Monster Version 2

brad black

Been Around the Block
i figured i'd start a thread as that might keep me on track. ish.

in 2002 i bought a damaged m600 that had come into work for a crash repair, nominally for my wife to ride if she wanted to. because of the minnie mouse keyring she became known as minnie monster, and the only bike i've owned that i considered female.


she didn't, but it became transport and play for me and over the years it sat, then got a hot 750 engine, then sat again then it got the engine out of the 400ss i bought in 2012 (a typically bad "but it's cheap on ebay" decision, there's nothing as expensive as a cheap ducati) and then in 2015 i bought a paolo tex fairing kit for it and amazed myself by actually using it in 2016 as part of a makeover that in two steps over a couple of years looked like this. i loved it like this, and it was great fun to ride. slow, but fun.

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then, because it's a 97 model and was a few years away from the 25 year old classic permit scheme and it costs nearly $700 a year to register a bike in victoria, i pulled it off the road again and instead spent 3 years worth of rego cost on getting the 89 851 back on the road after 13 years as it was club permit eligible and costs $65 or so per year, only to discover that i'm really over riding it. used to love it so much, not any more.


which motivated me to get my shit together and finish the stupidly expensive and pointless cosmetic resto of the 400ss, which is also club permit eligible and, now that it is back in one piece, i do enjoy riding. just like the modified minnie, it's fun. slow, loud, etc.

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so i pulled all the custom bits off minnie, leaving the yellow with white stripe tank that i only fitted previously because the original tank was still dented and the yellow with white tank i got as part of a deal was nice and fresh even though i didn't really like the colour scheme as such, and put her back to std in commuter trim with the previously hot 750 engine minus the hot bits because i couldn't sell it on its own and sold her. getting rid of the pre 98 small block bits i had nicely.

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a few years ago i bought a 95 m900 frame that had been a bike that caught fire and was then stripped. the aluminium swingarm was used in the redo above, and the frame got powder coated black as that's how i was intending to use it. not really sure what the idea was now that i think about it.

but some time after that i found this photo of a 900 f1 sort of thing in the ducati race shop, and thought ooooh. me likey.

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so this is the new plan. red frame, white bodywork with red highlights running to the monster tank contours ala tt2/tt1. something like these.

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so far, it's this. engine is a 659, which was our 659cc lams - learner approved motorcycle scheme - variant of the m696. just has a shorter stroke. i bought it because it was cheap and i like little engines these days. need a fair bit of stuff, and the frame needs to have a crossmember moved to fit the throttle bodies in - they sit further back than the carbs due to having shorter manifolds.

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Nice project. Love the 400SS. That model fairing just looks right with that tank seat & and frame. Works together nicely.

BTW, thanks for your input on my ST3 project.
I'm afraid to buy a Ducati. My love of BMWs costs me enough. I like watching guys that know Ducatis build them, though. The monster is a great looking bike, and they love to tempt me on CL and Marketplace for cheap right before their first service is due.
I love the idea of a tt1/tt2 lookalike, i was going to do that before i bought my Superlight.

following along!
I'm afraid to buy a Ducati. My love of BMWs costs me enough. I like watching guys that know Ducatis build them, though. The monster is a great looking bike, and they love to tempt me on CL and Marketplace for cheap right before their first service is due.

i have ducati's because that's what i do and know. i don't see the point going elsewhere - i'd have to start a whole new skill set. well, i am doing that - moving to "custom" of a sort. and it's not that the money spent on the 400 was out of line with what i would do elsewhere on anything else i would buy either - it'd cost a heap to make the average pop up headlight katana look nice again too. there's probably $400 or so of fastener replating, $1750 of paint, the required on a heap of basic service work - tyres, chain, sprockets, bearings, all the stuff that you'd spend on anything else. i just get carried away, and once you start making it nice you're screwed, you just have to keep going. the 400 really needs some engine paint, but i'm past that now. i've had a couple of guzzi along the way, but the thought of having to pull the gearbox out of my own is enough to make me pay someone else to do it. maybe not, but there'd be a screaming hissy pissy tanty.

i did have an f1 fairing for the 400, and a tail piece in the endurance race style that i really like - i was going for the look that johann at moto motivo does so well. and i love the flat screen look - i really hate the so popular later model ss ducati with the massive bevel ss front fairing stuck on the front, like a huge barn door. but a guy i know came in looking for f1 bodywork for a very sentimental project that was on a literal deadline for a long time local ducati guy, so happily let it go. it would have required cutting the frame too, and i just wasn't prepared to do that then. the no going back scares me, for absolutely no good reason in this case.

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and on the fastener plating bit, the parts from the previous build i'm using is all nice gold zinc, so i have to keep going on that one. it's a bit thick i think - it's lovely and gold, but it marks from tools. there is a plating place just up the road who have also done gold cad pacified for me in the past, but theirs is the very flat, greeny streaky sort that realistically is fine if you used only that, but again, once you've started, you need to be consistant. next time it'll be straight zinc plate. nothing fancy. i might keep it real simple on dave the potential chopper and just go used. got a shitload of them.
Nice project. Love the 400SS. That model fairing just looks right with that tank seat & and frame. Works together nicely.

BTW, thanks for your input on my ST3 project.

it's a nice enough little bike. i've had the engine in two bikes now, and both have been dead reliable outside of me interfering.

a customer bought in his 600ss yesterday that he'd stuffed what he could of an m695 into - needed the tps and mixture set after i'd flashed the ecu he posted in. man it went well. the way it built speed wouldn't have been much slower than a 900, and injected is so nice. i ummed and aahed over this build because carbs would have been pretty easy with this frame - i've got a set of fcr39 to go on the long manifolds. but i really want a flash tech ecu bike to make the tuning easy. the 851 has the old eprom ecu, and you have to pull the annoying single seat off to get to it and pull it out. and to run carb i would have needed at least another timing gear (that i need to efi it as well) and an ignitech box to run the sparks and tps for the fcr and possibly hall sensor trigger set up and on it goes.
My first street legal motorcycle was a Ducati 748s. I bought it for $4500 with 3000 miles on it, then sold it for $5500 with 5,000 miles.
I wish I would have never gotten rid of it as they are still going for those prices.
One of the reasons i love this forum is i get to see the internals of bikes i might not otherwise notice. I think the rear fender on your monster may be a perfect fit for my 86 GSXR.
For the Monster seat cowl, I'd straighten up the lower edge to follow that lower frame rail. It only covers a small amount of plastic but paint or even C/F wrap would change the appearance. Then I would wrap or paint the rear "number plate" in white and use black or gold tape to edge it. That depends on what color you end up with of course. White on white would look funky. White of red main color would look traditional and black or red background would work against a white main body color. White on yellow would also work. The line of the cowl isn't exactly the same as teh frame line or even the side cover lower line, but is close enough to make that work I think.

I'd straighten up (hide) the lower edge of the tank with low gloss black or C/F wrap to make it look less tall. Linking tank and mini fairing graphics is a great idea for a more integrated look, but anything I tried on your picture ended up making it all look too elongated. Maybe try red main color with full white "knee pockets" and work out a way to tie that in to the fairing.

If you go white main color and red accents, the seat and tank would work fine. The mini fairing has a deliberate aggressive, forward/fast looking stance and I'm not sure how to integrate that shape/style with the big round curves of the tank and seat. It's also a whole lot more complex curves, so that doesn't naturally integrate with the tank shape. And the way the fairing reaches back to the tank calls for some clever graphics.

In retrospect, your complex graphics on the tank integrate the fairing shape better than my ideas. I was trying to match the fairing to the tank, where you took the fairing as a dominant styling feature and matched the tank to that. I use Crayon Aided Design - cheap and fast.
The TT/F1 reminds me of a practice day at Calder where Kevin McGee turned up with the Bob Brown bike. We're talking decades ago, not the latest replica version. Cool bike and fast as F#@k compared to our old classic racers.
One of the reasons i love this forum is i get to see the internals of bikes i might not otherwise notice. I think the rear fender on your monster may be a perfect fit for my 86 GSXR.

the grey seat base on the 400ss? that's an "endurance race" style f1 seat base. smaller than the road bike one. i bought it from a bloke in spain who happened to have it when i was looking for one. you could probably buy it from one of the european glass companies. or ask johann at moto motivo - he seems to have a good source for that stuff. all the tt1/tt2 stuff (red/blue above is a tt1) would be too narrow for the road f1, but not sure how wide your g model is there. love the f/g/h.
teazer - i've got an old seat cowl at work and had a look as it today along your suggestion of cutting it, which i hadn't thought of before. it's a bit of a 3d shape, but i'd have to agree it's a good idea. i think i'll cut the pillion grab handles off too, as they sort of droop a bit and that might help clean that line up too. i cut them off dave's frame as well.

i really don't want a red bike. or a white one. i'd probably be much happier with orange, but that's not really trad in any way, apart from the yellowy-orange on a 750 sport. but i do like the 900f1 style paint (also on mhe900) and in white with red it caught my eye. maybe red/yellow like a tt2 and the original 851 prototype? there's nothing else in terms of previous stuff i'm really into. ice blue pantah derivation would be ok if i felt like blue


if it was white with red flashes the red would all have black outlines. making it flow from fairing to tank might be hard. really need to assemble it and draw on it i guess. that's way down the road anyway.
That bike is gorgeous. The thing about the works bikes is that they didn't link the graphics from tank to fairing and it might be easier to try a TT type tank stripe and combined with a conventional fairing color scheme, say a number plate surround only in the contrasting color. That way the colors carry from one piece to another but they are not actually connected.

Is that latest picture a modern build/replica/tribute with replica (modern) Ceriani forks? And Gold wheels are obviously a tribute to Campagnolo mags of the period.
i see what you mean about linking or not. good point - i was fixating on the flow. maybe it's a red/white with a bit of black combo i'm looking for? if orange/white/black wasn't so harley i'd be all over it. now you've got me thinking. maybe santa monica style, but more compact as i have less fairing.


what i need is some one to paintshop the pictures of it - make the yellow white and the frame red. i can't do that.

the tt2 looks original, but it "should" have magnesium marzocchi forks. the forcella italia's might be early ones - but they usually had the different style adjusters. period ones of them are probably crap, but visually i think they smoke the mag marz pretty easy. this is one of my customer's bikes with the endurance race style. the sliders do look similar.

i found a thing called paint 3d, which looks like an editing addition to ms paint. in that i managed to change the bodywork to white, at which point it all went covid shaped as the bike disappeared into the white wall behind it. :D so then i had to start again and make the wall grey first.
so i got this far, but even with black lines across it the software sees the white as one piece, so it's all red or all white. but now i can print it out in colour if my wife doesn't catch me at the printer using all the good coloured ink and start colouring. lost all the contour lines, which is a bit of a bugger in terms of lines to follow. the top of the tank has a flat area forward from the cap that may come into it too. seeing a lot more with teazer's comments.

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Getting there. One of the most striking contrasting tank shapes is this one:


It plays to the shape that Ducati created, but you can take that contrasting area and stretch or shrink it. I have a similar software that's a bit clunky, so I just print out multiple copies and black and white (grayscale) and try different shapes and colors with sharpies (textas) . It's cheap and fast but very 2 dimensional.

The Radical Ducati Manx is another good source of inspiration but you don't have to get rid of the stock tank to take on some of the design ideas.

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Here's my ST3 with custom seat and cheating tank paint to get a 996 visual without the cost


Or a Walt Siegel design:

I'll see if I can scan in some Crayon Aided designs
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Ok, I colored outside the lines, but here's some ideas to get you started:

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Fist of those is a bit Star Trek, but follows the tank shape. Middle one flattens that shape a bit and third one has the bottom "deleted" and a more NCR shape.

It's about making the shapes flow but not always connected directly in the same way as the NCR fairing contrasts are not connected to the tank shapes. Play with teh shapes and use whichever design elements look right to you.
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