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Corsa Americano: The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati Flat Tracker

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker
Like many of you, we’re total suckers for racing machines—especially flat trackers. And although we’re captivated by American iron like the Indian FTR750, it’s nice to see the odd exotic European take to the oval.

Enter Lloyd Brothers Motorsports, who have a thing for fielding Ducati-powered flat trackers. Back in 2010, they were the first team to break Harley-Davidson’s 19-year winning streak…with an air-cooled, two-valve desmo motor powering their race bike.

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker
Since then, the Atlanta-based team has racked up respectable results, thanks to pilots like Joe Kopp, Brad Baker, Henry Wiles and Jake Johnson. (Even Troy Bayliss raced with them, when he tried his hand at flat track).

The bike you’re looking at is Lloyd Brothers’ brand new racer. With changes in the AFT Twins class rules ahead of this season—including a size limit of 850 cc—the team was forced to ditch their previous platform and start over.

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker
The project kicked off last year, when Lloyd Brothers built two bikes as a proof of concept. Those used liquid-cooled 939 cc Testastretta motors, sourced off eBay.

Then the rules changed in the off-season, and the guys had to adapt—so they switched to the 821 cc mill in the Ducati Hypermotard 821.

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker
Surprisingly, the motor’s quite close to stock. The heads have been ported, and the flywheel’s a heavier unit from a different Duc. The really trick work is going on outside the actual motor.

Regulations don’t allow for ride-by-wire throttles, and specify that the intake needs a 44 mm choke point somewhere within the throttle body itself. So this Ducati’s running modified 748 throttle bodies to keep things legal.

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker
The exhaust system consists of stainless steel headers, flowing into a pair of custom M4 silencers, designed to conform to the AFT noise limits. Respected Ducati engine builder, Mark Sutton at the DucShop in Marietta, Georgia, handled all the engine work.

The radiator presented another challenge. With the wide cylinder spread of the L-twin engine, and the beefy 19” flat track wheels, placing the radiator behind the front wheel was simply not possible.

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker
Car cooling experts Art’s Radiator jumped in with a custom-designed side-mounted unit, hooked up via Goodridge hoses with AN fittings.

On the electrical side, the crew had to ‘trick’ a Microtec ECU into thinking that the 821 was a compatible bike (it’s not). So they started with an 848 wiring harness, removed all non-essentials and shortened it to fit.

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker
The two blue plugs poking out under the seat are to plug the SpeedCell battery into; the bike runs a total loss system.

Everything is packaged into a fully bespoke chromoly steel frame, complete with a mono-shock rear end. Fabrication gurus Fuller Moto built the frame for the Testastretta powerplant, to Lloyd Brothers’ spec. It’s essentially an evolution of the frame design that they’ve been running over the past few years.

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker
There’s Öhlins suspension at both ends, along with a pair of 19” race wheels from Performance Machine. The forks are held in place by Baer Racing triples. As is the norm in flat track, there’s no front brake—but there’s a pretty nifty rear brake setup.

The master cylinder and caliper are from Brembo, but the caliper has been modified by TAW Performance to accept a vaned rotor. “Lloyd Brothers Motorsports was the first team to introduce vaned rotors to modern flat track racing,” David Lloyd tells us.

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker
“It was an answer to certain riders applying so much force to the brakes, that they actually glow a bright red after a few laps!”

Quintessential flat track bodywork finishes the bike off, with a fiberglass tank and tail from First Klass Glass in Michigan. The seat pad’s from Saddlemen, and the livery is as Italian as it gets, with a matching set of ODI grips. And there’s a smattering of carbon fiber protective bits for a little extra insurance.

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker
Lloyd Brothers had planned to run this magnificent beast for ten of this season’s 18 races, treating it as a development year. Stevie Bonsey was set to pilot it, but he injured himself (on a different bike).

He’s now set to return on Labor Day weekend in October, at the Springfield Mile. And David Lloyd is pretty optimistic: “We are very happy with the chassis. It was well sorted over many years and developed around the higher torque, larger displacement air-cooled engines.”

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker
“A few minor adjustments in tube bends were made to fit in the 4-valve, liquid-cooled cylinder and heads. The characteristics of the 821 promise to be even better for flat track—should we get a proper program funded to race a full season.”

If you’re reading this from the UK, head over to the Goodwood Festival of Speed immediately—because that’s where Lloyd Brothers are currently showing this Ducati off. Otherwise, you’ll just have to drool over the photos like the rest of us.

Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Facebook | Instagram | Images by (and major thanks to) Steve West of Silver Piston Photography

The Lloyd Brothers’ Ducati flat tracker

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