Zanik Designs customizes a Ducati Sport Classic…
Launched in 2005, the Ducati Sport Classics were a series of modern retros that paid tribute to the café racers of the 1960s, combining incredible throwback styling with modern mechanicals. The bikes were well ahead of their time, hitting the market before the retro café trend had fully taken hold — at least for buyers of production machines.
Built from years 2005-2010, they never sold well — and their high cost didn’t help matters. Now, however, they’re some of the most highly desirable machines of the modern era:
“Every time I see one I think: ‘Why am I riding my [insert bike]? Don’t I deserve a little beauty in my life?’ Yes, I do — though I still don’t really like the sticker price of these beautiful machines, and likely never will.” —Motofomo
The Ducati Sport 1000 featured a 92-bhp, 992cc air-cooled, two-valve 1000 DS (Dual Spark) L-twin engine, along with a solo seat and clip-on bars, and the first-year model had a single rear shock, allowing for the custom Zard exhaust you see here, and the beloved Ducati dry clutch with its iconic sound.
Recently, we talked to Tim Turbett of Chicago’s Zanik Design, an award-winning designer, creative director, and builder who had a vision for a custom Sport 1000 that incorporate the styling cues from the Shelby GT500 “Eleanor” of Gone in 60 Seconds and the Paul Smart machines:
“The overall concept was to blend the Paul Smart with an ‘Eleanor’ Mustang…while keeping all the great aspects of the original. In addition to upgrading the look and performance of the bike for real-world use.”
On the performance front, this ’06 Sport 1000 is now running a Zard exhaust, custom ECU tune by Rexxer, Andreani fork cartridges, and more.
In terms of the lighting and aesthetics, the level of detail is just incredible. Highlights include the Corse Dynamics LED headlight, Motogadget bar-end signals, custom Kineo wheels, custom-built flip-top gas cap, a seat recovered to emulate the Mustang race seats, and the gorgeous silver, black, and red paint scheme.
Tim says this “Double Shot” Sport 1000 custom is just as pleasing to the ear as the eye:
“Very crisp, tight, and responsive…and can’t stop downshifting to hear that sound!”
Below, we talk to Zanik Design for the full story on the build.
Ducati Sport Classic Custom: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
Zanik Design is headed by Tim Turbett, an award-winning designer and creative director and a life long “customizer”! From an early age he started building custom BMX bikes to motorcycles in every make, model and style. He’s had a passion to make them everything cool…and “his”.
For 20+ years he was a senior creative leader at many advertising and design firms heading up creative groups and campaigns for leading brands. It’s here that he honed his skills at concepting and strategic design: he knows what looks right and what works. He’s also grow to be an expert in managing project timelines and budgets, and helping clients discover what they really want. He found a way to combine his passions and he can help you realize yours!
Zanik Design’s Kustom Motorcycle Konsulting Service is a unique design process that gives motorcycle owners a clear, organized and deliberate path to personalizing their bikes.
• Please tell us about your bike…
’06 Ducati SportClassic Sport1000 Custom.
The Ducati SportClassic line was ahead of its time for the Retro-classic café racer craze. Going from “hard to sell” to coveted. The most coveted of the series was the first year (2006) that had a lot of one-year-only features like the single shock (allowing for the custom Zard exhaust) and the cherished Ducati dry clutch with that classic sound.
Tim Turbett, the leader of the Zanik Design crew, had this concept kicking around his head for years and when an amazing base bike came available the floodgates opened. The overall concept was to blend the Paul Smart with a “Eleanor” Mustang…while keeping all the great aspects of the original. In addition to upgrading the look and performance of the bike for real-world use.
The low mileage engine remains mostly stock but upgraded with the sexy Zard exhaust driven by a custom ECU tune by Rexxer ECU Tuning…developing an intoxicating sound. Then the focus was turned on the performance and aesthetics to make it an amazing piece of mechanical art!
The overall color palette is of silver, black with red details. The base paint is a deep mini-flake silver, with a black SS stripe that features a subtle rainbow flake (from a Dodge Magnum) highlighted with a metal-looking red stripe to tie into all the red anodized details…that ends with a subtle nod to the Italian flag.
A ton of work went into the electrical and lighting with the goal of making things as clean and stealth as possible while increasing the visibility for real world use. The lighting is highlighted by a Corse Dynamics LED headlight (in a Monster metal bucket), Motogadget bar-end signals, paint matched Watson Design high-output LED signals and culminating with the Corse Dynamics “Tron” LED brake/turn signal kit that’s enhanced with a Custom Dynamics brake light frame with “back-off” brake flashing.
In addition, there is a ton of work to complete the look and that may be overlooked unless you know all the details of the SportClassic line…some of the detail work includes:
- The battery has been relocated with a kit by Motolectric into the tail which really lightens up the center of the bike.
- The “bug eye” horns have been removed and replaced by a super loud horn on custom mounts behind the oil cooler.
- On the rear wheel a new Brembo brake caliper had be relocated under the swingarm to clean up and open up the wheel to highlight the custom Kineo wheels in gloss black and anodized red details.
- The mini flyscreen was made possible by swapping out for the metal headlight bucket from a Monster…and also allowed for a more modern headlight options.
- A custom designed and built flip-top gas cap reinforces the race aesthetic…and is literally the cherry on top.
- The seat was recovered to replicate the Mustang race seats with a blend of leather and Alcantara finished off with large grommets.
- The open dry clutch and drive belts are highlighted in black and anodized red with parts from Speedymoto and EVR.
- Brake/Clutch are upgraded with matching parts from Brembo, Rizoma and Oberon.
- Front Suspension was upgraded with Andreani cartridges and finished with polished (no chrome) fork tubes, black powder-coated trees and lower parts.
- A ton of other parts were either polished, powder coated black, or anodized red to tie it all together.
• What’s the story behind the nickname “Double Shot”?
That was the license plate I got….V-twin, Cafe Racer, Italian…thus “DBL SHT”
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?
The sound is amazing! Very crisp, tight, and responsive…and can’t stop downshifting to hear that sound!
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Hmmmm…I love the gas cap….and just how it’s all tied together to become mechanical art.
The lighting was a huge success — it looks almost nonexistent, but way brighter and eye catching than stock.