Project XG-848X: Custom Ducati with hydraulic-lift tank boggles our minds
We're really at a loss for words on this one. If the goal of making a custom motorcycle is to have something conspicuously different and unique, then we'd put this one in the top 1 percent of customs we've ever seen. For starters, the tank and seat lift off the bike on hydraulic struts.
Using a 2015 Ducati 848 Streetfighter as a donor bike, Australian-based tuners at Smoked Garage broke out of their regular cafe racer/bobber groove and spent nine months building what they call "Project XG-848X."
You can definitely see where the time went, because there's not a single detail of this bike that isn't remarkable in one way or the other.
Take the indicators built into the bar ends.
And the top triple clamps, which would look steampunk if they were made out of brass. Look at the R2D2-with-a-flat-top brake and clutch reservoirs there, and the way the hose routing is turned into a design element. And the way the front shroud is shaped around that trick Motogadget dash.
Let's talk about that front shroud, too; a polished alloy sheet with carbon cut-in panels, humped over a round headlight and gigantic front fender. It reminds us of some sort of badass racing locomotive.
The tank and frame have been completely custom built to accentuate the bike's new lines, while retaining a little of that Ducati trellis flavor, and the exhaust is a tiny twin outlet built into the rear bodywork.
We haven't even addressed the really wacky bit yet. The tank and seat unit lift up off the bike on hydraulic struts.
The cynic in us would say easy maintenance access would be a boon for the average Ducati rider, but in truth it doesn't seem like it'd make maintenance any easier at all, and instead of being able to hide wiring under the tank, the guys have designed themselves another area that needs to look beautiful.
Color us impressed. There's not much conventional about this bike, not everyone's going to like it, and lord knows how well it works on the road, but it's a piece of art, a conversation starter, a true original and a wonderful realization of a very odd concept. We've never seen anything like it. Bravo!