The problem with customising your bike, as that you get a little too intimate with all it’s failings and imperfections. Every time you make something new, upgrade a part, paint something or even give her a wash, you start to notice the things you really don’t like – instead of appreciating the things you love.
For me there have always been two big nasty carbuncles standing between my Duc as she is now, and cafe racer perfection… Firstly, those Monster derived clocks are just too big (although I’ve de-chromed them, and remounted them flatter and lower) but worst of all, those horrible, giant, cast black triangles that serve as a combi-bracket, holding both the footrests, passanger pegs and the exhaust. As well as being ugly, crudely made and budget-looking, they weigh a tonne. They had to go.
Here is the BEFORE (above)…
…and AFTER (Below)
What makes them even more nasty, is that the Paul Smart and Monoposto versions of this bike have no such cost-saving crap, and instead boast fine, slimline exhaust hangers, and rearsets not unlike the early ’90s 900ss. Side by wide with a Mono, the Bipsoto parts look truly wrong. (as you can see from the pair of pics above)
Replacing the footrests and controls was relatively simple. I found various parts made for a 900ss, second hand and aftermarket, and used those. The brake mastercylinder and it’s mounting bracket are pretty generic on many Ducatis before about 2005. The footrests are modestly priced aftermarket from ebay and the levers and heel plates are from a 900ss.
However, I looked around for a long time to find an alternate hanger for the twin-sided exhausts, and even looked into chopping up two sets on mono hangers, but, it was only a matter of time before I ended up knocking on the door of JCPak bikes, who seem to have cornered the market on everything pretty and expensive, made for the Sport Classic range of bikes – including those sexy strip-LEDS featured on the TRON Legacy bike.
Anyway, the deed is done, and for the first time I feel like the bike is 99% finished with too many mods and upgrades to lit, and the standard donor bike feeling left a long way behind.
Well, I say that, but the clocks are becoming a minor obsession and they also need to go, Motogadget, here I come (anyone got a degree in auto-electrical engineering?)
…and …I’ve just discovered that the open spaces I’ve made to the rear of my bike, by removing the battery, fitting a tiny seat, removing the hugger, etc, has revealed the ugly black steel sidestand… and guess what? An 848 aluminium one, with hidden spring will bolt straight on…
And, come to think of it, I never did try completely hiding those reservoirs… and then there’s that aluminium tank.