BMW Motorrad Spezial

Icon TiFighter: A Ducati 1000DS from Icon Motosports

Ducati 1000DS
It’s hard to believe that Icon Motosports has only been around since 2002; in a few short years, they’ve created a stable of oddball, off-the-wall customs that perfectly evoke the company’s rebellious spirit. The TiFighter is the latest bike to join that stable, and it’s the personal bike of Icon’s design director Kurt Walter.

Ducati 1000DS
“She’s my ‘beater’ track bike,” says Kurt. “She’s not fast but she brakes and turns like toy.” At the heart of the TiFighter is an aircooled Ducati 1000 DS motor—as found in the Multistrada, the SportClassic and some Monsters. It’s suspended from a very trick titanium frame built by Doug Cook of Arc Fabrication. “I think my frame and exhaust were the last ones he ever made,” says Kurt. “It took over a year to get them from him—I had actually written them off. Then one day they showed up, in the most incredibly small and incredibly light box ever. There is no way a full frame and exhaust should be so light or fit in such a small box, but they did.”

Ducati 1000DS
The TiFighter is crammed with go-fast components from all over the world, but the focus is on weight rather than outright power. It’s the principle espoused by Lotus’ founder Colin Chapman: “Simplify, then add lightness.” The bike has a chequered history, and only just made it into the Icon stable. “I launched her across the infield last season—punching a hole in the carbon gas tank,” says Kurt. “A full tank of gas was dumped over a very hot motor: Luckily she didn’t catch fire, but it was a tense few minutes.”

Ducati 1000DS
If you know the whereabouts of Arc Fabrication’s Doug Cook, drop us a line in the comments. Word on the street is that he split to a West Virginia coal mine in the middle of night with all of his belongings.

2003 Ducati DS1000 Motor
Arc Fabrication Titanium Frame
Arc Fabrication Titanium Full Exhaust
Ohlins Nitrogen Forks
Galespeed Magnesium Wheels
ETI FuelCel Carbon Kevlar Tank
Beringer Radial Calipers
Beringer Ductile Rotors
Pirelli Supercorsa tires

Ducati 1000DS

  • elven

    Nice toy.
    How much does it weigh?

  • Sid

    Is Icon the brand that thinks their customers are walking billboards with tacky huge fonts and “rebellious” graphics all over the gear?

    • Anonymous

      As opposed to most other companies that do similar things? I suppose there are a few textile jackets that don’t have logos… but it seems like a lot of leathers do.

      I have an icon leather jacket that isn’t too flamboyant, but it is enough contrast to get noticed on the road, which can be a safety matter.

      Lots of ducatis on here lately… NICE ducatis, but lots of ducatis.

      • Yes, we’ve had a run of Ducs recently. No more on the immediate horizon, though.

        • mike

          Can you really have too many Ducatis?!

          • Mikep

            no, no you can’t. Keep them coming.

        • Anonymous

          It wasn’t a complaint. Just an observation.

  • iRivas

    It’s uniquely cool. I like the, “start each ride with a prayer” plaque. You’d probably need to on this bike.

  • GHST

    This is it! They should have named this bike “Akuma” because it’s one bad street fighter! The color scheme seems to match too. I don’t think Icon has put out a bike that I didn’t like.

  • Bo knows

    There have been some nice custom Ducs here lately, but this one doesn’t do anything for me…kinda like the rest of the Icon line…some nice parts though…

  • Enderw88

    I like it, but can someone explain the street fighter “stink bug” tail lift? It is usually more extreme, but is there any practical reason, or is it just “fighter look”?

  • Mule

    The seat angle detracts from the overall look in a most negative way. And with the number plate up front, I’m wondering if this is actually a race bike? Also, you have to be pretty serious to build a bike with a Ti frame and then have a “theme” bike seat?

  • mobilus
  • Leston

    whats with all the hate? You mean to say, if you had to funds and access you wouldnt stick a motor of your choosing in the lightest possible frame? Hating on titanium frame, hating on magnesium wheels, and hating on a carbon tank?

    How about we all just stick to cast steel frames, tires with no grip, and carberated engines and we can all ride in the right hand lane.

    Come on people

  • Mikep

    That’s another great looking duc. I wouldn’t change a thing. Are you sure they didn’t build that for me? Ay Kurt! Get off my bike sucka!
    Prich. Classic Car Club.

  • Naked sportbikes and streetfighters can look really nice but, to me at least, this thing looks like a bunch of bodywork has been taken off and it’s ready for service. I think it’s a butt ugly bike and I can’t stand these short-fork, ass-up lines it has. It evokes nothing positive in me.

  • Rob

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems a lot more cluttered than the usual air cooled Ducs. Compare it to a Sport Classic or S2R 1000, and it seems like there’s a lot more stuff around the engine on this bike.

  • Rob

    Though I should add that I love the frame!

  • Stevethe CRbore

    Hi Mule. For those of you I recently argued with about what makes a genuine cafe racer; both this bikes parents and all its grand and great grand parents were CRs. It has bred true.

    • Mule

      Steve, Not really in genetics, but I like the bike whatever it’s purpose or assumed lineage. The ultra high, kicked in the ass seat look is not my bag, but I do love Ti. Also, it looks like a ton of money sittin’ there and there should be a full feature done on this bike somewhere. Maybe here? Like so many featured bikes, we all make lots of assumptions about what we like or don’t like without much of the back story. On this bike there’s a lot of high end trickery which deserves proper set-up and extremely hard usage! Thats my assumption.

  • Christian J

    I’m all for the custom frame but I’d have a skilled ti welder add some guides & stops to eliminate all of those zip-ties. Scotchbrite the welds for a uniform finish too.

  • K2them

    Seriously? Custom =/= Show. Nor does Custom = High Performance. Not every bike that has been “customized” is done completely for show or completely for performance reasons. It’s often a compromise between the two.

    In this case there is more Go than show going on (clearly). This bike is a true sense of a custom. It’s not 100% emulating any one style or genre of motorcycle, but rather is taking bits and pieces and mashing them together as a cohesive whole. It is a true 100% custom motorcycle. Who else has a Race/Rat Rod/Cafe Racer inspired Multistrada powered motorcycle? No one.

    I personally really enjoy the mish-mash of Race derived performance parts with Backyard Chop style.

  • Emile

    I think I may actually own the last Doug Cook Ti-Framed Ducati…..mine went “missing” for 3 years, until I tracked Doug down in West Virginia last year, where he was indeed working the night shift at the local coal mine. My bike was still in this work shop and I believe he had every intention to still finish it!

    Doug may not be the best manager of time or money, but he is an absolute genius with a TIG welder…

  • Gene Hunt

    Well I gues I’m one of the lucky ones, I have a DP full race system, with Doug Cook revsers cone Megaphones on my S2R1000, sounds great, looks great, and along with some othe mods keeps me in the hunt on the track, it’s beast on the street though.

  • Gene Hunt

    Sorry for the typos, no way to modify after post.

  • KIK

    the icon boys have no match.

  • Just Joe

    I guess a few people missed the line ‘this is my ‘beater’ track bike”…what isn’t to love here? Simplicity of an air cooled twin married to some very nice high end componentry, obviously set up to run, turn and stop.

  • I rode this bike in it’s stock form when I first arrived at Icon and I was able to ride it after Kurt and AJ customized her before I left and returned to Japan! Such a sweet machine! The sound and performance is like no other! I was even there to help un-load her after Kurt went down on the Ti Fighter at PIR. She is now fixed and ready to tackle the track again!

  • Anonymous

    I love the ethos – ADD lightness! That picture of the motor in the Titanium frame is wonderful – simple and functional – no bells and whistles on this thing, even the paint looks like primer!

    Maybe I’d add a little screen, to duck behind to stop my head blowing off when I was chasing the Gixers down the straights!

  • ICON always has the best gear and bikes.

    Yeah, their logo is always front-and-center, but that’s part of the marketing image – if that is a problem, I tell ya, I sure do wish I had their level of problem. Frankly, it’s no different than what Joe Rocket and other similar edgy fashion/gear companies do.

    This bike is “all the business” – what little of it looks styled is still a performance part. The unfinished Ti welds? Love ’em. If you’re going to have a Ti frame, it’s because the bike is serious, and time spent dressing that up is less time tuning it. Besides, showing it off a little isn’t a bad thing either!

    That’s a very mild “stinkbug” tail – the current Fighter aesthete is much more radical. Given the conventional lines of it, if it were 10° more horizontal, you know what it would look like? Yet another XS650 “street tracker”. Duc that!

  • the lack of appreciation for such a high functioning (say it again “track beater bike”) is pretty disturbing. Look at that front end! thats more money than some people drop on an entire track bike! who cares what the welds look like when its a damn Ti frame?!

    stink bug tail? looks like a 999 tank and seat that has the angle kicked mayyybe 3″ up to achieve a desired riding posture..

    The bike is purpose built, Icon has more than a few “pretty” bikes. this one is allowed to be the snarling brute that it is.

    PS @K2them Motocorsa has a ratty track bike with a multi engine too, must be a Portland thing ;)

  • I just noticed the Ducati logo on the case by the clutch basket… the letter “I” was modified to be lower-case: DUCATi. That’s awesome.

  • Shaunclewis2

    Awesome! I don’t know which I love more, blinged out Ducs or rat bikes, but this hooligan is the best of both worlds. It’s a beast!

    Icon’s Operator, Snake Charmer, and El Fabuloso are also some pretty sweet looking customs.

  • Lancehouston

    Say your prayers, this bike looks like it would bring out agressive riding styles!!

  • its very cool, very very cool. that front end makes me feel funny and i love the welds. i can see that bike sliding and cartwheeling down the track, picking yourself up, picking the bike up jumping back on it then hooning down the straight again. awesome.

    whoever is doing the branding and marketing for icon are doing an awesome job

  • Lew

    Love it, I’d prefer red or black paint, but love it, looks like the kind of bike that you’d actually enjoy riding.

  • sonofgod

    Hey Chris, like all the gear design, bike builds, and videos, Icons marketing is done in house.

  • Raul Vicente

    Like all true steps in evolution, this bike splits opinions as well as what’s been established. Not for me this one, but a wonderfully built machine it is!

    • Nologo Whalewatch

      Raul has my vote for most intelligent comment in midst of a near flame war.