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.”
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.
“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.