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Custom of the Week: ‘Desmo Flat’ Ducati 750SS by Home Made Customs

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MOST CUSTOM BUILDERS are self-taught men and women: folks with a good grasp of mechanics and an ability to ‘learn on the job.’ Each build gets a little better than the last, and a reputation is forged.

That’s the path taken by Luca Caravà, who worked for Ducati before setting up Home Made Motorcycles four years ago. He worked behind the scenes at Borgo Panigale rather than on the factory floor, but he now has around 20 builds to his name. The hard work has paid off: Parts Europe commissioned this tracker-style build for their stand at the EICMA exhibition.

There aren’t many Ducati flat trackers around, but they usually look good—and ‘Desmo Flat’ upholds that fine tradition. It’s based on a 750SS, but with substantial mods.

On paper, the 750SS is a good starting point for a tracker-style build. It’s a light bike, at around 400 pounds dry, and with 64 hp and 62 Nm of torque, it’s got enough power to move quickly without aimlessly spinning the wheels. The bodywork is an acquired taste, but that’s just a good excuse to get rid of it.

The flat track essentials are all present and correct on Desmo Flat. Luca has ditched the stock Marzocchi USD forks and installed a set from a Yamaha R6, plus 19-inch Excel wheels from a Honda CRF. (That’s a two-inch increase from the standard wheels, and to get the back rim to fit, he had to modify the swingarm.)

The rear frame is new, and built to accommodate a pair of long-travel Bitubo shocks, instead of the standard Sachs Boge monoshock. The tail unit that sits on top of the new tubing is custom-made, along with the tank, and the angles suit the Ducati’s trellis frame perfectly.

It’s easy to spot the neat cut-out on the tank for the new K&N air filter setup; less obvious is the complete rewire, and the new box for the electronics.

Luca’s Ducati is no buckin’ bronco pro flat track machine, but it captures the style with brio. And it wouldn’t be too hard to take off that front brake …

These days, you can pick up a rough-around-the-edges 750SS for a couple of grand, and a damaged one for less. Luca’s donor bike was only worth a thousand euros, which makes this a pretty budget build—and a pretty sharp-looking one too.

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Custom of the Week: BMW R100RS by Bolt Motor Company

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MOST CUSTOM BUILDERS are juggling careers, building bikes as a side gig. Adrián Campos falls into that category: he’s the sporting director for Campos Racing, the team founded by his father Adrián Campos Sr, the former Minardi F1 driver.

Adrián Jr. is surrounded by high-tech missiles capable of 208 mph (335 kph), but he’s also nuts about motorcycles. So he started customizing classic bikes, as an antídoto to the ultra-modern race machinery that absorbs his working day.

His first build garnered enough interest to turn his side gig into a fully-fledged second business. Bolt Motor Company is now on its seventeenth build, and employs seven team members.

Bolt shares a workshop in Valencia with Campos Racing. But while the race team preps cars for the Formula 2, Formula 3 and GP3 race series, Adrián is swinging spanners on bikes like this stunning 1982 BMW R100RS.

We’ll admit it’s not the wildest custom boxer we’ve seen. But even though the style is well established, the perfect proportions and level of finish are something else. And the client wasn’t even looking for anything fancy; “He wanted a comfortable cafe racer for two people,” says Adrián, “so that’s what we did.”

The donor arrived in a pretty good condition, but it left in an even better state. There’s fresh paint and powder everywhere, from the motor right through to the forks, frame and tank.

Bolt tweaked the airhead’s stance by lowering the front forks internally just over two inches, then installing a pair of Hagon shocks at the rear. The fuel tank is stock, but the subframe and seat are custom made. The subframe’s a bolt-on affair, and the main frame’s been detabbed and cleaned up.

The taillight’s a particularly nice touch. Bolt built it into the seat rather than the rear loop, along with integrated rear turn signals. The whole setup’s barely visible—until it lights up.

They’ve also added some room for the customer to ‘customize’ his BMW at home. There’s a second tank and seat in a different paint scheme, which can be swapped out via four fasteners for the seat, and one for the tank. The second seat has it’s own plug-and-play taillight too.

Bolt have kept things practical too. The BMW’s airbox is still in play, and it’s also equipped with a BMW oil cooler and crash bars. Plus there’s a discreet inner fender at the rear. The exhaust headers have been shortened and run into a pair of generic cone mufflers, with the side stand relocated to work around them.

The cockpit’s sporting new handlebars, grips, bar-end mirrors and Motogadget bar-end turn signals. There’s a new master brake cylinder too, with some really neat plumbing. Up front is an LED headlight, tucked into a custom-made bucket.

Bolt rewired the bike from top to bottom and tucked away as much as they could. A set of Motone switches have their wires running inside the bars, while a Motogadget speedo has its cable routed through the BMW’s hollow steering stem nut.

This sort of consideration is rife, with every last nook and cranny cleaned up. We’ve spotted stainless steel fasteners throughout the build, nifty choke pulls on the carbs and a OEM-looking Bolt Motor Co. plaque on the side of the motor.

The classic white BMW motorsports livery is on point too. And Bolt have shunned the ubiquitous Firestone Deluxe Champion tires, going for the saw tooth tread of Shinko Classics instead.

We doubt that Bolt #17 could lap a track anywhere near as fast as a Campos race car.

But it’s just the sort of simple, classic ride we’d pick for getting to the track in the first place—via some leisurely Spanish back roads.


This article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here by permission.

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Video: Watch Sarah Lezito show you how to drift a motorcycle

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Yes, drifting on two wheels is possible. Especially if you’re an insanely talented stunt rider from France.

There are a few stunt riders worth following across social media and YouTube but few get the numbers of French stunter Sarah Lezito.

Shot in a cold, wet and snowy location, it’s hardly the easiest of environments for riding a motorcycle – although possibly better for skids! – but the control from Lezito, and her instruction, is captivating.

Why learn how to drift? Well, Lezito says that it might help in learning how to save from slipping, keeping the balance on your bike or just improving your stunting skills.

And her top tips?

  • First find a small bike – a 50cc or 125cc machine that’s easy to handle.
  • Find a slippery spot, like a wet floor after some light rain.
  • Put hard tyres on the rear and more air in the front tyre.
  • Protect everything… On you and your bike.
  • Prepare to crash. A lot.

We’re hoping she’ll be adding to her channel over the coming months and that this is the start of a series of ‘How To…’ videos from the young stunt rider.

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