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This Month's Featured Bike:
John Offenhartz' 01 M944 Chromo

The basic idea for this bike started waaay back in 1991 when I bought my first Ducati: a 900ss I picked up from my local Ducati "dealer" back in Vermont. This was long before Ducati had the dealer network they enjoy today, so imagine a small shop nestled into the hills of VT that sold skis in Winter and Ducatis in Summer. A few years later, I found myself here in SF. As anyone who lives here and is forced to park on the street knows, eventually I got sick of all the damage it was taking (Anyone who's come out from work only to find their precious bike lying on it's side knows what I'm taking about) and I stripped it down naked.

I really liked the naked look of the Ducati motor, as well as the long aggressive look of the headlight with the fairings removed. So, when my trusty 900ss finally died (it involves a bus. don't ask) I knew I had to replace it with a Monster.

I bought the bike as a "leftover" '01 in early '02 from Monroe motors and only put a smattering of mods on it.


 

 

Right off the bat, I decided to bring my monster back "up to spec" with my old 900ss. First up was the "Rotating mass reduction" done by Desmotosport. Marvic wheels, a machined flywheel and a Paulimoto clutch basket. This really perked the bike up, both in handling and in "lunge" (I cannot recommend lighter wheels enough, despite the price)

 

Then I discovered the DML.

I blame what happened next on all the great bikes I've seen here

After seeing the incredible H1 that Norm build, DuckStew's winning Monster from last year, ElTigre, seeing how much you could change a monster into whatever you wanted, I knew I had to try and build my dream bike. I knew I wanted to create something like my old, naked 900ss with a hint of the old rz-350 I used to race along with a bit of the old cafe bikes I owned and lusted after in college.



 


So, off went the bike to Desmoto again for a complete teardown. They put in a set of 944 pistons along with head polishing. The frame went off to Accurate powdercoating in the East bay, and the bottom end came home with me for polishing & cleaning.

Since the bike was put back together last april, it's been non-stop with me, looking for very specific parts, on ebay, here on the DML, wherever.

Even then I'd find myself modifying parts not specifically made for my bike just to get a certain look, trying hard to avoid the "off the shelf custom" feel a certain brand (coughHarleycough) has.

In the meantime, I also tackled the suspension, upgrading to a 748 front end and clipons. Despite the fact that I'd bought a 'standard' I just couldn't live with anything that didn't feel like a sport bike.


 

Anyway, while it still is, and probably always will be, a work in progress, I'm pretty happy with the state it's in now.

Plus with my wife and I expecting our first kid in just over two months it'll definitely be moving far down on my "list of things to obsess over"

Cheers,

~John aka DrunkenMonkey

 


 
 

 

 

 

Click here for past featured bikes