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‘Mostro 900’ Ducati Cafe Racer – NCT Motorcycles

Posted on February 17, 2017 by Andrew in Café Racer. 13 comments

Written by Marlon Slack.

At the Southern end of Austria and just a yodel’s throw from the snow-capped alps sits a small town called Feldkirchen in Kärnten. It’s home to some gorgeous Austrian architecture, thousands of transient German skiers and NCT Motorcycles – a custom shop of incredible quality and impeccable taste. While they most frequently find themselves massaging bespoke BMWs, this time around they’ve diversified and produced this stunningly simple cafe racer, based on a 2001 Ducati Monster 900ie.

Astute readers of Pipeburn and other, lesser bike blogs will notice more and more Ducati customs appearing in the last twelve months. Part of me thinks that it’s because every twin shock old Japanese shitter has now been rattlecanned black, fitted with Firestones and skidded off the road in the first light shower. But the better part of me likes to think it’s because we’re collectively realising how good some of these mid-life Italians are.

Providing they’ve been serviced, old two-valve Ducatis are reliable, handle well and offer usable power for the street. But the owner of this Monster isn’t new to the marque. He actually purchased the bike brand new off the squeaking showroom floor all the way back in 2001. And it was his first motorcycle. It’s a long way from the battle-scarred DR250 held together with duct tape and hormonal enthusiasm that I learned to ride on. But I’m probably not NCT’s target market.

“NCT listen intently to their clientele and follow their instructions to the letter.”

National Custom Tech Motorcycles have a particularly Austrian approach to bike-building. Whereas some workshops treat a brief as a vague guide rather than express instructions NCT listen intently to their clientele and follow their instructions to the letter. In this case it was to craft a lowered, cafe’d take on the old Ducati Monster.

Understatedly awesome

With well over a dozen bikes under their belt, NCT have the build process pretty much down pat. The motorcycle is completely reassembled, parts trimmed, blasted, powdercoated and painted before being reassembled, with a lightened loom and myriad of bespoke and aftermarket parts to cap it off. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Well not quite. David Widmann, who founded NCT in 2015 is no stranger to bikes. He’s been riding and banging together his own rides from the tender age of 5 and prior to starting the shop he worked in the steel manufacturing sector. But even this relatively straightforward build threw out a challenge or two.

Ice to meet you

“And all it takes is a good eye, shitloads of man hours and a lifetime of experience.”

In this case it was the seat. Made in-house from fibreglass it took countless hours to get right. But look at the thing – those angles, the gorgeous extra padding and smooth contours. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s how you design a seat. And all it takes is a good eye, shitloads of man hours and a lifetime of experience.

The other hurdle that David and his team tackled was the Ducati’s snaking 2-1-2 exhaust. While the early mock-up looked and sounded fantastic, David figured the vigilant Austrian highway patrol wouldn’t appreciate the straight through throaty roar of a well tuned v-twin. So it was taken apart and fitted with some more baffling, which was packed into the centre section of the pipe that runs under the sump.

Exhaust is the jewel in the crown

Other parts came together much more easily. The indicators with in-built brake lights, the clipons and subdued paint scheme all make this cafe Monster look gorgeous. There’s no one real part that screams, and it doesn’t shout ‘custom’ like many other bikes do. It’s a subdued riff on the original bike that the owner has loved and ridden for over fifteen years. It makes me wonder – what could NCT Motorcycles do with an old DR250?

You’ll catch your death out there

[NCT MotorcyclesFacebookInstagram | Photos by Peter Pegam]

  • Dave Coetzee

    I’m not a big fan of the Monster tank but it just looks so good on this build. Colour scheme or some bits reminds me of an R-Nine-T and the writer of the article is definitely not Slack!

    • Marlon

      Would you believe it’s my real name?

      • Dave Coetzee

        No worries Marlon, my middle name is Harry. Keep up the great writing!

    • Agree 100% on Monster tanks. Never seen one that looked good on a Monster, regardless how trick the rest of the bike looks. 900SS or 916 tanks are hugely badass looking. Monster tanks always look like a blob. The rest of this bike is top shelf as is the paintjob.

  • guvnor67

    Wow! So nicely done, the shapes and colours give it a solid, cohesive look, and it screams “ride me, abuse me, but clean me up before bed!”. Another great NCT build.

  • John in Pollock

    I think its great. I’m becoming more and more a fan of the “cafe fighter” genre as time goes on… This one is a particularly high quality build.

    • Marlon

      I agree mate. And I think we’ll see more of them over the next few years. They’re harder to do as you often have to work around the tank and frame and other little things that are easier to do on a twin shock bike but the results are worth it.

  • dCarter2

    What a romantically scientific looking bike!

  • the watcher

    Hmmm. Monster with single seat, clip-ons, skeleton clutch cover and black paint. If I’d built it myself I’d be quite pleased with it, but if I’d paid an “expert” I’d suggest it’s a bit unimaginative.

    • JD

      Unless you paid the experts to listen intently to your vision and follow your instructions to the letter, which I believe is what the builders were looking to achieve, if I’m reading the article correctly.

  • Bultaco Metralla

    i really like this as it is achieves a cohesive look with a myriad of subtle details that looks easy but is so hard to do.

  • Harold

    Why no pictures of the left side?

  • Matt Mengel

    I’ve always preferred a big headlight on bikes of this style. I really like this bike. Well done.