GROUP THUG. Mike Thalmann’s Team-Built Ducati Monster Cafe Racer
Pipeburn is full of stories concerning engineering genii who make us all look like drunken monkeys when it comes to customising a bike. Guilty as charged. But for the most part, it’s average Joes and Joannes who build bikes. The trick is knowing when to bring in the big guns. Clearly not one to do things by half measures, Switzerland’s Michael Thalmann pulled the pin on European custom’s equivalent of a nuclear weapon to help him out and the end result is a Ducati Monster cafe racer that’s blowing our minds.
“I’ve been a Ducatista since I was allowed to ride a bike,” says Mike, smiling. “I spent a long time riding a 748, which I eventually replaced with a Panigale when it came out… and once I had the money for it. Joining a group of Ducati track enthusiasts, I became friends with the owner of Swiss bike dealership Ducati Zentralschweiz whom I approached with the idea of creating a cafe racer. He and his mechanic Nadia created the legendary Blue Shark Panigale R. I have a background in electronics, so I planned to do all the wiring and ECU”.