BMW Motorrad Spezial

Ducati Hypermotard custom

Hypermotard Ducati
Of all the bikes we’ve featured over the past couple of years, I reckon this would be one of the best for flinging down a twisty road. It’s owned by Michel Vis, who bought the Hypermotard in 2008 after its first owner low-sided it with only 300 miles on the clock. “It was declared a total loss, which in the US means a salvage title,” says Michel. “So it could be had for relatively cheap.” Then Michel contacted Sean McDougall of McDougall Racing & Fabrication to design and fabricate a new tank, subframe and exhaust. “The tank and subframe came together great, albeit after much back and forth discussion, giving the bike a lean, slender and edgy feel.” The seat is now a firm and narrow Honda CRF item, and the exhaust and headers are also custom items—hooked up to a Competition Werkes Yamaha R6 muffler. According to Michel, “it took several renditions (and a burnt right leg) to get it to flow with the bike and increase the ground clearance.”

Hypermotard Ducati
After the fabrication stage was finished, the Hypermotard was shipped to Michel’s hometown of Seattle, and he tore it down again for several rounds of powdercoating. He also added Öhlins forks (tuned by Andreani) and replaced the stock wheels with carbon fiber BST rims. (“Unfortunately, the rear is a 6” which means a 190-section rear tire, and thus no available rains—my only regret.”) Rizoma rearsets, Beringer master cylinders, Kellerman indicators and a Yamaha MT-03 headlight fitted with custom brackets give the bike a clean, minimalist look.

Hypermotard Ducati
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my friends and the master-fabricators/motivators on the customfighters website,” says Michel, “without whom this build would not have been possible. There is an amazing wealth of knowledge and many inspirational projects on that forum.” Michel’s Hypermotard is now with a proud new owner, “but it’s going to be one of those bikes I’ll miss for a lifetime. One day I’ll probably come back to Ducati, and build another unique and unconventional bike!”

PS: A big welcome to our latest sponsor, the Italian menswear company Esemplare. Their clothing is designed for longevity, featuring classic styling and natural fibres such as cotton and linen—plus hi-tech materials to guarantee maximum comfort, breathability and waterproofing.

Hypermotard Ducati

  • On a scale of one to hell yes – I would beat the crap out of that, never clean it, and frighten small childeren whilst tearing around corners with the tail out bouncing off the rev-limiter. This receives the latter designation.

  • Andrew

    that is sexy as hell. love the subtle use of red and gold.

    • Fastgabe

      I think women are sexy more so than motorcycles

  • Micah

    What is the left side too ugly to be seen?

    • It’s where all the exhaust work is done, I’m sure what they’re trying to feature the most.

  • Gerrard

    clean and minimalist?

    • Locomotiveclothing

      I know…hillarious, right? But, wow, is it ever incredible in so many ways…

  • elven

    Looks like a serious fun machine :-)

  • Spike

    Whats wrong with the original???

    • elven

      ANYTHING (except my wife… ;-) ) can be improved upon, changed just for you.
      I’ve never oned a bike, car, house that I hven’t customised.

      • elven

        sorry, old keyb ard

    • That duckbill front fender!

  • Anonymous

    Not bad at all, but I would have routed the front pipe under the motor, it would have looked a lot cleaner.

  • Brian

    I’m the proud new owner of this machine. The noise this bike makes brings my small town to it’s knees. Thanks to my wife for taking such beautiful pictures.

    • +1 on the thanks to the wife, Brian — they’re terrific shots.

    • Mikep

      Awesome bike. Nice work.

  • Mitchalison

    Jealous Brian. Extremely jealous. Going green as I’m typing this. You lucky sod.

  • d2237

    Only four pics, C’mon….D2237

  • Yan

    Really? It’s not often the customs on here look worse than the stocker, and I’m not particularly a fan of the hypermotard. If ‘edgy’ is what you’re into then its certainly that. Looks beautifully prepared but the term ‘polishing a turd’ springs to mind.

  • Greevous

    For whatever reason, I don’t think most Ducati-based custom projects come out looking good. The bikes are pretty slick to begin with and it seems like a lot of people that chop them up in one way or another lose the original lines pretty quickly – so that the bikes seem like a mish-mash of things. This works well though. Nice work.

  • This is the kind of bike that was designed to ‘look’ tough rather than designed to BE tough. Nonsense billet components (who takes an open dry clutch through gravel or mud?) carbon fiber wheels that cant even fit the right tyres, no mudguards (except on the shocks?)… etc. The end result being a bike that is neither aesthetically pleasing or functional.

    If this exact same thing had been done to a more pedestrian crotch rocket (as it is 1000’s of times each year), it would be nowhere near this website. Motorcycles should be the distillation of finesse, fitness, grace and power. The pure essence of function dictating beautiful form. This bike couldn’t be farther from the mark of what makes a good motorcycle.

    Unless you judge it based on idiots giving you complements outside bars, in which case, congratulations, you’ve built an ‘orange county chopper’…

    tough love.

  • Kerry

    I think Graham’s comments above are valid on a number of levels, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with building a bike that is meant to look tough instead of being tough. By comparison, I know a number of people with fully equipped dressers – capable of and designed for thousand mile long journeys (and more) – who never go more than 50 miles in a day.

    I don’t think the OCC reference is completely fair in that this bike is, at the very least, one that is capable of being ridden and that would give the rider tremendous feedback through twists and turns. Nimble I’d say.

    But, while I have owned bikes with and do tend to like single-sided swingarms, in this case it just doesn’t work for me here. I too dislike the headlight as it reminds me a Transformers character. The boxy tubular frame just doesn’t seem to mesh well with the Stealth Fighter lines of the tanks and other body work. And, frankly, a 190 rear street tire mixed with a dual purpose front just looks like you left the house with two different shoes on.

  • Your Daddy

    It’s a motard, not an enduro, so it wasn’t really meant for off-road use in the first place.

    It looks like it would be a LOT of fun to ride in the city, not to mention on less than perfectly surfaced country roads.

    Aesthetics are subjective, and while clearly not to everyone’s taste, I happen to think this bike looks fantastic. I particularly enjoy the unexpected contrast of trellis frame, custom bodywork, exhaust welds and mismatched tyres.

    Why the haters hate is beyond me. I may not agree with some of the details, but I allow myself enjoy the quirky diversity of builds like this rather than pontificate. And if I really don’t like the bike, I’ll move on rather than pontificate.

    • +1

    • Anonymous

      My bike has mismatched tyres: a full “wet” SuperMoto on the front (just like this one) and an intermediate on the back….
      It works beautifully on the tight roads where I live, endless grip at the front, even on the goat sh¡t in the bends, with the occasional shimmy from the back. Shame the front tyre only lasts 500kms.
      I didn’t even consider how it might look.

  • Anti

    Imagination, creativity and the balls to finish a project. This bike is rad. I want to ride it!

    Plus who’d want to ride this mud and gravel anyway? Take out the scrambler for that one.

    Once this bike has a proper sports tire on the front, it’ll be rock solid.

  • cars

    what is that front tire?

    • elven

      Looks like a SuperMoto Wet tyre, perhaps Avon ProXtreme Rain ?

  • evilgiles


    And to those who think that it isn’t as attractive as the original… The build didn’t start with a hypermotard… It started with a wreck…

  • Anonymous

    Now that’s a weapon! Look out sportsbikes.

  • Thanks for all the comments, it’s been a fun build! The front tyre is indeed an Avon ProXtreme rain, good eye Elven!

    Brian, thanks again to you and the wife for the awesome shots!!

  • Aburkin10

    At last, a tank that really matches the edgy style of the rest of the core bike!. Like the other mods as well. Mismatched tires is quirky, I get it. Nice!

  • Raul Vicente

    One thing I love about motorcycles: we can do whatever we please, regardless of function or form. This bike’s a beautiful rideable sculpture, not my kind of bike but definately the owner’s dream, and that’s what truly counts in a custom. I own an SV650N full stock and love it that way, so to each his own. Congrats!!

  • Reeroo

    I’ve never given motards a second look until this one. Sick bike. Don’t know what it is about it but I like it.