Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada

A lightweight Italian supermodel

I met Mike Vienne in person a few years ago at a track day and he had shown up with some pretty killer builds. Over conversations not only discovered that he builds awesome "track ready: street legal" bikes but that I had actually featured one of his previous builds; a Triumph T120R on The Bullitt back in 2014. Small world! Needless to say Mike stayed in touch and when he started working on his super-light Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada we wanted to hear and see more. After wrapping up the build, we eagerly waited for some details and photos. Mike shared a detailed write up in the Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada and share the story in his own words below.

Photo: Jeanne Vienne

"Sandro Parra (Service Manager at Pro Italia) actually connected the owner with me. The client wanted to to revive his very worn out 1995 900SS. In it’s past it had been through a few mechanics and been modded with several upgrades (carbs, wheels, etc) but it was ridden hard and put away wet. From a distance the bike looked ok, but the nearer you got… It had been sitting parked for many years after the motor gave out. A good portion of the original bodywork was damaged and the tank and carburetors were caked solid with the evaporated remains of 5 year old fuel.

As these things typically go, there was a process. Expectations versus funds versus reality. Many discussions regarding the very ambitious goals coupled with a less than equal to the task budget was an early challenge. I compiled a quick (long) list of what it would take to fix everything that we were starting with which led me to conclude that in fact, there wasn’t all that much. From what we had to start with, the idea of trying to obtain Superbike levels of performance was going to be difficult on the initial budget.

Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada
Photo: Jeanne Vienne

The 900SS is an iconic motorcycle. In fact, the first Ducati I ever rode was my buddy’s back in the early 90’s. I loved everything about it immediately  (the torque, the sound, the Italian “soul”, did I say, the torque!) but it’s a SuperSport afterall not a 916 and its very heavy. 415lb dry, I think.

So, like most all of my builds I chose to focus on handling and lightness as the foundation of the build. Lotus design engineer Colin Chapman once said, “simplify, then add lightness”. I use that a lot. Performance upgrades to the broken motor were discussed and dismissed. Upgrading and rebuilding the existing motor and carburetors was going to be costly and ultimately less than satisfying from a performance standpoint. In terms of horsepower, the stock bike puts out roughly mid 70’s. I proposed that we build a more modern version of Ducati’s own 900SS Superlight, which was a limited edition, produced for 2 years in the mid 90’s, with a few carbon bits and Marvic wheels, etc. It’s pretty collectible now.

Photo: Jeanne Vienne
Anyway, rather than fix what we had (which was just about everything), I floated the idea of upgrading everything all in one go, while keeping the outward appearance of a classic 900 SuperSport. A  EFI Monster 1100 Dual Spark motor could work with relative ease with the existing chassis and swingarm and due to newer manufacturing processes it would actually be lighter than the original 900SS engine. Plus you gain a modern reliable mappable ECU in the process all of which was rated at 95hp. Stepping up to fully adjustable suspension and radial brakes would both be significant upgrades over stock as well.

 

Ultimately, as the enthusiasm for the bike grew so did the budget and subsequently more money was allocated to the project. We ended up removing the stock fork internals and replacing them with a Mupo cartridge kit and while they were apart anodizing and Ti Nitride coating the external pieces to give us the look we were after.  Likewise, the brakes were replaced with Brembo’s high end billet GP-4RXs clamping down on BrakeTech’s Iron Axis rotors via a new Brembo Corsa Corta radial master cylinder. Essentially we upgraded the upgrades.

 

Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada brakes
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
The stock oil cooler was up specked to a higher capacity custom mounted Febur unit to keep engine temps in control on hot Southern California days. And I added a few additional performance enhancements that I think all modern bikes (especially Ducatis) benefit from: a Yoyodyne slipper clutch, a quick shifter, a set of performance air intakes to help it breathe more freely and I reflashed the ECU.
Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada cockpit
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
In a continuing effort to keep the weight in check the bodywork is all carbon. I was able to find an unobtainium set of original Ducati Performance carbon side panels and had a tail and nose fabricated to match. The fuel tank is actually a kevlar fuel cell. Combined those items alone shed about 20lbs of unnecessary weight!

 

Then I went about trying to lose more gratuitous weight: detab the steel frame, remove all nonessential wiring and componentry. Fabricate a bunch of bits out of light weight aluminum in lieu of using the o.e. heavier steel parts.  Discreet LED lighting and a simple race seat pad replace their heavier counterparts. Essentially, strip it down to it’s core elements. It all sounds simple enough, but in reality it took much more time to ensure everything was going to work and play nice together. Ultimately, there’s room to gain even more weight savings in the future (i.e wheels) But as it sits right now we ended up right around the mid 300’s weight wise - and that’s with a full fuel load.

 

Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
After it was all together (before final disassembly for paint and powdercoat) I took the bike up to Willow Springs for a few shakedown laps on the big track and I have to say it’s pretty fantastic. The suspension, brakes and overall lightness come together really well and allow you to dive into any corner much deeper and later than ever before. It’s not going to outrun a modern liter bike down the front straight, but you’ll certainly out brake them going into the first corner, get it turned and back on the power ahead of them. And quick transition corners like turns 3 and 4 of the Omega are effortless.

 

However, in the end the bike is much more likely to spend time carving roads in the nearby canyons than on the track- so we stepped away from the Superlight moniker and I chose SuperStrada as it’s new name. The paintwork and graphics are an homage to the Cagiva era bikes, yet with a modernish feel.  I’ll tell you though it took quite of bit of work to get those wavy original fairing panels straight so that the paint looks like glass, but the results speak for themselves." - Mike Vienne of Championship Cycles

 

Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada in action
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada major mods:
1100DS EFI/ECU motor
Quickshifter
Slipper clutch
All carbon bodywork
Kevlar fuel cell
Mupo cartridge internals in custom coated forks
Ohlins rear shock
LED lighting
Febur oil cooler
Single sided exhaust
Brembo GP4RX CNC nickel plated calipers
High-performance air intakes
Brembo Corsa Corta
Brembo clutch
Brake Tech iron axis rotors
Lightweight Sprockets with 520 conversion

Championship Cycles:
Online | Instagram || Photos: Shaik Ridzwan and Jeanne Vienne

Huge Moto custom Zero FXS

Silent Supermoto

As we get excited for another iteration of the One Show in Portland, OR we took a minute to reflect on some of last year's favorites and one in particular came to mind; Huge Moto's custom Zero FXS. The One Show is known for their inclusiveness of all makes and styles, yet it still predominately consists of petrol-burning machines, making Huge Moto's electric supermoto stand out even further from the crowd.

Huge Moto Zero FXS supermoto

The Zero FXS is a fun, lightweight electric supermoto-styled bike from the Scotts Valley, CA manufacturer. In stock form, styling is already pretty clean and straight forward but even solid stock designs can be improved upon with the right minds at work.

Last year the custom FXS garnered a lot of interest and our friends at Bike EXIF immediately reached out for a feature. While much of the background and details can be seen on EXIF, we feel the build certainly deserves another moment in the spotlight here and Zero Motorcycles graciously shared these killer photos from Aaron Brimhall with us.

Custom Zero FXS supermoto

electric supermoto - custom Zero FXS

While Huge Moto agreed to not hack up the frame, the team at Huge Moto turned their design plans towards an improved aesthetic. The main plan was to create a flow across the top of the bike, drawing eyes away from the electric components and frame, and focusing more attention and ‘visual weight’ on the front end.

For an improved ride, the Zero FXS was fitted with a high-end Fox Racing shock in the rear and new wheels all round: 17-inch Sun rims custom laced onto off-road hubs from the Zero FX.

Huge Moto Zero FXS supermoto frontend

The dirtbike look and feel of a typical supermoto was retained with a long flat seat and tail along with a visually similar front beak. The headlight with halo LED adds a modern touch to the overall feel.

Huge Moto Zero FXS supermoto tail

We love the subdued color palatte chosen for the bike and while the bodywork is not handformed metal - it's CNC machined out of ABS thermoplastic polymer - it still has that raw look to us. The little touches of red along with the modern head and tail lights complete the look giving us a clean and simple feel on a undoubtedly high-tech machine.

Huge Moto Zero FXS supermoto headlight

Huge Moto Zero FXS supermoto - right side

And after building our very own Ducati Hypermotard "Bullitt SP", we've been in love with the supermoto styled bikes and have been looking for our next bike in the category. And after pining over these photos of Huge Moto's creation, it has us taking a hard look at Zero's FXS.

Huge Moto Zero FXS supermoto

What are your thoughts on the build, or even electric bikes in general? Is this is bike you'd like to have in your garage? Let us know in the comments below.

Huge Moto | Facebook | Instagram | Zero Motorcycles | Images by Aaron Brimhall


Hookie Co Grey Chameleon

Hookie Co BMW Scrambler - Grey Chameleon & Moto-Kit

Life is a one way street

Dresden, Germany based Hookie Co. is a custom motorcycle shop that has a passion for building unique motorcycles. As previously noted, they have a paired-down aesthetic that we here at The Bullitt love. And while they have built customs based off a number of different marquees, it's become clear that BMWs are a favorite at the Hookie Co camp. They've actually built "moto kits" that you can purchase, and with no cutting or welding, can build your very own custom BMW R nineT. And if building your own isn't your thing - you can purchase the fully baked version dubbed the Grey Chameleon.

Hookie CO BMW Scrambler overhead

The Hookie Co Moto-Kit has numerous options, allowing you to choose your favorite cover design and change it the way you want it. It's "plug and ride", so in just seconds can have a fresh new design. The kits comes with a custom tank, subframe, seat, filters and more. The kits range from €6,100.00 – €6,450.00 depending on options. Not cheap for sure, but damn do they look good!

The subframe and seat combo is one of the big changes to the Beamer, physically and aesthetically, and one that you're likely to not want to do yourself. The frame practically stretches the length of the bike, and the upswept tail is a nice touch with a convenient cargo strap incorporated.

Hookie CO BMW Scrambler tail detail

Arrow exhaust - Hookie CO BMW Scrambler

Arrow exhaust sold separately, but a much needed addition!

The Grey Chameleon and the Moto Kit utilize 2 DNA air filters and a single DNA engine breather filter.

For the Hookie Co Moto Kit, the quickly exchangeable tank covers come in 4 different colorways sure that each has it's very own look and feel. Kits are compatible with all new BWM R nineT models.

Hookie Co Moto-Kit2 Color Options
Hookie Co Moto-Kit2 Color Options

While we don't have a R nineT in the garage ourselves, but ogling these kits has made us want to get one. Everything is handmade in Germany and is clearly high quality and well thought out. If you have a R nineT yourself, we recommend putting the Hookie Co Moto-Kit on your short list of mods to add in 2020.

Hookie CO BMW Scrambler stealth

Grey Chameleon Specs

Donor Bike: 2019 BMW R NineT Scrambler
Hookie Co Moto-Kit, including:
- Custom subframe
- Modified passenger frame
- Aluminum fuel tank
- "URBAN” carbon-fiber gas tank cover
- Alcantara seat
- Aluminum E-Tray (black)
Exhaust: Arrow Pro-Racing Titanium
Tires/Wheels: Front 19″ Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR, Rear 17″ Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR
Electronics: Antigravity 12-cell lithium ion battery, Kellermann Atto front, Kellermann Atto DF rear
Other Modifications: DNA Air Filter, Motogadget m.view Spy mirrors

PRICE: €27,900.00 (INCL. VAT)

Hookie Co.  Web | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube