Roland Sands Design
The RSD Desmo Tracker is finally finished, tested and thrashed just enough to ensure she’s ready to do battle on the streets of San Diego. The Desmo Tracker was a difficult build in many ways. As you can imagine digging your hands into the Mona Lisa is not done without a measure of respect and reserve. But this is how we approach most of our builds as we attempt to retain what is best of the original design and to explore ways to improve or change the function of the machine in a way the new owner would like to enjoy his machine. The words Moto GP and Dirttrack couldn’t be further from the other in terms of function and aesthetic on two wheels. Our job was too blend the two into something that could be at home on the show room floor ready for public consumption with a push button starter, comfortable egro’s, street and dirt worthy suspension, lights and 180 plus horsepower on tap. We feel we have obtained that goal.
Desmo Blog 7

 RSD Desmo Tracker
The Desmo continues on her path to another existence. A path scattered with gravel, clay and dirt. Computer driven telemetry and laptops have been traded in for tire groovers and rawhide mallets. She accepts her fate gracefully. At her heart lies a deep desire to scream at the better part of 18,000 RPM. She shall be given the opportunity to satisfy her desires, but on another field of battle. Perhaps the there is a mile or two of flat dirt somewhere in her future with enough grip to put her to the test. Wheeling, sliding and begging for just a little more track, just a little wider exit.. God bless the brave soul who dares to test her limits. 

Desmo Blog 6
When building a custom swing arm there are many things you need to take into consideration before starting. Basic geometry/ length, shock position, chain line, center line of wheel and tire clearance are the most important. So we don’t build blindly, we first faro arm the stock swing arm to get all the info necessary. We then model it up so we know what we are building is going to work. Once the model is complete we start the fixture for the build. Here are a few examples of the design, fixture and build for the Desmo tracker swingarm.

Blog 5

Click here for MCN’s full story on the Desmo Flat-Tracker.

Here’s a little story Guy Procter, the Senior Editor from Motorcycle News, wrote.

Blog 4

It’s always nice when a project starts to take shape. Pencil lines become sheet metal. It starts to feel like you’re getting somewhere…It’s a good Friday. Time for a beer.

Blog 3 Next up is the tail section. We’ve left the tank unfinished as we want to make sure to match the tail sections lines as close as possible. We got our hands on a power hammer which makes shaping the aluminum bodywork much easier. Templates have been made taped together and cut in raw aluminum. We have maintained a nice seat line that is half desmo and half flat track. We were lucky to have an original flat track tail and seat in the rafters to aid us with our lines. After much debate we decided the tail must be made of aluminum. It would have been so easy to of bolted the fiberglass unit on, but what’s the fun in that. Much attention has been paid to making the seat area comfortable and with a nice radius to flow with the inner thigh area. Sharp edges mean pinched skin and we are not fans of unneeded pain while throwing a bike into a slide at 100plus MPH.

Blog 2 The sub frame has been complete as well as the gas tank base/airbox cover, top and sides. We utilized many of the Desmo’s original lines while giving it a large radius and lowering the tank considerably from the stock position. We machined a new fuel pump base and mounted it in the bottom of the tank above the exhaust exit and rear cylinder head at an aesthetically pleasing angle. This will allow us to keep the sub frame area as open as possible as we plan on doing trellis bracing in that area and don’t want to have a jumble of wires and hoses in that area.



Blog 1

The Ducati Demosedici completely blew away the motorcycle world in its debut in 2008. The only true, street legal Moto GP race bike made available to the general public. With a limited production of 1,500 units worldwide, the 500 shipped to the US sold out in just 5 hours! This box-stock V4-powered machine cranks out 200 HP, redlines at 16,000 RPM and weighs in at a nimble 377 lb. What more could you ask for?

Well, our good friend Justyn Amstutz (owner of 3 Desmo’s) is not one to leave anything alone. We already did the teardown on his ZERO-mile bike in order to start converting it into our version of a street legal, “Street Tracker”. All of the bodywork was preserved to allow him to use as spares in case he lays down one of his other Desmos. We started mock up of the project by putting it on some spoked wheels with flat track race tires. We then fab’d up a subframe, and started on creating the tail section and aluminum gas tank to get that flat track inspired appearance.

Justyn Amstutz completing teardown on his own machine.


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Comment with Roland Sands (47)
Tony D. says:
3/5/2011 12:35:00 AM
wow. This is going to be absolutely incredible.
bobx says:
3/5/2011 5:28:00 AM
oh shit….
Marcus says:
3/5/2011 8:45:00 AM
Holy shit! In true v5 tracker spirit! I will follow it closely! Please update often! Supercool!! Cheers, Marcus
Emmet says:
3/5/2011 8:58:00 PM
WTF!!!! This is gonna be ridiculous. Will follow closely!!
matthew says:
3/6/2011 8:57:00 AM
i don’t mean to be rude roland, but are you not just ruining a very good bike: that thing’s a classic piece of design; some would say unimprovable…
sam says:
3/7/2011 3:18:00 AM
Wow… what a project!
Ryan says:
3/10/2011 10:27:00 PM
The idea alone blows my mind! I can’t wait to see the finished product!
bobx says:
3/15/2011 9:34:00 PM
i dont mean to be rude either. cut that f’er up. hahaahahaaa.
oreiz says:
3/15/2011 9:47:00 PM
Geil, das könnte echt ‘n Hammer werden!
Justyn says:
3/15/2011 9:52:00 PM
Roland, are you done with my desmo yet? It looks sick so far! Can’t believe I actually have to watch you build the bike on the blog. Rumor has it that Ducati would like to display the DesmoTracker at Ducati Island at Laguna this year…Stoked to see the finished product and actually ride it. And I agree w bobx, cut that F’r up!!!!!!!!!
khairil says:
3/17/2011 10:51:00 AM
wow, memang mengancam. nampak hebat. macam mana bila siap. tapi sayang betul sekor desmosedici R.I.P!…
Stuka says:
3/17/2011 2:36:00 PM
Cut that F’er up..!! :):)
KGB says:
3/18/2011 12:55:00 AM
Another sow’s ear from a silk purse. Brilliant.
Capizzi says:
3/18/2011 3:47:00 PM
Fu*k yeah. Cut it up! There’s 1499 bikes left! Justyn, can I ride it?
Pierre COl says:
3/19/2011 8:07:00 AM
Hmmm, curious to see the result… I appreciate your work, but as a sportbike addict, with 15,000 miles on my Desmosedici RR, I keep it as it is.
Justyn says:
3/21/2011 8:15:00 PM
Capizzi, hell yes you can ride it! Technically, there’s only 1497 of them left, two more to try if this one doesn’t go well. We’ll make sure that one of them is rideable!
aaron says:
3/22/2011 5:38:00 AM
hey justyn cant wait to see it, i had #0127 sold mine to a guy on the east coast, oh well… aaron ( ricos buddy )
john says:
3/22/2011 7:39:00 AM
Man this is going to be nuts, cant wait to see the finished product.
alan says:
3/26/2011 11:19:00 PM
Marcus, it’s a V4, not a V5.
Jake says:
3/29/2011 8:49:00 PM
This is going to be awsome. I’m in the process of turning a 1980 Kawasaki KZ440 into a street tracker. I got to make me a seat like you did on this. Keep up the great work.
Marcus says:
4/6/2011 5:22:00 AM
@ alan: Know the RSD bike build history and you get it too hopefully…
Stefan says:
4/6/2011 8:06:00 PM
Oh man, this is a crime, you can’t wreck a Desmosedici… Please, use Harley for your experiments, not Ducati…
bobx says:
4/7/2011 10:52:00 PM
wreck it. hahahahahaahahahahhhaaaaa….. . the desmo is dead!!!! . long live the desmo!!!!! . hahahhhaahahahahaa……
Cernicky says:
4/14/2011 11:22:00 PM
I want to ride it!
Marcus says:
4/15/2011 7:51:00 AM
Great title on the article! Super cool build, Roland! I was surprised to see a updated build photo on speedjunkies blog and not here. Anyway, can’t wait to see it ready and the track video!!! Cheers, Marcus
mickO says:
4/16/2011 4:19:00 AM
not insane
Chris says:
10/9/2011 6:40:04 AM
You are one crasy guy...but if there is anyone who can build is you!! Just can't wait to see it...:)
strogateta says:
10/22/2011 4:18:29 PM
go ahead.
Phil says:
10/27/2011 7:39:37 PM
I've been looking and looking for some info on the wheels on this bike. Are they RSD wheels, or something else? Are they 18"? I've got a project going that those wheels would be perfect for, I'd like to know where I can get my hands on a set.
rolandadmin says:
11/4/2011 10:55:34 AM
These are Performance Machine Flat Track Race Wheels. Used by most of the top race teams. They are 19" only and are available in two widths 3.0" and 3.5". Please contact PM directly for more information.
john reed says:
10/27/2011 11:28:27 PM
Roland, you are a very lucky young man,I like this
Justyn says:
10/29/2011 10:47:42 AM
Rol/Rod/Aaron/Cam/Joe & Rest of the RSD Crew, The bike looks Fucking sick! I'm so stoked that we did this project. We (you) produced an amazing & functional piece of art that kept with the original spirit of Ducati and the Desmo. I can't wait to actually get some seat time with my new girl (Sorry Lori). What the hell are we gonna do next to top this one??? Thanks to Cernicky and the Cycle World Gang for the amazing article and cover! For those that want to see her in person, stop by the K & N booth at SEMA to see the Desmo Tracker before I take Cernicky's advise and try to actually ride it on a mile oval! "Remote Control Wallet"
jo says:
11/7/2011 2:08:59 AM
you schould go to pikes peak with this!
jo says:
11/7/2011 2:10:18 AM
you schould go to pikes peak with this!
dougaraida-69 says:
11/9/2011 5:52:55 AM
It is a wonderful motorbike. It is excited.
Mark says:
11/17/2011 6:39:28 AM
Unbelievable! Now you're cooking with gas. This RSD project hits the nail square on the head. Keep up the good work.
Markus ..from Germany.. says:
11/18/2011 6:39:16 AM
yes..thats it..i think my desmo also get a little facelift like your bike..compliments!
Lorenzo1050 says:
12/3/2011 1:50:28 PM
Check please!
Paolo says:
1/1/2012 11:19:44 AM
Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....Oh my god.....
Anonymous says:
1/10/2012 11:46:24 PM
Proving once again, that just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Horrible.
cree8 says:
2/5/2012 12:52:28 AM
one german phrase: GEIL
Brasletti says:
2/23/2012 3:36:20 AM
Hey Justyn! What brand of tires did you put on? Are these Heidenaus?
rolandadmin says:
2/27/2012 11:30:52 AM
These are 19" Goodyear/Dunlop Dirt Track race tires.
Jay Hartman says:
2/25/2012 7:35:14 AM
Love the build. BIG Ducati fan. Tight concept--wish they had more of a standard in their current lineup. One point of consideration for the master(and please don't call me a purist), that classic color scheme would look great with classic metal-toned wheels in a gold similar to the engine sideplates--maybe a silver ring around the edge. The black-outs are great on the modern bikes, but your Duchess would look pretty with some jewels!
Gunner says:
8/6/2012 10:01:45 AM
Would it be possible to make this, but with a 1098s as the base baike?
rolandadmin says:
9/13/2012 11:07:37 AM
Yes sir. Please e-mail us if you are erious about doing a major custom build like this. Would make a great bike and you can find 1098s for pretty cheap.
Anthony Chiocchi says:
8/23/2012 6:09:18 PM
This bike inspired me to toy with my 750ss the rear swing arm is a wet dream. I like my rear brake though!! I finally have a use for my autometer speedo:-D I'm inlove with this bike! Keep it up!
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