The Ducati SportClassic was a bike ahead of its time—a machine that married retro café-style looks with thoroughly modern performance. It’s now in hot demand on the secondhand market, and a favorite with custom builders looking for a rock-solid platform with ‘good bones.’
This SportClassic is the work of Revival Cycles, and it’s more heavily modified than most. The owner took it to the Texas workshop after the voltage regulator set the seat and wiring harness on fire. “It came to us a bit battered and bruised,” says Revival’s founder Alan Stulberg. “The owner is 6’5″ and loved the bike, but wished it would fit his tall frame a bit better—and of course, quit catching fire!”
Revival started work on a new subframe and seat, and began designing a stretched-out aluminum tank to match. “It was all downhill from there,” says Alan. “Why stop at tins and a tail section if you can customize everything else?”
The new rear subframe is over 6” thinner than the previous seat and tail, and Revival took care to get the geometry just right—since this is a mono-shock bike that places the full rear suspension load on only one side of the frame. The seat was moved back over 5″ and now fit its owner perfectly. Revival also relocated the steering damper to a less conspicuous spot, and de-tabbed the frame to the point that it could almost be fully hand-built.
Revival then CNC-cut an aluminum plate to allow them to use the factory fuel pump inside the new custom tank, minus the low-hanging sump of the stock tank. “This really opened up the frame, and gives it a much lighter profile.” New alloy fenders add to the visual lightness, along with a Motogadget Chronoclassic instrument that integrates with the factory sensors seamlessly.
Before assembly, the frame and swingarm were nickel-plated, and there’s a neat homage to the Ducati Paul Smart from the exposed aluminum stripe on the tank. The custom exhaust system is a work of art in its own right, with carefully sectioned and hand-welded stainless pipes that took many days to get right. “I like to say the bike sounds like it is about to kick someone’s ass in a bar fight,” says Alan. “The cops that pulled us over the other night for speeding said the same thing and let us off with a warning because they loved it so much.”
The wheels are Alpina carbon fiber items and there’s a full Discacciati braking system too, from JC/Pakbikes. The wheels are shod with Michelin Pilot racing wet-weather tires—“Simply because they perform amazingly well on dry roads, and look great.”
A custom ECU extracts the maximum power from the engine, and the bike has been rewired around a Motogadget M-unit. (“Every bike should have one. It makes planning and rewiring your custom bike almost too easy.”) The suspension also got attention, with full Öhlins front and rear, and custom triple trees. “I think that some people buy Öhlins for the great gold color they come with, but we instead decided to sand and polish the forks and the rear shock to go with the nickel frame and polished alloy bits.”
Without a doubt, this is Revival’s best build yet—and the highest-performance one too. It’s also passed hundreds of miles of testing without a flaw. “It sounds amazing, runs perfectly, carves corners like a race bike and stops on a dime,” says Alan. “It is hands down our favorite motorcycle we’ve ever built.”
Head over to the Revival Cycles website for more information on their projects, and keep up to date with the company’s news via their Facebook page. You can see our coverage of their previous work here.