When a workshop starts the process of building a new custom bike for a client there is really just one person to please; the customer is always right! But when you’re building a bike for a show then the pressure really ramps up, as fellow professionals, a large crowd and a panel of judges will be pouring over your bike with a fine-tooth comb. Now add some more stress, the show involves racing and you’ve got to succeed on the track too. This was the scenario facing France’s Kerozin Workshop as they built a flat tracker for the El Rollo at Wheels and Waves, and more than up to the task, the result is this incredible Ducati sideways slider.

We’ve featured a host of flat track race bikes over the years, those based on standard road bikes, others using the architecture of a motocross bike and then the full-on framers that are purely purpose-built. What makes ‘THE BADASS’ by Kerozin slightly different is that it fits somewhere in the middle of all of them and delivers one hell of an amazing result. A bike with the looks to stand out at any static show, and yet with all the fruit to win races on the dirt.

Starting with the frame, the guys raided the Ducati parts bin and came away with a Ducati Pantah 350 frame that was one of the early Trellis designs for the company. The benefit of the early Pantah steel is the full length lower frame rail that delivers increased stiffness, while still using the engine as a stressed member. Later Ducati full trellis offerings would have to go to thicker tube to achieve the same stiffness.

This benefit was perfect for a sideways slider, but what the team didn’t like was the rake, designed for smooth mid-corner stability out on the roads. To tighten things up, the headstock was cut off and a new one welded in place giving a new flat track friendly measurement of 26 degrees. Next up is a set of trick CNC machined triple clamps designed specifically for the job. Through these goes a pair of Ducati SS Showa forks that have been shaved and rebuilt to suit the task, with their adjustability allowing the bike to be dialed in.

The rear end is just as trick and the intention to save as much weight as possible, but with maximum rigidity continues. The all boxed section alloy swingarm is from Verlicchi, and these serious pieces of kit do not come cheap. To control it all a super trick ‘Oleopneumatic’ shock absorber is slotted in from Fournales Suspension; uniquely combining high-pressure air springs with hydraulic oil damping. That’s right, no actual physical spring is used, so the progressive rate of travel is perfectly controlled, and no bottoming out to throw you off the bike.

The trick bits don’t stop there either, for wheels unsprung mass is always a huge consideration, so Kerozin had a plan. The 19 x 2.15-inch rims are carbon fibre and are laced to a set of custom magnesium hubs; lord have mercy! Wrapped up in Dunlop’s DT3 race rubber, they had achieved their desired wheelbase of just 1460mm. There is of course no front brake and the rear is a lightweight rotor that is clamped by a low-slung ISR caliper that allows for quick wheel changes.

The bodywork as you would expect is incredibly limited and dominated by the awesome seat that runs the full length of the bike. Not only does the custom stitched leather look the business, but allows the rider to climb all over the bike for perfect balance and weight distribution. A very small rear fender has been added to keep the worst of the dirt at bay, a set of fork protectors, and the number board sits up front. The custom alloy fuel tank was fab’d in house and holds 1.2litres, easily enough for each race.

Now for the powerplant and the guys selected the modern and lightweight Ducati 696cc lump. But, to strip more weight they pulled the fuel injection and run a set of Dellorto PHM 40mm carbs and programmable digital ignition, all run on the smallest wiring loom possible. A set of ZARD headers have been modified by Bam Motorcycle to run tight to the bike and then end in a short Arrow pro-racing Titanium muffler.

The end result is a bike that weighs just 118kg when fully fuelled and packs 88bhp. Those are incredible numbers and in such a good-looking package, it’s no wonder Kerozin was a huge hit at Wheels and Waves, on and off the track.

[ Kerozin Workshop | Photography by Clement Lazzaro ]