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Discussion Starter #1
So, having had the bike on the road for a few weeks and racked up a few thousand kilometers I'm finally getting round to looking back through all the photos from the project and thought it may be worthwhile to everyone to share a few from the build process. I'll try to keep it to the highlights, but if anyone wants more details on a particular mod just yell out and I'll dig in.

First things first, I decided on the Sport Classic because I felt it made an awesome starting point for some subtle customisation. I'd previously looked long and hard at 1000SS's for a walt siegel style ground up build, cheaper donor bike sure but then the potential project scope had the opportunity to get way out of hand. This would be my first custom bike project so I figured I'd start with the best clay I could lay my hands on...

So the starting point was a 2006 Sport Classic Monoposto with 9,000km (5,000 miles) on the clock. She'd done more miles in her life on the back of a delivery truck than she'd done in anger... originally delivered in Melbourne, VIC to a collector, then purchased by an accountant in Perth WA, before I shipped her back across to Sydney.

Having lived with the bike for almost a year and spent several months cruising the forums and internet for inspiration and ideas it was time to get serious... and it was about then that I bumped into Neil and Jim from Shed X in a pit lane garage at Sydney Motorsport Park where they were playing with their new toy Bastardo. A five minute conversation turned into an hour, turned into another hour... fair to say we clicked with a similar vision and ethos.

It was decided... the Sport Classic was headed to the Shed for a makeover.

 

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Discussion Starter #2
So what the hell should it be?

I'd looked at undertaking this build myself, but didn't really know where to start, plus I lived in an apartment with limited garage space and I already had a crazy 4WD buggy project on the go in my parking spot and didn't need a half disassembled ducati to add to the mayhem.

Neil and Jim build these bikes because they love them, and they build what they see in their mind... so no renderings, and as little bling parts catalogue shopping as possible. So describing what I wanted was an evolving process (mainly because what I wanted kept evolving)... but fundamentally it was the no fuss and slightly sinister aesthetic of a race machine with some classic touches for the street / cafe scene as it was very much more a weekend warrior bike than track weapon.

We resolved not to do anything radical in the first few weeks so they could get acclimated to the bike and develop their own appreciation... see below as they're building up their 1098 Cafe "Malizia"

 

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Discussion Starter #3
The List...

So after a few weeks it was time to start throwing stuff in the bin, hitting eBay to pick up some new bits and pieces and figuring out the job list... which looked something like this from front to back.

Keep the large headlight (after looking at a smaller unit as an option)
Ditch or black out all the factory chrome bits... horns go, mirrors go, clutch cover definitely goes...
Flatten out the gauges, they're way too upright for my taste... highest point on the bike should be the reservoirs
New clip ons that weren't risers... I'm 6'3" so a little reach doesn't hurt
New front forks
New front rotors and callipers
New front guard
New Rims
New Exhaust, nothing off the shelf... something small and loud
Expose the timing belts just enough to see what's going on in there
Relocate the battery box
New seat unit (this one would prove to be controversial and add a few months to the project)
Tail Tidy
New indicators all round
Relocate the rectifier, but not underneath the seat to keep a clean line through the under tail
New rear callipers
New paint (dark, no black, but not golf grey, and avoiding anything too shouty)

It should be road legal from a distance if you squint a bit, shouldn't attract ridiculous police attention but should threaten to vacuum up small children, impregnate women from 30 paces and make men question what they've done with their lives to date.

Simple enough??? Time to get busy and we'll work out the detail on the way.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Parts Bin Raiders

Budgets on projects like this are always a funny thing. There's the rough number you aim for at the start, there's the number you tell yourself it's going to land at when you're cruising eBay at 1:00am for new front forks and there's the number you admit to your significant other... where it eventually ends up is anyones guess. In the end you'll remember the bike for the rest of your life, but you probably won't sweat the extra dollar here or there a few weeks down the track.

That being said this wasn't an unlimited budget build... opening up the engine was deemed a bridge too far at this stage, and we'd focus on spending money where it made a difference to performance or aesthetics given the intended use of the bike, not seeing how many status and attention seeking brands we could bolt on or throwing track quality kit at a street bike. For that reason Ohlins forks were out, rear sets are standard, we held off on changing the rear spring and the rims where going to have to be second hand.

These forums were invaluable to see what had been done before, what could bolt up to which Ducati parts and how much machining needed to be done to make it all work.

The 999 ended up being our donor bike of choice, supplying front forks and wheels, whilst a 1200 Multi supplied the front rotors and a 1098 supplied the clip ons. The wheels landed first and went straight in to the on-sight spray booth at Shed X for paint. Black of course.



 

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Discussion Starter #5
Business Time

It's when you step back and you're beloved bike looks like this that you realise you're fully committed (and may have suffered a little scope creep).



The original forks, yoke and bars are still on but everything else has been piled into a large box (anyone want some quality oem parts?)

This is also about when the conversations about paint and colour choices started to get more serious... and more circular in nature.

We were also on the hunt for a seat unit. I'd seen the Diopa unit and then the now infamous Star.Ace unit caught my eye so we resolved to pursue the italian solution...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Build Up

Whilst I spent several fruitless weeks on the Star.Ace front, I'd begun to question the 'imola' style hump as being a little too retro for the look the bike was going to end up with... and in the end we gybed toward the Airtech seat pan - a la ThunderDuc.

A similar aesthetic to the original but was less bulky (the oem seat was way to visually heavy for my taste)

In the mean time the 999 front end had lobbed in from eBay land and was mocked up with the tank in primer.



 

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Discussion Starter #7
Waiting waiting waiting...

Unfortunately the Airtech seat pan took a mars year to arrive, which only led to more circular conversations about paint schemes and some pathetic photoshop attempts on my behalf to try to figure out different paint schemes.

I did know this though... no chequers, no twin stripes, no ducati red.

Finally the seat arrived... well it was kind of in the shape of a seat, but required a fair amount of work to get it to a stage the boys were happy putting their name to. Here's the first mock up.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Loud pipes save lives

When we weren't discussing paint there was much contemplation on the exhaust system. Drawing inspiration from the LOUIS75 JUBILÄUMSBIKE DUCATI I wanted to keep the tip of the muffler below the top arc of the swing arm.

Great in theory but interesting to fabricate in practice!

Yet more parts bin raiding resulted in this initial mock up to finish off the Barrett fabricated headers.

 

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that's' sweet - any more photos of the headers on the exhaust and where they collect? also for the seat - how do you get the front to mount ot he factory L-hooks or what not.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Yep, can certainly do photos and further detail on the exhaust and the seat mounting... which ended up being an interesting process in itself! I'll have to dig through the photos or take a couple of new shots in the next day or so to capture the solution we arrived at.

In the mean time, picking up the thread...

With the seat having arrived things started to pick up pace, the exhaust was proving really fiddly (especially the muffler set up) which i'll provide a little more detail on later. Paint was the big sticking point, and in the end I had to defer to Jim's expertise and trust that from the hours of sitting round in the Shed discussing it, all the emails and my best descriptions of the feeling this bike should have that he'd get it right. Here's the pre-paint prep, you can see Jim's been marking up the tank and seat by hand, looking for the best line through the bike. .



Aso note how clean the line is through the rear, especially under the tail. The battery box is gone and the mounts have been removed, the oem key for the rear seat has been popped out and the de-tabing really opened it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Paint

Somewhere through all that talk Jim got it absolutely bang on (at least in my book)... here are the tank and seat mocked up on the bike before applying graphics and clear-coat.


and then in the booth for graphics and clear.







 

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Discussion Starter #12
Admiring the result

Sometimes you've got to take pause in a project and reflect on the work thus far... admire the good stuff and see what doesn't quite live up to expectations. Around this stage the bike was getting plenty of inquisitive visitors, all with an opinion to share...



In this shot you can also clearly see how flat the new gauges are (21 degrees off horizontal), how much lower the new clip-ons are, also the smaller custom crafted seat pan within the seat unit now with a kick arse thick suede leather and the rear wheel finally fitted after plenty of headaches getting the spacing all machined and lined up. The rear frame is also all primed up after de-tabbing and ready for some black.

At this stage the headers were on another holiday at Barrett Exhausts for some angle changes... but would be finished up shortly!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A couple of details

Here's a more detailed shot mid-job on the exhaust and muffler for those interested...



and also the new instrument cluster, well actually just the back of the instrument cluster which enabled the whole lot to be laid down to 21 degrees, and a vastly improved visual profile when coming at you head on...

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ready to go cause some mischief

There's some more detail thats worth sharing, especially with the seat mount and the LED blinker (indicators for the Yanks) set up. But here's a couple of shots as it rolled out for it's first shake down. You may notice the callipers have turned into Brembo Goldline numbers for a little extra pop, and there's a bunch of other natty details we can get stuck into for the trainspotters... but overall she's just kicking arse.

It makes for an interesting comparison back to back with the 1098 'Malizia'...





 

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Thanks a lot for thoses pics, fantastic Sport Classic Project

i really love the paint scheme but for being honest i don't like at all the silencer ...

a pair of boom tube or a Spark silencer would be so better on your Duc' ;)
 

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So far so good, that looks great.

The only detail I'm less keen on is the endcan as it looks out of place with the rest of the build, indeed I think the can on the 1098 would look better with its more conical shape. Possibly if it was the same colour as the rest of the pipework it would be less noticable.

I really like how you've compacted all the elements around the cockpit.
I'll look forward to more updates.
 

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Subscribed. Fantastic work. Now for me to attempt a similar build with my 99 900ss.

I'm keeping the red though. and satin black wheels
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So long controversial can...

The muffler / endcan on the exhaust has been a controversial subject for many... it continues to be a work in progress for the bike - which is currently running a Spark can as per the 1098 'Malizia' in the photos. How it got that can is a story in itself!

After several hundred km's of shake down running around Sydney, and going over the bike several times with the spanners and the usual checks and balances I took her for a real run... a day trip from Sydney up to Gloucester for lunch (304km of pretty varied back roads on the way up, and a 260km blast back down the freeway on the way home)...

It was heavy going, running with a couple mates who have a lifetime of racing experience and running brand new MT-09's and an R1 on the day... I was certainly aware I needed some more time on the bike to get comfortable with the changes, and there’s still the suspension tuning to be done (I set off with everything at a mid-point setting to establish a benchmark).

A few key impressions from the first half of the day:

1. Holy hell does it sound good… with the other riders complaining they couldn’t appreciate their own bikes any more having spent some time in the pack with the Sport Classic
2. If you’re still running the standard airbox, throw it in the bin today and go get some pods or velocity stacks, and some earplugs.
3. It’s a head turner… I kept thinking something was going critically wrong with the bike, or I’d somehow lodged a small child in the dry clutch the way the general public were gawping.
4. It’s a Ducatisti magnet, every single refuel stop… no matter how remote… someone would sidle up and tell me a story about a 750SS a mate once had, or the Ducati they once owned or were going to buy…

The roads from Singleton to Stroud via Dungog are some of the worst bitumen roads on the face of the earth. With wheel eating potholes and the consistency of cobblestones it made for some bone jarring, teeth rattling riding for all… and the schnitzel burger at the Gloucester Hotel was well received on arrival.

The rest of the pack were heading further North to overnight in Walcha and run the Oxley Highway the next morning… and I was blasting back to Sydney down the freeway to make good time and wring the Sport Classic’s neck.

Somewhere just North of Stroud, on Buckets Way, in the middle of a downpour the controversial muffler departed from the header at speed.

Because of a combination of the suddenly terrible weather and a marked police presence on the road I was cruising at maybe 3000rpm at the time so didn’t immediately notice the issue through the blissful world of industrial earplugs.

I thought something might be up when cruising through the hamlet of Stroud at 50km/h the entire patronage on the balcony of the Stroud Hotel looked up from their meal and pint to watch me pass… must be a town of bike nuts I thought… though this was playing on my mind as I noticed the exhaust note had changed on the overrun.

A quick roadside inspection revealed that a weld had failed, leaving the end cap and springs attached to the header but then losing everything down-stream of that… leaving me with a straight through 2-1 system approx 200km from home.

After a futile attempt to return to the scene of the crime and seek out the errant hardware I resolved there was nothing more to do that hit the highway and make some noise.

The following 200km or so will go down as one of my great memories of highway riding. I had to travel fast enough to minimize any overzealous citizens being able to take down my plates and report me to the authorities after the fact for violating noise limits (don’t laugh it does happen around here), but not so fast as to not be able to adjust my situation and force the highway patrol to pay undesired attention to me and my defectable machine.

A few key impressions from this section of the day:

1. Citizens exhibited a marked increase in lane discipline when the un-restricted tones of a Sport Classic came barreling up behind them…
2. I was now a hooligan magnet, with every petrol head trying to catch up and gesturing at me out their window – especially after a mid-ride refuel at a freeway fuel stop.
3. Tunnels are great fun
4. Earplugs are essential

I’d sent a quick picture message to Neil and Jim of Shed-X on discovering the issue (they were also out riding that day, so we played an hour and a half game of phone tag as we’d call each other at odd times as each of us stopped to stretch the legs or refuel)… By the time I returned to civilization though they’d grabbed a few alternative end cans and were ready to make good on a replacement in the basement of Neil’s apartment building so I could continue my ride in relative legality.

Turns out the weld that had failed had been between the stainless pipe supplied by Barrett Exhausts to join the muffler to his stainless headers, and the Ducati made alloy that made up the muffler… they’d outsourced this welding job due to the different materials involved... and we'd all learnt a lesson in metallurgy in the process.

So, she'd currently running a Spark can, as per that on the 1098 'Malizia' in the photos above with the baffles in from round town riding (no earplugs needed). It certainly does the job, and looks pretty damn good... but I think all of us want to take another stab at the custom route so we'll be at it again before long! Photos from this little tale to come soon as I'm back in the home office...
 

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Any details on the gauge housing? Several of us are looking for a way to slim that massive housing down, but all commercial projects seem to keep falling off the radar. Did you just chop it down? Or did you construct a new custom housing?
 
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