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Here at The Bullitt we love café racers, both modern and classic. Seems like lately every manufacturer is jumping on the cafe bandwagon…that is, except for one. Ducati unquestionably makes some amazing bikes, both in beauty and brawn. They had an answer to the café craze but discontinued their SportClassic in 2010. But why??

Dutch from The Bike Shed pulled together a fantastic outline of the SportClassic in its many shapes and forms. The information below is pulled directly from Dutch’s post. Go here to see it in full.

The original models were monoposto (single-seat) bikes with a single-sided monoshock, long tank, clip-ons and proper old school looks, mated to a tried and tested air-cooled Desmo 1000 engine. There was also a faired limited edition model – the Paul Smart replica – which came kitted out with Öhlins suspension as standard equipment and was painted up to look like the race-winning 750SS ridden by the legendary British racer at Imola in 1972. It was beautiful.

 The Original above – The Rep below

After a year or so, (and much complaining from journos) the back-breaking clip-ons were given a 4 inch lift, and those with girlfriends were finally given a rear seat and pillion pegs. The faired biposto S also appeared, and Ducati’s dry clutch was swapped out for a quieter and longer-lived wet clutch… Much to the disgust of Ducatisti purists.

Best of all, being based on a bunch of spare parts from the Ducati parts bin, they are very easy to upgrade or customize. Some people make them more modern, quicker and more badass-looking, but increasingly, more and more of us love to take them back to their roots with classic paint, stripped down cosmetics, clocks, wheels, etc, and an Imola style seat.

Dutch snagged some of his favorite customs, which I in turn snagged from him. There are gobs more in his original post.

 The black & gold limited edition SE – each with a numbered plaque on the headstock

A very proper PS replica – with Imola style seat and custom fairing 

 A stunner from the forums. This is Barfer’s.

 The NCR take on the SportClassic. Pricey, but gorgeous

 The stunning racer above started out as a GT with bars

Bottom line is Ducati built a stronger, and frankly more handsome bike than any of its competitors and still walked away. I’d love to see Ducati bring it back. Anyone with me?!

Patrick Flynn

Patrick Flynn

Patrick Flynn, a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, combines over a decade of OEM motorcycle marketing experience with his passion for custom builds. Since 2008, he has been the driving force behind The Bullitt, a digital platform celebrating the art and culture of motorcycles.