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Speed Read, 3 January 2021

The latest motorcycle news and customs
We kick off our first Speed Read of the year with a Ducati Scrambler kit from Hookie Co. with a strong 90s vibe. Then we look at a strikingly beautiful tribute to Arturo Magni, a Suzuki DR600 cafe racer from France, and the adorable 1940s Doodle Bug scooter.

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled by Hookie Co.
Ducati Scrambler ‘Scorpion’ by Hookie Co. One major trend that emerged in 2020 was a focus on plug-and-play custom bike kits, with companies like Hookie Co. leading the charge. They’ve stacked their catalog with a number of bolt-on bits, and full kits for the BMW R nineT and Yamaha XSR700. Almost everything they make now has ease-of-use baked in.

This ultra-fresh Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled is their latest build, and pulls inspiration from 90s pop culture, sci-fi, Akira, and a Nike trail running shoe. And yes: it’ll soon be available as a limited edition kit, and as individual bolt-on parts.

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled by Hookie Co.
Dubbed ‘Scorpion,’ the design uses a handful of cleverly designed parts to create a radically different look. The main pieces are the new fuel tank side panels: Hookie 3D printed them from a durable material called AE12, and they’re mounted and reinforced with an aluminum frame. Each panel also features an LED strip for additional lighting.

There’s a matching set of mini ‘number boards’ at the back, with a host of smaller changes to set this Desert Sled apart.

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled by Hookie Co.
Up front, Hookie mounted the increasingly popular Koso Thunderbolt LED headlight in a custom surround. There’s also a set of hand guards, Hookie’s own ‘Frozen’ grips and fork-mounted turn signals, a set of Kellermann rear signals, and a discreet pair of mirrors.

The seat’s subtly been shortened and recovered, to make space for a small tool roll. And the dark camo and purple livery is absolute 90s perfection. Add a set of Earle Motors swingarm extenders and a 21F/18R wheel set to this, and this would be the neo-retro dual-sport of our dreams. [Hookie Co.]

MV Agusta Magni Italia 01/01
MV Agusta Magni Italia 01/01 When Arturo Magni passed away just over five years ago, he left an indelible legacy behind. He was at the helm of MV Agusta’s racing program during their heyday—when names like Agostini, Read and Hailwood were bagging championships. And the company he started with his sons, Magni Motorcycles, continues to produce some of the most lust-worthy machines you can buy.

MV Agusta Magni Italia 01/01
The boutique Italian marque has now paid tribute to its founder in spectacular fashion, with the Magni Italia 01/01. Built around a triple-cylinder motor from an MV Agusta Brutale 800, with a custom chromoly frame, it’s a stunning one-off special and a worthy homage.

It also recalls many of Arturo’s past designs, concepts and preferences.

MV Agusta Magni Italia 01/01
The tank and tail lines are a nod to the Magni MV Agusta back catalog, while the fairing is an entirely new creation. Magni opted for a half-fairing design, because Arturo reportedly used to like how it gave a bike a “sporty appearance,” while still leaving the mechanical bits exposed.

The Italia 01/01’s parts list is as eye watering as you’d expect. It has custom suspension from ORAM, 18” wire spoke wheels from JoNich and Brembo brakes, and smaller details like Ariete grips and a Scitsu tacho. It’s hard to argue with this MV Agusta’s classic lines, the all-red paint job, and those flowing asymmetrical exhausts. [Magni Motorcycles | Images by Alex Olgiati Photo]

Suzuki DR600 cafe racer by Eddy Cuccaro
Suzuki DR600 cafe racer by Eddy Cuccaro Like most Japanese thumpers of the time, the late-80s Suzuki DR600 Djebel is simple, bulletproof, and able to go just about anywhere. But is it suitable fodder for a cafe racer build? French builder Eddy Cuccaro says oui.

Eddy picked up this 1987 DR600 wit a supermotard conversion, but he envisioned something else entirely. Luckily, Eddy’s skillset includes welding and machining, and he has access to waterjet cutting facilities. But he also has a day job—so this cafe racer took him two years to piece together, working in breaks and after hours, and on a tight budget.

Suzuki DR600 cafe racer by Eddy Cuccaro
Despite those limitations, the result is hella impressive, thanks to a creative pick-‘n-mix parts spec. Eddy’s used the forks from a GSX-R750, a Yamaha XTZ 750 front wheel hub, Nissin brake calipers on custom mounting plates, and brake discs imported from Germany. And the rear end’s been converted to a mono-shock setup, with a DR650 swingarm and the Showa shock from a Ducati Monster.

The front fairing’s off a Suzuki RGV 250—trimmed down, and modded to take two vertical lights. The fuel tank’s from a 1981 Suzuki GSX 750E, with a Yamaha R6 filler neck grafted in, so that Eddy could mount the gas cap he wanted. And the tail section is a custom piece, complete with an embedded LED rear light.

Suzuki DR600 cafe racer by Eddy Cuccaro
Eddy also rebuilt the motor, and fabricated the stainless steel exhaust system himself, complete with a pair of hidden dB killers. All that he didn’t do himself, was the classic Suzuki paint job and the upholstery; he left those to DP Custom and Joan Sellerie, respectively.

This 80s dirt bike now not only looks spectacular, but also weighs 145 kilos, wet. “I live at the foot of the Alps,” says Eddy, “and the bike rides well on the bends and the hairpins of the passes. This bike is not meant to be in a living room.” [Eddy’s Workbench]

The 1940s Doodle Bug scooter
The Doodle Bug scooter If there’s one thing we want to see more of in 2021, it’s small, retro-themed mopeds with electric motors. And the adorable Doodle Bug is the perfect little blueprint.

The Doodle Bug was made by the Beam Manufacturing Company in Webster City, Iowa, post World War II, as competition for the popular Cushman scooters at the time. Over 40,000 units were built between 1946 and 1948, to be sold via the Gambles chain of department stores.

The 1940s Doodle Bug scooter
It was mostly targeted at youths that were too young to buy a full-fledged motorcycle. In other words, it was inexpensive, and too small (read: slow) to require a license.

Some Doodle Bugs featured a Clinton motor, but most had the popular Briggs & Stratton NP engine. The motor sat under the generously padded seat, wedged into a tubular steel frame, with a pair of steel floorboards for the rider’s feet. Simplicity at its best.

The 1940s Doodle Bug scooter
This particular Doodle Bug is for sale via Mecum, and will undoubtedly be snapped up quickly. That’s because these pint-sized scoots are still popular today, with an annual gathering for owners and restorers happening each year in Webster City.

Companies like Super73 and Zooz have cracked the code for building small, electric two-wheelers that tug at our nostalgia. But the Doodle Bug, and the mission it has in the 40s, has us thinking… shouldn’t more manufacturers be doing this today? [Via]

The 1940s Doodle Bug scooter

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