Marco's Ducati Monster
By Ross Sharp - 16 Sep 14
Thanks a bunch Marco, you've single handedly ruined my evening. Well, not strictly true, the wisdom tooth impaling my face and brain trying to escape through my eye socket played their part but seeing Marco's bike broke the camel's back. Just when you think your own fabrication skills, artistic flair and engineering vision are reaching a reasonable level, someone comes along and bats you out of the park. This 2001 Ducati Monster S4 isn't the work of a pro builder, but a restaurant manager from Verona, Italy. Not that I'm belittling restaurant managers, but Marco spends his days surrounded by gastronomic delights, sweaty chefs, hot waitresses and pedantic diners. It's not as if he can pop out back during break time and lap a couple of valves in. Choosing a water cooled Ducati donor is brave, especially with distinct lack of fairing to hide the ugly bits. But frankly, there is so much else going on that the radiator only appears in one's peripheral vision after good long stare at the rest of the bike, and soon fades away. The strikingly obvious standout is the copper plated frame, standard Monster tube-work part front the tweaked and shortened tail. Not an obvious choose of finish but why the heck not. The swing arm, clutch cover, triple clamps and mudguard mounts have all received a layer and polished to a luxurious lustre. The mudguard itself was hand-beaten from copper sheet. The engine covers and radiator have been powder coated black, so that they don't feel left out against the dazzling semi-precious plating the other components are parading. Tyres are by Pirelli. You didn't expect Japanese or German ones did you? The tail unit is styled on a 750SS unit and of course, is handmade, with LED tail lights set into the hump. Details are slightly sparse, but they look like the indicator/tail combination units by Highsider of Germany. The seat cover neatly morphs rearward with brass press studs holding it in place, practicality and style also combined. Marco must have some mates from Chile (they mine loads of the stuff if that's a sniff tenuous for you) as there is even more copper on display up top, with the tacho mounted in a polished plate, complete with a Christmas tree of idiot lights. The stunning wheel set is by Kineo. How they engineer an offset, single sided hubbed spoked wheel, with all spokes mounting to one side of the rim; is beyond my brain's comprehension this evening. It must have taken time to work out and the materials used are definitely from the grown-up end of the periodic table, as these bad boys will cost you the same price as a roadworthy Monster, a whole one. Well, maybe a clean 900. Builders often shy away from the Monster as the tank can become quite an ungainly mass to work around, the simple solution is to remove it and replace with a tried and tested visual winner, the Sport Classic version. Marco got hold of a GT tank and sculpted cuts outs for his knees, pin striping the outline with actual copper leaf, just to make sure you notice. Personally, I noticed the vintage styled breather pipe and I like it. Geek, yes, so what? Looking form the side, the knee scallops share lines and blend beautifully with the nose fairing and tail unit. By no means an accident. The fairing is modelled on a seventies Avon design, with the bulbous headlight cover making a bold and thought out statement. Marco knows his onions. So there you have it, a lovely copper plated display bike for Marco's mates to drool over. Nope! It has a licence plate, an Italian MOT thingy and he rides it everyday to work, so everybody can enjoy his efforts, Bravo Marco. He has a Facebook page, Gustoadulto, which means adult flavour. Don't worry it's more bike porn than Bunga Bunga. Follow Marco on Facebook and see what he does with his next project, a Moto Guzzi. Thanks Marco, writing this and enjoying your bike has distracted me enough to not notice the wine bottle emptying (Spagna, mi dispiace) and my face ache fading. Be sure to send us photos of your next bike.