Lukeye's Cafe Racer
By Anthony van Someren - 07 Nov 11
Updated picsBelow is a re-post of a blog by Lucas, known as Lukeye on the Ducati Sport Classic Forum. He's put a lot of work into his Sport Classic 1000S Cafe Racer, and a lot of work into his blog sharing all the details of what he's been up to. It looks like he's building the bike to a very high spec, and will be a fantastic blend of timeless style and decent handling and performance. If you love cafe racers, but don't want to compromise on performance and handling and you don't like oil stains on your driveway, then one of these little Ducs may be perfect for you. You'll find all the Cafe Ducatisti's here. To me, guys like Lucas represent a growing community of unsung shed-builders who aspire to owning something unique and timeless, and are lucky enough to have the time, skills and energy to do it themselves. He certainly deserves our attention and our appreciation. Here it all is in his own words: ... As a fan of all things made and developed by NCR out of Italy, I began to imagine a new Ducati project. One that would stand out from all others as a unique Ducati giving a great level of performance, but more over, be the "cafe racer" I would want to ride in town. I began on a hunt to find a Ducati Sport 1000s in Gloss Black:
My inspiration for this build would be (1) NCR New Blue:
What was it that I appreciated so much about these bikes? It was the classic styling combined with a minimalist approach to the technology in contemporary motorcycling by substituting with superior high quality suspension, braking, and performance technology.
So I took on the challenge and began to imagine the build. It would be a bike that pays homage to the notorious racing heritage of Ducati. It would have to be narrow, stripped of the excess parts, and be revamped in a composition of lightweight components, Ohlins Suspension, and be thought through as a complete cohesive project.
There are many exhausts out there for the Sport Classic Line of Ducati, but the NCR System made by Zard in full titanium was without a doubt the most impressive. The 2 into 2 system combined lightweight titanium, equal length headers, and the highest ground clearance of any Sport Classic exhaust. The welds are without a doubt an expression of art.
No matter what decisions lie ahead for this bike, this exhaust was a must for me. Once I had secured a fresh, new, in-the-crate Sport 1000 s, I would put the exhaust on order from NCR. They are hand made upon ordering. It takes a minimum of one month before it arrives from Italy. Pro Italia would provide me an ECU for NCR to reflash and I would leave the install up to them (as this particular exhaust was a complicated fit for the Sport 1000 s).
While the exhaust was being fabricated I started purchasing smaller parts to complete the conversion (Sport 1000 rearsets, reverse shifter, brake pedal, etc.). The reverse shifter and brake pedal were purchased from Sling Shot Racing. I think they make a decent product and they are located close to me in California. Unfortunately I think they may be producing their stuff out of China, but I can't confirm that.
There were other misc. parts that had to be purchased like the brake pedal bracket and sensor.
I purchased stock rearsets and broke them down for powder coating. I also knew I was using a reverse shifter (like the NCR bikes), so I removed the bottom section of the left rearset and sanded down the cut prior to powder coating as I wouldn't need to mount the shifter to the rearset (much cleaner looking).
I also wanted to get rid of the white stripe and try something a bit more subtle, so I decided to do a matte black racing stripe over the existing stripes (and matched it to a new Shoei X12 helmet). I used a 3M Matte Black material for the stripe kits (purchased from Sticker City). I installed and measured everything myself producing the files in Illustrator to lessen the cost of production.
Like the above bikes I would remove the mirrors from the upper fairing and replace them with some smaller bar end mirrors. I went with the CRG Arrows because of the great quality, ease of adjustment, and narrow profile.
You may also notice in the image below the self-done fender eliminator kit I did. I removed the whole rear section and, with a section of water heater strap, flipped the brake upside down and mounted it to the under-tray. I had to flip the wiring for the signals to make it work. Some images:
You'll notice some basic frame sliders as well. I liked the bell shape at the end and the fact that there wasn't some bright colored name brand printed into them. It's a simple kit and can be found on eBay for $39.
I had my appointment at Pro Italia for the exhaust install and the 600 mile service. It would take the whole day for installation and tuning but it was worth the wait. Here are some shots with the full NCR Titanium New Blue Exhaust, NCR Fuel Cap, NCR Cam covers, MWR Intake, Ohlins 120 Steering Damper, and a bunch of powder coated parts installed:
Now, quite happy with how the bike was running mechanically, I wanted to turn towards the suspension and wheels. Coming from a Superbike background I could really feel the weight of the spoke wheels working against my steering capabilities. The front end was heavy and the suspension was sluggish and non-responsive under heavy braking and cornering. I found these 999R Ohlins R/T Forks which I had the lowers powder-coated satin Black:
As they were for a triple set up with 53 mm upper diameter and 56 mm lower diameter, I would have to bore out the stock upper triple a total of 3 mm and the lower stock triple a total of 2 mm. I then had them powder-coated.
I then found a set of 999R Forged Aluminum Marchesinis which I picked up cheap:
Knowing I would eventually be changing the wheels I went ahead and kept an eye out for rotors eventually finding these Braking Rotors:
For brakes I would go with a set of Brembo Monoblock M4 Calipers which are stock equipment for the 1198R Superbike. I would have these stripped down and re-coated in a brake fluid resistant high temp caliper paint (Gloss Black):
I also secured an exchange of my biposto seat for a monoposto seat with a very trusting Australian Gentlemen who simply shipped his as I shipped mine. Both our seats arrived to each other and I believe we both achieved what we desired for the cost of shipping. Thanks ducati.ms! Pics of my seat:
Other parts included new Brembo Master Cylinders, Machined Levers, a front 999 wheel fairing, Driven Clip-ons, Rizoma Reserviors, Rizoma Grips, Rizoma Bar-ends, New Galfer Brake lines, a Fast Frank Spacer Kit for the Wheel conversion, a 999 rear brake caliper/ rotor/ bracket, and a 14/41 520 Conversion with a DID EVR3 Chain.
And here is everything in the process of being installed. A big thanks goes out to Brett and Victor at Motoclub Di Santa Monica for all their help during the installation: