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LIQUID MENTAL. A Polished Ducati Cafe Racer from Walt Siegl

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Andrew in Café Racer. 40 comments

If there’s one American bike show that’s really been punching above its weight in the last year or two, it’s the Brooklyn Invitational. You know something’s up when two separate world-class builders recommend the show as the cream of the US crop to you in the same week. Actually, make that three. Why? Because clearly New Hampshire’s Walt Siegl saved his best bike for the show, too. And here it is; a Ducati Monster 1100S that’s got more shine than Terminator 2.

“Business is good,” says Walt. “We’re currently working on several of our Bol d’Ors and Leggeros, one of which has been commissioned by an owner of RevIt & Rizoma USA. The bike will be traveling to the International Motorcycle Shows throughout the US over the next several months. We also continue to complete orders for the new Walt Siegl Motorcycles adventure model, called ‘L’Avventura’“.

Walt’s also in the process of building the fourth WSM model, which is apparently going to be a Superbike. Yes, we thought that would get your attention. “The Engine choices for this model will be high-powered liquid-cooled and custom-built air-cooled units, with deep sump crank cases. The first of two commissions for this model should be completed and tested by Spring of 2018”.

But enough small talk. Let’s get down to chrome tacks. “What you see here is a special custom Leggero built from a locally-sourced 2009 Monster 1100 S engine. The client’s inspiration was single-seater vintage airplanes, so he wanted as many parts as possible done in polished and hand-finished aluminum”.

We immediately pictured that scene from Scorcese’s ‘The Aviator’ where Di Caprio obsessively rubs his hand over the plane’s chrome fuselage. “Where normally I would use Kevlar and carbon fiber such as on the bodywork, fenders, and cam covers, we now had to build the parts in aluminum”.

“We did several extended test rides with the bike, and the material really prevents the unnecessary heating of the riders’ private parts”.

The client was also quite keen on a single muffler exiting under the seat, so not only did Walt have to custom make the system, but he also had to have a heat-dissipating coating applied on the inside of the header pipes and muffler. And when that didn’t cool things down, the inside of the tail section was wrapped with ultra-high temperature ceramic fiber insulation that can withstand 1500 degrees. “We did several extended test rides with the bike, and the material really prevents the unnecessary heating of the riders’ private parts”.

“Finding the correct finishes on all the components was quite a challenge. The frame had a specific powder coating base color that I had to seal with automotive clear to be cohesive with the rest of the finishes. The client insisted on a magnesium swingarm, so the casting surface had to be ground down, polished and a special high-gloss clear ceramic coating applied to prevent the magnesium from corroding almost instantly”.

The jaw-dropping polished engine was built by Bruce Meyers, apparently the best man in the country to do the job. The unit was blue printed, its internals lightened, and the cylinder heads have been extensively worked. “We also developed our own ECU programming to get the best out of his work,” says Walt.

Pass my sunglasses

“What I like best about the finished bike is that we managed to achieve several different polished surfaces, all with the correct hue and all managing to add up to a cohesive package,” he says, smiling. “Oh, and the performance is pretty outstanding as well”.

When pushed, Walt suggests that the machine is probably closer to a cafe racer than anything else, but clearly the pigeon-holing makes him slightly uncomfortable. He quickly changes the subject. “Lastly, the client named the bike ’Brave’”. After Walt’s recounting of baked private parts, we don’t have to try too hard to guess why.

‘Yes. A mimetic polyalloy’

Walt Siegl Motorcycles – Facebook – Instagram | Photos by Daniela Maria ]

  • Tomatenfisch

    Aluminum in it’s most beautiful form. The carbon rims are a very good choice! A breathtaking beautiful ride, if I do not have to clean it…

    • ‘If anyone wants me, I’ll be out front washing the bike. See you next week…’

  • Neil_TonUp

    Walt Siegl is unfair to the world. I rest my case. Well chosen, Pipeburn.

  • guvnor67


    • And you can check for bugs on your teeth in the tank.

      • guvnor67

        And check out your koolness while you’re at it!

  • David Novick

    Too pretty to ride. In the house she goes!

    • That’d be a real shame…

    • Buy a 1/12 die-cast model for the house. This silver lightning begs to be ridden. You ‘just’ don’t flirt a supermodel and stop there if you have the chance…you get the meaning I think… ;D

      • David Novick

        You guys are right. Definitely would ride her, too. I used to ride my Ducati Paso, and then roll her into the house. Such a pretty bike.
        Also, maybe she’ll look good unbathed??! Dirt patina might be a good thing on that bike??

  • Update: As Walt kindly pointed out to me – the son of an industrial chemist and a chrome plater – the bike is polished aluminium, not chrome plated. Facepalm…

    • Don Arnold

      Ditto for the Hughes H-1 in the Aviator.

  • Spyker May

    We made it just in time for the 9th on the 9th of the 9th – after some storm chasing from West Palm Beach. Getting there well after nine – after I nearly missed it for the third time in a row…

    Worth it though – even if only for the shiny bits (look around and you see what I mean). O yes and btw, you really only appreciate W.S. metal, when you get within an arm’s length of the thing.

    • We got an invite from Indian to attend, but 48 hours in the air for 48 hours of show followed by 48 hours of jet lag seemed a little O.T.T. Maybe next year…

      • Andrew Jones

        PS. I honestly didn’t notice the exhaust until I looked at your picture. Nice one.

  • Andy Rappold

    SHINY !! Must be a pain to keep it clean though 😀

    • Andrew Jones

      Personally, I find polishing relaxing. [Insert knob joke here]

  • Bultaco Metralla

    Every teenage wet dream cafe racer come to life

    • Andrew Jones

      ‘Silver dream racer’ etc.

  • Mayakovski

    So very overdone. Could have been beautiful, too bad the builder did not know when to stop. Kinda like a lot of the big trailer queen Harley’s.

    • Andrew Jones

      Overdone? How?

    • Andy Rappold

      Some do not recognize beauty when its right in front of their eyes..sad

      • Mayakovski

        Gliding the lily. A beautiful machine, but Walt did not know when to stop. He took a bike that was beautiful to start with and just pushed as far and as hard as he could. Now it is just another over polished, over detailed, impractical bike that will never, and can never legally be ridden and will live out it’s life on a showroom floor. Very sad.

        • Nicholas Harrison

          You have no idea what you’re talking about. Impractical? Never legally be ridden? Have you ever ridden a Siegl Leggero? Walt builds practical bikes that are meant to be ridden hard

          • Mayakovski

            No tail light, no turn signals. Not legal. As far as being made to be ridden, nope, made to get attention, that is all.

      • cagivarider

        I’m afraid I’m with Mayakovski here.
        All details are beautiful but that doesn’t mean they
        sum up to a beautiful bike: too much of a good thing.
        Less (polished alu) would be more. Imho.

        Kind regards

  • properjob

    When something looks as amazing as this yet still promises to perform beautifully, I’m sold. Form and function given equal ranking. Fantastic work.

    • Andrew Jones

      Equal ranking is a great way of putting it!

  • martin hodgson

    Holy polishing Batman, my arm is sore just looking at it!!! Absolutely love the mix of polished alloy with the carbon rims. A Monster is a raw machine as it is, just the bits you need and nothing more. To finish it so beautifully in raw materials that further strip weight and look stunning…. perfection!!!

    • Andrew Jones

      Couldn’t agree more. 😉

  • AB

    My faith in the man is restored after that ‘adventure’ bike recently (yeah I did not like that one).
    One could say he has out shined himself on this build 🙂

    • Andrew Jones

      We posted some shots today on social media. I really liked it. What was you issue with it?

      • AB

        The adventure styling in general does not work for my eye and the white one offered nothing significantly different in that respect. The usual quality build from the man. I am rather excited over the prospect of a late model water cooled Ducati from him though 🙂

  • The Ogre

    Daaaaamn. Walt does it again.

  • the watcher

    Ally tank is gorgeous. Front guard is gorgeous. Alloy seat is…….fuck me, that’s gorgeous too! I wanted to rant about how ally always looks too ” bloaty” for seats but not this time. Thank goodness they dodged the fairing bullet, n’all. Beautiful bike.

    • What were you thinking re: the fairing?

      • the watcher

        I’m yet to see an ally fairing that looked right. The compound curves required are too tight for the gauge of metal, so if it’s not a dustbin or a bikini, it’ll just look clunky and forced. Thank goodness they weren’t tempted I say.