Ducati Pantah ‘Ducafé’ – Medaza Cycles
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.”
Don 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.