We love custom bikes. The bike-builders (sometimes owners) interpretation of a bike can be quite interesting to decode and if you’re lucky enough, ride. And if you happen to have really deep pockets and convince Roland Sands Design to make a bike for you, the result can pretty much be summed up as a no-holds barred vision of insanity.
Roland Sands Designs was the company founded by ex-motorcycle racer, gifted designer and bike builder Roland Sands who has many an accolades and one-off specials behind his name. So when Justyn Amstutz arrived at the door with a zero mile Ducati Desmosedeci GP bike with a request backed up with a relatively open budget, it had to be done. The request – to build a 200bhp dirt tracker. In reality, the idea of a Ducati flat tracker isn’t absurd as the company has a history of having Ducati twins in the sport but when you add a Ducati Desmosedeci to the mix, it admittedly sounds loco. Oh, and it had to be street-legal too.
Now the Ducati Desmosedeci in itself is from the special lot. A 200bhp, limited edition road legal GP bike can be tricky to modify. The team went on the build with special care retaining most of the mechanical bits like the frame and engine. As the rear swingarm belonged more to a GP track tan a dirt oval, it was replaced with a single-sided Chrome Molybdenum swingarm fabricated in-house. Roland Sands Design added dirt track specific settings to the suspension along with 19-inch Performance Machine flat track wheels and knobby Goodyear tires. The rear subframe too was made of the special alloy and over it sat the single piece hand-beaten aluminium bodywork painted by Chris Woods. The 990cc V-four engine has not been fettled with and for good reason. It does get a set of titanium pipes with courted cross over’s that tune up the decibel level by quite a few notches.
What is it to ride? The guys over at Cycle World did ride one and say that the mid-range feels like peak power a litre-class superbike makes at its peak. A crescendo that keeps building past 14,200rpm. Except for the matter of the manic engine, the ergonomics are quite satisfactory even inside the city. The Goodyear tyres do well in dirt though on tarmac, things get more than interesting.
We would surely love to own and ride this blob of insanity. It’s just a matter of having a spare Ducati Desmosedeci, $2, 00,000 in loose change and being good buds with Roland Sands.