It’s not often we have a first-time Ducati owner walk into the shop and decide to go all in on an outrageous custom build. I think that’s why we like our rider John so much, he’s a balls-to-the-wall character who likes fast and fun things.

He was referred to us by Cube Performance, a local Ducati performance mechanic. A certain kit had caught his eye from Paolo Tex, an Italian designer known for his avante gard Ducati body kits. Now usually we don’t use bolt-on kits, but this one was a little different, I really liked the way it was designed, and if I were to make it to Jon’s request, it would be a carbon copy of the Paolo Tex kit anyway.

After a few conversations, the hunt was on for the Donor bike. A late 2000s Ducati Monster S2R 1000. In its own right, a beautiful machine with a single-sided trellis swingarm and vertically stacked twin mufflers, this was a bike that caught my eye as a teenager and began my path into street bikes. In suburban Melbourne we found our diamond in the rough, a well-presented and very well-ridden Ducati Monster. Predominantly stock, the bike had already been kitted with a set of Ohlins suspension, and some later-model Marchesini wheels. It would make the perfect canvas for Jon’s dream build.

With our donor on the bench, and the paolo tex kit sitting on our doorstep it was time to get going. While fabrication got started, we pulled the engine and rebuilt the top end. The DS1000 is well known for its high mileage capacity so it was decided to inspect the bottom end but not rebuild. The Ducati Received a full head service, new high-comp pistons and a fresh coat of paint, the engine was soon rebuilt and ready to bolt back in. The ECU has been flashed and tuned at Cube Performance. Making sure the fresh motor performs its best with the custom exhaust and high-flow MWR intake. 

With all bolt-on kits, there were a few surprises that required some problem-solving before the kit went on for good. Up front, we’ve custom-fabricated a polished aluminium windscreen, fitted to the headlight shroud. Also modified to fit our 7” flashpoint classic headlight, rather than the smaller standard option. We wanted the headlight to make a statement on the front of the bike.

The standard Magura bars have been retained, but upgraded with a few bits of moto jewellery. A setup including Brembo upgraded levers and PBM 3 button switches. Finishing the cockpit is a Daytona Velona W gauge a single dial face with an analog speedo and tacho. The electronics are all run through our black box module, making sure the buttons tell the bike to do all the right things.

With the Body kit pinned in place, I got started on the exhaust. This build would get a 2 into 1 into 2 exhaust, that exits to a set of Termignoni GP cans. The headers and mid-pipes are all hand fabricated in-house, and to an extent, the termi mufflers were too. Now, they don't make GP cans in black, and they don't make them for a twin exit set up under the tail so we had to get creative. Each muffler has been stripped, and had the badge holes welded up and ceramic coated before being re-assembled we’ve re-fitted the termi badges to make sure when fitted to our custom S2R, there was a near factory finish to the exhaust. A lot of work for a little detail, but worth the effort for that symmetrical finish. 

The front fender has been fabricated using our DIY fender kit, styled to suit the crisp lines of the tex body kit. The final pieces of fabrication included the swing arm mounted number plate bracket, a little tricky on a single-sided swing arm. We’ve done enough of these now to know where and how to brace these mounts to make sure they are there for life. Making sure that we blend style with functionality of course. 

Lighting on the rear was provisioned for in the body kit, but we wanted to create something a little more unique. With the high and tight tail, it creates a real centrepiece on the bike, and we wanted to do it justice with a handmade tail light. Using the lighting base out of the PBM orbit tail light, we've custom-fitted a body into the tail and hand-shaped a lens that blends seamlessly into the tail. The lenses have been blasted to diffuse the light and provide a blended effect when you stomp on the brakes.

With our fabrication all finished up, you could stand back and look at the motorcycle getting a real sense of what was to come when the paint was completed. We’d created an ultra-aggressive motorcycle, with a lot of very sharp modern styling that somehow still felt like a classic.

On teardown a lot was happening, I had drafted the paint design and sent it out to Justin from Popbang Classics. As per usual he’s nailed the colours and style for the bike, even completing some crafty paintwork on the wheels to make sure the bike delivered a cohesive style. From the Iconic Ducati green on the frame and splashed across a few select body pieces, blended in with the nostalgic tank logo and bright silver bodywork, the bike begs to be ogled. 

As the last pieces came together Jamason from Timeless Autotrim has sewn us up a clean and simple seat cover in black Alcantara. The seat itself was made to be a bit thicker and more comfortable than the standard race seat that comes with the tex kit. Jon likes to ride fast and ride far, and we wanted to enable that to happen as comfortably as possible. Before final assembly, the suspension was sent to be serviced and tuned with Joe from Ride Dynamics. He’s rebuilt the suspension front and rear and re-anodised the fork tubes black to better suit the styling of the build.

Now here's the part where I bang on about how much I love the Ducati DS1000 engine. This bike is a blast! I’m used to riding the GT1000 or Sport classics, which is where I fell in love with the 1000cc 2 valve, the monster S2R brings something completely different to the table. With the same power delivered in a far more precise and almost twitchy ride experience, the Ducati does what you say, before you even think it.

From peg to peg with ease and power enough to put a smile on any rider's face, the suspension, riders ergo and engine work seamlessly together to deliver pure fun, and that's what we build bikes for. Thrills, however, you wanna get em.

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1 comment

Excellent site, great for the aspiring custom builders out there who just need a little helping hand, especially as it does not look like Built Magazine is being published anymore.
Keep up the good work its very inspiring.

Nigel Carpenter

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