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Ducati S2R 800 – ‘Duc Soup’

Posted on September 12, 2013 by Andrew in Bobber, Rat. 41 comments

What’s the opposite of a motorcycle? Have a think about it. Bikes are small, nimble, rebellious, noisy, spiritual and exciting. Now think of something monolithically large, very conservative, whisper quiet, painfully intellectual and about as exciting as a book by Martin Heidegger. That’s right, i’m talking about Universities. Naturally, you’d think that the two would have absolutely nothing in common. But you’d be wrong. The bike you see before you exists because of a university. Namely, Madrid’s Instituto Católico de Artes e Industrias, which accepted a request from one of its students to build a bike for a final year project. That student was Manuel Ayllón, and the bike is probably the most amazing Ducati you’ll see all year.

“My name is Manuel Ayllón and I’m 23 years old. This past June I managed to graduate as Mechanical Engineer from ICAI in Madrid, which is one of Spain’s most prestigious engineerign universities. Right now, like many other graduates, I’m looking for a job abroad without anything too specific in mind, at least in something related to engineering. I basically want to move away from home and discover as much of the world as I can before having to settle down.

I have been passionate about cars and motorcycles since I can remember and that is the reason why I chose mechanical engineering and the reason this bike now exists. We are asked to do an engineering project during our last year and I had the idea of designing and building a motorcycle. The university accepted the idea and it was up to me to make it happen so I started asking literally everywhere I knew related to motorcycles for help, from Yamaha or Ducati and even small builders I found featured in your site.”

“Finally, a mechanic from Roland Sands pointed me to Todd Silicato, owner of Todd’s Cycle, formerly in Huntington Beach and currently located in Hawaii. He agreed to help me with the project without charging me, so I flew over there the summer of 2012 with the bike modeled in 3D on my computer.

I bought the cheapest single-sided Ducati Monster I could find. With the help of everyone at Todd’s Cycle, who managed to answer all my questions and Todd’s friend Anthony Keeling, owner of Chassis Design Co. in Riverside, California, I completed the bike just in time and shipped it to Spain in boxes. I had some basic knowledge about fabrication that I was taught in university and I learnt a lot more. I have to say that both of these companies work to an extremely high standard with every single product; I was very impressed with the quality and effort they put into everything they were doing while I was there.”

“The idea behind the project is to ask the question, ‘why are bikes so heavy and complicated when it is not strictly necessary?’ Using the same ingredients as the original bike: power plant, suspension and swing arm and by using only a minimalism structure to keep everything together, I wanted to end up with a different motorcycle, one that was faster and more enjoyable to ride.

The new bike weighs 155kg with a full tank of gas versus the 195kg it did originally. It’s true that the fuel range has decreased considerably and the seat could be softer, but I have ended up with a bike that easily outperforms the original bike in any road and conceptually, I consider I have succeeded in making my point about unnecessary elements in current motorcycles.”

“My future plans for this bike are to paint it and upgrade everything on it to new or better with a proper budget since it is a little rough around the edges. At the same time, I will definitely continue to build bikes with conceptual ideas like this one for myself.

After all of this, I have learnt a lot more about motorcycles and how to build them. Specifically, I have learnt the importance of sharing your passion with others without worring too much about money. Todd, Anthony and their staff clearly are an inspiration to me, as I found two very good people really passionate about what they do and who taught me a very valuable lesson by being willing to share and help other people with the same passion that made their dreams come true.”

“Oh, the name of the bike is Duc Soup, which Todd jokingly suggested to me as a mix of DUCati and soup, as I was always adding a little something here or there.” Like what you’ve learned so far? Then why not check out a walk-around and start-up video of the bike here.

  • jereerej

    I'm riding from the beg' s of it, a street triple Triumph turned into a rad'rat caferacer AND I'm working for a university 🙂 Please, change your mind of universiters, some of them are rad too 🙂

  • Randy Moran

    cool looking.

  • Folke Bredkjær

    Spanish artwork at it best

  • pietro

    great story and unique bike!! i am currently doing the same in italy right now

  • B. J. Parker

    Really cool bike. I even like how rough it looks; it parallels the raw power!

  • Fred Newcomer

    I love this machine!

  • Lewn

    I like it about as much as the squared-off tires on it.

  • Byronic Man Lonewolf


  • bjax

    I often think bikes on this site would look better with a front fender/mudguard. Not this one. Love the curved backbone and tank within.

  • durp

    im loving this so much right now.

  • revdub

    Pretty amazing. Visually, I see this almost as a working man’s Confederate F113 Hellcat. Great work, Manuel. With a first build like this, I certainly hope you continue to build!

    • Craig Lang

      Its like an industrial Confederate! Big weight reduction on that thing.

  • BoxerFanatic

    Is it wrong that I like this more than the Confederate bikes?

    I usually like stuff a tad bit closer to production than this… but I am really diggin’ this one, plus it has my favorite single-sided swing arm.

    Give it Hossack’s front suspension, and all the better.

    This is a bit of a breath of fresh air compared to some of the pattern-form cafe bikes, which are nice, don’t get me wrong, but somewhat predictable.

  • mack

    Well that’s one ass kicking little motorcycle! 155 kg, 800cc… just perfect that it’s not too much raining down there… I wonder how it looks like from the side… with a rider on it? And if this guy is feeling like throwing himself out of the 3rd floor taking some serious curves. Good luck Manuel, I hope you soon find a good job where you can live on with your passion!

  • Adam Santella

    The frame is really, really interesting, and it doesn’t look like they just chopped the ass off, as it normally does when a lot of builders just chop off part of the subframe. They basically did away with the entire subframe here and it just looks like art. get some new tires on that thing and get out there!

  • BoxerFanatic

    I think this would look great painted. I would be tempted to do black like the wheels and single sided swing arm, or gunmetal grey on the frame, and some interesting color or graphic on the tank sides, inset into the black frame.

    Some black anodized fork stanchions, and Titanium-Nitride black fork tubes would look good.

    If the tank were a bold color like red, I could see red anodized fork stanchions, and red rim stripes on the wheels.

    I always like air-cooled ducatis with gray or matte light gold engine crankcases, but black coated cylinder sleeves.

    What it really needs, though is simply a rear hugger and mud-guard assembly, (sort of like a partially-skeletonized rear fender, with ‘windows’ to see a bit of the tire tread, or it could be unified and cover the whole top of the tire) It could be attached to the swing arm just in front of the tire, and at the bearing carrier, with the license plate on the mud-gaurd, around the back of the rear tire.

    Maybe a bit Diavel-esque, but customized, like the rest of the bike.

    It would protect the shock, and the rider’s backside from what the rear wheel can toss, and mount the number plate, and perhaps some legally required lighting, without hanging a bunch of stuff under the seat, or having to put a rear subframe on the bike.

  • MrSpocksInsaneLovechild

    Looks like the idiots at Confederate got hold of Ducati motor.

  • giconez

    Good story, awesome bike. I like it without paint, oxidized looks better.
    Although I have one questions: why the tach and speedometer are over radiator?

    • DCrippa

      I agree – that it should have some kind of rear fender… I also think the front and rear fenders should be made out of the same metal as the tank – along with the same distressed oxidized look.

      Previous poster made a good point – What is above the radiator?

      I wonder how it rides with the seat that much higher than stock form.

      Cheers nice creation.

      • Bryan McLaren Bulmer

        i think those are the horns above the *oil cooler. Its air cooled so it doesn’t have a radiator.

    • BoxerFanatic

      I thought those were air guides, or maybe loud horns… (and being an air-cooled bike, it would be an oil cooler, rather than a water coolant radiator)

      But it does look like the stock S2R gauges on as close a look as the resolution can show.

      I can only imagine that there is some sort of electronic necessity for the module to stay on the bike… and it is just mounted down and out of the way.

      He said the bike isn’t done yet, and needs some buttoning up, perhaps replacing the gauges with something else, and completing that wiring change isn’t complete yet.

      There are un-loomed wires on the forward left side of the engine, as well, which suggest that the wiring and electronics may not be completed yet.

  • j

    Don’t paint over that great looking piece of art, just clear coat it and ride the crap out of it! Amazing bike!

    • BoxerFanatic

      When I was writing a previous post about painting and colors… it occured to me… what about a translucent color coating, like a tint-coat, without an opaque primer.

      It might be kind of cool if the bike looked color painted at first glance, but then in detail, you can still see the variance in the metal underneath, and the variations in heat-induced color and welding bead, and all.

      transparent clear coated bare metal seems a little under-finished, and over-used to me, but that is just me.

      A design that can stand on it’s own without paint, is a great design… but painting it with the right color and graphic design is an improvement on a great sculptural and industrial design. Not painting it seems like it was given up on finishing the bike at the 80-90% point.

  • IronHorizon

    Leave it raw. Pretty sweet first build.

    • I’d have to agree. Can’t imagine it painted at all…

  • John Maurin

    bien joué Manu!

  • robweeve

    leave it as is, rough is good…restrictions bring unexpected results, don’t let your mind tell you the bike is less than what it should be

  • Davidabl2

    Hey, I’d have thought it came from Barcelona, not Madrid, because it’s like something Antonio Gaudî might have designed if he’d designed vehicles as well as cathedrals..

  • Jed

    Yep, cool. Don’t paint it.

    • El_D

      I thought the original purpose was to answer the weight/complexity question ?. I wouldn`t have had to build this to figure that out. To make it legal & usable duuuhhh!. But maybe I`m wrong `cos I have no engineering degree.
      Who would seriously consider riding this very far ?. Where on earth would they let you ?.
      Cathedrals ???. Jeez you blokes “wax poetic”.

  • Gavin Galavant

    Could someone please provide me Manuel Ayllón’s contact information. I believe I have a perfect opportunity for him.

  • cale

    This should be encourage you to do more inspiring project: join your local custom competition since I believe Ducati would notice such talents as yours, if not..its their loss..

    • Peter

      Sorry, but have to go against the general consensus here. To me it’s aesthetically non-pleasing. That means ugly. As in modern art trying too hard to be “arty”. I can’t even picture how ugly it would look with a rider perched atop that “arch”. Reminds me of a Penny Farthing gone very wrong. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but to me, there is such a thing as absolutes. Even in aesthetics.

      • John Cook

        Agreed, not to mention the other obvious flaws. Is this guy a racer or is he a motorcyclist seeking freedom and individuality? Something appears like an attempt to support cognitive dissonance–an’ mud up yer back.

  • John Cook

    I guess I’m not one of the “New generation” that appreciates a mud rash up the back, cramped, uncomfortable seating, legs bent in a squat, a backache after 100 miles, and arms and shoulders warped from riding in that pushup position. I love to ride, but to ride any distance, one needs to be comfortable. I have friends that spent $25,000 on a bike they take out once a week at best and ride 30 to 50 miles–uhhh, if the tank is large enough to do that. Many of them crash on winding roads, doing what they claim to love about motorcycling. Me, I’m all for the freedom it brings, not following the damned pack. Where is the freedom in THAT!

    I guess I prefer to “float like a butterfly” than to twist into an uncompromising position that makes me feel like I just got off a short and skinny jackass that had a too small saddle and tiny stirrups.

    Everyone today seems to be reacting to the new social motorcycling thing–cafe racer with HP you can’t handle. Maybe they are afraid to consider something that more personally fits themselves. Sheeple people; a good name for them, proving that motorcycling is best for freedom seeking individuals, less so for socially stuck copycats.

  • Pingback: “Ducati S2R 800 Duc Soup” – Lujosa & Súper Ligera MOTO Diseñada por Manuel Ayllon | MEGA RICOS()

  • David Germain

    where is the battery and ECU?

  • BlogRideSafelycom

    Some on knows how to contact the author of the bike? Manuel Ayllón?

  • Does some one know how to contact the author of the bike? Manuel Ayllón

    • Rafaello.23

      Contact him on Facebook Manuel ayllon escudero

  • Donny Flomen aka Da Flomenator