Motorcycles

Project XG-848X: Custom Ducati with hydraulic-lift tank boggles our minds

Project XG-848X: Custom Ducati...
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: we've never seen one quite like this before
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: we've never seen one quite like this before
View 16 Images
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: polished alloy tank
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: polished alloy tank
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: hydraulic tank lift mechanism
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: hydraulic tank lift mechanism
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: trick Motogadget dash
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: trick Motogadget dash
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: radiator shroud
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: radiator shroud
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: tank/seat unit lifts up on hydraulic struts. Why? Who knows? 
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: tank/seat unit lifts up on hydraulic struts. Why? Who knows? 
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: open engine covers leave cam belts swinging in the wind
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: open engine covers leave cam belts swinging in the wind
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: tiny taillight
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: tiny taillight
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: open cam belts 
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: open cam belts 
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: with a side profile like that, the lift-up tank section might not be the weirdest thing about this bike
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: with a side profile like that, the lift-up tank section might not be the weirdest thing about this bike
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: polished alloy/carbon bodywork
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: polished alloy/carbon bodywork
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: we've never seen one quite like this before
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: we've never seen one quite like this before
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: indicators built into the bar ends
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: indicators built into the bar ends
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: trick top triple clamp and brake/clutch reservoirs
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: trick top triple clamp and brake/clutch reservoirs
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: unique custom front fairing
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: unique custom front fairing
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: like a heroic racing locomotive
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: like a heroic racing locomotive
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: custom frame and tank
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Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: custom frame and tank
View gallery - 16 images

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.

Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: indicators built into the bar ends
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: 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.

Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: trick top triple clamp and brake/clutch reservoirs
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: trick top triple clamp and brake/clutch reservoirs

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.

Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: like a heroic racing locomotive
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: like a heroic 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.

Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: custom frame and tank
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: custom frame and tank

We haven't even addressed the really wacky bit yet. The tank and seat unit lift up off the bike on hydraulic struts.

Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: with a side profile like that, the lift-up tank section might not be the weirdest thing about this bike
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: with a side profile like that, the lift-up tank section might not be the weirdest thing about this bike

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.

Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: open engine covers leave cam belts swinging in the wind
Smoked Garage Project XG-848X: open engine covers leave cam belts swinging in the wind

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!

Source: Smoked Garage via Drivetribe

View gallery - 16 images
6 comments
Martin Hone
Beautifully executed, for sure. But lacking style and cohesiveness.....If looking for something different, well, it is that !
Buellrider
Nice looking but probably blinding when the sun hits it. I really like the hydraulic lift action of the tank and seat. I'm assuming that you need to disconnect the fuel line before the lifting can be accomplished. A rider sure would be noticed on that bike for sure. Great job.
nuk
Could anyone state the real purpose of the seat and tank lift up? Cuz if the handlebars stay in the same place, i can't really see the point..
axio
motorbike with ejection seat .. hmm... could be useful
ljaques
What is that, $286,000 worth of butt fugly? It would blind you before it burned you on a sunny day. I like the silly/fun/expensive tank idea. How else could you ding a customer an extra $40k? It looks ergonomically disastrous as well. What is the purpose? Someone with too much money threw a duffel bag full of it to them and said "do something different"? Of course, I didn't like most of Jesse James' stuff, either, but the airplane radial motor conversions were fun. The tank lift was well executed.
Daishi
It looks like something out of a sci fi movie. I actually kind of like the look of the front fairing and wheel cover