Staunch Ducatistas might balk at the idea of ripping the bodywork off a 749. Neil and Jim at Shed-X don’t seem to mind too much though: turning Bologna’s finest into naked, fun-loving street machines is their forte.
Based out of a small workshop in Sydney, Australia, ‘Screwdriver’ is Shed-X’s latest creation. “We picked up a 2003 Ducati 749 late last year and ran it as a daily rider for a while, before getting it up on the table for a new lease of life.” Since this was an in-house project, there was no brief—so they decided to deck out the “plain Jane” 749 in flat tracker garb.
Starting at the rear, Shed-X fabricated a new alloy sub-frame and a fiberglass tracker style seat. Paired with the new rear-end is a Ducati 999 tank, with its distinctive side creases and pad recess filled in. Up front, a 999 mudguard was saved from the “parts to recycle bin,” trimmed and mounted via hand-made alloy brackets.
Shed-X also de-tabbed the frame, finishing it (and the wheels) in a rich pearl black, and soda blasted the swingarm. For tires, they chose Pirelli’s dual-sport MT60s. “We used these on our first build ‘Bastardo,’ and we like their look and performance on the road.” The exhaust is a custom stainless steel 2-into-1 system mated to a Spark MotoGP muffler.
On the electrical side, an Anti-Gravity 8-cell Lithium Ion battery was installed, hooked up to a thoroughly re-worked wiring harness. The ECU was flashed and the clunky 749 dash was ditched in favor of a ST4 unit—which proved to be harder than anticipated.
“Getting the ECU to speak to the new dash would have to be the hardest part of the build, and the credit has to go to our good mate Ivan who took up the challenge to make this happen and pulled it off … legend!” Lighting is provided by 2 LED headlights poking through a bespoke number board.
The front brake calipers were replaced with Brembo Goldline items, but the rest of the 749’s running gear was left as-is. Even the stock suspension was retained: “We decided to wait until we saw how the bike felt after its loss of weight before we went about blindly changing suspension components.”
Some simple adjustments turned out to be more than adequate. Shed-X have their own paint booth, so Jim set to work on a stunning Lamborghini Aventador orange paint scheme with Spanish white and gold highlights. Some bits and pieces were sourced from Italy’s CNC Racing to finish off the build.
Neil and Jim plan to put some miles on the 749 before flogging it “to make way for the next project.” Initial test rides have been positive: “With the 105hp motor only having to push along 163kg of wet weight, it’s a lot of fun around town and on the back roads—both tar and gravel.”
I reached out to Shed-X about the ‘Screwdriver’ moniker, and their answer was exactly what I expected: “It’s orange, with a twist.” More like a kick if you ask me.
Photos by Chris Cook.