Analog Motorcycles Builds A Roadrace-Ready Custom Ducati Single

Tony Prust of Analog Motorcycles combines old and new to build this sweet, street-legal Ducati café racer custom he calls "Moto III"

Moto3 prototype
A forgotten Moto3 prototype chassis and 1968 Ducati narrow-case single are a strange yet perfect match.Daniel Peter

It’s easy to focus on the hard parts when they come ­together so effortlessly like on this sweet and tidy ­Ducati. But it’s that very effortlessness that almost ­always comes from one thing: effort.

Dubbed “Moto3” because of the frame’s origin, the bike melds a modern roadracing chassis with 1968 Ducati 250cc “narrow-case” single and cribs a 1980s Ducati Pantah color palette.

Builder Tony Prust of Analog Motorcycles has been methodically upping his game since we featured his much-modified Bimota (“Analog Life,” April 2014).

The origin of the bike lies in his relationship with Framecrafters, which had worked with Prust on previous projects. Framecrafters built some bimetal steel-and-­aluminum Moto3 chassis about five years ago with the idea of getting just-right flexibility and stiffness. They went on to produce some of these, but the prototype was sitting in a closet at the shop gathering dust.

Meanwhile Prust had just gotten a collection of 1960s Ducati bevel-drive overhead cam singles in his shop, and the wheels began to turn. When they got the chassis and engines in the same room, it was clear this was the next project. The frame had to be lengthened about an inch and half to accept the air-cooled Ducati single, and custom mounts took care of the rest.

Bevel-drive overhead cam 250cc Ducati single
The bevel-drive overhead cam 250cc Ducati single should be finicky, but a Dell’Orto carburetor and electronic ignition make starting “Moto3” easy. Stainless exhaust is ­fabricated in Analog’s Chicago-area shop.Daniel Peter
Bimetal chassis
The bimetal chassis combines steel tubes and aluminum elements bonded with aerospace adhesives.Daniel Peter

It’s mostly 1960s in the engine department, though electronic ignition helps with the Dell’Orto carb to make this a one-kick bike. MotoGadget components give the bike modern gauges and all the street-legal gear such as good lights and turn signals that Prust says he puts on every build because “it’s more likely to get ridden, and that’s the whole point.”

Denali LED headlights are endurance-racer-inspired and -stacked as a nod to the 999.

“I like to make people scratch their heads a little bit,” Prust says. So the Ducati engine is blacked out and shrouded in the mystery of a modern chassis with ­classic-inspired bodywork.

The bodywork is where the story gets real for Prust. “I’d be at a show talking to people about my bikes, and they’d ask who did the bodywork, and I couldn’t say it was me,” he says. “So I had a mentor coming into the shop because it’s been a strong desire of mine to get metalwork in-house."

“I like to make people scratch their heads a little bit.”

That mentor was a retiree named Devlin Hunt, “a ­renaissance man,” as Prust describes, “who worked on the fuel-injection for the Bimota V-Due two-stroke, worked at Arctic Cat, and did two-stroke drone engines.”

Center-outlet exhaust
Center-outlet exhaust is a Cone Engineering big-mouth muffer tucked tightly to the aluminum bodywork.Daniel Peter

So he was a handy fellow who also was a self-taught metal-shaper accustomed to using only hand tools and whatever was around the shop. They first met in 2014, and Hunt started showing up at Prust’s Chicago-area workshop in December 2016 to help. “Devlin made me do everything,” Prust says. “He was just guiding me.

“But he unexpectedly passed away in February the next year,” Prust continues. “You know, I was getting close to him, and he was just an amazing man. It just took the wind out of the sails. I was actually paid for and signed up to bring that bike to the Quail Motorcycling Gathering 2017, but I had to ditch the project for a while.”

Obviously, Prust got back on the job, and what better way to honor the legacy of your mentor than to turn out a bike like this and win the Custom/Modified class at the Quail a year later.

Tony Prust
The rightness of the Ducati’s proportions belies its scale, as builder Tony Prust proves standing next to his diminutive creation.Daniel Peter

The success of this bike is its seamless and natural presentation of modern American chassis and international components with a 1960s air-cooled Ducati single. The best designs always have a meant-to-be look. It’s as if this 1960s Ducati 250 single was waiting for this modern roadracing chassis. The hard parts turn out beautiful if the human relationships behind them allow it. So even in the absence of someone important, the legacy lives on.

BUILDER: Analog Motorcycles
OUTPUT: Claimed 28 hp in 1968
VALVE GEAR: Bevel-drive towershaft SOHC
WEIGHT: 260 lb. wet
BODYWORK: Hand-formed aluminum alloy