I’m a big fan of keeping it simple when it comes to color schemes. Orange for a Laverda, black for a Vincent, yellow for a Yamaha. But this funky Ducati 900 SS from Walt Siegl is an absolute treat.
Siegl is quite rightly getting noticed by some big names, and this machine was commissioned by the German multinational Puma—which has a strong connection with motorsport, and sponsors the Ducati MotoGP team. But it’s no trailer queen. “In my search for a good donor, I came across a BCM Ducati that I’d seen on a racetrack,” Walt reports. “It’d been through the hands of Bruce Meyers, so I snatched it up instantly.”
Meyers is a legend in Ducati circles, and his dealership BCM was home to one of the best racebike preparation workshops in the States. “The bike started its life as a 1993 SS,” Walt says, “and it was turned into a racer three years before I bought it. Race bikes have it hard, and only the engine turned out to be salvageable. Even so, it just needed new pistons, valves and belts.”
The motor is a 989 cc big-bore “fully blue-printed torque monster,” with 41mm flat slide Keihins on custom manifolds. Walt built a lightweight chrome moly frame around it, and installed Showa suspension. The brakes are operated by high-end Magura controls, acting on Brembo Serie Oro calipers and lightweight rotors.
Walt crafted the bodywork in his New Hampshire workshop, using structural urethane that he also painted “to get a better visual.” Once he was happy with the mockup, he had the bodywork scanned and molds machined. The parts were then recreated in kevlar-carbon—an expensive, labor-intensive process that guarantees a perfect fit and finish. “You can hide lots of shortcomings by filling in imperfections with Bondo, but that won’t get you a lightweight, high-end, high-performance result.”
The exhaust is a custom stainless steel unit with an Italian Mivv muffler. The electrical system is minimal, as usual on Walt’s bikes, and built around a Motogadget m-Unit to get rid of all the relays.
For now, this 900 SS has pride of place at the Puma International office in Boston. But probably not for long: “I hope that one day someone will be willing to use it to its full potential,” says Walt. “Believe me, that thing goes like snot. And makes your hair stand up, it sounds so good.”