Over the years, one of the unexpected joys of running BikeBound has been to watch builders grow and evolve over time, in terms of both their style and skills and their recognition in the customs world at large. Back in 2018, we featured the first build from a lone Indiana-based builder name Spencer Parr, a law enforcement officer whose wife encouraged him to follow his dreams:
“I hope one day I can have an impact on the motorcycle industry like all my favorite builders have. My wife told me, ‘just go for it’, so that’s precisely what I am going to do.”
In the four short years that followed, Spencer has done just that. We immediately recognized that his Suzuki RM-inspired DR650 “Retromotard” was quite the auspicious start, and today, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the customs world who doesn’t recognize Spencer’s builds.
So we’re elated to present the newest Parr Motorcycles creation, the 2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled you see here. The client was originally interested in a DR650 build — a donor Spencer has used twice in the past — but soon landed on a Ducati Scrambler instead, as he wanted the power and room to carry a passenger in greater comfort. Says Spencer:
“Soon enough, my customer purchased a 2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled sight unseen, and had it shipped to my house.”
Like many of the factory scramblers of the 1960s and 70s, the original Ducati Scrambler was more of a scrambler in name alone, focused on off-road form than function. The Desert Sled model, however, was a different beast entirely:
“Even though the Ducati Desert Sled technically belongs to the Scrambler family, it’s no coffee shop poser making empty off road promises. It’s a genuine off-road capable bike in retro form and when it was launched it was the only one in its class.” —MCN
Starting with this strong base, Spencer had a clear vision in mind:
“Going into the build, the bike would get a cosmetic makeover with the focus being on the rear section. Since a lot of the stock parts would be repurposed, my main goal for this bike was to create a bike to look and feel as if it rolled off the line.”
Spencer has just that, managing to streamline the slightly wonky saddle and rear fender of the factory Scrambler into a sleek, street tracker-style tail section that not only looks factory-made, but can support a pillion rider in comfort. It’s a sight that should give Ducati designers themselves a few ideas, as they develop the next generation of the Scrambler design.
Spencer also fabricated up an electronics box with integrated license plate holder, custom fenders, newly rerouted tailpipe, new lighting and shrouds, and more. Below, he gives us the full story on this one-of-a-kind Desert Sled.
Ducati Scrambler Street Tracker: In the Builder’s Words…
A little over 1 year ago, a customer reached out to me inquiring about a DR650 scrambler build. With concerns regarding power and comfort with a second passenger, he soon landed on a Ducati Scrambler as a potential candidate. Soon enough, my customer purchased a 2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled sight unseen, and had it shipped to my house.
Going into the build, the bike would get a cosmetic makeover with the focus being on the rear section. Since a lot of the stock parts would be repurposed, my main goal for this bike was to create a bike to look and feel as if it rolled off the line.
I first started with the rear section of the bike since a new sub frame would be the focus. After the original sub frame was removed, I started on the top portion of the new sub frame. To give it more of a classic scrambler look, an angled frame loop was added. Two supporting arms were then added to help support a passenger and flow with the bikes design.
Since a leveled sub frame on this bike would have the seating position of the rider and passenger sit lower, the pegs were lowered as well to help give the rider/passenger a more comforting riding position. Then a removable electronics box was made to mount inside the sub frame, similar to stock. The license plate holder was integrated into the electronics box as well.
The fenders were up next. The front fender was made from a Harley fender. A bead was rolled on the edge just to give the fender more style points. For the rear fender, I wanted a fender that would wrap around the sub frame and rear section of the bike. So, when you look at the bike from the side, it would follow the curves and lines of the sub frame, and flow with the bottom of the electronics box. I shaped a rear fender to follow the lines of the sub frame, and rolled a bead. It’s one of my favorite parts of the bike and a style I’ll probably mimic on future projects.
For the exhaust, we used the stock Ducati header pipes and just focused on the tailpipe. A tailpipe was made to run up through the empty section in the swing arm and out the back. A passenger will be on this bike from time to time so the exhaust not only had to look good but make sure it isn’t in the way of a passenger. The tailpipe is mounted up with a Leo Vince muffler.
Another focus to this bike was going to be the seat. So after the pan was made, it was shipped off to Dane Utech (@plzbeseated). Dane built a seat for my customer’s needs exactly when it came to the design and shape.
He also created a seat to better suit a passenger as well. One of my favorite pieces of the bike because the craftsmanship is top notch. Brown grips were added to compliment the seat as well.
After everything was built, bike was sent off to paint. The frame was painted a satin black to go with the overall look of the bike. The tins were painted BMW Marine Blue, gold, silver and satin black to match the frame. The classic Ducati logo on the side of the tank was hand-painted, which adds to the cool factor.
For the lighting, a 9” off-road light LED headlamp was added. For signals, the front is running LED signals located right under the handlebar on each end.
The rear lights are the new Motogadget 3 in 1 lights, which were integrated into the electronics box.
It also uses the stock controls, switches and speedo. The ignition switch was moved to the right-side shroud.
Also added to the shrouds is a custom-made grill to add some protection to the switch and oil cooler.
Overall, I’m stoked on how this bike turned out!