There’s an unspoken truth about building custom motorcycles: you don’t have to change everything. Sometimes it’s enough to just switch up a few parts, and leave others alone.
But Tony Prust feels differently—he’s an extra mile kind of guy, who works with a sharp eye and meticulous hands. It’s an especially good approach when you’re building a race bike, like this Ducati Hypermotard—because everything you do in the workshop matters on the track.
The ethos comes from Tony’s time as an avid track rider, before an injury prompted him to dial things back and open his custom shop Analog Motorcycles in Chicago.
“When you get into track riding and don’t have a lot of money,” he says, “you learn to do a lot of stuff yourself. I got pretty good at taking things apart—cleaning, tuning and rebuilding.”
Tony had always wanted to race seriously, but never had the means. Then last year he decided to enter his first ever race. He ran his KTM EXC530 in the supermoto class, because it was “the closest race-worthy machine” he had available at the time. He finished a creditable 7th.
A customer-slash-friend, Del Thomas, went along to spectate—and got in touch soon after. “Del called me and said: ‘I think I want to build a race bike,’” Tony tells us. “I said, ‘Maybe you should try a track day first,’ but he replied, ‘No, I want you to race it!’”
“Del wanted to fund a custom-built bike that I would get to race—it was like a dream come true. I wanted to sit down and grab dinner first to iron out the expectations, but after that, it was game on.”
As an engineer, Del is a numbers guy. So as soon as he and Tony had agreed on the terms of the project, Tony was flooded with spreadsheets detailing all the ARHMA classes, and what bikes can compete in them.
“We honed in on what we could build that he would like (a Ducati), that I would want to ride, and that could be competitive in its class.”
They settled on the ‘Battle of the Twins 2’ class; air-cooled twins up to 900 cc. Ducati’s 796 motor with an 840 cc kit would give the best possible power-to-weight ratio in the class, but Tony had to figure out which bike to start with. Since he likes the ergonomics of supermotards, a 2010 Ducati Hypermotard 796 turned out to be just the ticket.
The L-twin motor was treated to the planned 840 cc upgrade, along with a MotoCorse performance intake, and a quick shifter and PCV from DynoJet. It’s also sporting titanium bolts, and a 520 chain conversion with new sprockets from Driven.
Tony fabricated a new breather box, and a new mid-section for the exhaust. The two-into-one system now terminates in a stainless steel muffler from Cone Engineering.
Moving to the chassis, Analog swapped out the suspension and triple clamps to those from a Ducati Hypermotard 1100S. Both ends got upgraded with internals from Race Tech, along with a Ducabike adjustable linkage for the rear.
They also borrowed the 17-inch alloy 1100S wheels, because they’re lighter, and the Brembo brake calipers. The tires are Metzeler race slicks, the master cylinders are top-shelf Magura HC3 items, and the brake lines are from Spiegler.
Everyone knows the best thing to add to a race bike is lightness, so Tony went to great lengths to trim what little fat the Hypermotard had.
He swapped out the tank panels, top section and rear hugger for lightweight carbon fiber parts. The front fender’s also carbon fiber (from a Ducati Streetfighter), and is mounted up on custom-made brackets.
The rear fender, side number plates and front nacelle are all custom pieces, shaped from aluminum. But Tony’s already looking for ways to replicate them in carbon fiber, and add them to his Analog Motor Goods catalog.
Other add-ons include a iOneMoto belly pan, and R&G axle sliders and engine protectors. Tony also picked a WireCare cable management system and WireCare heat shielding, and installed Magura bars and CNC Racing rear sets.
Dane Utech at Plz.Be.Seated whipped up a stunning new perch, while Ron Siminak handled Analog’s tasteful paint and graphics. There’s not a hair out of place—and there are probably a hundred little details that Tony hasn’t told us about, too.
The Hyper8 will debut at Laguna Seca in California this weekend—a track Tony has always dreamed of racing on. But are he and the bike up to the challenge?
“We did a bunch of work to get this machine into race trim, and as good as we can make it, in the time we had,” he says. “We’ll spend this season fine tuning and working out any kinks. We went from a 418-pound machine with 71 hp to a 385-pound bike with 83 hp, which should perform and turn heads while doing it.”
“Hopefully I have the skill to pilot it quickly and safely around the track!”
A message from Tony: We want to thank all our sponsors who have hopped on board for the 2020 race season. Our title sponsor WireCare has been amazing in the shop and we look forward to working with them more. Our long-time shop sponsor Spectro Oils for all the fluids. Magura, R&G Racing, Metzeler tires, Cone Engineering, and Race Tech. And of course, Mr. Del Thomas for this incredible build and this experience.
Published at Fri, 07 Feb 2020 17:01:30 +0000