Wrench, Ride, Repeat: Analog reworks the Bimota DB3, again

Custom Bimota DB3 Mantra by Analog Motorcycles
Of all the motorcycles that Bimota ever made, the DB3 Mantra is perhaps the most peculiar. As you’d expect from the Italian firm, the DB3 featured a Ducati engine in an aluminum trellis frame and was known for its nimble handling. But its alien-like aesthetic was a little too far out there for most pundits.

As rare as the Bimota DB3 Mantra is, customized examples of it are even rarer. We’ve only ever featured one custom DB3 on these pages—and now, that very same bike is back for another round. It’s just gone under the knife for the second time at Analog—and now looks even better.

Custom Bimota DB3 Mantra by Analog Motorcycles
The DB3’s first makeover happened eleven years ago, when Analog’s Tony Prust modified it for his good friend and drummer of the rock band Chevelle, Sam Loeffler. The bike made waves at the inaugural Handbuilt and Mama Tried shows, and starred in an episode of Café Racer TV. More importantly, Sam rode it… a lot.

More recently, Sam brought the bike back to Tony for a couple of mild changes. He wanted a front suspension upgrade, and he wanted to add a front fender (something that was excluded the first time around).

Custom Bimota DB3 Mantra by Analog Motorcycles
“I was reluctant,” says Tony. “In my opinion, it was a popular build in its time and I was proud of it, for the most part, as it was. Sure, there were some things that if I had to do again I would have made different choices—but it was a ‘finished’ Analog build.”

“Sam revisited the conversation a number of times and I finally caved. But I said that if we were doing that, what if we did more things, now that I have honed my skills since the original build. Sam was stoked on that idea and delivered the bike to our TN location.”

Custom Bimota DB3 Mantra by Analog Motorcycles
Swapping out the Bimota’s traditional forks for upside-downs proved to be one of the easier jobs on the project. Tony sourced a set of Ducati Monster 900 units, and then had his buddy Bill Bailey machine a new steering stem to marry the Monster’s yokes to the the Bimota’s frame. The whole arrangement was stripped, powder-coated black, and reassembled.

“After that was done, I had a mental block and the project stalled for a bit,” Tony tells us. “I left it on a bench while I worked on other projects for months, and then it finally started to take shape.”

Custom Bimota DB3 Mantra by Analog Motorcycles
Focusing on the bodywork, Tony started fabricating new parts to complement the one piece he intended to keep—the fuel tank. “When I built it I did not know how to shape metal,” he explains. “But I was a carpenter by trade for many years, so I made a wood buck of the tank and hired Mike Ardito to make it.”

“He also made the tail section—but since I did not have a wood buck for it, it kind of ended up more his idea than mine. I was still learning my craft back then.”

Custom Bimota DB3 Mantra by Analog Motorcycles
Tony’s skillset has grown a heck of a lot over the last eleven years. So he fabricated a new tail section from scratch this time, finishing it off with a deeply scooped saddle. The arrangement is a perfect match for the fuel tank’s myriad contours and edges, and sits nicely in the previously-redesigned subframe.

Next, Tony built a matching front fender, complete with a pair of integrated Denali LEDs that act as running lights and turn signals. Higher up, a custom-made headlight nacelle plays host to a Denali LED headlight, while the rear sports a Denail taillight and Analog turn signals.

Custom Bimota DB3 Mantra by Analog Motorcycles
The bike already had tasty Alpine wheels and ISR brakes fitted, so those were left alone. The engine had also been rebuilt in the previous round, and was still running strong with Keihin flat-slide carbs, velocity stacks, and an EVR slipper clutch. So Tony simply swapped out the exhaust for a bespoke two-into-one system, freeing up a little more torque in the process.

The Bimota was rewired around a Motogadget mo.unit box, with a Motogadget speedo doing duty in the cockpit. Tony also swapped the existing clip-on bars for a set of Renthal riser bars, installed a custom-built Hyperpro rear shock, and fitted fresh Spiegler brake lines.

Custom Bimota DB3 Mantra by Analog Motorcycles
Although the DB3’s custom fuel tank looks the same as before, it’s actually sporting a new coat of paint. Tony had KC at Krossover Customs replicate the original livery, carrying it through to the new fender, fairing, and tail. Regular Analog co-conspirator, Dane Utech, handled the seat foam and upholstery.

Analog’s second crack at the Bimota DB3 Mantra not only looks more cohesive than the first, but it’s reportedly more comfortable too (yes, Sam still rides it). It’s a rare case of the sequel outshining the original.

Analog Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Enrique Parilla

Custom Bimota DB3 Mantra by Analog Motorcycles

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