Patrick Alexan­der DU­CATI 900SS

Af­ter a Du­cati Pan­tah ‘out­age’ de­railled a big trip to Ire­land, Patrick built a belt-drive Duke to do pre­cisely that job – and plenty more be­sides

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Special Build of the Year 2018 -

Patrick alexan­der built his 1992 Du­cati 900SS spe­cial with a pur­pose – to fi­nally lay to rest the ghost of an abortive trip to Ire­land 30 years ago.a Du­cati Pan­tah that had en­dured seven not-so-care­ful pre­vi­ous own­ers got him from Lon­don to Liver­pool for the ferry be­fore blow­ing up.

The episode plainly still ran­kles the now 51-year-old guitar-maker and car­pen­ter. Com­plet­ing his spe­cial in time for a 3000-mile tour tak­ing in the west coast of Ire­land for the long­est day in June last year helped with the heal­ing process.

Pre­vi­ously Patrick’s 900SS had been in cafe racer trim but the col­lapse of the gear­box out­put shaft bear­ing prompted his de­ci­sion to rip the bike down and start over.

“I’ve al­ways ad­mired the er­gonomics of the Du­cati Mon­ster but hated the tank and the bul­bous back-end,” says Patrick.

So his first task was to de­sign and make a seat for his SS. He sculpted a unit that met his ex­act­ing eye and re­quire­ments, took a fe­male mould from it and formed it in glass­fi­bre. It houses the re­sited electrics as well as the tail-light and LED in­di­ca­tors.the seat, like the tank and mud­guard, was painted by Patrick in a nod to the Pan­tah.

Be­ing a cre­ative type, Patrick has many friends in the en­gi­neer­ing busi­ness. He de­signed a top yoke and ris­ers to take flat ’bars and com­mis­sioned the CNC ma­chin­ing of these. Four sets of ’bars were tried and re­jected be­fore he set­tled on the Ren­thal street type. Sim­i­larly the LED head­light’s bezel was Cnc-ma­chined from solid alu­minium, its walls now just 2mm thick.the ally bezel for the LED id­iot lights is a cru­ci­form shape that looks like some­thing Prince might have worn. “Fun­nily enough I made a chair for him once,”says Patrick.

A wa­ter jet was de­ployed to cut the ex­haust hang­ers, clock and head­light brack­ets as well as Patrick’s pet fea­ture, the rack on the tail unit. “That’s there as a cheeky dig at those who say you shouldn’t go tour­ing on a Du­cati,” he laughs.

Patrick rolled the si­lencers him­self us­ing 1mm stain­less steel sheet.their’s is a lusty bark as pur­pose­ful as the spe­cial it­self.

“It did what I built it to do, my 3000-mile Ire­land trip, and did it in com­fort too,” says Patrick.

“No Alan, that’s not what I said. Pay at­ten­tion”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.