The ride

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Just Built -

The bril­liance ofan­drew’s Mon­ster is not what you no­tice – but what you don’t.

Take in the ba­sics: early 600 Mon­ster in yel­low, check; the one with the older style Du­cati logo on the tank, roger that; in good, clean orig­i­nal con­di­tion – well, no, ac­tu­ally.

Yes,an­drew’s Du­cati is clean enough to eat your din­ner off, but as for orig­i­nal­ity... some­thing’s not quite right and it’s ini­tially dif­fi­cult to work out what, such is the clever sub­tlety of his rein­ven­tion.the black head­lamp rim is prob­a­bly the most con­spic­u­ous al­ter­ation, then maybe the num­ber­plate bracket. But only slowly do you no­tice the rest: the twin disc front; a frame colour that’s dif­fer­ent to how you re­mem­ber; the black yokes, hang­ers and swingarm; the green belt cov­ers; the miss­ing side pan­els; the hid­den wiring and much, much more.yet it’s all been so skill­fully, thor­oughly and sub­tly done the over­all re­sult is hugely im­pres­sive.

It’s some­thing that de­lights and con­founds eve­nan­drew him­self.“it’s pleas­ing and frus­trat­ing in equal mea­sure,” he said. “Be­cause if you take it some­where some­one goes ‘That’s stun­ning’. But then they don’t re­al­ize ev­ery­thing you’ve done be­cause I’ve tried to do it as if Du­cati had done it.”

It’s also some­thing that needs a while to fully take in. Check out the neatly hid­den wiring or the skill that’s gone into craft­ing the de­tach­able grabrail or the ex­haust link pipes. It’s a bike you can gaze at for a long time and wal­low in the de­tails and in­ge­nu­ity.

An­drew’s Mon­ster goes just as well – if not bet­ter – than it looks. From the out­set it im­presses: crisp, un­hesi­tant, sorted and ut­terly de­fy­ing its 20 years.the rid­ing po­si­tion and view, af­ter­mar­ket ’bar-end mir­rors ex­cepted, is com­pletely stan­dard and fa­mil­iar (you for­get you some­how ex­pect the 600 Mon­ster to be ‘dinkier’ than the 900 but of course it’s not). ’Bars, clocks and tank

paint are all vir­tu­ally as new. It fires im­me­di­ately and quickly set­tles into an easy, bur­bling idle, then we’re away, weav­ing through the back­streets of Pon­typridd.the slight cant for­ward is clas­sic Mon­ster, the ride firm and fo­cused. It’s clas­sic road­ster but there’s that Mon­ster ag­gres­sion and at­ti­tude as well.

I’d wor­ried be­fore­hand that, be­ing a 600, this Mon­ster might feel some­how ‘less’ – but it doesn’t.that mo­tor’s free revving, flu­ent and will­ing and the am­pli­fied bel­low from the twin pipes en­hances the whole ex­pe­ri­ence with­out an­noy­ing. Bet­ter still is the rest: all the con­trols are crisp and work vir­tu­ally as-new; the up­rated twin discs are fault­less, the sorted, en­hanced sus­pen­sion gives a ride more re­fined than any Mon­ster I can re­mem­ber of this era. Put all that lot to­gether swoop­ing through thewelsh hill­sides nearan­drew’s home and I had a ball. I’d never have guessed a 20-year-old 600 Mon­ster could be so bril­liant.

Thanks to:

• Nick at Griff’s Re­al­ity Mo­tor­works in Bris­tol for the pow­der coat­ing • South Wales Metal Fin­ish­ing for plat­ing • My mate Robin who did the lion’s share of the link pipes.

“More re­fined than any Mon­ster I can re­mem­ber of this era. I had a ball swoop­ing through the Welsh hill­sides”

Skele­tal hug­ger and num­ber plate mount are neat­ness it­self He chose red hose Them’s the brakes

Mouth­ful of grass for a kerb-cut­ting Mr West

So sub­tle, al­most too sub­tle

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