If you could buy a brand new Ducati SportClassic today, what would it look like? We reckon it’d be very similar to this—a rapid custom from electrical whizz Joe Tessitore of Digital Directiv.
‘Bella’ is a ground-up restoration of a 2007 Sport 1000s, boosted with seriously upmarket performance kit. It’s inspired by the limited edition Ducati MH900E, the hand-built predecessor to the ill-fated SportClassic line.
Joe has re-imagined the SportClassic with high-tech changes, modern improvements, and upgrades that spared no expense. But the effect is low key rather than flashy. “I wanted only the educated eye to be able to appreciate the subtle changes that went into building this machine,” he says.
Almost every part on this bike has been adapted from modern Ducatis or the MH900E itself. “It had to be classy and timeless—so no billet parts or carbon fiber,” says Joe.
Everything feels like it belongs on a factory machine—from the Marchesini forged 999R wheels (wrapped in sticky Pirelli rubber) to the Öhlins superbike forks and Brembo brakes.
Joe recruited some of the best in the business to help him build the bike. “Many builders take pride in doing everything themselves, but at the expense of the final product. I’m not one of those guys,” says Joe. “Everything has to be perfect and if someone is an expert at what they do, I’m not afraid to involve them in the project.”
Portland-based Masic Industries was enlisted to refinish every single nut and bolt back to factory-new condition. They also refinished the mildly modified frame and wheels, and polished every aluminum part including the engine covers. All seams and casting marks have been removed and many components have been given a brushed finish, a signature feature of the MH.
Jeff Johnson of Ill Eagle Designs hand-formed the one-piece aluminum solo tail section, which mounts using the stock seat latch for easy removal. He also adapted Monster 1100 headers into an amazing underseat exhaust, capped by Cone Engineering cans.
Ginger from New Church Moto was the only choice to make the sexy hand-stitched suede seat and matching pad. Tying it all together is deep black and charcoal paint laid down by Tony’s Customs.
Digital Directiv builds are always packed with high-tech wizardry. (After all, Joe has written the definitive starter guide to motorcycle wiring.) And Bella is no different. There’s discreet LED lighting all round, with hidden brake lights, taillights, and turn signals at the back.
A key no longer controls ignition: instead, an iPhone-compatible Bluetooth system tells the bike when you’re approaching. You can turn the bike on and off as needed, as long as your phone remains in your pocket.
The electronic coup d’état is even more unusual: Joe has wired a modern Ducati 1098 digital dash unit into the SportClassic electrical system, using a custom harness and new ECU firmware. That may sound simple, but it took over a hundred hours of R&D on both hardware and software.
“An aftermarket dash could have been mounted with much less time and effort,” Joe admits. “But it would have taken away from the factory feel that was a requirement of the Bella project.”
It’s a unique and functional work of art, blurring the lines between custom and factory. And unlike most customs built to this level, it’s designed to be ridden.
Tempted? Bella is being offered for sale via the website Touch of Modern.