A Killer Kato from Dubstyle Designs…
When the KTM 640 Duke II arrived at the cusp of the 2000s, it was a pure hooligan dream machine — a big-bore thumper with supermoto roots and a 55-hp version of the company’s liquid-cooled LC4 engine. The Duke begged to dice urban gridlock, carve canyons, and wriggle through tight, twisty mountain roads.
“A rough, tough bugger that’s a capable commuter, trackday sleeper and friend to the wannabe stunt monkey…geared for giggles and ready to rumble.” –MCN
Enter our friend Garett Wilson of Colorado’s Dubstyle Designs — an old motocrosser with an affinity for street trackers. Garett seems to have a knack for building bikes that people love.
Recently, our re-post of his “Goldy” Yamaha SR500, which we originally featured back in 2018, accrued more than 17,000 likes and 500 comments on Facebook, and his first KTM Duke II street tracker, built in 2019, remains one of our favorite builds.
Garett build that first KTM Duke as part of the Greasy Dozen Run — an event that helps garage builders kick-start their projects. “El Duque” resonated with thousands of folks online and in person, taking him on an unexpected journey:
“I took the first Duke to the IMS show in Denver and won the ‘Street’ class, which got me an invite to the national show in Chicago. It was competing against $100,000 baggers and full-on show bikes and I ended up getting 2nd place in the nation.”
Soon Garett had people asking him to build more bikes, and with the Roland Sands Dream Build-Off coming up, he decided to build a “Duke2.0” using the same base, incorporating and refining what he’d learned from the original build. Once again, he meant to stick to a limited budget:
“Then as always I take it too far and my ‘budget build’ turns into ‘let’s get more titanium for it.'”
Highlights include a modified Honda CB400 tank, Goon Glass tail section with resin tail lamp lens, Yamaha R6 forks set up by Durelle Racing, carbon-fiber number plate with dual LED headlights, Lectron carb, stainless 2:1 exhaust with titanium silencer, custom thinner-profile radiator, and 19″ Sun rims laced to the factory hubs.
The bike made some serious waves, taking Garett from Portland’s One Moto Show to Michael Licter’s “Motorcycles As Art” exhibition in Sturgis, South Dakota — the first Kato in the show’s history!
As you might image, this 640cc street tracker is an absolute hoon machine on the street:
“This Duke weighs in at 289lbs — compare to the 320 it comes stock. Wheelie numbers are sky high — get it — sky high.”
Below, we talk to Garett for the full story on this big-bore baddie.
KTM Duke Street Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I’ve been building or playing with bikes for as long as I can remember, but have gotten more into building bikes over the last 10 years. I keep adding more tools to the garage but space is always at a premium. I’ve built a couple SR500 Yamahas, two KTM Dukes, and one Sportster. All but one of them were turned into street trackers — I’ve always been drawn to the “race” bikes.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
2001 KTM 640 Duke II.
• Why was this bike built?
I had taken the first Duke to the IMS show in Denver and won the “Street” class, which got me an invite to the national show in Chicago. It was competing against $100,000 baggers and full-on show bikes and I ended up getting 2nd place in the nation.
I had just been building bikes for myself as a hobby but I started to have people reach out to me about buying/building them a bike. When I saw this donor Duke for sale I had the thought of building “Duke2.0” and maybe actually selling one of these bikes I build. Roland Sands was doing a “Dream Build” contest at the same time so I figured that was a good reason to get going on it.
It was invited to The One Moto Show in Portland last year – I met Gary Inman from Sideburn magazine and he said he loves my bikes so that was rad. I also meet Michael Licter and he invited me to display Duke2.0 at his “Motorcycles As Art” show in Sturgis. I’d have to check tape but we are pretty sure that was the first KTM to be featured in his show.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Duke2.0 was based on my original Duke street tracker. I wanted to refine a few things from that first build and at the same time keep it a “budget build”. Then as always I take it too far and my “budget build” turns into “lets get more titanium for it”.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The tank is again a CB400 that I saved from the salvage yard. I added some bungs for crossover tubes and clearanced the tunnel of the tank so it could easily fit over more electronics. The tail section was also again sourced from Goon Glass and modded to fit the subframe I made.
I made a resin tail lamp lens by pouring the resin into the hole in the tail-section so I could get the shape I wanted and nice tight fit. An added bonus is that when the LED lamp shines through the resin, it’s magnified and shows up very well.
Durelle Racing set up the R6 forks that were used on this project, and I shaved the brake mounts off the right side and mounted them with Weiss Racing triple clamps. But not before I had them cerakoted — along with the factory swingarm, engine side covers, levers, foot controls, hubs and Sun 19” rims, and anything else you see on here with the satin tungsten color.
The dual LED headlamps offer a high/low and I made the bezels to add a finished look coming through the carbon fiber number plate.
I built the 2-1 stainless exhaust with help from the Pro-Circuit resonator and titanium muffler.
I had the radiator custom-made, which gave me some extra clearance to the wheel and a thinner profile than the first Duke’s.
The seat pan and foam was again sent off to Brian Kugler (@b.kug.984) to make the cover — he topped it off by stitching the KTM patch onto the back.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
I call this version Duke2.0.
• Any idea of horsepower, weight, and/or performance numbers?
The first Duke has a FCR41 carb, I went with the Lectron on this one. Still not sure which is better there, but definitely a snappy upgrade over the stock carb. This Duke weighs in at 289lbs — compare to the 320 it comes stock. Wheelie numbers are sky high — get it — sky high.
I added a couple teeth to the rear sprocket — the original Duke build topped out at 115mph in 4th gear, and couldn’t pull 5th gear any further from there. That was 5mph faster then advertised back in the day.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
The Duke is a big single cylinder thumper — its quick and nimble yet cruises down the highway nice and stable. It started life as a supermoto bike so you already know it’s ready to rally.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I love the process of building bikes and I love when people enjoy my work. Having Gary from Sideburn magazine say my bikes are cool is something I’ll always remember. Also having my KTM shown at an “Art” display in Sturgis will be something I’ll never forget.
• Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
My thank you list is about the same as always.
Dan White of Whitey’s Paint Shop — we kicked around a few different color ways for the ’79 World Champion based design, and settled on this one. Not very “KTM” — but the Duke was red originally.
Vernon Wagoneer and NeCo Customs did the Cerakote. I typically sandblast and scuff down for a natural look, but I changed it up on this one and had a bunch of stuff coated; it turned out great.
My wife, Emily — she even camped out with me at Sturgis while the Duke was on display.
My Dad — we tag-teamed the drive to Portland and got to enjoy The One Show together.
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Photo Credits: Garett took these photos, and you can see more from Michael Lichter at this link.