What would inspire someone to take a Sawzall to a perfectly good 2006 Ducati S2R 800? A passion for motorcycling, for one, but more so an obsession to create something entirely custom! Brent Smedley from Vallejo, California, purchased a fully functioning 2006 Ducati S2R 800, removed the engine and cut the frame up until all that was left was the neck.
Smedley bought the Ducati in 2018, but the idea to build a custom Ducati had been mapped out in his head for many years prior.
“In 2012, I had a moment while searching the internet,” Smedley told Revival Cycles in an interview. “I remember seeing a custom motorcycle that inspired me beyond anything I had ever seen before. A motorcycle that made me feel like I just had to ride it. The bike was a cross between an old board tracker and a modern cafe bike. After dissecting the photos of the build for hours, I felt I could improve the machine in numerous ways.
“I was working in sports medicine for a university at the time. I began devoting all my spare time to researching how to fabricate and work with metal. Starting from scratch, I studied everything I could on motorcycle design and metallurgy. Essentially, my life became obsessed with building this machine just so I could experience riding it. Such a fun journey. Lots of trials and tribulations, but enjoyable nonetheless.”
After five years of honing his craft, Smedley began designing and laying out the build in the fall of 2017, before ultimately finding the Ducati he would use in 2018. The 2006 S2R 800 was actually in great shape with only 3,500 miles on it – but none of that really mattered to Brent. He had grander intentions.
Smedley named the custom bike “Antevasine,” which is fitting for both the bike and its builder. Antevasin means, ‘one who lives at the border of two words.’ Having come from a background working in sports medicine, Brent’s journey to becoming a master, custom bike builder certainly fits the name, as does the bike’s design.
With an initial project budget of $15,000, Brent got to work creating something entirely his own from the ground up. In fact, the only aspect of the build he didn’t take on himself was some powder coating work.
“I personally completed all painting, metal fabrication and electric work in my single-car garage,” Smedley says.
Some of the modifications and fabrication work included complete, custom chassis fabrication, an upgraded Ducati S4R fork assembly, a Meyerbuilt Metalworks front fender and mount fabrication, a custom fuel tank that was hand fabricated using the stock fuel pump assembly, a custom seat and mount assembly featuring an Alcantara and leather mix cover put on by Sinister Seats, and the fabrication of gauge mounts and the electronics housing for all-new electronics from Motogadget.
In addition, Smedley chose to use a Domino throttle assembly and custom stainless linkage, including using an old exhaust rocker as the choke lever. He also went with a complete Revival mo.Unit wiring harness kit, a fabricated battery mount for a new Antigravity battery, a custom fabricated stainless exhaust system, a Revival spark plug wire kit, and Goodridge brake lines.
On the Ducati L-twin engine, Smedley says it remained mostly stock, but being a custom build, it still included some unique touches such as custom CNC covers, a Ducabike clear clutch cover kit, an upgraded Microtec ECU and fuel mapping, custom intake velocity stacks, a custom oil cooler line, and the use of Cerakote on most engine surfaces.
Additional components used on the custom Ducati S2R 800 are Speedymoto triple clamps to go along with the Ducati S4R forks, a Cognito moto headlight, custom rearsets, CRG adjustable levers, assorted gilles and other CNC parts, and Driven riser clip-ons.
Despite taking a number of years to get his skills in line, Brent says learning how to TIG weld efficiently was a steep learning curve. Aside from that, time and cost were also underestimated, but those items come with the territory of a custom bike build. Hoping to spend around $15,000 initially, the total budget ended up being around $19,000. The build time took a little more than two years, and it likely would have been longer had it not been for the extra time afforded to Brent due to COVID-19.
No matter the time and cost involved, Brent says he thoroughly enjoyed doing the build, and finally getting what was in his head for so long out into a real application came with a number of highlights.
“Hand-bending the steel for the frame while being able to build the exoskeleton chassis to tolerance was a highlight,” Smedley says. “Turning flat 18g steel into a custom fuel tank that resides within the framework of the bike was also fun. Hand building the custom stainless exhaust from pie cuts to a finished product that sounds amazing is another highlight.
“Outside of those three milestones, the first startup on an entirely new wiring harness ECU was a fantastic moment. Of course, on my first test ride, the sense of accomplishment on a completed project was overwhelming.”
When asked about his overall satisfaction with the custom Ducati S2R 800, Brent admits the full impact of completing a build of this nature hasn’t hit him yet.
“It’s a strange feeling,” he says, “to dedicate so much of oneself to one goal. To achieve success is nice, but I don’t believe I fully understand the impact of this build for me yet. Due to Covid, I have yet to receive any public scrutiny or approval. Overall, I can’t believe I built what I consider to be such a cool machine.”
If you have a motorcycle, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or jet ski you’d like to feature in MPN’s Ride of the Week series, sponsored by CanDo International, please email MPN Content Director Greg Jones at [email protected]