YOU’D BE SURPRISED at how many custom motorcycle builders ride ‘regular’ bikes day-to-day.
Tony Prust over at Analog Motorcycles has an affinity for KTMs; he’s owned several over the years, and they’ve all been mostly stock.
“I have always wanted to build a custom KTM,” says Tony, “but never had the opportunity, since my customers haven’t requested one as a donor bike, or it wouldn’t fit the design request. Granted I could have probably customized one I’ve owned, but I usually keep them somewhat unmolested and just focus on riding them as much as possible.”
One of Tony’s favorites was a 2007 model 990 Super Duke. “I made brackets for luggage for it and racked up 20,000 miles over five or six years,” he says. “I rode it long distance and around town. It was my daily rider. Perfect seating position, great handing, and plenty of power.”
Tony eventually sold the 990 and bought a newer 1290 Super Duke—but couldn’t shake the feeling that the 990 had potential as a donor. Thankfully the opportunity eventually presented itself, via a new client.
“The client is an avid motorcycle enthusiast, and first contacted me last year,” Tony recalls.
“He rides a Ducati Monster 796 but wanted something with a little more power—and he wanted a sort of cafe racer aesthetic, with a more powerful machine. I thought ‘bingo, this is my chance to build the custom Super Duke I wanted to do’.
With a suitable donor (another 2007 Super Duke) sourced and on the bench in the Illinois shop, it was time to tick another box—because Tony’s slowly been learning the art of metal shaping. He used to farm out metal shaping tasks on his builds, but he’s gradually started turning out smaller parts himself—like fenders or side covers.
For the KTM, he set out to shape all the bodywork himself—which would mean building his first fuel tank. So the subframe, tank, tail section, fly screen, front fender, belly pan, and even a radiator reservoir cover, were all built in-house using aluminum.
“I had a mentor coming in regularly and helping me learn this art form,” says Tony. “He was an incredibly knowledgeable mentor but passed away unexpectedly nearly a year ago. It took the wind out of my sails for a few months when that happened.”
“But what I learned from him, no one can take from me—and finishing up this bike is a personal achievement.”
The new shapes have given the Super Duke a radically different silhouette—but that’s only half the picture. Analog made a slew of smaller changes too, to help tie the build together.
For the exhaust, they added a custom-made connection just after the stock headers’ two-into-one joint, flowing into a stainless steel Cone Engineering muffler. And they installed a Moto Hooligan intake kit to help the KTM breathe better.
Moving to the cockpit, the stock bars were swapped out for a set of Vortex clip-ons, and the OEM speedo relocated with a one-off bracket. The headlight’s a Denali Electronics M7 DOT LED unit, mounted up inside a traditional bucket on custom mounts.
For the taillight, Analog mounted up a pair of prototype red LEDs with their existing LED turn signals, mounting them discreetly alongside the exhaust can. The front signals are bar-end numbers from Motogadget.
For switches, Analog fitted units that they import and sell, from Renard Speed Shop in Estonia. They’re bolt-ons for modern bikes that negate the need for excessive rewiring—but Analog rewired most of the bike anyway, to slim down and hide as many components as possible.
They also upgraded the clutch and brake controls to Magura HC1 radial pumps.
When it came time to paint, Tony wanted to show off some of the bare metal—and keep a little of KTM’s signature orange in the mix. So they sanded down some strategically placed panels, before Jason at Artistimo laid down a grey and orange paint scheme.
The Super Duke was stripped down, and all the important bits sent of for powder coating. The rims were torn down, and a section on each hand-sanded to match up with the bike’s livery. Dane at plz.b.seated upholstered the perch, with a mix of solid and perforated leather, and gripper vinyl.
‘The Archduke’ is now ready and poised to tear up the streets—just as soon as the snow clears in Chicagoland. “It sounds angry,” says Tony, “and I can’t wait to unleash the horses stored up in that 990cc twin.”
This article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here with explicit permission.
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Custom of the Week: Harley-Davidson ‘XG750R’ Street Rod Flat Tracker by Noise Cycles
IF YOU LIKE WEAVING through city traffic during the week, and then blasting through the twisties on your days off, the Street Rod is probably the best Harley for you.
We found it to be surprisingly sharp and agile, with a warmed-up version of the regular Street engine delivering 69 frisky horses.
Scott Jones of Noise Cycles likes the Street Rod. And his new ‘XG750R’ tracker version has got us wondering what a factory Harley tracker would look like—if Milwaukee decided to counter the threat posed by Indian’s FTR1200.
Scott is one of the top bike builders in the USA, and despite coming from the chopper side of the tracks, he’s been bitten by the dirt bug. Last year he built himself a racebike based on the regular Street 750: “It started out as just the basic XG,” says Scott. “So this year, I built one using the Street Rod—which has a 27 degree neck instead of 31 degrees.”
That simple change alone made a huge difference. “This one feels so much better and easier to ride. Still 500 pounds, but more nimble.”
Those of you who were riding in the early 80s may feel a slight sense of déjà vu with this bike, and you’d be right. The left-side exhaust mimics the placement of the Harley-Davidson XR1000 pipes, and the paint by Matt Ross (with pin striping by Jen Hallett Art) is a nod to the slate grey used on many XR1000s too.
Scott’s not going to be dicing for the lead with pros like Jared Mees or Brad Baker in the American Flat Track Twins series. He’s in it just for the hell of it, and enjoying every moment.
But he’s also inadvertently given us a pointer on what a Harley Street Tracker might look like. And it wouldn’t be a difficult bike for the factory to replicate, Red Bull catch can aside. Any takers?
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Custom of the Week: KTM ‘950SMR’ by Max Hazan
THERE’S A DEFINITE STYLE to a Hazan Motorworks bike: a hint of steampunk, lots of beautifully twisted and burnished metal, and impossibly elegant proportions.
It’s an expensive endeavor, and Max operates in the same rarified atmosphere as Ian Barry of Falcon and the Japanese moto-artist Chicara Nagata.
Luckily, there are collectors and museums that have the funds to commission bikes like this, so the rest of us can enjoy them vicariously. But what happens when Max builds a bike for himself, with his own money?
This KTM is the answer. It’s a far cry from his previous KTM build, the supercharged 520 that now resides in the Haas Motorcycle Gallery in Dallas. But it’s a killer track machine, and just the thing Max needs when he wants to blow off steam.
Surprisingly, ‘950SMR’ is the first bike that Max has built for himself. So it was done in the down time between the projects that pay his bills. (“I completely lost track of how much time went into it.”)
The base is a 2005-spec 950 SM. It’s a tall bike—which suits Max’s lofty physique—with around 98 horsepower in stock trim, 17-inch wheels, and a dry weight of just 191 kilos (421 pounds). Contemporary road testers raved about the performance and fun factor.
“It’s possibly the ugliest bike KTM made with that motor,” Max admits. “But the bones were there. The KTM was carbureted from the factory, which let me simplify the design by avoiding EFI parts.”
Stylistically, it’s no flight of fancy: just a well-sorted bike with terrifically simple bodywork and a sophisticated warm grey and white paint scheme. “I wanted the bike to look ‘factory’,” says Max.
“I wanted it to have fenders and bodywork, and not look like a KTM that was chopped. With almost everything being rearranged, it was a lot more work than it looks like. But I guess that was the idea.”
It might be hard to believe, but Max has pulled around 100 pounds—45 kilos—off the 950 SM. (“It was built like a tank.”)
So what’s it like to ride? “It has a huge amount of engine braking,” he says. “It’s geared for about 120mph in sixth, and was in need of a slipper clutch to smooth out downshifts in the lower gears. But I just found myself ‘backing it in’ wherever I was going, as soon as I installed it.”
Everything about this KTM screams ‘track machine,’ but it’s actually 100% street legal. “It’s wired for lights and turn signals, and has a full setup that can be taken on or off in a few minutes,” says Max. “But I just prefer looking at it like this.”
It’s certainly a looker. But unlike many customs from premier league builders, Max’s KTM offers visceral as well as visual pleasures. We can’t imagine Max releasing a kit version of these mods, but if you have one of KTM’s big supermotos in your garage, there’s a ton of inspiration to be gained right here.