SINISTER STREET SCRAMBLER: Ducati ST2 by Orcus Motorcycles
Written by Martin Hodgson
On any given Sunday you can stroll the pit lanes of any World Championship level racing and be surrounded by the very best in the industry. From engine builders to data experts, chassis guys and suspension tuners, these are the cream of the crop. But like the rest of us, they all need their own transport and you start to wonder what do the elite of the industry throw their leg over. For composite material specialist Uros Urbanja of Slovenia, it doesn’t matter which manufacturer he’s supplying, he’s always been a Ducatista at heart. So it makes perfect sense the Orcus Motorcycles head honcho gets his kicks on this sinister street scrambler based on a Ducati ST2.
For Uros the elite skill he brings to the race paddock is his ability to design, mould and produce incredible parts from modern, lightweight materials. One of his major customers is Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) who compete in the FIM Endurance World Championship, where races like the Suzuka 8 hour and 24 Hours of Le Mans push man and machine to their limit. It’s a testament to the quality of the parts he makes, but it wasn’t always this way as Uros spent 20 years as a paramedic.
But now when the husband and father isn’t making extended range carbon fibre fuel tanks for the latest Superbikes, he runs his own custom workshop, Orcus Motorcycles. Which as he tells us “is named after the Roman God Orcus, punisher of the broken oaths, God of the underworld. So the bikes customised in this workshop will always have this dark, sinister appearance. We don’t want to follow the trends.” With carbon fibre one of his favourite materials to work with, adding strength while reducing weight, the raw finish is also perfect for his sinister vibe.
Having built a bunch of sportsbikes the hunt was on for something different and the sports touring ST2 makes a lot of sense. The trellis frame is based on that of the Monster and the engine is ultra-reliable while still capable of producing power. So with just the right example of the wolf in sheep’s clothing, Uros was stripping the big girl down and putting the ugly plastic fairings to the side. With the entire front end removed, a new shroud was moulded to suit a single headlight with an integrated front fender.
Inside an LED headlight shines the way down the dark back alleys, while a push of a button unleashes the twin spotlights; mounted to their own carbon fibre supports that are perfectly integrated into the frame. This would have left the bright Showa USD forks standing out like a pair of the dogs proverbials. So just like the signature Ducati trellis frame they’ve been prepared and coated with a black satin powder finish. The sole gloss item is the replacement Ducati tank, resplendent in a new coat of black.
But it too has its own pieces of custom carbon, with both the filler cover and pad replaced by pieces moulded and manufactured in house. Sitting atop the frame the custom two-up seat hugs the contours of the frame perfectly, with a factory like fit and finish. With the rear end cleaned up thanks to a fender eliminator and integrated taillight and indicators. In pursuit of lightweight perfection nothing is spared, with the exhaust hangers and heel guards being upgraded for carbon items.
The 950cc water-cooled L-Twin is a torquey unit from the factory, but that didn’t mean power couldn’t be taken above 100hp with parts from the Ducati Performance catalogue. But here too Uros focussed on his key skill in producing lightweight parts making a pair of open belt drive covers and a matching item for the exposed upgraded dry race clutch. While even the exhaust end caps are hand made and the carbon fibre overflow bottle, surely a world first.
The stock rims are retained with the outer lip machined for a contrast cut before they’re wrapped up in aggressive dual-sport rubber. To handle the ride a new remote reservoir shock is bottled in and of course, even the spring is blacked out. Up on the bars are just the bare essentials, with the handguards giving you an idea of how Uros attacks the urban environment. While many make outrageous claims, the Orcus Motorcycles boss tells us the Ducati is now 15kg lighter thanks to his fiendishly good endeavours and now all that’s left to do is find time in his busy schedule to take this sinister scrambler to the Slovenian streets.