The Ducati 400SS 'Negroni' Transformation by Balamutti Workshop
The Ducati 400SS 'Negroni' Transformation by Balamutti Workshop
1w ago Custom
Sponsored by Moto Animals

Throughout a lifetime, we often form a profound attachment to a specific motorcycle, regardless of how many we may own. It might be the first bike that introduced us to the world of two-wheelers, one that has carried us on unforgettable journeys, or simply a machine we adore for no particular reason. Selling that cherished bike may not trigger immediate regret, but eventually, it starts to gnaw at your heart, like a lost love you should have held onto. Fortunately for Vitaliy Selyukov of Balamutti Workshop, affectionately known as the "mad scientist" of bike building, he had one such motorcycle, and parting with it was out of the question. However, being the extraordinary bike builder he is, he decided it was time for a transformation. From his beloved Ducati 400SS, emerged a magnificent, big-bore creation enveloped in carbon fiber, christened the "Negroni."

The Ducati 400SS belongs to a peculiar era in Ducati's history when the company faced challenges and aimed to increase sales. In response, they designed a motorcycle tailored for markets where compact and lightweight bikes were favored due to licensing restrictions. Instead of crafting a small-displacement sports bike like the Kawasaki ZXR250, Ducati opted to downsize a larger engine, installing it in a 750 frame and equipping it with only the essentials. While it may have been underpowered and overweight for its intended purpose, it bore the Ducati badge, which was enough for some enthusiasts.

Over 30 years later, very few of these machines remain, which explains why Vitaliy found it impossible to part with his cherished Ducati, especially considering its Italian heritage. His first step was to extract the engine and transform it into a powerplant befitting of a Balamutti masterpiece. Fortunately, Ducati utilized a consistent architecture for their air-cooled engines from that era, simplifying the process. The long block with its distinctive covers remained, while the barrels and heads were replaced to enhance capacity and airflow for increased performance.

For those familiar with Balamutti's previous work, the expectation might be radical bodywork, but in the case of this bike, the focus was on weight reduction. Virtually every part was painstakingly crafted from carbon fiber, from the stylish SS-inspired fuel tank with its flush-fitting filler cap to the rear hugger and the sleek front fender. Leonid from Driveinworkshop contributed to the lower cowl, which features aluminum mesh, matching the look applied to the cam gears that expose the belts. Completing the carbon fiber theme, a small carbon screen tops the front LED headlight, ensuring a balanced front end.

In-house painter Anton, known by his moniker "Octopus_art_aerografia," painted the rear wheel to match the overall color scheme and applied a sleek flat black finish to various components. Beneath the seat, a custom electronics setup resides on a specially designed tray, complemented by a generously padded seat, ensuring a comfortable riding experience. The bike is equipped with a set of rear sets and levers that exude a seriously cool vibe. Finally, Vitaliy took a creative step by relocating the instruments to the left side of the bike, streamlining its appearance.





The result is a far cry from the original fully-faired 400SS, but with added power and the alluring carbon fiber aesthetics, it remains the bike that captured Mr. Balamutti's heart. Now, with a perfect Negroni in hand, it's time to savor the transformation.

#Moto #Bike #Custom #Ducati #400SS

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