When a custom motorcycle fan reaches out from across the US for a custom built bike, the Revival Team listens. A Michigan client reached out looking for a cool, cafe inspired motorcycle on a budget. We immediately went to the Ducati 944ss platform for its torquey and beautiful power plant, trellis style frame and top of the line components from Brembo and Showa. The largest constraint was to not break the bank on the build, which meant starting with a solid donor and re-using key pieces.
The first step was to get the stance and frame lines sorted. A set of spoked Ducati GT1000 wheels adapted to the 944ss brought a classic look to a very modern bike. The rear frame was chopped off in favor of a custom built rear frame section built to mimic the elegant front trellis frame work, with a pair of SuperNova tail light recessed into the rear frame rails. Sticking to a budget meant keeping the stock gas tank, which provided an excellent location to hide all of the motorcycle’s electronics under. A custom one-piece aluminum bracket was fabricated to take place of the stock airbox which houses the MotoGadget M-unit, Anti-Gravity 8 cell battery, ignition modules, ignition coils, starter solenoid, main fuses and a MotoGadget M-lock. A custom built wiring harness connects all of these goodies to a MotoGadget ChronoClassic recess mounted into the headlight bucket, filled with a more classic looking LED headlight.
With the frame and electrics sorted, the Showa forks were given a full respring/revalve/rebuild and fresh anodizing to make them look better than new. A Fox remote reservoir shock was added out back to complete the suspension upgrades. All new Brembo master cylinders (front, rear, clutch) were added and all new Brembo callipers were installed as cheap insurance for a fully rebuilt motorcycle. Brakes are no place to cut corners, so all new brake lines were fabricated using Sniper II fittings and hoses. The engine had previously been upgraded with a 944 big bore kit, lightened and balanced crankshaft, ported and polished heads and a pair of Keihin FCR 39mm carburetors. A custom-built stainless steel exhaust was fabbed to expel the violent stream of exhaust and provide a beautiful bark to this cafe racer that means business.
The final touches to the build include a minimal hand formed alloy tail section to accentuate the muscular nature of the bike, along with a polished, hand formed alloy front fender and polished stainless steel mounting brackets. A leather seat from New Church Moto caps off the tail section and Hot Rod Black paint from The Paintshop ATX hides the bodywork, showing off the gorgeous nickel-plated frame. A set of Posh grips capped with MotoGadget M-Blaze disc turn signals and MotoGadget mini-buttons feel right at home on this beast. Seeing the transformation from an ugly duckling 944ss to a cafe inspired Hot Rod Ducati is impressive, but riding this beast is incredible!