Sean's S2R 1000 Ducati Chopper
This feature is one that's a big deal for me, because while Sean is the current owner...I built it! I learned a lot on this build, and met a lot of cool people because of it. It's part chopper, part bobber, and it sparked the idea for this website/blog. There's more story to this bike than I could fit in this article, or you would care to read, so I'll try to keep it as brief as possible.
A Ducati Chopper?
This bike started life as a 2006 Ducat Monster S2R 1000 with less than 2000 miles on it. I bought it wrecked with a wiped out set of fork tubes, a bent rear frame section, tweaked handle bars, and bunch of other issues associated with a minor crash. These issues weren't a big deal because I planned on chopping up all that stuff anyway. I always thought it would be cool to do a chop/bob job out of something a little different, but still make it a budget build. The words “Ducati” and “budget” don’t normally go together, but we made it work.
I completely disassembled the bike taking caution to not damage the wire harness. I wanted to retain all the factory electronics and just relocate and hide everything (I know, not typical of a bob job) The S2R’s DS 1000 is arguably one of the most dependable motors Ducati ever built, so I didn't want to mess with that too much. After dis-assembly, I was able to inspect the main section of the trellis frame for any hidden cracks or damage and it checked out clean.
With everything stripped down, the bike started to talk to me a little bit. I decided I wanted to rake the front end, definitely slam it down a good bit, and have a solo seat. I wanted it to be kind of old school without looking like I was trying too hard, because……well…….it’s not an old bike. I went through about 3 different sets of bars before I found what I liked; a set of keystones from Biltwell. The famous Ducati trellis frame made designing a tank tricky, without a biggish tank, the bike just looked weird, it doesn't have any of the structural lines that a traditional chopper or bobber has. So I had to get creative to fill in some of the negative space. I wanted mid-controls so the bike would be comfy, but still be able to chuck around a bit in the curves and retain some of its sporty-ness. The mid controls also lined my knees up pretty good to the café style indentations in the tank.
Cuttin’ and Weldin’
I call myself a 50 MPH welder, meaning any of the stuff that could kill me at speeds over 50 MPH; I wanted a pro to weld, so I hooked up with Bobby Weston when it came time to start welding up the frame mods. Bobby was able to lay some beautiful weld beads, as well as help with lots of other design work, like the foot controls that had to come forward about a foot from their previous location, and the pipes. After the rake was done, the majority of the steering was lost, so we completely reconfigured the top part of the trellis frame to allow for full lock to lock steering. The rake ended up around 34 degrees. Bobby hand fabbed the tank, and fender as well. He let me hang around the shop and do some of the grunt work. Bobby also did all the tooling on the leather seat. He’s a regular renaissance man. Check him out at www.gunslingerleather.net Once I got the bike back from Bobby’s shop, it was time for me to get back to work on the mock up assembly, make the brakes and clutch work, track down parts, adjust the suspension, and fit all the bits and pieces.
The Spaghetti Incident
As I got to the point of laying out the wiring on this modern fuel injected mess, I discovered the bane of my existence: the harness. I bought a great PDF shop manual on E-Bay for 12 bucks, and it helped, but the wiring was getting the best of me. Enter Stuart Baker of www.flightcycles.com Stu was not only a Monster challenge champion, Ducati genius, and wiring nerd, he was also a recent transplant to Albuquerque…….the project gods had smiled upon me. I met Stu on www.ducatimonsterforum.org Upon Stu’s arrival to Burque, I quickly enlisted his help on the giant bowl of spaghetti I called the harness. Stu was able to make sense of the harness, and lengthen and shorten miles of wire to fit my ridiculous design, he also helped make the thing run, a huge milestone in this 2.5 year project. Stu (like Bobby) let me help where I could and gave me lots of “homework” to get done between wiring visits. This helped a lot with the money factor, and allowed me to learn a ton of stuff from Stu.
Now It's Sean's
Sean Hampton is one of my best friends, and has helped me work on tons of bikes including this one, he's been in love with the idea of this bike from it's inception. Sean always joked about buying the bike since it was a frame on the stand, but one day the jokes became serious as Sean showed up with cash. I struggled with selling it a little, but I had been concidering getting back on four wheels and I couldn't think of a better buyer than Sean.
Sean made a few mods to the bike right away, the first of which was crashing it! (he's fine, I can kid) He got right to work repairing all the one off parts like the tank and fender. Sean decided to paint the bike since he had it all apart. Sean is a member of the no garage club with Nate Moody and Kurt Steplowski, and laid down a great paint job in his back yard! He made other upgrades to the levers and lines and clutch. The bike is all together again and looks better than ever, Sean did a great job picking up where I left off. There's rumor of it getting sold again...
Quick and Dirty Interview. with myself..??
Q: What was your favorite part of the build?
A: My favorite part was the day we made the bike run, a 1000cc Ducati with straight pipes in a closed garage makes an awesome sound! I love the pipes.
Q: What's your favorite tool?
A: Definitely my motorcycle lift. The table ended the wrecked back from hours in the garage.
Q: What did you decide to spend money on, and trust to the pros?
A: Stu made the wiring a world easier, and taught me a lot along the way; money well spent! and of course Bobby's fabrication work.
Q: Approximate total cost?
A: Around 9K
Q: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to build or modify their motorcycle?
A: Definitely start with a running rolling bike. Don’t go to trendy.
Q: What do you love about your garage?
A: It’s insulated, fairly well organised, and bright white inside.
Q: What would you change about your garage?
A: Standard answer, bigger. My one car garage is part of the reason I got back into bikes.
Q: What was your first car?
A: My first car was a 1986 Nissan 4X4
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