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Ducati 900 SS ‘Monkee #74’ – Wrenchmonkees


Posted on March 12, 2015 by Scott in Café Racer, Classic. 17 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson

Fast approaching 100 custom builds the Wrenchmonkees of Copenhagen, Denmark know a thing or two about turning factory machinery into one off specials. But where many rely on a multitude of bolt on parts and big dollar components WM use their vast expertise to bring to life the often hidden soul of factory bikes, make them bullet proof street warriors and then offer the parts developed along the build to their ever growing customer base. It’s not only a smart business strategy but it also results in bikes like build #74, a brilliant retro tech Ducati 900 café racer with all the charm of the 70’s and the high tech of today!

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In many ways the Ducati mid-level sportsbikes of the 1990’s make the perfect base for a custom build. Quality suspension and brake components, the brilliantly torquey L-twin engine and Ducati prestige make the bare bones very appealing. But dressed up with gordy plastics of the era and with power figures dwarfed by modern sportsbikes they are often overlooked.

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But now being reasonably priced in the second hand market builders like WM are making use of the good and throwing away the bad. And the 900ss features the brilliant air cooled L-twin that is classic Ducati, sure the peak power figure isn’t huge, but the torque in mid-range is exactly what a Café bike should be about. Fitted with K&N pod filters and WM’s own off the shelf ‘Stainless Classic Mufflers’ it’s got the bark to match the bite!

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There is no denying the beauty and simplicity of a Ducati tubular trellis frame, but the subframe fitted to the 1990’s models is truly a mess and with the plastics removed there is simply no way to make it look good. So WM heavily modified it to leave only the absolutely necessary amount of metal and resigned the rest to the scrap bin. The front Showa upside-down fully adjustable forks have been retained, although they are now 40mm lower. While the satisfactory Showa rear shock has been ditched from the standard swing arm in favour of a truly amazing adjustable Öhlins unit.

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The original body work has not aged well on 80’s and 90’s Ducati sportsbikes in the eyes of the majority, a problem not even legendary designer Pierre Terblanche could rectify. So WM simply tossed them aside in favour of their own designs. Chasing the look of the SS bikes of the 70’s a replica front fairing now adorns the build.

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While a one off front fender built by WM and a Ducati 900 SS 1995 tank further simplify the overall appearance. Completing the retro tech look are an off the shelf WM seat cowl that can be adapted to a vast array of models and finished with a beautifully stitched custom seat. The look is completed with an elegant and purposeful WM custom paintjob that leaves the mechanicals on full display.

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Lighting is a mix of old and new, a classic look 5 3/4″ headlight pokes through the fairing, while LED rear light, LED turn signals and a Motogadget turn relay further enhance the understated look. The LED additions required a partial rewire of the Duke, while an Odyssey battery ensures she fires to life first press of the button, classic looks don’t mandate a heavy kick! Quality TRW clip-on´s feature Biltwell Kung-Fu grips and hold in place Magura 195 brake and clutch master cylinders that feed steel braided hoses.

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Marchesini wheels are the perfect addition to any Ducati build but they are almost lost when faced with the visual smack in the face that is the Avon Rain Extreme tyres. The result is beautifully crafted 70’s inspired build with an urban warrior practicality that begs to be thrown around the back streets. And you could do exactly that, with its Öhlins, Brembo, Marchesini and Avon equipped quality this Wrench Monkees Ducati masterpiece is for sale, contact them now to find out how build #74 could be parked in your garage!

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  • davmo

    Dig it!

  • LK

    1990’s 900ss have enough power to get you dead or arrested so that’s enough. Light and easy to work on, tons of fun and these days around $3500. Or less. Pretty hard to beat if you can put your “gotta have the latest” ego away.

  • very nice, a modern 900ss but doubt it would sound as good as the original (deep wall knocking down baritone) conti’s (for those under 50 these are silencers not tires) but whilst am on the subject it is good to see you will riding in the rain, i hope u like polishing

    • Davidabl2

      Right. Arizona, California or some other desert environment would be a better
      new home for it than rainy Denmark.

  • BoxerFanatic

    I don’t know what all the derision about the 90’s 900SS bikes looks are about.

    I like bullet fairings as much as anybody, but they are more universal than the 90’s era Ducati SS/CR half-fairing which is quite handsome, IMHO.

    To this day, 900SS-CR half-faired bikes are among my ALL TIME FAVORITES, with one of the best half-fairings ever put on a bike. Low and sleek over the front wheel, not sitting up high on the front end, like a begging puppy.

    I would dearly LOVE a pre-Terblanche SS/CR with Hossack’s front suspension conversion, as he just did on his own Terblance-era 800SS, and a Monster S-series tubular steel single-sided swing arm conversion, and 916 3-spoke Brembo wheels.

    Cleaning up the rear section of the frame (a Terblanche-era frame has a nicer tapered trellis aft of the engine) and slimming down the tail slightly might be OK… Maybe a trimmed version of the 888 monoposto tail…

    Fit that with an 1100EVO engine and maybe a QD under-gearbox exhaust… and DONE.

  • Amazing bike like always ! Wrenchmonkees are The Boss !

  • bikerferlife

    Nice build, but colors and details are a little drab, and the seat/tank lines are not up to snuff imo. Clean build and good hardware though.

  • grover

    These guys consistently crank out handsome, highly functional bikes. Bravo!

  • Very Nice!!

  • Tweedster

    This is a great bike. The article could use a decent sub-editor however. “Gordy plastics”?

    • sethasaurus

      Don’t worry, they’re in the “throws” of re-educating their spellchecker, and soon enough, ‘gordy’ will appear in the dictionary.
      Such is the evolution of the English language, in the hands of the new media.
      Signs of the times..

  • sethasaurus

    I read criticisms, etc but as soon as I saw this bike I wanted it!
    Looks super cool.

  • Jeremy

    Anyone recognize the blinkers?

    • Alx

      You can find them in the webshop of wrenchmonkees

      • Jeremy

        Thanks!!!

  • julio

    Nice bike! What make/model are those tires?

  • julio

    Nice Bike! What make/model are those tires?