A 1984 Cagiva Alazzurra gets a new life as the Ducafé, a bike that would be right at home at the Salt Flats.
Mick O’Shea returned to his hometown of Cork, Ireland, with the seed of an idea: build a café racer that would look good on the Salt Flats.
1984 Caviga Alazzurra 350T
Claimed power: 32hp @ 7,500rpm
Top speed: 100mph (est.)
Engine: 349cc air-cooled OHC desmo V-twin, 83mm x 51mm bore and stroke, 10:1 compression ratio
Weight: 396lb (180kg) (approx.)
Fuel capacity: 1.5gal (5.7ltr)
Take one small touring twin, throw half of it away, add a pinch of salt and cook up the remains with a new rolling chassis, and you too could have a Ducafé.
After a trip with his friend Don Cronin to Bonneville Speed Week, Irishman Mick O’Shea returned to his hometown of Cork, Ireland, with the seed of an idea: build a café racer that would look good on the Salt Flats. “We were there in 2009 when Chris Carr piloted his 2,997cc BUB-Lucky 7 streamliner to a new motorcycle world speed record of 367.382mph,” Mick explains.
“Nobody can fail to be impressed by the work that goes into one of those ultimate record-breakers,” he continues. “But we were also impressed by the guys who built small-capacity motorcycles on a shoestring budget and went for class records.” The American Motorcyclist Association, which coordinates the Bonneville speed trials, has classes for under-50cc naked bikes, 3,000cc supercharged streamliners, and everything in between. “I wanted to build a café racer that captured the spirit of Speed Week,” Mick says. “And for me, that means lots of brushed aluminum, big fat tires and a smallish engine.”
Tucked away at the back of his garage was a 1984 Cagiva Alazzurra 350T, a somewhat obscure model developed especially for the Italian market. Nobody in their right mind would call the fully faired Alazzurra sexy, but its belt-driven overhead cam desmo Ducati Pantah engine made it the ideal donor bike. MC
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