Ducati 900SS “Matador” Means Business, Boasts Carbon Fiber Bodywork

Sure enough, the custom two-wheeler realm will miss Radical Ducati’s showstoppers.
Matador 8 photos
Photo: Javier Fuentes
The piece of two-wheeled art we’ll be looking at today is the work of an ill-fated French enterprise named Radical Ducati. Although the crew delivered some truly mesmerizing masterpieces over the course of their short-lived history, a series of unfortunate events led them to close their doors for good back in 2014.

When you’re done having your moment of silence, perhaps remembering the workshop’s surreal accomplishments while at it, let’s take time to pay our respects by examining one of their most notable exploits. Honestly, the fact that we’ll never be seeing another creature brewed under Radical’s roof is genuinely sad.

In any case, the donor for this undertaking was a 1998 model from Ducati’s fierce 900SS ie lineup. In stock configuration, this bad boy was put in motion by a belt-driven SOHC L-twin monstrosity housing four desmodromic valves and a humungous displacement of 904 cc.

The air-cooled powerplant happily summoned up to 80 untamed ponies at 7,500 rpm, along with 57 pound-feet (77 Nm) of crushing torque output at 6,500 rpm. This respectable force was channeled over to a chain final drive by means of a six-speed transmission, leading to a generous top speed of no less than 143 mph (230 kph).

Now, the Radical team kicked off the customization process by tweaking the standard gas tank. After achieving the envisioned aesthetic, France’s moto experts went about fabricating a bespoke carbon fiber tail section that looked seriously venomous. This sexy thing was complemented by a carbon front fender on the opposite end.

In terms of lighting, you will find a pair of tiny LED turn signals and a graceful headlight resembling that of a Harley-Davidson V-Rod. At the rear, the unique tail unit hosts a full LED lighting kit and a slim foam saddle. The cockpit comes equipped with aftermarket handlebars from Rizoma and an Aviacompositi EVO gauge.

Additionally, the 904-cc L-twin behemoth was blessed with meticulously ported cylinder heads and high-compression pistons, as well as a fresh two-into-one exhaust system and MWR pod filters. To handle the extra oomph, a 1098’s front and rear brakes have been transplanted onto Radical’s one-off 900SS ie.

Last but not least, the bodywork was treated to a metallic orange base, joined by black accents on the fuel tank. To give this beast a personality of its own, the Frenchmen named it the "Matador".
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About the author: Silvian Secara
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A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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