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
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”