouldn't be around much longer- I think they said it was a "sunset" bike.

I don't think they meant to say that the Monster wouldn't be around, just that it has looked more or less the same since it was introduced and is headed for a makeover.

What do you all think? Do you predict a major styling change within the near future? Obviously not in '04. Do you guys think the style of the Monster needs to be modernized? Most of us feel that the Monster is an incredibly sexy bike, but is it- or will it soon- get a little tired without some styling changes?

How about this- if Ducati were to suddenly restyle the Monster (and this is a completely ridiculous question because I'm not predicting what it would look like in any way, but let's assume it is still completely identifiable as a "Monster") would any of you feel the urgent desire to "upgrade" ??
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I totally agree, but I don't think Ducati would try to imitate anybody. The reason Ducatis are Ducatis is because they are not like any other bike. We know that and they know that. But it takes guts to be innovative, and I'm curious to see what Ducati could come up with...
 

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I couldn't really give a rats ass about what a magazine writers opinion is. The reason I bought my monster, beside wanting a Duc since the late '70s, was that the styling reminded me of the late '70s-early '80s AMA superbikes, an era when there were still a lot of homebuilt racers that were competitive. 95% of the street bikes on the showroom floors look like sh!t IMO, including Ducati's. :)
 
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I kinda hope they restyle the monster... I really like the SSSA and the twin pipes on the right side of the S4R... I think it'd be cool if they kept the frame and kinda restyled the tank... other than that... don't change a thing... or maybe steal the headlight from the 599...
 

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All it takes is one wrong person in power, and a fugly design can plop out. I hope Ducati doesn't strongly restyle the monster anytime soon, but you never know with corportations. Hopefully they have emptied their budgets doing the multi, ST3, 999 and 749, so they can't drastically touch the monster. Not until I buy mine anyway ;)

mitt
 
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Restyle the Monster? The only real Ducati left, are you mad? I believe Ducati have to rethink their design strategy. They are no longer the coolest niche market brand in the biking industry, that position has been taken by MV Agusta. Ducati are now a small massmarket brand, not even the fastest growing one in Europe, that position is taken by KTM.

What they did with the 916 is almost unbelievable, they had THE Iconic sports bike and they through it all away and came up with the 999. They should have kept the 916 model no. and taken that design into the future. Like Porsche have done with the 911.

Of course they have to develop the Monster but an evolution please, not a revolution which will only give us another Ducati oddball. To those of you who like the twin pipes on the right side of the S4R, have a look at the MV Brutale, that is how it should have been done.

What I would like to see is a classic Monster range and a sport range with the new 3 valve engine.

If they destroy the Monster I hope you all will join me on a ride to Bologna to set the record straight.

Stay cool

Slim
 

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Dinosaur? Naww. Classic? Yes - one that accounted for half of Ducati's sales for 10 years. Timeless styling? Absolutely.

Will it go away when sales drop off? Suffer from restyling attempts on its way down? Very likely.

The point made above about Ducati entering the mass producer arena more or less to stay means money-based decisions will be increasingly important for the company.

On the other hand, Ducati is still more passionate about it's heritage and unique styling than any other large motorcycle manufacturer. So it's a wide open question.
 
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If the design is so played out, then why do we see every other manufacturer hopping on the Monster Wagon with their own spin off?
The design is raw, timeless, and distinctive. The sales numbers show that people love it. Why fu<k with something that doesn't need fu<kin?
 

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Man, i agree with the above post. This is a design that very likely saved Ducati's a$$ years ago, they sell more of the monsters than any other model they make. I would be heartbroken if there was a major change in the look of the monster for sure. I like that the advances in the model line are mostly on the mechanical side. I'd rather have a classic monster than something that will look dated (rat bike) in a few years.
 

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Since the original monster was an "extension" of the 888 why not restyle the monster as an extension of the 998. High pipes, 998 frame, Monster style tank, could be cool. It would also stick with the tradition (if you can consider once a tradition....). If they redesign it, this is what I would like to see. Most likely they will stick some plastic doodads on it and call it a day (too bad).
 

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Another good reason to stop buying motorcycle mags. It's just too silly to take seriously.
 

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Ducati might blow a gasket and go in another direction.....I don't see that happening. Many of us old farts bought the monster because it looked like a bike from our past. Ducati is test marketing the "classic" line as we speak. The Norton Commando is back. Triumph Bonneville...etc.etc. Put a set of spokes on a monster and you've got your "classic" as far as I'm concerned.
Discontinue the monster line....Who gives a sh!t. I've got mine.
 

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Interesting thoughts. Is the Monster a dinosaur? In some ways, I'd say yes (not that it's a bad thing). I view the Monster in similar terms to early American muscle cars: a beautiful, sexy platform to build your own personal creation.

Honestly, most modern bikes will walk all over a typical Monster on the spec sheet. There's just something about the overall design, the drivetrain, the sound, that makes the Monster so fascinating. At least for me, anyway.
Dion
 

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Good point Don, I am with you on that. If they ever change the design on the monster, I will be proud to say in the distant future that I still own a clasic; One of the best looking motorcycles ever, one that was very much imitated.
 

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Ironically, I was just thinking today of what I would do with my monster as the years go by. And honestly, I'm keeping it. I spent more than a year looking at all the bikes and the only one that spoke to me was a Ducati, the Monster especially. I really feel like it's one of those bikes that you could pull the cover off a decade or two from now and people would ooooh and ahhhh over it. I know they'll change it some time or another. And that's fine. If it's a winner, then maybe I'll try that one out. If not, I know I'll still have mine. Frankly, I think it's a classic that happens to light my fire just looking at it, listening to it and riding it. ;D
 
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Hi Don,
We all love Italian design, but I hate to say it, our friend Terblanche is not a master. The fact is that the two master designers left when TPG took over in 1995. This is the problem, Terblance is o.k., but he is not a world class designer. We all know that if the two master designers had stayed, the MV F4 and the MV Brutale would have been the new Ducatis. What a different world it could have been. No one could have touched Ducati then.

Slim
 

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A dinosaur? Maybe. But apparently it's just what a bunch of us want. Not the fastest, most powerful, lightest, most reliable, simplest..., but a good satisfying, beautiful bike. A bike to stick with year after year when the new models come out. A bike to enjoy for years. A bike that people buy not for what it is, but for what they can make out of it to make it their own. Those qualities are also the allure of the HD (although they went in a different functional direction).

Wanted a Ducati for years. This one fit the bill. I think a lot of others want something like this too, but it's not easy to be a Duc owner. There are no dealers (bought mine off ebay and get parts off the net or from a dealer in Charlotte), they are expensive (related to the low volume) and most folks are not exposed to them as a choice. This allows other companies to take the idea and sell units that may otherwise have been Ducati sales.

I guess my point is, if it's a dinosaur you want...

Doc
 
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