As a basis, ‘Il Mostro’ isn't perhaps the best starting point for a custom classic: that V-shaped trellis frame is unequivocally at odds with the unwritten rule of café racers having a nice, neat, horizontal line on which the seat and tank sit. But the best café creators stand out by how they rise to meet a challenge, and here are a few that have done just that… and then some.
Hazan Motorworks of Brooklyn
Maxwell Hazan, founder of Hazan Motorworks in Brooklyn, New York, had actually bought his Monster to use as a city runabout, a practical contrast to his more ‘demanding’ customs. It wasn’t until it was damaged while on said duties that he decided to transform it into a Ducafé, with a brief of simplicity, functionality and elegance. By the time he was done TIG welding, hand-beating and tweaking, his 900 didn’t only fit the bill – it was also a fair bit lighter and more powerful (and perhaps a bit less comfortable).
Walt Siegl Motorcycles of New Hampshire
Walt Siegl of Harrisville, New Hampshire, had always intended this particular Monster to be a custom café, as it was commissioned by a client who already owned three of his home-made specials. Siegl’s interpretation not only focused on visual style, but also took into account his own demands as a keen racer (the bike should hold its own on the track) and those defined by his client’s stocky physique – meaning an upright riding position and fully adjustable suspension with heavier springs.
Redmax Speedshop of Hampshire, UK
In the UK, Steve Hillary of Redmax Speedshop went for a style that might reverberate more with Ducatisti of old. An Imola-style front fairing (refreshed with stacked headlamps from a 999) combine with a Sport Classic tank and one of Redmax’s own seat units, the latter with matching stacked taillights. Lamborgini Diablo three-stage metallic orange paintwork completes the striking look.