Kevin Brown has been riding for over 50 years and owns nine bikes. The structural engineer from Canada is a petrolhead of the highest order, and he’s just finished a custom that even Jay Leno would be proud of.
This stunning Ducati 350 Sebring resto-mod joins some big machines in Kevin’s garage. It sits next to a limited edition BMW R100S and a Ducati PaulSmart 1000 LE.
The story starts when Kevin saw a Ducati 250 single with a Benelli Mojave 260 tank. “That really got my heart pumping. So I looked on eBay, and there was a Mojave tank going for $150. I also knew of a 1967 Ducati 350 with a seized piston… so it looked like I had a project.”
The plan was to build a race-inspired version of the Ducati 250, but with a ‘modern retro’ feel.
On the modern side, Kevin’s converted the electronics from 6 to 12 volts. He’s also added a nifty Motogadget m-Lock keyless digital ignition lock, and LED lighting front and back. Microswitch buttons on the clips-ons control the horn, high-low, and kill switch.
There’s no tachometer on the original Ducati 350 Sebring, so Kevin’s installed a very discreet wireless bicycle speedo.
The work on the overhead cam engine was a little more involved, and entrusted to a Calgary specialist. “It took two weeks to remove the seized piston. The cylinder was bored out from 340 to 348 cc, and a new 8:1 piston fitted, versus the original 7:1.”
With only 3,798 original miles displayed on the original odometer, the rest of the engine internals were in great condition—although the bearings and seals were replaced.
For the metalwork, Kevin selected Derek Pauletto of Trillion Industries, a man famed for his craftsmanship. He formed U-shaped steel tubing for the seat frame, welding it to the spine at an angle that matching the engine cylinder fins. (“For a more modern ass-up stance”).
More steel tubing was rolled to form the frame support for the shocks. The underside of the swing arm was reinforced with Ducati-like trellis tubing to keep the clutter between the engine and the rear wheel as open as possible.
Kevin’s kept the standard Ducati hubs: The beautiful scalloped contours and their clean appearance suit the bike, but there’s a trade-off. “This meant living with the drum brakes and forks; beauty and the beast really.”
New Excel rims and spokes permit wider Avon AM26 Roadrider rubber at the rear.
After getting four test cards from the painter, Kevin settled on a Dodge Ram flat white with pearl.
He’s had the seat covered with thick oilskin leather, and polished or clear powder coated nearly all the remaining visible metalwork. Peek closely at the swingarm pivot, and you’ll also notice a one-Euro coin featuring Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man set into the metal.