This year’s London Bike Shed show attracted 281 custom motorcycles and nearly 17,000 attendees. As I watched the event from the other side of the planet, it was clear that the quality of the buildings had reached new heights. There were a few genuinely standout builds among all of the beautiful bikes at the event. One of them was this Thornton Hundred Motorcycles Ducati Panigale 1299..

A surefire way to make your bespoke project stand out is to start with an already impressive dispenser. In this case it was a 2017 Ducati Panigale 1299. A motorcycle that received very good reviews from the motorcycle press. Boasting 205 hp and 145 Nm of torque, the Panigale 1299 is the knee-weak of any sport biker. But what really drives me is the wealth of craftsmanship and creativity in this bike.
Thornton Hundred Motorcycles’ Jody Millhouse has changed this fully faired Italian sport bike into a genuine naked bike. During the show, the folks at Bike Shed interviewed Jody about the build and Jody just posted some great photos of the bike. Thanks to Jody and her Bike Shed, here’s how this amazing build came about.

“If I make something, I make something that twists necks.”

“This bike started out as a completely normal Ducati 1299 with just 1,000 miles on it,” says Jody. “When I was building something, I wanted to create something eye-catching.” After bringing the Panigale back to the workshop, Jody took it apart to see what was under the bright red bodywork. . “I noticed that the engine is actually very clean. You never see a Panigale 1299 with one on it.” came up with a plan to turn it into a sleek, modern café his racer.

His British bike had aluminum fenders formed from front to back using a single-sided design similar to a bicycle swingarm. A fully exposed gold Öhlins fork draws well-deserved attention. Instead of an entire front fairing, there is a one-off headlight surround that Jody CAD designed and 3D printed. He then reduced the lighting to his two high-brightness LED projectors. These allow plenty of room for air to circulate through the unit and to the bike’s hidden air filter. Above the headlights is the Panigale stock instrument panel, which looks just right even in this bare configuration. The handlebars are fitted with Rethal Intellevers and Motogadget handlebar end turn signals.

Jody’s construction is a complete departure from Ducati’s original design, but he wanted to retain aspects of the Panigale’s Moto GP generation. This was achieved by incorporating a pair of aerodynamic-looking wings into custom side panels that flank the fuel tank. These panels were also important in achieving the bike’s understated aesthetics. With traction control, anti-wheelie technology and electronics, his Ducati Panigale 1299 is loaded with sensors and electronics. We needed to retain these to retain all of the bike’s factory features and ensure safety. So now everything is in the space behind the panel and I can continue working without attracting attention. As for the bike’s paint, Jody eschewed the classic Ducati red, opting for Volkswagen’s “Pure Gray” instead.

Those familiar with the Panigale 1299 setup will notice how clean the front of Jody’s L-Twin is. I installed a brand new oil cooler on the other side of the engine. This allowed us to significantly reduce the amount of motor leads and cables. He then set out to build his own pipes in the form of one-off exhaust systems. “He 3D printed a prototype of the exhaust flange and used the pie-cut system to build the titanium exhaust,” he explains. “About 70 hours of work went into the exhaust system.” To complete the system, Jody covered the exhaust ports with a hexagonal mesh pattern and repeated it on the custom seat.

As for the rear, custom work continued with another CAD-designed component. A CNC-machined subframe was machined into her two pieces, then welded and polished to a mirror finish. A rounded tail complements the curve of the exhaust pipe below and features an integrated rear light. Jody built a bike he could ride, so the rear has his own suspension tuning. An Öhlins shock is supported by an adjustable Ducabike linkage and has an AM forward control to complete the modified riding position. Jody points out: “The bike ran really smooth, but as you can see, it got a little hot.”

No custom build is complete without performance improvements. Jody’s Ducati Panigale 1299 is no exception. An exhaust change and retune increased the bike’s power to his 220 horsepower. As far as creating an attention grabber, Jody did just that. All that remains is to reveal what the Panigale sounds like now. All your prayers will be heard when you click play below the Bike Shed video (4:12).


Photography by 8t5mm