Kevin Brown has been riding for over 50 years and owns nine bikes. The structural engineer from Canada is a petrolhead of the highest order, and he’s just finished a custom that even Jay Leno would be proud of.
This stunning Ducati 350 Sebring resto-mod joins some big machines in Kevin’s garage. It sits next to a limited edition BMW R100S and a Ducati PaulSmart 1000 LE.
But Kevin’s now downsizing to smaller bikes, and for good reason too. “My shop is in the basement, and I have to carry the bikes up and down the stairs,” he tells us.
Not surprisingly, he knows exactly how much the ‘Café Canadiano’ weighs: A trim 260 pounds (118 kilos).
The story starts when Kevin saw a Ducati 250 single with a Benelli Mojave 260 tank. “That really got my heart pumping. So I looked on eBay, and there was a Mojave tank going for $150. I also knew of a 1967 Ducati 350 with a seized piston… so it looked like I had a project.”
The plan was to build a race-inspired version of the Ducati 250, but with a ‘modern retro’ feel.
On the modern side, Kevin’s converted the electronics from 6 to 12 volts. He’s also added a nifty Motogadget m-Lock keyless digital ignition lock, and LED lighting front and back. Microswitch buttons on the clips-ons control the horn, high-low, and kill switch.
There’s no tachometer on the original Ducati 350 Sebring, so Kevin’s installed a very discreet wireless bicycle speedo.
On the retro side, features include bullet-style LED rear/brake lights, Novelli Racing clip-ons, and a throttle and grips from Tommaselli.
The headlight is mounted with a bottom-mounted custom bracket, and underneath is a clutch inspection cover on a hinge—which hides a BMW-style plug for keeping the battery charged. Very neat.
The work on the overhead cam engine was a little more involved, and entrusted to a Calgary specialist. “It took two weeks to remove the seized piston. The cylinder was bored out from 340 to 348 cc, and a new 8:1 piston fitted, versus the original 7:1.”
With only 3,798 original miles displayed on the original odometer, the rest of the engine internals were in great condition—although the bearings and seals were replaced.
And yes, there’s pipewrap. “I watched five YouTube videos to see how different guys wrapped their pipes, and then combined their methods,” says Kevin.
He’s used titanium-colored wrap around the ceramic-coated straight pipe, which has a baffle inside.
For the metalwork, Kevin selected Derek Pauletto of Trillion Industries, a man famed for his craftsmanship. He formed U-shaped steel tubing for the seat frame, welding it to the spine at an angle that matching the engine cylinder fins. (“For a more modern ass-up stance”).
More steel tubing was rolled to form the frame support for the shocks. The underside of the swing arm was reinforced with Ducati-like trellis tubing to keep the clutter between the engine and the rear wheel as open as possible.
Works Performance piggyback shocks were installed, and repositioned to match the slope of the front down tube. The front forks were ground down to a new finish, and the exposed springs powder coated.
Kevin’s kept the standard Ducati hubs: The beautiful scalloped contours and their clean appearance suit the bike, but there’s a trade-off. “This meant living with the drum brakes and forks; beauty and the beast really.”
New Excel rims and spokes permit wider Avon AM26 Roadrider rubber at the rear.
The chin fairing and rear cowl started life as a cardboard pattern. That went to Trillion Industries as well, who hand-formed the bodywork from aluminum.
It’s all topped off with a lovely red and white color scheme to honor the Canadian flag. “My plan was to have the paint match the Ducati 848, which I thought was a flat white with gold pearlescence.”
“But when I compared a color wheel to the 848 at a local Ducati shop, it’s actually a grey color.”
After getting four test cards from the painter, Kevin settled on a Dodge Ram flat white with pearl.
He’s had the seat covered with thick oilskin leather, and polished or clear powder coated nearly all the remaining visible metalwork. Peek closely at the swingarm pivot, and you’ll also notice a one-Euro coin featuring Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man set into the metal.
The finished ‘Café Canadiano’ is a tribute to the quality of craftsmen in the Calgary area—and Kevin’s vision.
We just hope he has the muscles to keep carrying it out of the basement and onto the road.
Metal Fabrication Trillion Industries Motor Rebuild Damien McFadyen Paint Nostalgic Refinishes (Mike Satink) Powder Coating Rite-Way Powder Coat Thin Film & Ceramic Coatings Top Gun Coatings Final Assembly Anderwerks Seat Powersport Seats (Andrea Briggs) Tank Emblem Laser Equation Photographs Spindrift Photography