Spurius Rotis, is a one man custom motorcycle shop headed by Eric Buchholz and is based out of Cincinati, Ohio. While growing up, Eric was the kid who was always founder tinkering with things, taking them apart to see how they work and then make other things from the parts. At age 12, he started to apply his wrenching inquisitiveness to his first motorcycle, a 1973 Honda CB175. The motorcycle soon ended up being a scrambler.
Over the years, Eric’s craft has gotten better and more intricate. His preference for a custom motorcycle’s finishing touches has narrowed down to barebone texture rather than glossy paint that would peel and scrape off with a minor bump. His custom builds angle towards functional design where Eric takes off anything that doesn’t serve a purpose. As a result, you have a motorcycle that while might not look like everyone’s cup of tea, is always the rustic eye candy that one can’t turn away from.
Eric has always been a big fan of the North American P-51 Mustang. These long range fighter planes were the backbone of aerial combat during the WWII, where they helped the bombers to go deep into enemy lines and then back to London. With his inspiration being the perfect theme on which he would build his next custom motorcycle, Eric took major inspiration from three elements of the fighter plane – The black and yellow Checkertail, the Merlin-esque exhaust exists and the rivets from the plane’s body that one can actually feel. Eric dug into the history of the checkertails of the 325th fighter group, wanting to stay accurate and as period-correct as possible.
For the base motorcycle, Eric chose a 2001 Ducati Monster 600. The suspension was upgraded with newer S4 & DS1000 adjustable Showa components while a new custom frame was designed to accommodate the newer rear linkage. Every bit of sheet metal, subframe, seat and tank mounting has been custom fabricated by Eric. The bodywork has been given a ‘brushed’ finish for depth, which is further complimented by the AN430 rivets set.
The tank was sealed with Caswell 2 part sealant, though more to prevent corrosion than leaking. The highly unreliable low fuel light on the Ducati Monster 600 was replaced with a traditional petcock. A new set of SMD LED indicators and a Motogadget Motoscope Mini sit recessed below the dash panel to eliminate glare. Not content with the market options, Eric made his own fork-mounted LED turn signals for the front while the rears were integrated in the tail light. And while the headlight is the same unit that comes with the stock Monster 600, it sits 3-inches lower.
A custom battery box now houses the Antigravity 4 cell Lith-ion battery, fuse box and a separate vent chamber for the carburettor diaphragms. The carbs were treated to a Factory Pro Ti jet kit & emulsion tubes and Uni 2-stage filters. The exhaust is plumbed through custom 304 stainless to a resonator chamber, and out the 3 ports on each side.
Eric tells us that the Ducati Monster 600 still sounds unmistakably Desmo, but somehow a bit dirtier. With a new sprocketing setup front and back, where the front sprocket is now one tooth lighter, the 366lbs (166Kg) Monster 600 is a bit of a brute that excels the performance of the stock bike by leaps and bounds while sitting perfectly in character with its rough and rugged exterior.
More on Spurius Rotis Facebook and Instagram. Photography by Tyler Breedwell