Vehicles | March 30, 2017 9:00 am

It’s Hard to Improve a Ducati, But This Guy Found a Way

Play with fire, you might get burned. Or might be a genius.

When Olivier Ortolani, the owner of French motorcycle shop Ortolani Customs saw the 2014 Ducati Panigale 1199 S a customer wanted him to convert into a cafe racer, he felt something.

“My first reaction when the bike arrived was excitement,” the Nice-based shop owner explained.

Coincidentally — or perhaps not — that was also our first reaction when we saw the bike he created.

Based on a crazy concept drawing out-of-the-box designer Holographic Hammer cooked up, the Panigale CR’s frame is almost completely covered by custom aluminum panels that were shaped, smoothed and polished like mad before being mounted on pre-installed wooden bucks.

Custom Ducati (6 images)

Underneath all that shine, Ortolani and his team installed larger pistons, added a set of ceramic disc brakes, put in a race-tuned exhaust system and installed a headlight with custom housing and bracketry featuring a yellow lens that matches nicely with the accompanying gold forks.

Finished over the course of nine months, Ortolani affectionately refers to the bike as his “baby.”

Just don’t put it in the corner.