Pipeburn is full of stories concerning engineering genii who make us all look like drunken monkeys when it comes to customising a bike. Guilty as charged. But for the most part, it’s average Joes and Joannes who build bikes. The trick is knowing when to bring in the big guns. Clearly not one to do things by half measures, Switzerland’s Michael Thalmann pulled the pin on European custom’s equivalent of a nuclear weapon to help him out and the end result is a Ducati Monster cafe racer that’s blowing our minds.
Yesterday we had an 80s endurance cafe racer and today it’s rally cars that are setting the scene. But not just any rally car; it’s arguably the rally car. The Lancia Stratos HF with its Ferrari V6. Argentina’s Vida Bandida are, like many of their country folk, huge rally fans. And to pay tribute to the Lancia and rally’s Group B golden age of the 70s and 80s, they’ve built an perfectly Italian tribute in the form of this dirt-eating Ducati Monster.
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.
No matter how strong your nationalistic tendencies it’s almost impossible to argue against the fact that Italy has produced the world’s greatest artists. Not just the likes of Michelangelo and Caravaggio but polymaths Da Vinci and Galileo who were experts in so many areas it’s impossible to count. What these men also possessed was an unmistakable madness and willingness to transgress society’s norms that are qualities our modern renaissance men of Anvil Motociclette not only share but are deeply proud of. So it should come as no surprise that San Marco and Phonz found their inspiration for this build in an immense and dusty abandoned factory that serves as a mausoleum for a century old motodrome. It’s rolling art with superbike levels of performance, a Ducati Monster S4R that now goes by the name WARTHOG Mille.
Giving you new custom bike a Mafia-related name requires a certain amount of bravado. After all, portraying something that’s got your life in its hands as a violent, vindictive and possibly unhinged criminal doesn’t bode so well for your future personal safety. Open the garage door one sunny Sunday to find it in a bad mood and you could well end up riding with the fishes. Luckily for us, the Netherlands‘ Wrench Kings are still healthy enough to tell us about this, their brand new Ducati Monster cafe they’ve named ‘Mobster’.
Ah, the 70’s – the golden age of motorsport, manliness and lung cancer. That trio sat at the forefront of F1 during an incredible decade that made legends and took lives. Years later a loose collection of individuals in Italy dubbed the Milano Cafe Racers have drawn inspiration from that period to craft Ciaparat – a gorgeous 1995 Ducati Monster built to kick ass at the strangest racing series we’ve ever heard of.
They call them ‘parts bin specials.’ They’re the bikes that have been thrown together from all the leftovers that the other bike builders didn’t need. That old second tank. The spare rear shock. Your mate’s unused set of rims. The very thought of something built this way conjures mental pictures of a franken-bike; something that looks more like the result of a welder gone postal in a bike wreckers than anything that been done with any forethought or planning. But here’s a bike that goes a long way to prove that assumption wrong. So far, in fact, that the results look more like something you hope Ducati would build rather than something they’d run from in fright. Meet engineer John Grainge and his Monster SR2 Café Racer.
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Written by Phil Guy.
Not all builds need be the equivalent of a heart transplant. Some are constrained by time, others by budget, and then there are those bikes that simply don’t need a complete overhaul to begin with. The team at Rive Gauche Kustoms faced a combination of the latter two recently when their web designer, Marco, handed them the keys to his perfectly serviceable Ducati Monster 600, and not a whole lot of cash.
The Parisian crew have a fine record of street trackers, but this time the remit called for something different, a skate-influenced, pure streeter. So, with modest mechanical work and a slew of custom touches, a motorcycle facelift if you will, they turned out this ‘street trasher’.
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Cops and donuts. Politicians and corruption. Musicians and drugs. Benjie Flipprboi and café racers. Some things are just synonymous with each other. So when Benjie from Benjie’s Café Racers (BCR) sent us his latest project, we presumed it would be another top class cafe racer from his garage in New Jersey. To our surprise, it wasn’t a café racer at all, it was this Ducati he has named the ‘Monster Tracker’. The bike was used by Benjie as a commuter for about a year until he got bored of its stock looks. “The bike started off as a 07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with a little over 8K miles on it.” says Benjie. “First we were going to make it into a café racer, but we wanted to do something different for a change. We decided to take the bike apart, and turn it into a tracker/urban scrambler with a little steam punk flare.”
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