Ducati 750SS Cafe Racer by Unik Edition

Ducati 750SS 900MHe Cafe Racer

The Ducati “Tribute” — a modern re-imagining of the famous 900 MHe

At the dawn of the 21st century, Ducati unveiled their limited production MH900e, a 74-hp retro sport bike built in homage to the race bike on which the legendary Mike Hailwood won the 1978 Isle of Man TT. The “MH” stand for Mike Hailwood’s initials, while the “e” stands for evoluzione. Befitting the year 2000, only 2000 units of the Ducati 900 MHe were ever produced. Famously, the first thousand sold out on www.ducati.com in the first 31 minutes of the new century. Designed by Pierre Terblanche, father of the Supermono, the MHe has become one of the most collectible Ducatis of the modern age.

Ducati 750SS 900MHe Cafe Racer

Enter one of our favorite up-and-coming shops, Unik Edition Custom Motorcycles of Lisbon, Portugal. Recently, we were lucky enough to take a scouting trip to this nation of famous maritime navigators and explorers to visit some of our favorite builders and take the pulse of Portuguese custom moto culture. On on our very first morning in country, we set out to visit Unik Edition in person. Founders Luís Costa and Tiago Gonçalves embarked on their first build back in 2016 and have since “gone pro,” opening a new garage, bike dealership, and moto accessory shop in the Moscavide neighborhood of Lisbon.

Ducati 750SS 900MHe Cafe Racer

We were met by Luís, already hard at work in the garage. The shop was full of bikes in various stages of completion, as well as a few completed builds we recognized. However, in the middle of the garage, standing out like a bloodred bullet, was this Ducati 750SS “Tribute” cafe racer. The owner is a diehard Ducatista, and the concept for the build started with one simple question:

“If Mr. Pierre Terblanche designed the Ducati 900 MHe today, what would it look like?”

Ducati 750SS 900MHe Cafe Racer

Unik Edition purhcased a 1994 Ducati 750SS as the donor, retrofitting the machine with the competition-spec forks and swingarm from a Monster S4R and MHe bodywork. The bike is truly staggering in person. We particularly loved the louvered tail section with integrated lighting, which recalls the window louvers of old fastback muscle cars and was done in metal as opposed to fiberglass.

Ducati 750SS 900MHe Cafe Racer

At the time of our visit, we kept our photos of the build under wraps, as Unik Edition was not ready to unveil the build. Today, we’re thrilled to showcase this Ducati “Tribute” cafe racer and the story of the people who built it, along with a killer deck of photos from Nelson Oliveira (@no.photo.on.two.wheels).

Ducati “Tribute” Cafe Racer: Builder Interview

Ducati 750SS 900MHe Cafe Racer

• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?

Ducati “Tribute”
Ducati 750SS – 1994 + Ducati monster S4R + Ducati MHe

Ducati 750SS 900MHe Cafe Racer

• Why was this bike built?

Customer project.

Ducati 750SS 900MHe Cafe Racer

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

Our client is a “Ducatista”, so he really wanted something that screamed Ducati.

The initial question from the client was: If Mr. Pierre Terblanche designed the Ducati 900 MHe today, what would it look like?

Of course we had a limited budget, so buying a Ducati 900MHe was out of question. After some debates, we decided to go for the real true cafe racer spirit: get an old bike, and from that donor start a new project.

We decided to buy a cheap 750SS, upgrade with wheels and swing arm from Ducati monster S4R and a MHe fairings kit.

At the end we would have three Ducati bikes in one!

Ducati 750SS Cafe Racer

• What custom work was done to the bike?

– Fitting the swing arm and the shock was really tricky, because it has to look good and drive well.

Ducati 750SS Cafe Racer

– Then we had to make all the adjustments for the fairings kit to fit the Ducati 750 tank. The Ducati MHe, it is narrow, so fitment was a problem, both front and rear. Several times we thought that it was not going to happen, but after many hours, it was done!

Ducati 750SS Cafe Racer

– The headlight was another challenge.

Ducati 750SS Cafe Racer

– The rear section under the fairing is a structure that was done four times, two in cardboard and two in metal, until we achieved this final look.

Ducati 750SS Cafe Racer

– Many many subtle electronic and mechanical changes.

Ducati 750SS Cafe Racer

• How would you classify this bike?

Café racer

Ducati 750SS Cafe Racer

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

After all we accomplished to have three bikes in one bike, so we are really proud of the general look and achievement.

Ducati 750SS Cafe Racer

Tail Section in Action

Shop Visit Photos


Follow the Builder


Credits to photographer

Nelson Oliveira of @no.photo.on.two.wheels


  1. beautiful. (wish the exhaust played a bigger role. psychomimicry of the mh900e? likely. b/c its pipes were so much part of the art.)

  2. The only flaw is the red chain, IMHO only.

    Otherwise, a masterpiece. Bravo.

    Now, I must go for a ride to release my pent up motorcycle lust and envy.

  3. Dare I say it? I like this better than the original MH900E! What a beauty and looks like it would be a blast to ride. Well done!
    We had an MH900E at the Ducati shop I worked at back in the early 2000’s, but sadly I never got to ride it. I certainly sat on it and made ‘broom-broom’ noises several times, however.
    I too would like to see the exhaust a bit more, but I really like what they’ve done with the tail lights and signals, so I think that sacrifice was worth it. Maybe, just maybe, the tail is a bit too short to balance out the long-nosed fairing. But that’s getting pedantic.

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