If the name Sylvain Berneron isn’t familiar to you, then Holographic Hammer should be. It’s the alias under which Sylvain’s designed some of the neatest custom motorcycle concepts we’ve seen.
As an experienced automotive designer, Sylvain ensures that his designs are always executable in the metal. But not everything he pens ends up getting built. So he’s partnered with his brother, Florent, to open a full service workshop.
The new Holographic Hammer shop’s located in a forest, less than twenty miles from Paris. This slick Ducati Scrambler is their first official build.
It was commissioned by Ducati themselves, in partnership with French magazine Moto Heroes. Sylvain’s résumé speaks for itself, so the brief was completely open.
“We had a few rides on the Scrambler when we were still discussing the project,” says Sylvain, “it handles really well and is very fun to ride.”
“But for us a scrambler is a bike you want to live with daily—you’ll scratch it, go through mud and dirt and even fall over.”
Rather than build a dirt bike that would be too precious to abuse, the decision was made to produce something clean, road-biased and performance orientated. A café racer in the traditional sense—but loaded with modern technology.
“When I was doing my research, I noticed that a lot of the original 1962 Scramblers ended up being café racers back then,” explains Sylvain. “The bike was so light that you could brake very late and turn quick.”
After a week of going back and forth on ideas and sketches, the project was under way. But the brothers had some significant performance upgrades in mind, so the word was put out for potential sponsors.
Rotobox hooked the guys up with a pair of 17” carbon racing wheels, wrapped in sport rubber from Pirelli. Beringer took care of the braking duties with their 4D system. Since the Scrambler has just hit the market, Sylvain and Florent had to machine various spacers for everything to fit.
Rizoma supplied an array of bolt-on bits, including (among other things) crash bobbins, brake fluid reservoirs and rear-set foot controls. The silencer is from Werkes USA, mounted to the stock (but slightly adapted) Ducati headers.
“Some say custom is all about ‘do it yourself’ or ‘built not bought’,” says Sylvain. “We focus on our strength which is designing and building one off parts and bikes—but when it comes to developing racing brakes and rims, we prefer to team up with people who have the knowledge and experience.”
Cognito Moto got in on the action too, supplying a rear frame loop with an integrated LED tail light and turn signals. The guys added it to the all-new subframe that they’d fabricated, topping it off with a custom, brown leather seat.
Underneath the seat is a hand-made battery box, and the wiring’s been modified slightly. The front fender’s a one-off item, and Holographic Hammer added cutaways to the engine covers to show off the cam belts. There’s also a new side stand, designed to clear the relocated foot pegs.
Up front, the Scrambler’s been upgraded with a set of 43mm, upside-down Showa forks. To make the setup fit, the triple clamps and steering head had to be modified. The headlight and speedo have been repositioned, thanks to custom brackets, and the cockpit’s finished off with a pair of clip-ons.
“We tried to make changes that look as stock as possible,” explains Sylvain. “The bike has to stay visually coherent, as if it was produced that way.”
With that in mind, the final color scheme was kept tasteful and simple. The fuel tank is still the stock Scrambler unit—stripped and treated to an anti-rust coating, with matte black side panels. The frame was also stripped down, and finished with a clear epoxy.
Holographic Hammer’s Scrambler (now dubbed ‘Hero 01’) is not only immaculately finished, but it’s over 40lbs lighter. Add to that upgraded brakes and suspension, and it should be even more fun to ride than before.
And if you’d like to see it in the flesh, it’ll be making its debut this weekend at the Wheels & Waves festival in Biarritz.