Return of the Cafe Racers - The Diavel made me do it – MotoCorsa Ducati

The Diavel made me do it – MotoCorsa Ducati

Once again Portland’s annual ‘One Motorcycle Show’ has generated a raft of incredible custom builds from North American workshops. Customised retro and classic motorcycles dominated the 2016 One Show lineup, but there was also a spattering of stunning modern builds in the mix. This year one such bike was a collaborative effort between Portland-based Ducati dealership MotoCorsa and talented metal fabricator Jeff Johnson of Illeagle Designs. Using hand-formed bodywork they’ve replaced the smooth curves of their 2012 Ducati Diavel with angular alloy that transforms Ducati’s bullish bike into a sci-fi looking street machine.

Around 2 years ago MotoCorsa general manager Arun Sharma (the genius behind the ‘Manigale’ tongue in cheek ad campaign and the 1199 Ducati Terracorsa), got his hands on the heavily damaged Diavel. His ethos of always pushing boundaries meant the bike was destined for something extreme and the 2016 One Motorcycle Show was just the incentive he needed to set the project in motion.

“The design brief was pretty open.” recalls MotoCorsa technician Marc Friedman. “Ditch the plastic tank and replace it with one made of aluminum. Make it angular, and angry looking.” For this Marc called upon Jeff Johnson of Illeagle Designs.

“Arun specified to Jeff that he wanted the two large scallops to hide the gauge and to match the shape and size of the seat. I think the most impressive part on the bodywork though turned out to be Jeff’s gas tank, or more specifically, the underside of the tank that nobody will see. He hand made the tank to replicate the weirdness going on under there so that we didn’t lose any fuel capacity. Jeff’s always great with the hidden detail stuff that nobody sees. The seat lock mechanisms, the way panels attach. It’s all very trick work.”

To compliment Arun’s vision Jeff also devised an angular, tessellation style pattern for the sides of the tank, tail and headlight surround. To help improve engine cooling he also added a pair of gilled side panels and fabricated a unique headlight cowl.

For the seat Marc put together a rudimentary template which was mailed out to Ginger at New Church Moto for upholstering. “Ginger made the seat based on an email back and forth and my really shitty cardboard template. That’s why I use her, she has a tremendous ability to understand what the design in my head looks like and how to make it happen!”

While Jeff and Ginger were working on their part of the bargain, Marc and the MotoCorsa team addressed the rest of the bike. Damaged parts were replaced by Ducati Performance items like the carbon belly pan and billet case covers. To continue the billet and black scheme they raided the Rizoma Diavel parts catalogue, adding rear set foot pegs, brake reservoirs, handlebar clamps and various engine dress up parts. A twin stacked, carbon encased Termignoni exhaust and Brembo RCS brake mod make up the extent of the bikes performance upgrades and there’s a set of trick 14-spoke forged Ducati Performance wheels that they’ve wrapped in Pirelli Diablo Rosso II rubber.

All of the lighting on the bike is now powered by LED technology. The headlight is a Kawell off road spot/flood light unit and the discreet indicators and tail light were all supplied by Radiantz. Since this motorcycles been built to be ridden, Arun has wisely added Speedymoto frame sliders to protect Jeff’s beautiful bodywork in the event of a spill. According to Marc the bike still needs paint, but, being the raw alloy addict that I am, I think it looks great just the way it is!

Photography by Enginethusiast


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