All new 2022 Ducati Panigale Moto Puro Élite II [Café Racer Dutch Custom]

Bruce Springsteen wrote: "From small things, mama, big things one day come." That is certainly the case with the Moto Puro Ducati Panigale Élite II. From the chassis of the Ducati Panigale 1199 S, the Élite II was inspired by the modest 1959 Ducati 200 Élite.

"I wanted to make a tribute to an old Ducati, and the Elite was the superbike of its day.". The old Ducatis, and the Élite, are my favorites because of their small engine size compared to the British 500s, and the progressive techniques to get a lot of power out of them," says Moto Puro owner Jean-Claude Luijcx, "plus their great handling."

Luijcx has been fascinated by vintage motorcycles since he was a teenager. His first motorcycle was a Norton Manx. "The father of a friend on the street where I lived raced with the Manx," he recalls. I'm still a fan of café racers and vintage bikes, so I think it stemmed from my imagination."

Eventually, he obtained a motorcycle of his own, and he wasn't shy about his preference for speed. "My first bike was a Kawasaki Z650, with a full race fairing, 4-into-1 exhaust, clip-ons, and race seat," he says.

Luijcx became a dedicated rider right away, moving quickly to older bikes. He rode his bike for three years without owning a car. After two years, I bought my first BSA from the 1950s, and this was the start of many years of restoring, riding, and racing vintage BSAs and Nortons. In the future, I owned a few vintage cars, but this was because I also owned vintage bikes. A car is still a way to move things, and a bike is fun."

Luijcx spent six years as a general manager of a Harley-Davidson dealer, where he also raced Buells for a few years. "I prefer one- and two-cylinder bikes. I don't like multi-cylinder bikes.". "However, I prefer flat trackers from the 1920s to the technical specs on the new 1299 Panigale or a nice bobber," he says. Despite admitting that the American bikes are "also nice," Luijcx asserts that "I prefer the passion of Italy.". Italian bikes still have a heart.”

Moto Puro is a Ducati dealer, but the shop's first custom build was a Norton for vintage sidecar racing. "We built it to run on methanol, dual spark, homemade crankshaft, and stroke of 113mm. "Very fast-this was good; many times blow up-this went wrong," Luijcx says with a smile.

Moto Puro Ducati Élite II combines the performance of the 21st century with the aesthetic appeal of the fairing-free motorcycles of the mid-20th century. "In our workshop, we build a lot of race bikes, and when the fairing is off, you can see the engine," Luijcx explains. In order to make it as clean as a BSA Gold Star or Norton Manx, all you see is an engine, wheels, fuel tank, and a seat. The biggest challenge was where to put the computers and wiring.

Running the electrics through the single-sided swingarm solved the wiring issue. The process also included building a trellis subframe so the custom seat could have a home. The triple tree was also replaced, and risers allowed the installation of u-horn handlebars behind the classic round headlight.

Part of the building process is working with the rest of the Moto Puro teamMartien van Stipdonk is the Chief Mechanic and, as Luijcx will tell you, “All the stupid things I think of, he makes.” Luijcx admits that the result is that “we made a lot of homemade parts, and also put a lot of parts in the trash can if they didn’t work out.”

Luijcx views the Élite II as “a café racer old style. In the ’60s, they took a normal bike, put an aluminum fuel tank on, turn the handlebar upside down, and go the clubman races. The feeling to drive a BSA Gold Star DBD34 gives you the same feeling as driving the Élite II. We made a bike nobody expects from a Panigale.”

Highlighting the theme, all the original aluminum parts have been highly polished, adding to the Élite II’s striking appearance. The paint is from MW Designs, a Dutch company specializing in putting photorealistic images on trucks and motorcycles. Custom contributions from Italy include a QD exhaust system, as well as In-Motions’ Kineo Wheels’ amazing wire-spoked forged rims, both custom-made for the Élite II.

Having acquired admirers from all around the globe, Luijcx is not anxious to build an empire. “I worked in big dealerships, and that’s work,” he says. “I like more to stay little and make nice things with a small group of people.” Very nice work, Jean-Claude and company. Your Moto Puro Ducati Panigale Élite II is magnificent.

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