Britain’s deBolex Engineering coachbuilds one-off masterpieces…
A summer’s day in Provence. Lazy afternoon sun. Lavender fields as far as the eye can see. A sweet floral haze tasting of aquamarine and purple. Black sticky tarmac lanes. And a whiff of perfectly burned high octane fuel. Crisp. Metallic. Rich and oily. The glow of an engine block shimmering in the heat.
I wake up. And yet, there was more. Something beautiful. Spellbinding. Toned. Sleek. Curvaceous. And fast. God may have invented fast bikes. But deBolex Engineering, a two-man custom motorcycle builder based in Croydon, England, created this.
An experience so ethereal no mere mortal could resist. I say experience, as to describe their Ducati 803 as “ just” a motorcycle is to describe Elle Macpherson as “ just” a girl. They are Pininfarina. Or Zagato. For deBolex do not build motorcycles, as much as coachbuild on top of rolling chassis. The 803 was created as part of a series of one-of-a-kind commissions.
Inspired by 1960’s Italian GP racing bikes, then coachbuilt on reliable mass-produced engineering. For the 803 the donor was a Ducati Scrambler, but other manufacturer donors including Triumph and Buell have also been used. Each of the special one- offs bears the moniker “1/1” on the coachwork. And each is one of the “One of One” prototypes built by deBolex.
They have one more “One of One” left in them, based on a Kawasaki ZXR. Once complete they will turn their hand to the bit that is important for you to understand. A series of limited edition bikes, the “Lightweight Sports” will begin production. A total of 25 LS bikes will be built with the aesthetics of the 803. But a little more grunt to boot. Aluminum will give way to carbon fibre. And you will be able to specify colours, fabrics and finishes, together with technical upgrades to wheels, brakes and exhausts from the stock Ducati 1200 Monster donor.
Whatever happens, we are sure it will be the beginning of a love affair. So get the £25,950 required ready, and take a ticket to get in line behind us. We’re gonna be living the dream. ■
Text by DUNCAN QUINN
Photographed by AMY SHORE