Starting the Electrics – key switch, coils + CDI on order

So the electrics are the next stage in the build. The coils are Magnetti Marelli which is the same brand Ducati uses, but they were sold as being for a Lamborgini, and much cheaper new than buying used Ducati ones. The key switch is kind of hidden under the tank. It points down so the key has to be removed when you switch it off, but at least that means I can’t leave the key in there by mistake.

I can’t use an original Ducati ignition system box, as the bike should be fuel injected and I imagine without the injectors and lambda sensors it will go into some safe/limp mode. Plus the ignition boxes are pared to a particular key switch and key as a security feature.

Luckily it’s easy to get an after-market ignition system that plugs into the original ignition trigger on the bike. Ignitech in the Czech Republic can make an ignition system for any bike, including odd ball stuff like this. I’ve had two off them before for carbie Ducatis and they’ve been faultless. I just email them saying what I want, they invoice me for 140Euros and a custom fully programmable (you can add a throttle position sensor, change the ignition advance curve as well as run a side-stand cutout), but also plug and play ignition system gets delivered. Sweet.


Passinger Footpegs + Grabrail


I can’t see the point of a bike that can’t take a passenger, and to get through the MSVA test I need to fit passenger footpegs and some kind of hand hold if it’s registered as a two seater. I know I could just lie and say it’s only a single seater, forget about the grab rail and make the passenger hold on to me but I want to make it work properly. The footpegs are BMX stunt pegs. Also the grab rail stops you sliding off the back quite nicely whether you’re holding on to it or not.

Kerker Exhaust


I scored a Kerker exhaust can and link pipe cheap on ebay. The can is pretty beaten up, but with a bit of a spruce up it’ll look fine (did I say it was cheap?). I cut about 4 inches off the length to make it look more Kerker-ish.

I modified the link pipe to make it 2 into 1, before it was just a bit of curved pipe. I made the exhaust from a Ducati system I cut up. It looks pretty Heath Robinson now but when it’s painted black and the Kerker can is cleaned up with the name plate touched up and re-attached it’ll look  pretty good I think and very 80’s.

Cable to hydraulic conversion

So the only clutch master cylinders I like the look of are Ducati ones. These match the brake master cylinder I have, although that’s from a Cagiva Mito, not a Ducati. However, Ducati Clutch MCs with remote reservoirs are at least £60, so I thought I’d  take the opportunity to set up a remote cable operated master cylinder instead, as it’s something I’ve wanted to try, and gives the cleanest possible handlebar without doing something stupid like a foot clutch (never!).

This one is from a scooter, to operate the front brake. Ducati dry clutches are heavy (if you run all 6 springs, my current bike runs four and doesn’t slip) and they are particular to master cylinder bore size. There’s a fine line between the clutch being super heavy, and not disengaging properly. Older Ducati MCs were a 13mm bore, and very heavy. Newer ones are 12mm and lighter. My current bike has a 1/2 inch (12.4mm) MC off a different make and it is light enough with only four of the six clutch springs but not amazingly light. I’d not like to get caught in heavy traffic with all six springs on there. Anyway, the bore size of this MC seems to be 11.5mm, which might be straying into too small territory, with clutch disengagement issues. Probably when it’s good and hot. We’ll see.

If these master cylinders work then great, they’re cheap and plentiful. The only other ones like this I could find were from 80’s BMW R models (expensive) or early Kawasaki Z900s or Z1s (unobtanium, or very at best very expensive).

Fuel fittings Pt 2.


So I decided that I’m too old to cope with another bike with no reserve. My current bike has a reserve but it’s so tiny it hardly stops spluttering before it starts again.

So I made a threaded bung, cut a hole in the tank and welded it in place. It should give a decent reserve, and I can make it larger by using a longer banjo bolt. I’ve got a twin tank in-line fuel tap that fits nicely in the side panel grommet hole you can see on the tank there.

Internal throttle

This is the internal throttle fitted. It’s for 1 inch bars, but there was plenty of meat on the section that fits into the cut down handlebar. Plus these BMX bars aren’t very thick walled, Chro-mo, don’t you know! I made a slug to stuff in the end because the twist sleeve bit is ridiculously short. I extended the bars on the other side to match the new width using part of the bit I cut off from the throttle side.

My plan is to have just the brake hose and clutch cable visible, so it looks like the brakes on a BMX, if the BMX has two brakes, and massive levers.

Front brake caliper mount.

I decided to use a 6 pot caliper, I guess, cos I want a strong brake. Now I’m going for a general 80’s theme with this bike, you might have noticed. Well, do 6 pot calipers fit in with that theme? Um, not really, if I’m honest. But do you remember when you first saw a 6 pot caliper on a motorbike? If it was on a GSXR750 then it was in 1994. Boo. However, according to the ISR Brakes website the first use of a 6 piston brake caliper in racing was in 1989. Phew, just scraped in there! – See –

Anyway, that’s just being silly, the main thing is it’s a big fucking 6 pot caliper which should hopefully slow me down quickly when such a thing is desired. I made a mount, as you can see. It’s steel, so it’s pretty heavy, but who cares, it won’t break, and the extra weight is offset somewhat by there only being one of them.

BMX Handlebars. Digital display.

I turned some little slugs on the lathe and tapped them, then welded them to one of the sets of BMX bars I have. They’re really cheap ones, and therefore made of quite thick  high-tensile steel, instead of thinner chromoly, basically the same gauge as you’d find on most production motorbikes. The grip area will need to be made wider to fit everything on there. I’ve got an internal throttle to use so hopefully they’ll still look pretty clean and BMX’y.

The speedo/rev counter head unit is by Dakota Digital. I would guess its from the late 90’s but it’s display uses green 7 segment units, which looks totally 80’s, like when the computers come on-line in the beginning of Alien.