Motocrew builds an 80s-inspired 848 Evo…
Introduced in 2010, the Ducati 848 Evo was a road-legal track weapon, boasting a 126-hp Testastretta engine, Brembo Monobloc calipers from the 1198R, and a non-adjustable steering damper:
“This is an unashamed race bike with lights. It’s cramped, has a hard seat, an extreme riding position, low screen, rubbish tank range and you can’t see out of the mirrors, but you forgive all this for the way it handles.” —Motor Cycle News
The Evo’s 849.4cc V-twin was outfitted with new cylinder heads and pistons (increasing compression ratio from 12.1 to 13.2:1), revised ports, hot cams, and larger elliptical 60mm throttle bodies, making for “savage acceleration” and a top speed of 166 mph. But it was the 848 Evo’s handling that astounded many riders, racers, and track day enthusiasts:
“It’s the best handling, most agile, sweet steering Ducati I’ve ever had a proper go on.” –Michael Neeves, MCN Chief Road Tester
High praise indeed! Recently, we heard from our friend Chris Scholtka of Motocrew, a full-time German firefighter who raced in the national motocross championships for many years before an injury spurred him to change directions:
“I stopped racing and started a new life. I found my luck at customizing bikes, especially in the cafe racer style. And now I build bikes from time to time…”
He started building bikes in 2017 and founded Motocrew officially in 2022. Last year, we featured his Yamaha V-Max “Urban Fighter” — one of our favorite builds of the year — and now he’s back with the second version of his Ducati 848 Evo.
The donor was an ex-track bike that had seen better days. Chris’s first version of the build was done up in matte silver with no fairings, as featured on Bike EXIF. But the 80s were calling, and since this is Chris’s personal bike rather than a customer build, he was free to heed the call:
“My goal was to take a modern bike with an old-school 80’s style, all street legal. 121 is my old mx number :)”
He took his inspiration from the iconic Marlboro liveries of the 1980s — a time when legends like Wayne Rainey and Eddie Lawson smoked their way around the GP circuits on 500cc two-stroke monsters. Appropriately enough, the fairing comes courtesy of a 1980s Kawasaki race bike, and Chris has added a quick-shifter for clutchless, full-throttle shifts.
The subframe is custom, welded up in stainless steel, with a seat pan upholstered in Alcantara — a holdover from the previous version of the build. The exhaust is also stainless, a 2-into-1 system welded up from 78 separate pie cuts, and Chris installed a new radiator that could be hidden beneath the fairings.
Chris says he took nearly 30 kilograms (66 pounds) from the Duc, so it’s an absolute monster on the street. Below, we talk to Chris for more details on the build. Photos courtesy of Kyle Reim (@kylefx).
Ducati 848 Custom: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I’m Chris, 33 years old. I’m a firefighter and live near Berlin. I started building bikes in 2017 and founded Motocrew in 2022 officially. I come from the motocross world. I rode MX from my 6-18th years. After an injury, I only started riding mx only on the side.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
Ducati 848 Evo 2013.
• Why was this bike built?
I bought the bike in 2020 for myself. Usually, I build bikes for customers. The current racer look is actually the second version of the build. The first look was silver matte without a fairing. My goal was to take a modern bike with an old-school 80’s style, all street legal. The 121 is my old mx number 🙂
And the Marlboro (Motocrew) design is the best design of the 80, I think 🙂
I’m a lil bit supported by Motogadget (indicators, mirror) and Black T (rear shock with external reservoir).
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- Rear frame
- Pan shaped in metal
- Fairing (80s racing Kawasaki)
- New cooler to hide under the fairing
- Rear shock
- Pipe done by myself (78 pieces)
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
I took nearly 30 kg out of it, so it rides very well now.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
It’s all done by myself (except paint). I just like the whole look.