Ducati 900 SuperSport Scrambler
While everyone was raving about the release of Ducati’s new Scrambler, Lindsay Ross was taking it upon himself to build his own. Taking a break from fulfilling customer orders he decided to create something as unique as it was functional and the result is impressive, to say the least. The Pista Scrambler started out life as a ’93 Ducati 900 SuperSport SP. Lindsay picked the bike up from a Ducati enthusiast in San Jose named Carlos who gave him a great deal on the bike due to their common moto interests and the rest, as they say, is history.
“This project is the first fully ground-up custom from our Pista Design Moto endevour… something especially for us rather than a client project. Our motto is “creative solutions for a boring world” and we wanted to make a bike that, first and foremost, had this ethos as a focus. Scramblers are the perfect bike for the modern rider. You can go anywhere and everywhere, and they have an all purpose, rugged style.”
“The bike was overall in great condition. Since it wasn’t going to be a race bike, I skipped the big-budget internal engine mods and just did a standard round of servicing to keep things safe and reliable. New belts, filters, fuel and oil lines, and steering head bearings. The stock dry bearings were the only thing really “wrong” with the bike. It was one of the cleanest starts to a build you could imagine. We actually have a few Super Sports in the shop for use on customer builds and one has a punched motor with FCR41 flat slide carbs. It may end up transplanted into this bike one day”
From there it was all about reducing, reusing and recycling. Part of the Pista Design ethos is to keep a low carbon footprint with their builds. Using local suppliers and a little creativity they were able to find unique solutions at local wreckers and secondhand parts suppliers. The front end is a cocktail made from several different bikes. The longer travel forks are from a Ducati ST3, the brakes are M695 and the axle and a few machined pieces were fabricated to allow the fitment of Sport Classic wire wheels. The triples were drilled for the new risers and a set of bars for a modern Yamaha YZ dirt bike were bolted on and cClassic Brembo “coffin” master cylinders keep the bars looking clean.
“The concept was always to build a Scrambler from a carby Ducati SS. I think the bike is iconic enough not to lose it’s identity. Obviously it’s been transformed into a Scrambler, but you still recognize the swingarm, frame and tank as a Ducati Super Sport. We blasted the frame to bare steel, cut all the unwanted tabs and brackets off it, added ones we needed for the exhaust and seat, reshaped the rear section and powder coated it clear to preserve and display all the raw work. The whole wiring harness is a bespoke Pista Design affair built around the Motogadget mUnit.”
The seat was an ongoing development which Lindsay confesses was “something I changed about a few million times” with the final design being achieved by using a modified BMW Dakar seat that possesses the perfect blend of comfort and off road practicality. After reading a comment someone else made about their own custom SS based Scrambler stating the bike “wasn’t really capable of going off road and was just for looks”, Lindsay knew he wasn’t prepared to apply the same approach to this build. “It works surprisingly well off road. Better than a modern Triumph Scrambler, which I had benchmarked as competition.”
“Nothing is on the bike without a purpose. It is very minimal. Even though we have all the necessary wiring, I don’t have gauges on this bike, but that’s not the case with customer build. It engages your senses in a million different ways: noise, vibration, smell. You FEEL the RPM of the engine. Your instincts tell you when to shift. A speedometer is useless in Los Angeles. You are either going faster or slower than the people around you. How much fuel do you have? Open the tank and check.”
All up the build took a bit longer than Lindsay planned, but it was only drawn out due to research and development. In keeping with his goal the Ducati had to perform as its appearance would suggest. “I think I started about 9 months ago, but the budget was a little low during the race season. With every delay, it put me a little behind the curve, or so I thought. I saw a few Ducati SS Scramblers come out and I went back to the drawing board to make sure I was still building something unique and different. Most of all this bike is built to have fun and not take the world seriously. It does that perfectly: you can’t ride it without a huge grin, all your troubles slipping away. It makes you feel like a wild animal.”
Now that the Scramblers done Lindsay plans to go on an off road adventure with Alex Earle on his Ducati Monster Tracker and a camera man in tow to show the world exactly what his SS Scrambler is capable of. You can be sure I will be posting that one on the Return of the Cafe Racers Facebook page when it becomes available!
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