Motorcycle News - Motorworks’ Ducati 900: The SuperSport revival continues
Pierre Terblanche‘s 1998 revamp of the 900SS was an acquired taste, and hasn’t dated well. So it’s in no danger of becoming an overpriced collector’s item.
This latest example comes out of Rochester, NY, and it’s the first Ducati build by Sean Pelletier, sole proprietor of The Motorworks.
The donor was a 2001-model 900SS, with an older motor wedged in. And it was in a state. “The previous owner liked wheelies and hated routine maintenance,” explains Sean, “so it needed a thorough going-through.”
The cylinders were rebored and plated, and fitted with 94mm Pistal Racing pistons—pushing the displacement out to 944 cc. The guys also installed new valves, recut the seats, then installed a Barnett clutch assembly. They built covers for the clutch, belt and sprocket out of carbon, and ditched the air box in favor of a pair of pod filters.
All that was needed now was a redesigned subframe to hold the tail section Sean planned to build. “I welded on two side frame mounts and brazed on some weld nuts and that was it,” he says. “Working with Walt’s frame was so much nicer than spending hours grinding pounds of steel tabs and mounts off stock frames.”
The 900SS’s stock Öhlins shock felt great out the box, so it was left alone. And the donor came with upgraded front brakes, so there was no need to swap those out either. Sean simply switched the master cylinders for Brembo units, to improve braking feel.
Step one was to mock up the shapes with steel wire and a MIG welder (“sort of sketching in 3D”). Sean then took photos and measurements, used 3D software to create the final design, and CNC cut molds from high-density urethane foam. Then he coated the molds in primer, polished them, and shaped up a final set of molds from fiberglass. The carbon was then vacuum infused.
“I reworked the patterns with thickened bondo, wood carving tools and sandpaper, because I didn’t want to completely throw away what I already had done. So the bike is still a mix of old and new techniques.”
The number of one-off pieces on this Ducati is staggering. Sean machined up a whole stack of aluminum parts, including the gas cap, rear-set hangers, heel guards, muffler caps and fairing mount bracket.
There’s a lot of practical thought too. The custom clip-ons can be adjusted up and down just by rotating them. And the foot controls were built with a locating pin, which can be moved to adjust the angle in 12-degree increments.
The Ducati’s new speedo takes this philosophy to the extreme. Sean had a really specific look in mind—and couldn’t find something off-the-shelf to match it. So he built his own housing, designed the circuitry, and programmed an Arduino microcontroller kit to drive an analog needle and run the LCD display.
“I also did the paint—there weren’t any available bike painters in town. My shop is hardly clean enough to do A-plus work, but at a pinch, I can do it—and wet sand and polish out any bugs that land in the clear.”
“It’s quite a blast on the track,” he reports. “I love how well it handles, the light weight helps keep the speed up through corners and chicanes.
“I’m now planning on building a dedicated track bike based on this design, with a more developed engine and lighter weight. I estimate I can get the track bike down to less than 300lbs.”
Images by Michael Hanlon
via Bike EXIF http://www.bikeexif.com
August 24, 2018 at 12:06PM
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