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Ducati Pantah ‘Ducafé’ – Medaza Cycles

Posted on August 7, 2013 by Andrew in Café Racer, Classic. 23 comments

Hot on the heels of their recent AMD-winning Moto Guzzi Nuovo Falcone comes another killer bike from County Cork’s Medaza Cycles. This time, Medaza front man Don Cronin has shifted his welding goggle gaze away from the metal of Mandello del Lario and towards the more southerly Italian town of Bologna and their Ducati Motor Holdings S.p.A. The result is this Pantah that has definitely had all traces of the plastic fantastic 80s removed from it and duly replaced with more cool than should legally be allowed for a single motorbike. We Ducafé – do you Ducafé too?

“The Ducafé was built the winter before last,” says Don. “Again by Mick O’Shea and myself, with input from another friend of ours Chris Harte. This bike too was built just for the fun of it and as a way of shortening the cold winter evenings here in the workshop.”

“The donor bike was a Pantah that Chris picked up a few years ago as a non-running project, but he never got around to doing anything with it and so he passed it on to Mick as a present. That tends to be the way we operate on our own bikes; working with what we have, inventing what we don’t and exchanging whatever skills we need.”

“Pantahs are a fine bike, but a bit ugly in my eyes. Visually, the problems start with the frame which is strong and a great handler, but is very unsympathetic to the lines of the engine. Bettering Taglioni’s frame design in terms of function would be difficult, but we definitely wanted a frame that looked better while retaining its handling ability. The stock wheel base and rake are retained, as are the twin rear shocks for that classic look.”

“The bike features modified V-Rod wheels, one-off aluminium bodywork, Aprilia forks with one-off yokes incorporating the modified original rev counter, one-off exhaust in stainless, exposed cam belts with polycarbonate guards and a seat covered in an old jacket of Mick’s, all produced in-house. The bike is light and lovely in the twisties, has many thousands of miles up since the build including trips to the UK and France and gets used in all weather as it is just great fun to ride. I suppose it’s really the big sister to Rondine; many of her styling cues were first developed on this bike.”

Medaza’s Don Cronin (standing) and Mick O’SheaDon was keen to let us know that he has several project bikes lined up and waiting for potential builds, including a few Morinis, a Mark III Le Mans, another Nuovo Falcone, a Sportster and an unusual 1935 Raleigh V-twin that ‘would make an interesting trike.’ If anyone out there is interested in commissioning a build, why not head over to the Medaza website for more. And maybe you could grab yourself a Medaza t-shirt while you are there.

  • Septic the Sceptic

    Proves their AMD win was not a fluke.

  • acuity

    absolutely beautiful, the frame and lines around that tank. i still might prefer JvB Moto’s pantah to this one, but i would love to spend a couple of month’s with both just to make sure.

    • Desmo

      the JVB is a school example of bettering a bike… this is worsening at removing all that resembles the original bike.. I bet this was never a pantah but an ugly tl350 as the revcounter is from a tl

  • Really like this bike – the wheels look much better on this bike than they ever did on a V-rod. Reminds me of the pre-war Benz race cars with the raw aluminum bodys.

  • bjax

    Stunning! It’s nice to know that V-Rods have a purpose in this world.

    • Davidabl2

      Touché! Well done, Sir!

  • Andrew Zehler

    This has got to have a bit more get up and go than their Nuovo Falcone 500, not as steam punk looking though. I still wouldn’t kick it out of bed for eating crackers. I hope to be able to work metal half as good some day.

  • BoxerFanatic


    The frame is mind-bending, with so much of the front cylinder seemingly un-tethered to the chassis at all. Fantastic.

    The details are enough to get lost in.

    The V-Rod wheels are a bit much, though. I get the alloy theme, but solid discs are a bit too literal of a tie to an H-D look. Milling a spoke and window pattern out of the disc faces might be interesting, but I wouldn’t mind if they were just brembo hollow 3-spokes painted black like the frame, with polished or brushed rims, or something.

  • TheBluePig

    Great work guys! Love the incorporation of the V-Rod wheels and that aluminium work is stunning. I appreciate the changing of an ugly duckling into a swan and Medaza have delivered. Two thumbs up from me!

    • Viper

      the original is a lot better than this horrible result and the new frame is a joke along with the wheels.. it’s a job gone bad …

      • TheBluePig

        Mate, didn’t your mum ever tell you that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything? 🙂 It’s easy to be critical out in Internet-land. How bout you post up a few pictures of your latest build for us to critique? I’m sure someone will like your handle bar streamers and spokie dokies……

  • Michael Rosenthal

    BAD ASS!!!

  • This bike is extremely well done. This should’ve been the AMD winner. Very nice lines, beautiful parts/hardware and no detail left untouched. Beautiful.

  • The Ogre

    Love it… except for the wheels. They do look good, mind you, but disc wheels are heavy and not much fun in crosswinds.

  • mankut

    absolutely perfect! Wouldn’t change one bolt on it.

  • luigi

    Senza parole….meravigliosa!

  • Bogamire

    Same bike featured in this months Classic Bike?

  • Zundap

    Nice. ..Z

  • J.Y.Kelly

    This is truly bike pornography! I want one!

  • desmo

    This is a school example of when things goes bad… the sweet pantah trelli frame chopped down to an amateurish ducati F1 wannabee frame… I have to say Pantah’s are special styled bikes from the 80’s and are a love hate thing …but this one is taking the soul out of a ducati and make it look ordinary and confused styling… plate wheels on a sportster? jezz
    I understand the bike exites the irishmen that built it …but hey they get exitedas well if it doesn’t rain…

  • Jed

    Yep, super cool.

  • bart

    Man, these Irish dudes are killing it. Beautiful bike.

  • coldsunshine