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Ducati 900SS – Moto Studio


Posted on December 5, 2014 by Scott in Classic, Racer. 34 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson.

In the Nineties Ducati brought back the Super Sport SS range that had been such a success for the marque in the seventies with the now enormously popular classics the 750ss and 900ss. But while there was nothing particular wrong with the 1990’s version the Monster and top of the line superbikes were dominating Ducati’s sale, perhaps if they’d built their SS like Moto Studio built “Racer 5” sales success would never have been a problem.

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Not content to follow the café racer path of improving performance by reducing weight Moto Studio gave the Ducati donk a complete overhaul. A set of high compression pistons were installed to increase the already torquey Ducati L- twin. While a Yoyodyne lightweight flywheel helps the engine spin up more freely and improve throttle response. The heads have been ported and a set of custom intake manifolds were designed and matched to the ports. Carburettors are the ever popular Keihin FCR 41 and are tuned to work with a custom made 2-1 exhaust system. Bruce McQuiston spent a lot time developing the carbon fibre reverse cone exhaust muffler, which not only performs flawlessly, but produces amazing exhaust notes and is completely serviceable.

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The fitment of upside down forks to a modern café bike is not a unique feature in 2014. But there are forks and then there are the gold Swedish jewels known as Ohlins and Moto Studio would accept nothing but the best. The fronts are Ohlins road and track versions which give the rider full adjustability while the rear is taken care of by a single 3-way adjustable shock from the big Swedish firm. With handling now taken care of, equally impressive stopping power was a must and nothing matches a set of Ohlins like radial twin disc Brembos!

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Now with the motorbike version of a tomahawk missile built and ready for urban assault Moto Studio set about giving the 900ss the sort of looks that make it as impressive standing still as it is carving the canyons. Bruce set about hand sculpting the body parts from carbon fibre, having already modified the frame to suit his design. The seat cowl, front fairing and mirror housings are perfectly constructed carbon that features a Ducati flavour with a rich custom touch. The paint scheme was designed to accentuate the mechanical components of the bike while showing off brilliantly the handmade body work.

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Moto Studio takes it’s wiring seriously and the clean look of the Ducati is testament to their painstaking work. Utilising exclusively Motogadget components and with their proprietary wiring harness you only see what you should and any builder will tell you how hard that is to achieve. At just 321lbs (145kg) this is a featherweight Super Sport with the very best of stoping and handling prowess, dressed in 21st century body work and with a barking mad motor, this is truly a fine Italian more than deserving of the original lust worthy 900ss name.

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[Photos by Peter Harholdt and Bruno Frontino]








  • Bultaco Metralla

    A well crafted cafe racer. Hits all the right notes; light weight, bonkers motor, bikini fairing, redesigned rear suspension and a clean build.
    It’s even practical enough to have blinkers.

  • MayDayMoto

    Thank you for this, a unicorn chaser of sorts, after that steampunk atrocity you posted yesterday. This is an actual bike that is meant to be ridden, and ridden hard, with the added bonus of a real seat that won’t let you backslide off into the rear wheel. Kind of an important little detail. They also spared us the indignity of the homoerotic video.

  • TJ Martin

    Beautiful ! And yet another good use for a Ducati SS ( of which there are far too many ‘stock’ ones around ) This time going the ‘ boy racer ‘ route [ this aint no cafe BM ! ] Both absolutely stunning in their own way [ steampunk atrocity indeed MayDayMoto ]

    But if I may … a more appropriate analogy ;

    This SS custom is a fine glass of well aged Nebiolo wine .

    Whereas the ‘ Typhoon ‘ SS is one serious tumbler of well aged Stranahan’s straight up !

    e.g. Fine wine vs fine whiskey . As different as night and day … yet alike [ quality being the key word ] in many ways . Complex . Well crafted . High quality ingredients.

    The one [ this SS and the wine ] being more subtle , classic and with less of a kick . The other [ Typhoon and the Stranahan’s ] being in your face , radical and creative with a kick that makes a Missouri mule look like a spastic gerbil in comparison .

    Personally ? I’ll take one of each … thank you very much !

    • Fast2Furious

      Bikes and booze are always a great combination. But remember the old drinking adage wine before liquor never sicker. But seriously Colorado whiskey. Really. Whiskey made in the Rocky Mountains. They use it to wash down oysters with?

  • Kevin

    uhhmm where the hell is your helmet cool guy ?

    • What’s your problem mr. policeman, do you want to give him a ticket???
      The long arm of the law has reached even the internet, lol!!!

      • Rob Williams

        I saw a cool guy without a helmet once. His brains were ALL over the road. Thumbs up, cool guy!

        • You don’t get me Rob. I always wear a helmet, I don’t imply that’s cool not to use one when riding. Actually I will push a bit further and tell you that I believe it’s safer to wear a full face than an open one.
          The issue here is not about safety, is about being picky with a photo and start whining. Safety is non-negotiable, but we are here for the bike, and what a beauty she is!

          • arnold

            I saw a cool guy once, neatly wrapped in leather and brain bucket.
            He had parked his bike into the back of a SUV.

          • Dutch

            Chill-out. It’s a photoshoot fellas, not a road safety advert.

    • Sicarius123

      I’m ATGATT, and full face only, but seriously? He’s probably doing 5-10kmph in a carpark, the speed effect is all in the camera settings.

  • R.E. Alist

    Perhaps if enough poseurs follow the example of the helmetless dummy in the photo
    the gene pool will soon be cleaner and free of Ducati-riding poseurs.

    • Dutch

      What the world’s gene pool needs is less moany wankers who think the world needs their personal wisdom.

      • Kuiper Max

        Thanks for your snippet of wisdom.

  • Richard Gozinya

    Now that there is a beautiful bike. It’s not just about form, but also function. To compare the two, the Typhoon is the model all dressed up for the runway, she looks great, but you dare not mess up her hair or makeup. This on the other hand is the bad girl, who begs to be ridden, and ridden hard. It’s simply a bonus that she’ll look great while doing it.

    • TJ Martin

      … errr … if I may . This SS is the super model all dressed up for the runway that can still be taken out to dinner afterwards . Whereas the Typhoon ? Well … that .. is the tattooed serious bad girl model that’ll hurt you very badly if you’re not careful and if you are will hurt you oh so very well . Not to mention attracting a bevy of other bad girls just waiting to have their turn at you !

      • TwoSmoke

        TJ, Richard, see what happens when you use women as a metaphor? LOL

        • Richard Gozinya

          Certain bikes just bring that out in me.

      • TJ – what’s the title of that video you’ve been watching? ;^)

  • TwoSmoke

    The fairing makes this bike [for me] and an interesting touch with the offset tail light and exhaust tip. Ironic how the two 900’s can look so different. Well done.

  • thumpthump

    Would be great to actually be able to see details like the wiring, bodywork mounts, and subframe, not to mention the antigravity sidestand.

    • Sicarius123

      Haha, I hadn’t noticed that, no idea why someone would bother photoshopping out the block and not just the side stand altogether.

  • Tony Pereira

    Love this. hoping my next project will be based on a 900ss. At this rate I’d better get one quick before they all get snatched up by a giant Typhoon.

  • I like the asymmetric arrangement of the tail light and the exhaust. Nice touch.

  • cab305

    Love the asymmetrical tail light – exhaust treatment!

    Might have to copy that.

    • TwoSmoke

      I thought so too haha

  • Zundap

    Next time the Typhoon builders decide to built a Ducati powered bike they should consult with the Motto Studio first. ..Z

  • Dutch

    Love this bike and Moto Studio’s work in general. Keep ’em coming fellas.

  • Hamish Lamont

    Beautiful example of a 900SS Café Racer. That’s how you do it! A 900SS Special is always so much more than the sum of its’ parts and this has all the best ones – additions and deletions. Plus it looks brilliant! Outstanding job Moto Studio!

  • Chris Saddler Sam

    cosi semplice….cosi bella!!! 😉

    my compliments!!

  • Love the body work – especially the fairing with the big round headlight.

  • very nice, congrats

  • gherkin

    If I only had a small boatload of cash, I would donate my 900ss for a makeover similar to this. Truly stunning.

  • D-zilla

    Any photos of it cranked on its ear in a corner?