I have to admit orange isn't one of my favourite colours and despite the potential backlash of this statement, Ducatis aren't my favourite bikes either (sorry). However, there are exceptions to every rule and when Olof Persson from Gothenburg, Sweden sent me images of this orange Ducati 750SS I was eating my words. Built for a returning customer Olof and his teammates put the bike together at their MOD Moto workshop earlier this year. It was built for a returning customer who was wanting a cafe racer styled ride. However, rather than going for a classic cafe vibe, they convinced him to lean more towards the racer aspect of the style; and his decision to do so was clearly the correct one.
"We like all kinds of styles and therefore build a lot different bikes, but this is our first Café Racer." says Olof. "With the Ducati's truss frame and sloping fuel tank you can't really get that horizontal café line with the fairing-tank-seat parallel to the ground, so we opted for a more aggressive look, tilting the fairing and rear section upwards to follow the lines of the tank for a racier stance."
The build started with a replica 70's Imola race fairing, which was modified to accommodate the wider forks. Due to the owner's height the lower sections of the fairing were trimmed to create enough room to fit his long legs and the windscreen was cut down to a scale that suited the rest of the bike. Then an off center opening for a small round headlight was also cut out of the front end. "Next up we sawed off the back half of the frame and rebuilt it with lengths and angles that followed the front of the frame, adding extra room for the underslung muffler" Olof explained.
For the tail they modified more replica retro fiberglass opting for a Rickman style seat cowl. The new cowl was fit to the modified subframe after being narrowed to match the width of the original 750SS fuel tank and was finished off with a pair of round tail lights. For the seat itself they constructed a stainless steel seat pan which was covered by their friends at Bullitt Leathers using high density foam and a perforated and pleated leather, reminiscent of '70s sports cars.
The exhaust is akin to Frankenstein's monster using a mix of reclaimed parts and custom components. The original headers were retained and were extended to meet beneath the belly of the bike where they merge at a collector. From there the single 45mm stainless pipe slinks up the back of the motor and around the monoshock to beneath the tail where it vents to the atmosphere via a Yamaha R1 titanium muffler that's been gutted. According to Olof "That Ducati engine now sounds awesome and together with the K&N air filters and Power Commander it runs like a champ!"
Attention to detail was a priority during this build, with an aim to create a fit and finish as close to factory quality as possible. It was also imperative to have the 70's components work with the 90's Ducati design. This was achieved by carefully measuring gap distances between the tank and frame to ensure they matched those between the tank and seat and watching that the curves of the retro fairing were positioned correctly to complement the indents of the modern fuel tank.
To build on their racer aesthetic small details like the drilled and brushed alloy heel protectors, CNC shorty levers and custom made alloy bar ends were added. Since the bike was destined for road use a small bar end mirror was mounted to the fairing using more custom made alloy parts and on their workshop lathe they turned a set of alloy paddock stand mounts to balance out the mix or raw and painted surfaces.
For the wheels Olof and his team wanted rubber that would deliver in both performance and appearance, choosing to go with Dunlop's Supermoto 'Sportmax Mutant' tread. Then finally once the team was happy with the mock up the bodywork went off to be painted. "The beautiful '71 Porsche orange paint was sprayed by our friend and master painter Dennis Rohlén. Dennis also matched the paint on our modified frame section to Ducati's bronze-gold and sprayed our swingarm and foot peg mounts in engine grey."
Taking around 4 months to build Olof and his MOD Moto teammates (Mikael Lipnell, Daniel Johansson and Gustav Svensson) have since displayed the bike at events in Gothenburg where, not surprisingly, it's gained their workshop some welcome attention and will see them producing more great builds in the near future.
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