Ducati Monster Complaints and Problems – Is Your New Bike A Lemon?

Brakes, gear shift and engine issues among the top complaints from motorcycle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Ducati Monster is the company’s muscle bike that’s gained many praises since 1993. Even the company boasts that this model promotes, “the pleasure of a safe ride,” but many owners can’t agree. With the malfunctioning service brakes, faulty gear shift and engine troubles, this bike is anything but safe for the road

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Brake Problems

On powerful motorcycles, sometimes the only thing preventing disaster is a solid set of brakes. This is one system that must remain operable at all times for peace of mind. With the Ducati Monster models, riders experience failure regularly.

Just look at this complaint left on the NHTSA website. “On 3/14/2019, while riding the motorcycle during the day, I experienced a sudden complete failure of the rear brake system while navigating a turn. I had been on the bike for about an hour with no indication anything was wrong. It was very sudden and almost caused me to lose control of the vehicle. Upon a visual inspection I noted there was no fluid leaking, fluid level was full, brake pads are good, and no ABS malfunction was indicated on the bike’s display. If not for my riding experience, I probably would have crashed. Weather was sunny around 70 degrees. Speed in turn under 15 mph. Braking pressure was normal (not panic braking).”

On a high-end motorcycle such as the Ducati Monster, there should never be issues with the braking system. Yet, the company released a recall expressing that the front brake master cylinder could fail and cause a crash. NHTSA Campaign Number 17V812000 states that almost 7,000 bikes were affected by failing Brembo front brake master cylinders. To repair the problem, the dealer must replace it. It might seem like motorcycle riding 101, but having defective brakes is not the pathway to a safe ride. It seems Ducati needs to pick another selling feature to focus on.

Problems with the Gear Shift

While not braking, it’s likely that riders need to shift. When the gear shift isn’t working properly this becomes very difficult. Yet, it’s evident again that Ducati suffers from more issues it shouldn’t.

Just look at this post on the Ducati Monster forum. “I bought the monster 821 a month ago and have put approximately 500 miles on it. When I took it for a ride this weekend I noticed shifting the gears require a lot of pressure than usual, it wasn’t the case until this weekend.”

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that there is also a recall for the gear shift knob. With NHTSA Campaign Number 18V835000, everyone found out that this knob can detach. This leaves the rider unable to shift and might lead to a crash. The manufacturer admits that the gear shifts weren’t assembled correctly, leading to the failure. What could be worse than having a detaching gear shift lever? How about finding out that the bike won’t shift at the same time that the brakes fail? That’s a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Engine Problems

Ducati prides itself on creating powerful motorcycles and the Monster lineup is no exception. While it can pump out the acceleration, there are still some serious issues occurring with the motors that must be addressed.

One Ducati Monster forum poster wrote this, “When negotiating traffic and figuring out what gear to shift to, I usually activate the clutch as I cruise. I noticed, however, that my engine would sometimes (not all the time) stall! Aside from being an annoying occurrence, this is also very dangerous. I’ve somehow grown ‘accustomed’ to this (with the clutch activated, I’d press on the ignition button; motor restarts and I continue riding).”

Should a rider ever get accustomed to the bike not running? That seems like it should be one of the basic functions that even the low-dollar motorcycles would offer. It’s bad enough that the brakes can fail and the gear shift lever falls off of this Italian bike; now, the engine doesn’t want to run either. What else isn’t surprising is that the company has remained quiet regarding engine issues. It appears they don’t want to bring any more negative publicity to the brand. On some level, that’s smart of them – considering they are promoting the Monster as a way to have a “safe” ride.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Ducati pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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