We’ve seen it clear as day over recent years, that simply some of the best old-school V-Twin muscle comes from Japan, and there are plenty of American builders who have more than mastered the multi-cylinder. So small is the global village of custom bike building that you can never predict what you’ll find and where. But there is also a natural pull to return to our roots and for Italian Matteo Massaro this meant not only building a Ducati, but a bike that had been with him for the best part of two decades. So, with the V engines moved to the side in the Overdrive Customs workshop, he set about working his magic to turn this 2000 Ducati Monster 600 into something so exquisite, it elicited the name ‘Envy’ from its stablemates.
Matteo hails from the stunning city of Venice and followed the Guy Martin path into the world of motorcycles. “At the age of 14, tired of school, I started my career as a mechanic on heavy vehicles, first Volvo and then Scania. Over the years, my passion for motorcycles increased until I decided to leave the big trucks and open my own motorcycle workshop.” For the past seven years, Matteo has been operating Overdrive and it’s a workshop that could quite easily be located anywhere in the US of A, with plenty of cool Americana and lots of amazing Harley-Davidson builds.
But long before the shop opened, way back in 2003, Matteo had bought the Monster 600 and he’s never been able to part with it. So, by the time 2019 rolled around, it had quite frankly seen better days, having been left in a corner as the custom work piled up around it. Now, however, it was the little Ducati’s turn for a full makeover and the goal was simply to build the best possible bike by sourcing parts from the Ducati back catalogue and building everything else himself, by hand.
The front section of the trellis frame appears to be stock, while the rest is clearly custom built, but even that forward section has come in for major modification. With the tape measure thrown over a selection of Ducati fuel tanks, it was clear that in order to replace the Monster metal, the chassis would have to be modified. This was expertly done before attention turned to crafting an all-new minimalist subframe and adapting the top rail to give one super clean line.
With the completed chassis coated in a tasty gloss black, the back of the engine case was the next item to come in for customisation. This was to allow Matteo to ditch the stock swingarm and slot in a sweet single-sided unit from a Ducati Hypermotard. This single modification totally transforms the look of the Monster, lifting it from its entry-level aesthetic. To make for a match with the factory three-spoke front wheel, a rim from a Ducati 916 was picked up to give a very similar look and work with the single-sided swinger.
With the bike rolling the bodywork was next to come in for attention, and just like the back wheel, the fuel tank is taken from the all-conquering superbike of the ’90s, the 916. The lines are simply beautiful, and the slick flat top tank is left to dominate with Matteo choosing to craft just a very small tail section. This meant that all of the electrics had to be neatly sorted out, a new loom built, and then a space made under the tank to fit them.
To help further obscure them from view, this section of the frame is boxed in, and frame matched, an excellent lesson for any builder of trellis frame fillies. To set the black paint off, the tins have been treated to a large number of coats of premium Mercedes AMG Grey paint. Before Matteo turned his attention to rebuilding the front forks and having them anodised in black. The wheels, brake calipers, engine cases, and a host of other parts were also blacked out, and a carbon rear hugger fitted behind the overhauled shock.
The engine covers were cleaned and scrubbed to offset that dark hue and then it was out with the welder to craft a custom exhaust that finishes in an Ixil muffler originally intended for a Honda CB. For controls things are kept uber clean, flat bars wear only the necessities, with hidden buttons for the switchgear, a single all in one LED headlight, and a small speedo. Custom rearsets get Matteo in the exact riding position he desires and all that was left to do was wrap up the rubber. He admits the race-spec rain tyres look cooler than they perform, but we’re all for it! This Overdrive Customs is a keeper and ‘Envy’ has only one master to impress.