Marc Roissetter is an Aussie motorcycle enthusiast from the highest order. He’s been riding and working in the motorcycle industry for a long time, and at the time of this project, he was based out of Dubai. As a motorcycle hobbyist, he enjoys the process of making something unique from a standard machine, always looking for ways to make them better than stock. Initially, he was looking for an air-cooled V-twin that was NOT a Harley-Davidson, and the idea was to actually find a Yamaha Virago. If you’ve seen some of the Yamaha XV (Virago) builds it doesn’t take a lot to imagine why: they look like the bees-knees! But finding a solid Virago in the United Arab Emirates was not an easy task, since they were never officially imported into the country. Instead, he found a Ducati Monster 1100 EVO from 2011 that looked like it went through hell. It was crashed, written off, and left behind as junk. The engine and frame however, were solid, so it became the perfect bike to use as a base.
As you can image, the Ducati was picked up pretty cheap and needed to be built from the ground up. All parts were stripped from the bike, in order to eliminate unnecessary bits and to clean and send the frame for powder coating in bright white. The original Monster wheels were in decent condition and got the same powder coat treatment as the frame. In interesting part of this bike was the customized Ducati 996 fuel tank. It needed a lot tinkering to get it to look good on this bike. It got cut and welded to fit the frame, and it received a new fuel pump. Marc wanted the subframe made in a way that it looked like the rear seat was suspended and to have a clear view of that beautiful Ducati singles swingarm. A classic café racer visual cue. This meant that the rear subframe had to be built from scratch, but it was Definity worth the efforts. In the front, a custom-made triple clamp was added to allow for a cleaner and racier look.
With all of Marc’s builds, he wants a minimal looking machine, engine, wheels and basic controls. “I like the stripped-down light weight look of any café racer and the more mechanical it looks with moving parts such as drive belts, clutches etc the better.” Being able to see the air filters like classic inline 4’s was one of the goals, so he really wanted to make it as minimal as possible. About 40 hours were spent on the wiring loom and harness alone, just tucking it up and trying to leave as much as possible out of sight. If you are unfamiliar with modern Ducati’s, you should know that it’s not an easy task with all Ducati’s wiring, ECUs and sensors!
With every build there are unique sets of challenges. With this bike, the wiring harness and ECU combinations where the hardest thing to overcome. The ECU used is a Siemens version with very little aftermarket support or ability to re-program. Due to this Marc had to keep the standard gauge cluster and ABS sensors (no ABS plumbed in) as speed of the bike used a separate ECM that interfaced with the main ECU. This also meant he had to keep but hide the standard key for immobiliser as security comes from the dash ECM. Very annoying if you want the bike to looks as clean and minimalistic as possible. The other big challenge was having to re-build the entire engine after the project was completed. Even though when he got the bike a compression test showed that the engine was fine, the bike never ran until everything was done. It turned out a valve had gone through one of the pistons at some point and instead of replacing the piston the previous owner just pulled it out, welded it up, grounded out a valve seat with a grinder and popped it back in…
There is an extensive list of custom parts that took many hours to get fabricated or modified. Aside from the subframe, fuel tank, and triple clamp, the gorgeous seat and cowl have been custom made to fit the bike. What we see often with builds like these, is that the way the seat it attached to the subframe seems to be a challenge for many builders. It rarely looks like it belongs there. Not with this bike though! The shape, size, and even the colour really complements this Ducati. The ‘Monstrosity’ also received brakes from another Ducati, the Multistrada, a SC Projects GP-style exhaust, and a LED headlight. The overall stance of the bike is astonishing, it has a classy but raw and mechanical vibe. And the combination of the deep red body work with the white frame and wheels, it could have been an expensive Ducati option for their high-end models.
The results of this authentic shed-build project are astounding. The Monstrosity is aggressive looking, and does well on the track as well. It looks so cool; it could even just sit in my living room as an art piece too. But with this Ducati café racer. It’s not all about show, it has some go as well.
Photo & video credits: Twist & Grip