Long lauded for their racing credentials and status as creators of some of the world’s most coveted superbikes, Ducati were nonetheless in some financial trouble in the early 90s, largely as a consequence of not having an offering that both caught the bike-riding public’s imagination and didn’t threaten to completely drain its wallet.
Step forward Ducati Technical Director Massimo Bordi and designer Miguel Angel Galluzzi.
The broad brief was to create something that had Ducati DNA running through it like a stick of rock but was a stylish, urban ‘streetfighter’ of a bike, not a track-focussed sports weapon.
When Bordi first saw Galluzzi’s ‘naked’ design with its tubular steel trellis frame and 90° V-twin engine, he remarked that this was undoubtedly the bike a modern Marlon Brando would choose to ride should anyone decide to remake the iconic 1953 film, ‘The Wild One’.
When asked what inspired the naked, functional design of Il Mostro, Galluzzi’s somewhat Delphic reply was, “All you need is a seat, tank, engine, two wheels and handlebar.”
It looked like nothing that came before it and, such was its enduring influence and success, it looked a great deal like most things that came after it.