Project By: John Roberts (

Click To EnlargeThis is a real shed built project but I guess I already had the right engineering skills and contacts to make this happen so perhaps semi pro is a better description - My goal was to build something that looks like it could of come straight from the factory. This led to the name, 996 (it's a 996 motor) CR (café racer). I am really pleased with the results. So much so I want to sell it on to fund my next build.

996CR - this project started in early 2015 as a standard red 2001 Ducati ST4S with a service history and only 15k miles. The bike has had a good few owners who have looked after it well - on average the bike only did around 1k miles every year, a garage queen! The bike fitted the bill though as it had hardly seen rain and was in very clean condition, just what I needed.

(I have documented all of the below in a build presentation that details each step of the process - This will come with the bike). Here's what I did in a nutshell - After selling off all the original bodywork and tank I set to work to build my version of a "café racer" first came a 916 tank which lead to a custom airbox (I had to build three versions to get the motor to run correctly as the injection systems prefers still air to allow a smooth pick up) I made this a priority as I wanted no compromise on how the engine performed - I tested the bike before and after and it works as intended (acceleration is better as I fitted a larger front sprocket). The ECU / battery was originally on the right-hand side behind the fairing. I constructed a new aluminium box and moved all the electrical elements to under the seat. This required the purchase of a second ST4 loom which I spliced this into the original loom giving the required longer lengths (all of the splices were properly soldered and shrink sleeved).

This meant the bike was now running again and I did ride it in this state to check everything was Ok! (I got a few strange looks riding what appeared to be something from Mad Max!) Next was the lines of the bike - It had to all hang together and look right. I set a bone line running from the bottom of the tank and used this to align everything else. Next came a custom aluminium subframe which sits on top of the original (now cut down) steel subframe. The custom rear bodywork was sourced, strengthened and modified to suit the new subframe and give the required bone line. I made a seat pan from aluminium and obtained some beautiful shoe leather from a bespoke shoe maker in London, its tobacco coloured nappa / suede type finish and was put together by a custom motorcycle seat maker - I am well pleased with it! The back end was finished with a custom aluminium undertray and a really nice CNC machined LED rear light. The whole back end can be simply removed by removing just four bolts and all electrical systems can be disconnected via the installed Tyco type waterproof male / female connectors which are connected in a poke yoke style! (You can see this in the build presentation).

Clip on handlebars and radial clutch / brake cylinders where fitted and gave a good racer riding position (not too extreme, comfy for all day riding). there is adjustment if required? Next came the front end. I obtained a 900ss front fairing bracket which was cut and modified to fit the bike and hold the reg rectifier, relays and system fuses this was TIG welded and powder coated to finish. I then bought a 7" LED headlight from the US with daytime running light (connected to the standard side light switch) really pleased with this too as it has no weight and pulls only a fraction of the original lights current - the dip / main beam is also very strong! A 70's Ducati style fairing and screen was obtained from Germany and was strengthened and modified to fit the front subframe. (those with good eyes will see the screen is slightly cracked at the front - I have ordered another which will be available with the bike).

Final paint was a custom gun metal with a black stripe (there's a small can of spare gun metal paint with the bike) The finished bike also comes with -

  • Standard exhausts (for unfriendly MOT stations)
  • Main stand (can be refitted)
  • Spare custom grey paint
  • Paddock stand (as in pictures)
If you would like to know more of would like to come to see the bike please get in touch.


For Sale, eMail for details!
(2002 Ducati ST4S)

  • 2001 Ducati ST4S (Brembo wheels/brakes & Ohlins suspension)
  • Standard motor (service history)
  • MOT to March 24th 2017
  • Radial clutch / brake levers
  • Custom carbon exhausts (loud)
  • Custom airbox
  • Custom cafe racer bodywork
  • Custom paint
  • ECU/Battery underseat
  • Custom leather seat
  • Matching document wallet (with service book/manual/MOT's/ receipts/ spare keys and build presentation on red key memory stick)
  • Build presentation (showing all of the build from first strip down to completed bike)




Legal Notice

Motor Vehicle Modification
Customizing, forced induction systems (turbocharging, supercharging, nitrous oxide, etc.), frame modification, and other major vihicle modifications should never be taken lightly. Forced induction systems will shorten your vehicle mechanical life and increase your risk of serious accidents. The information in this website has been collected from several sources, and may contain errors. We do not accept any responsibility for the use of the information contained in this site. Be sure to double check all information and proceed with extreme caution. Any modifaction to your engine, frame or other vital part of your vehicle should only be done my trained professionals.

Racing: High Speed Driving/Riding
Drag racing, road racing and driving a motor vehicle are ALL inherently dangerous and should never be taken lightly. High speed driving/riding should only be done on closed-cuites, under strict guidlines. High speed driving/riding will shorten your vehicle mechanical life and increase your risk of serious accidents. Any form of street racing is just unacceptable. Never race on the street!

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