Ducati-Inspired Super Single – 1997 NWS 350 Supermono

In Custom, Italy, Race by Tim HuberLeave a Comment

Post Listing Update: This custom Ducati did not get any interest at the opening bid of $12,000.

Produced exclusively for the “Sound of Singles” series, the Ducati Supermono is one of the marque’s most iconic and sought after models. Built from ‘93-‘95, only 67 examples of this instant classic left the factory in Bologna, making them wildly rare finds. Because of the competition thumper’s sparse nature, examples routinely sell for somewhere around (or just above) the six-figure mark. A Supermono that crossed the auction block at Bonhams Vegas in 2015 was valued at between $150-170k.

So instead of paying an arm and a leg for a genuine Ducati Supermono, one builder opted to go the custom route, piecing together their own Duc-style Super Single with existing components off various sportbike donors.

In place of the Ducati’s trellis frame, this example featured a custom tubular chassis and swing-arm from frame specialists, NWS from Burton on Trent, England. Stuffed inside the trick chassis is a 348cc Rotax ATK single that’s reportedly been modified and tuned by Texas’ Darcy Racing. Highlights include titanium valves and rockers, Mega Cycle cams, and a JE piston. Some unspecified aftermarket exhaust has also been tacked on.

According to the seller, the air-cooled, DOHC single — which is married to a close ratio five-speed — now makes a claimed 43 horses at 8,700rpm. Not quite the 76hp that the final year (1995) Supermono generated, but then again there’s a more than 200cc difference in displacement. Speaking of larger engines, the seller mentions that the Austrian 350 could easily be swapped out for a 400, 450, or half-liter mill.

The custom super single’s suspension is comprised of inverted Showa forks off a Suzuki RGV250, paired with a Maxton Koni monoshock our back. The build also utilized the rear caliper and three-arm wheels off the same RGV — the latter of which is a particularly cool touch considering the Ducati single’s similar tri-spoked rims. High-end Brembo units constitute the remainder of the bike’s braking hardware.

Though there are outfits, such as Airtech, that offer beautiful (albeit expensive) replica bodywork for the Pierre Terblanche-designed single, this build instead wears the fairing (and front fender) off an early Yamaha TZ250, capped off with a Gustafsson windscreen. While the tail on this bike is admittedly similar to the Ducati, it’s another piece borrowed of a vintage GP racer. Other noteworthy parts include a new Scitsu tachometer, Supertrapp muffler, a Ducati 848 rearsets, a carbon fiber (1.5 liter) fuel-cell, and a Ducati red livery with yellow highlights a la the Italian Supermono.

After being completed in 1997, this example was campaigned for several seasons until 2000, at which point it was relegated to storage for the next 18 years. More recently it was woken from its near-two-decade slumber, revamped, and entered into a handful of AHRMA events, the last of which was at the recent Barber Vintage Festival. The seller says the bike “runs perfect” and there’s “plenty of life left in it”. With only 2,000 miles on the clock, this seems quite plausible.

While I wouldn’t call this one a Supermono Replica — above and beyond the livery — it’s still a really nifty machine. The sale also includes “full records”, and the ad makes mention of available spares, though I’m not sure if they’re included in the deal. You can find this custom Ducati-style Rotax-powered NWS 350 Supermono (VIN: Nwsrx099402) for sale in Palatine, Illinois with an unmet opening bid of $12,000