Ben Spies has ridden motorcycles of all shapes and sizes, and with widely varying performance, from hand-me-down minis to factory roadracers. On Thursday, August 15, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Pramac Racing MotoGP rider will make his first “pass” on a Ducati Diavel drag racer.
Built by Advanced Motorsports Ducati Dallas, the modified Diavel that the 29-year-old Spies will ride is more than 40 pounds lighter than stock, sits several inches lower and, using 1098 R engine internals—crankshaft, titanium connecting rods, high-compression pistons and machined-to-fit cylinder heads with Ti valves and longer-duration, higher-lift cams—produces 170 horsepower at the rear tire, a 25-hp gain over stock.
AMS Ducati Dallas owner Jeff Nash says the Diavel, twice named “Best Cruiser” by Cycle World magazine, “is a very high-performance motorcycle. When you see this project bike, you’ll understand. With the change in ride height, the stance is quite aggressive. Every time we’ve tested, we’ve had hot conditions and a head wind, but the bike has still consistently run 9.70s in the quarter-mile. I’m confident this is a 9.50-second motorcycle.”
AMA and World Superbike champion and MotoGP race-winner Spies is returning to competition this weekend at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix after missing seven rounds of the world championship following off-season shoulder reconstruction. “I’m looking forward to coming back at Indy,” says Spies. “I’ve missed a lot of the season, but I’ve been working my butt off to get back to where I need to be.”
Spies penned the Diavel’s red, white and blue, Texas-themed paint scheme, sprayed by Paul Dalton of Café Classics in Grand Prairie. In October, the signed bodywork will be auctioned at the inaugural AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida, with proceeds earmarked for injured racer Dave Stanton, a longtime friend of Spies and his crew chief, Tom Houseworth.
Italy’s Rizoma supplied the jewel-like aftermarket components, which include a carbon-fiber headlight fairing, machined aluminum handlebars and grips, bar-end-caps, brake and clutch levers, gas cap, clutch, master-cylinder and waterpump covers, axle protection and EVO foot controls. “Installation was seamless,” says Nash, who values the bike at $30,000. “The stuff is really good. We sell a lot of it.”
Free to Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix ticket holders, Thursday’s event will take place at 5 p.m. on the back straight of the 2.6-mile road course between Turns 9 and 10. The AMS Ducati Dallas-customized Diavel will be displayed during the race weekend at the IMS Social Media Garage.