Another day, another breathtaking custom bike making us consider a new major life purchase and attendant midlife crisis. Today it’s a cherry red Ducati Scrambler 803 designed by London-based deBolex Engineering.
The team were given free reign on this private commission, and true to their style no detail was spared. DeBolex is a small custom shop that carries the torch of adventurous ‘50s and ‘60s-era race-car culture, when heavier parts were swapped off saloon cars and replaced with aluminum to test the limits of the machines and their drivers. Their mods preserve the essence of the originals but are built with components that make for easier, more efficient driving and — let's be honest — better looks to boot. And they’re not shy about keeping stock parts where they do they job, keeping the bikes from veering into hyper-designed, pure-art territory.
On this Scrambler, they’ve added a custom-made exhaust, Andreani fork cartridges, Maxton shock, an Accossato throttle and switches, Venhill brake lines and more. Talking to Bike Exif, deBolex described the unusual design: “We’re forever inspired by classic race machines … and we always had one direction planned for this project: a full fairing. This diverted us away from our distinctive belly pan and radiator cowling design. And required a re-think on how we could incorporate more intricate elements, such as the oil cooler and air intake openings, using similar build techniques.”
Ducati 803 Scrambler (4 images)
A bit more about the Scrambler: it’s an early effort Ducati targeted at Americans that was successful not for speed (it’s Ducati’s least powerful bike) but because of its supreme performance for its purpose (mucking around and having fun) and curvy, stylish looks. Production was halted in 1974 and only just reintroduced in 2015, again targeting a more casual, dare we say entry-level rider with a surprisingly accessible price point (compared to the $65K+ tags that come with some of their higher-end builds). You can get a new Scrambler starting around $8,500, and with the modifications you might have in mind, the sky’s the limit.
In other words, it's the perfect canvas for custom bike shops to go absolutely HAM. Keep ‘em comin’.