Speed Read: A garage-built Ducati 996 café racer and more

The latest café racers, flat trackers, and electric scooters.
We kick things off with a feel-good story of a botched Ducati 996 custom job, rescued by a talented garage builder. Then we look at a dazzling Yamaha SR500 flat tracker from 20-year-old Moritz Bree, a dustbin-faired Honda Dax from K-Speed, and a BMW CE 04 scooter from Deus ex Machina.

Ducati 996 café racer by Jaron Hall
Ducati 996 by Jaron Hall Most people would balk at the idea of customizing a Ducati 996, but Utah-based garage builder Jaron Hall’s work on this 996 is nothing short of noble. That’s because when Jaron got his hands on the 996, it was in dire need of saving.

The Ducati’s previous owner had tried to turn it into a scrambler, so it came to Jaron with no fairings, a hacked subframe, and a smorgasbord of sketchy parts. Working after hours (he has a marketing day job), and taking on the entire build solo, Jaron turned the mongrel 996 into a high-class Italian café racer.

Ducati 996 café racer by Jaron Hall
Once Jaron had undone the worst of the modifications, he set about fabricating a new tubular subframe to bolt to the OEM main frame. Then he built a fiberglass tail section to sit atop it, before using his mother’s sewing machine to upholster the seat in Alcantara. (The hexagonal stitching pattern is especially impressive when you consider that Jaron’s only prior sewing experience was a class in the eighth grade.)

Ducati 996 café racer by Jaron Hall
The finned taillight is another custom piece, inspired by the Aston Martin Vulcan. Jaron mocked it up with cardboard, before building the final part out of plexiglass and equipping it with LEDs.

The original 996 fuel tank is still in play, but it’s been repainted and treated to a set of classic Ducati badges. Lower down, a pair of 3D-printed air scoops flank the bike’s trellis frame. The front end also features an LED headlight, clip-ons, and an interesting front fender with an art deco blade design.

Ducati 996 café racer by Jaron Hall
Other tasty bits include a custom battery box hiding a Shorai lithium battery, an open clutch cover, and an aftermarket radiator. Jaron also tidied up the 996’s wiring, and built an exhaust system that terminates in a pair of under-seat SC-Project mufflers.

Jaron’s work on this Ducati 996 deserves two high fives—one because it’s one of the best modern Ducati café racers we’ve seen in recent years, and a second because we love a good redemption story. [Source]

Yamaha SR500 flat tracker by Moritz Bree
Yamaha SR500 by Moritz Bree At 20, Moritz Bree is younger than the age at which most custom builders get their start, but he’s already been at it for eight years. The wunderkind’s latest build is a psychedelic Yamaha SR500 flat tracker, currently being thrashed at the annual Wheels and Waves event in Biarritz, France.

Moritz bought the donor bike from a friend three years ago; a 1980’s Yamaha SR500 with a 630 cc big-bore kit, upgraded cam, and a Mikuni carb. The bike sat in the garage until recently, when sponsorship from Dickies, Red Wing, and Kedo prompted Moritz to customize the bike for Wheels and Waves. And since there’s a lot of hooligan racing at the festival, building a zesty flat tracker was a no-brainer.

Yamaha SR500 flat tracker by Moritz Bree
With no need to crack the engine open, Moritz went straight to the chassis and bodywork. The frame was de-tabbed, and a custom subframe was fabricated and welded on with help from Loose Screw in Germany. The forks were shortened, a custom swingarm was installed at the back, and 19” Excel wheels with Hoosier flat track tires were added.

Next, Moritz built the SR500’s new fuel tank, tail section, and plexiglass number boards. Carsten Esterman engraved the boards, while Sattlerei Sam handled the upholstery. Other features include ProTaper handlebars, an SC-Project exhaust, and a handful of Kedo parts.

Yamaha SR500 flat tracker by Moritz Bree
The inspiration for the wild paint job came straight from the 70s. “I wanted to give her a super 70s touch,” Moritz tells Bike Bound. “Like a bike from a 70s-style bedroom or living room. Lots of color. I’m a fan of that time; that style. I liked the Rolls-Royce of the Beatles, so it had to be funky.”

Christian Schaber laid down the retina-popping livery, while Moritz’s sister adorned the oil filler cap with an inlaid flower, picked from their garden. And once Moritz got to Biarritz, photographer Kati Dalek captured his SR500 in all of its technicolor glory. [Source]

Custom Honda Dax racer by K-Speed
Honda Dax by K-Speed Not a week goes by that K-Speed doesn’t find new and creative ways to customize Honda’s modern crop of adorable small-bore classics. But their latest custom Honda Dax is wild even by their standards.

For this project, K-Speed boss Eak wanted to dose the Honda Dax 125 with 1960s race bike style. And that meant kitting it out with a massive (relatively speaking) dustbin fairing.

Custom Honda Dax racer by K-Speed
The Dax isn’t exactly built for speed, so K-Speed manufactured the fairing from a lightweight composite fiber material. A lengthened swingarm does duty at the opposite end of the bike, stretching the bike out to visually balance out the front side. A wider-than-stock 12” wheel rolls at the back.

The rear wheel covers, lowered suspension, and exhaust muffler all come from K-Speed’s Diabolus line of parts, with a custom header positioning the muffler perfectly at the edge of the fairing. New handlebars wear fresh grips, switches, and bar ends. The footpegs have been relocated to the swingarm to stretch the riding position, with a Diabolus seat perched up top.

Custom Honda Dax racer by K-Speed
Since the Dax uses a four-speed box with a centrifugal clutch, there’s no clutch lever to contend with. So Eak devised a clever way to eliminate the scoot’s foot controls. The rear brake lever now sits on the handlebars, and the shifter has been converted to a jockey shift setup, with the shifter poking out the left side of the fairing (right next to where the speedo now sits).

As is customary for K-Speed, the Dax is swathed in satin black. The Diabolus logos on the fairing are a little bold—but since Eak designed this bike to show it off at the Bangkok Hot Rod Show, it made sense to use the real estate to his advantage. [Source]

Custom BMW CE 04 electric scooter by Deus ex Machina
BMW CE 04 by Deus ex Machina BMW once loaned me their flagship electric scooter, the BMW CE 04, for a week. And if I’m being honest, it was really hard to give back. Sure, its seat is harder than an ironing board and its price is eye-watering, but it’s extremely fun to ride.

It’s also a decidedly modern machine, with little that begs for customization. But Deus ex Machina Australia’s head wrench, Jeremy Tagand, still managed to add some flair to the sci-fi-looking scoot.

Custom BMW CE 04 electric scooter by Deus ex Machina
With no need to go overboard, Jeremy kept the mods simple and sensible. Deus’ vibe has always been motorcycles and surfing, so mounting a surfboard rack to the left-hand side was a must. An ocean-inspired wrap drives the point home, with sharp orange graphics scattered across the CE 04.

Jeremy was adamant about making sure the BMW CE 04 could get to surf spots, so he kitted it with dual sport tires. That meant removing the rear hugger and trimming down the front fender to avoid clearance issues.

Custom BMW CE 04 electric scooter by Deus ex Machina
Next, Jeremy reshaped the seat and specced it with a gripper cover. Vert Studio lent a hand designing and 3D-printing a rear cowl to finish off the tail. A Unit Garage pannier rack sits on the right-hand side of the bike, with plexiglass badges, Rizoma mirrors and turn signals, and Kellermann fog lights rounding out the spec sheet. [Deus ex Machina | Images by My Media Sydney]

Custom BMW CE 04 electric scooter by Deus ex Machina

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