The painful truth about motorcycles, that most riders are forced to acknowledge at some point, is that two wheels are inherently less stable than four. So, when things go pear-shaped, it can happen in a hurry. In every get-off, the first concern is for the well-being of the rider. Next, the bike gets a thorough look-over. If you’re lucky, it’s ridable. In less-than-ideal circumstances, you’ll need to find a way to get your bike hauled back home.
VerticalScope’s VP of Sales, Jason Brilant, has lived a variation of this scenario first-hand. While riding on a rural highway in the Allegheny National Forest, he encountered gravel on the road and low-sided his 2012 Ducati Monster 1100 EVO at about 50-60 mph and slid into a grassy ditch. Jason and his bike were banged up but not badly broken, and he was able to ride his cosmetically injured Duc the 220 miles back to his Toronto home. Functionally, the only impairment was a broken gear-shift lever that eventually and painfully wore its way through his boot during the ride home.
Brilant’s Monster 1100 EVO before its forced beautification project.
Once back at home, Brilant realized that, while his Monster was basically functionally sound, the cosmetic damage presented him with a pair of options: return the bike to stock or use this unfortunate situation to personalize his bike through the use of aftermarket parts.
The decision was clear once he itemized the list of damaged parts: headlight, left turn signal, left side tank cover, shifter lever, clutch lever, left bar-end mirror, left grip, instrument cover, left-side exhaust canister, and mild frame scraping. In the end, the only damaged component that was returned to stock was the broken shift lever.
Left: Imagine riding home after a crash and being forced to shift with your heel for hours. Right: Although the damage isn’t tremendous, getting the headlight back in original condition would’ve cost $700.
Starting with the bodywork, the Monster received custom tank and fender set from a forum member on Ducatimonster.org for $670. Ducati replacement parts would’ve totalled $1,174. (Don’t forget to check out forums when repairing crash damage, particularly if you’re looking for OEM parts. Often, owners will remove these items when a bike is being customized or converted for track use.) Since they are custom painted OEM parts, the replacement was a simple bolt-on. The seat cover also displays a snazzy number plate design along with the dark grey pearl blue metallic. (Yeah, it looks black in the photos though it’s said to be really cool in person.) The Bestem USA front fender ($159) is carbon fiber – because Ducatis and carbon fiber go together like MO editors and Batdorf & Bronson coffee. Speaking of carbon fiber, the damaged left silencer ($435) for the Spark Exhaust Technology exhaust was replaced, too.
The Evotech Crash Bobbins are elegant in their simplicity.
The borked clutch lever was updated with an aftermarket item off the rack in Brilant’s local dealership, as was the brake lever. Rizoma Reverse Retro aluminum oval bar-end mirrors ($110) and Rizoma Sport aluminum and rubber grips ($65) finished the hand-control upgrades. The frame strangely ended up scraped on both sides, and the dings need to be sanded and repainted with a Color Rite Aerosol Complete Repair Package ($80) that is color-matched to Ducati red. After a close inspection of the damage and thorough review of the kit’s instructions, Brilant thinks this part of the repair may be beyond his skill set, so he’s trying to find a friend with experience in paint repairs to help him do it right the first time.
Evotech’s Front Fork Spindle Bobbins (left) and Crash Bobbins (right) should protect the Monster if it finds itself sliding across the pavement, again.
In an effort to minimize damage in any future tip over, Brilant installed a set of Evotech Ducati Monster 1100 EVO Crash Bobbins ($106) through the frame. A relatively easy process of swapping the OE engine mount rod with the longer Evotech item has only one tricky part. The engine must be supported with a jack (a small bottle jack will suffice) to keep it from shifting in the frame as one rod is replaced with the other one. With a support under the engine, the exchange is as easy as sliding the stock one out part way, then pushing it clear as the new, longer one slips into place. Once there is 3.5 in. showing on both ends of the rod, the assorted spacers, sliders, and washers are torqued down.
Since the Monster has a hollow front axle, installing the Ducati Monster 1100 EVO Front Fork Spindle Bobbins ($44) is as simple sliding the threaded rod through the axle, assembling the parts in the appropriate position, and torquing the nuts in place. In the event of a future mishap, these two parts should help to minimize the damage to Brilant’s Duc in a slide.
The wiring from the original headlight (left) had to be adapted to the LSL headlight (right).
With the OEM replacement headlight and headlight frame tipping the scales at more than $700, Brilant made the executive decision to push his Monster’s headlight in the direction of a more traditionally roadster style round housing. His sorties on the web resulted in the choice of a LSL Headlight ($95) and the properly-sized LSL Headlight Brackets ($175) for his 1100’s fork tubes – both from Spiegler Performance Parts. Ordering the headlight itself was easy, but getting the right size clamps for the headlight bracket requires accurate measurements of the fork tubes at the point that the headlight will be mounted. In the case of the 1100 EVO, the clamps needed to be 50mm and 52mm to account for the widening of the fork tubes as they approached the lower triple clamp.
Fitting the LSL headlight and brackets to the Monster. Note how the fork tubes narrow towards the top (left), requiring different sized clamps.
(left) When modifying the wiring harness, always solder the connections and protect with heat shrink for durability. (right) The resistors required for the Rizoma LED turn signals are grouped together tucked away out of sight.
While physically mounting the headlight is bolt-on easy, once the right clamps are ordered, the wiring required a little detective work. While having a copy of the factory service manual’s wiring diagram can provide a map of what wires go where, any modification of a motorcycle’s wiring is a perfect time to practice measuring (and testing) twice and cutting once. In addition to grafting the headlight’s wiring into the new shell, the Duc’s front turn signals were being swapped from OEM incandescent units to small, sexy, and very bright Rizoma Zero aluminum-housed LED signals ($54 each). The front signals simply bolted to the hole in the LSL Headlight Bracket, and the resistors necessary to trick the Ducati into thinking it still had filaments in its turn signals were hidden behind the headlight shell.
Details count: The Rizoma Zero turn signals have a protective cover for where the wires exit the mount. The signal fits the LSL bracket like they were from the same manufacturer.
With the OEM headlight nacelle removed, a set of Sato Racing universal brackets were used to mount gauge cluster.
According to Brilant, the unique headlight has garnered lots of compliments about its looks and questions about the source for the parts from other Ducatisti. Well, now the secret’s out.
The end result of Brilant’s Pennsylvania mishap is a Ducati Monster 1100 EVO that not only looks like it has never been crashed, but it also carries some of its owner’s personal flair. All-in-all, an attractive result of one very bad day.