I added a 2005 Ducati Monster 800 S i.e. to the stable last week. I owned a very late carbed 750 Monster a few years back, which was a lovely bike to ride but it suffered from chronic carb icing, was a little low on straight line grunt and had also been used in London and stored on the street, so condition was not great.

I have ridden a few bigger Monsters – both air- and water-cooled – and came close to buying an S4 once upon a time, but really they are a bit too front heavy and the air-cooled bikes feel ‘more proper’. I think the 900 is a little heavy also, so the short lived injected 800 has a reputation as the sweet spot in terms of weight vs power amongst anoraks.

Anyway, about ten years ago, a seed was sown to find an 800. Like Ferraris, most Monsters are sold in resale red. The Metallic Blue bikes used in the press shots were made in very small numbers – just 5 of the 88 bikes that came to the UK were finished in blue. I love that look, so an 800 Monster in Blue has been on my list for a very long time.

Looking on and off for several years, I recently found one of the five: a two owner example with 12k miles, engine paint a bit scruffy as it lived on the street for a bit (like all old Monsters really) but wearing a pair of Remus cans and a Power Commander. Also had a pair of rare Monster panniers matched to the bike.

Negotiating and buying the bike was not straightforward. The price was a little high given the condition, plus it was up in the wilds of Scotland, so I set a max price and made the guy an offer. Patience paid off and a month later we agreed a deal. I paid a deposit and booked a courier to collect.

He got there at 8pm in the evening and then it turned out that the seller’s bank would not accept incoming transfers from any of my banks after 6:30 at night. It took some convincing but, after doing the transfers and sending him screenshots, the guy released the bike to the courier, his bank sorted the transfer issues the next day and all was good. The little blue Ducati arrived with me a week ago.

I’ve been tied up with valuation work on several court cases for weeks, so left the bike in the garage and set my first ride as a reward. I finally shipped my last report yesterday, so wheeled out the Ducati for a late evening ride. It did not disappoint! Beautiful pickup with the Power Commander watching over things and such a sweet power to weight ratio.

I’ve bought some adjustable Showas for the front and the cosmetic bits can wait until winter. My mission for the rest of the summer is to wear out the old tyres and just enjoy being back on a Monster. Good times 👍🏻

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