Written By: Tony Prust
Builder: Analog Motorcycles (@analogmotorcycles)
Motorcycle: 2010 Ducati Hypermotard 796 – The “Hyper8”
Photos: Daniel Peter (@danielpeterphoto) & Etech Photo
Where do I even begin on this one? I have done track days since 2005 and it was one of the reasons I kind of got into building custom bikes. When you get into track riding and do not have a lot of money you learn to do a lot of stuff yourself. I got pretty good at taking things apart, cleaning, tuning and rebuilding. When you do this sort of work and then go out on a race track and ride as fast as you feel comfortable (and nothing falls apart) it’s a good indication that you may know a little something about how to safely work on and operate motorcycles. I always loved track riding and always had the desire to race, but track riding was a costly hobby and racing is an even more costly sport. At the time I did not have the means. I was also a carpenter back then and with that line of work and this kind of hobby, my body was wanting to tap out. In 2008 or so with torn tendons in both elbows a Dr. told me I should stop riding motorcycles for a while. There was no way that was going to happen but I did put a stop to off road and track riding and put more focus on building customs and starting Analog Motorcycles.
[Tony racing the 530EXC. Photo by: Etech Photo]
Fast forward to last year (2019). I had been doing some work for a customer (now friend, Lee) who was putting together a BMW RnineT race bike. He had been racing in AHRMA for a few years and told me I should go racing. “It’s fun and no pressure” he’d say. I had a back burner project, building a 2007 KTM Superduke 990 into a track-only bike to get back into track days. He would see it sitting there and would egg me on to get out and race. So I decided to enter my first race last year with my KTM EXC530 motard.
[Tony racing the 530EXC. Photo by: Etech Photo]
It was the closest race worthy machine I had at the time. I entered it and myself into the motard class last August for the first time. It was in Michigan and so I called up another customer / friend of mine Del Thomas (owner of the Super Scrambler, Indy SS, and Cucciolo Matto). He lived about an hour from the track I was at. He came out to spectate and I could see he was digging the race track scene. Vintage and modern bikes all over, the smell of race fuel, the noise, etc. I went out and was on the last row in 14th and finished the race in 7th. Pretty good for a first timer I thought and I was hooked. A couple weeks later I was back at the same track in Michigan and this time doing some testing on the KTM Superduke990. Once again Del comes out to hang and I was trying to talk him into giving a trackday a try. He seemed genuinely interested in the experience.
[In the pits with Analog Motorcycles and the 530EXC!]
[Side bar: We have hit the show scene pretty hard for the last 5 years or so vending at shows and festivals all over the country. Some of these festivals have been at tracks and I have always thought it would be great to race instead or in addition to vending at some of these shows. With the work for Lee’s RnineT and the couple track days I did with the KTM Superduke we started to open up a new market of customizing customers track/race bikes and landed a couple small jobs from this avenue of marketing. The Analog Motor Goods parts brand we have is going pretty well online and thought maybe this year (2020) we take a year off of shows and vending and try racing the KTM Superduke. This was totally unrelated to the Hyper8.]
The next week, Del called me and said “I think I want to build a race bike” in which I replied, “maybe you should try a trackday first, Del”… He said, “No, I want you to race it”….
(SAY WHAT?!? Pinch me I am dreaming. Who knew all this hard work with Analog Motorcycles would ever pay off like this.)
My customer turned friend wanted to fund a custom built race bike that I would get to race. It was like a dream come true. I wanted to sit down and grab dinner first to iron out the expectations because it just seemed too good to be true. After that it was game on. Del is a data and numbers guy (an Engineer) so after we agreed on some terms I was flooded with spreadsheets on all the ARHMA classes and what bikes can compete in them. From there we honed in on what we thought we could build that he would like (Ducati), that I would want to ride, and that could be competitive in its class. We landed on building a Ducati 796 machine for the “Battle of the Twins 2” class which is air-cooled twins up to 900cc. With an 840cc kit and some tuning the 796 engine seemed to be the best power to weight ratio in the class. Then we needed to decide Monster, Scrambler or Hyper. Monster would have been the obvious choice but I prefer a motard style riding position so we opted for the harder option and scooped up this 2010 Hypermotard 796. The “Hyper8” was born.
[Photos by: Daniel Peter (@danielpeterphoto)]
[Sidebar : This has morphed into a little bit of an Analog Motorcycles race team of sorts. I will be racing the Hyper8 and the soon to be complete “Duke9” (2007 KTM Superduke990). We have also signed on friend, photographer and super fast Daniel Peter to campaign the “Husky7” (2018 Husqvarna 701). Should be a fun year this year and a little change of pace for us. We still are building bikes and selling our Analog Motor Goods parts, but this year we go racing….]
Read Part 2 HERE.
A special thanks from Tony and the Analog crew:
We want to thank all our sponsors who have hopped on board for the 2020 race season. Our title sponsor WireCare has been amazing in the shop and we look forward to working with them more. The products they offer give Analog builds that little extra edge and detail that we think sets us apart from a lot of other shops. Our long time shop sponsor Spectro Oils for all the fluids we put into all our builds and race bikes. Magura with the incredible master cylinders #whostopsyou. R&G Racing products came on board with sliders and engine protection for that just in case moment that we never want to experience. Metzeler for the sticky race tires. Race Tech for the incredible suspension products and knowledge. Cone Engineering for the exhaust options. (We actually have another more restrictive set up that we may need to run at Laguna for their strict 105 db limit. So big thanks to Cone for setting us up with options.) And of course Mr. Del Thomas for this incredible build and this experience.