I’m sure many Ducati fans will be looking at this motorcycle with a confused look on their face. In true Cafe Racer style this custom isn’t made using just one bike, in fact this Ducati is an amalgamation of components from almost every decade of the Italian manufacturers history. Ducati restoration specialists DesmoPro built “Cafe 31” for Season 3 of Velocity’s Cafe Racer TV and it’s easily one of my favourites from the show to date.
Cafe 31 is powered by a 904cc mid 70’s Desmo Supersport motor with period correct, NCR performance valves, cams and pistons. Mikuni 39mm flat side carbs feed fuel to each cylinder and a custom DesmoPro stainless 2 into 1 exhaust let’s you know that there’s a big angry Italian approaching.
Rear sets are from a Ducati 1098R
DesmoPro owners Rich Lambrechts and Vicki Smith wanted the Ducati to handle as well as any modern Superbike so special attention was paid to the 1975 860GT frame. Extensive work was done to reduce overall weight and improve geometry including reducing the rake from 31 to 25 degrees and the fabrication of a custom aluminium subframe.
The “handles like it’s on rails” suspension set up consists of a custom made swingarm with Ohlins mono shock at the rear and a set of Desmosedici D16RR gas forks (no expense spared!). Stopping the Ducati is also made easy with the combined stopping power of a pair of Brembo monobloc front calipers and a Brembo radial master cylinder at the rear.
Weight has been kept down with light weight forged alloy wheels and a spattering of carbon fibre and fibreglass parts. Carbon components include the clip-on bars and Shift-tech fenders while the handcrafted tank with Ducati 888 Corse filler cap and custom covered suede seat and cowl are all glass.
“The goal was to create a bike that appears seamless and whole using these components, not something out of proportion or tacked together.”
Last but definitely not least is the “eye catching” gold flake paint which was laid over a base of black creating those lovely contrasting highlights and shadows you see in these photographs.
If you want to see the episodes of Cafe Racer TV featuring the DesmoPro Ducati Cafe 31, look for episodes 1, 2 and 3 or season 3. The clip below from Cafe Racer TV features the DesmoPro guys talking about the NCR parts they fit to Cafe 31’s motor.