Superbikes don’t typically make us weak at the knees—but if we had to spring for something racy, it would probably be Italian. We wouldn’t say no to the 140 horsepower Ducati 848 Evo, for example.
So when NCT Motorcycles told us they had just finished an 848, we assumed the bike had been crashed. But no: the Austrian shop just wanted to build a sporty cafe racer—with classic looks married to modern tech.
“We wanted to customize a bike that’s younger than the ones we normally work on,” says NCT’s David Widmann. “And we wanted to have a second reference bike for our work, after the Black Stallion.”
“These days it’s fine when you have a lot of customers, but sometimes you need to build a bike just for yourself, and to represent your company. Of course we will sell it one day—but right now it’s just for us, and to show off our skills.”
Together with his partners in crime—Kurt Kosjek and Manuel Tilke—David wheeled the Ducati into NCT’s Feldkirchen workshop, and got down to business.
The guys started by stripping the bike down to the basics, before piecing it back together with a custom subframe. Perched on top is a hand-made aluminum tail unit, complete with combination leather and fabric upholstery, and a neatly embedded LED taillight.
All the original bodywork is gone, save for the fuel tank. There’s now a full complement of aftermarket carbon fiber bits, including new front and rear fenders. NCT fitted new carbon side covers too, but since they were designed for a stock 848, modified them to fit visually with the reworked seat area.
The 848 Evo handles well enough out the box—but that didn’t stop the NCT crew from removing the Showa forks and installing new Öhlins suspension at both ends. The new forks are held in place by custom-milled triple clamps, sporting integrated push buttons.
The stock Brembo brakes stayed behind, but the cockpit’s been treated to adjustable levers and prettier reservoirs. Other new bits include grips and bar-end blinkers from Motogadget, and rear-sets from Ducabike. The headlight is an LED unit from Truck-Lite.
NCT then hand built a new exhaust system, terminating it with a stumpy Akrapovič silencer. They also gave the motor a good service, installed K&N filters, and re-mapped the ECU to compensate for the new configuration. The wheels are now wrapped in Diablo Supercorsa SC2 rubber, Pirelli’s highest performing street legal race tire.
The bike’s been rewired too, which proved to be pretty challenging. “Working on such a new bike is completely different to working on vintage based ones,” explains David. “There are many more wires, and when you rewire all of them you have to make sure that it still looks clean!”
Turning to Porsche’s heritage for inspiration, Manuel Tilke shot the Ducati in a simple olive green scheme. The trellis frame and the wheels went off for black powder coating.
NCT have turned the already gorgeous 848 into a real head turner. It’s just a pity it’ll never go slow enough for anyone to get a good look.