Building motorcycles is an art as well as a science. While some builders take it very seriously, others have a sense of irreverence. The lighter touch often seems to come from mainland Europe; the French outfit Blitz springs to mind, and another is Spain’s El Solitario, run by David Borras.
‘Chupito’ is the latest from El Solitario, and is based on a 1977 Ducati Road 350. These nimble singles were marketed under the Ducati name, but were actually built by the short-lived Spanish company MotoTrans, which was taken over by Yamaha in the 80s.
“Chupito was commissioned by one of our best friends,” says Borras. “He is a 3D artist and great tequila drinker. Hence the name, which means ‘shot’ in Spanish.” Borras was briefed to build a small city bike that would be fun to ride around the busy streets of Madrid.
Borras describes this Ducati as a “mildly modified special”, but a lot of work has gone into the bike. It was stripped down and extensively powder coated from the frame to the rims. A rewire came next, followed by a new electronic ignition system. All the gaskets and hoses were replaced, and a new Amal 930 carb was installed. A custom stainless steel exhaust was built, along with a reinforced clutch to handle the extra power.
The frame is modified to accommodate the suede solo seat and pillion pad, and the headlight is a vintage find. The scrambler bars are topped off with lovely retro grips made by Posh of Japan. The eye-catching paint was designed and applied by the young London artist Nicolai Sclater of Ornamental Conifer; a modified tank and custom front fender complete the look.
It probably takes a lot to stop the traffic in Madrid—but I reckon Chupito has got what it takes. Head over to the El Solitario website for a sneak peek at their future builds, including a very radical BMW R75/5.