The retirement of Nicky Hayden’s racing number at the Grand Prix of the Americas wasn’t the only tribute being done for America’s beloved motorcycle racer. This is because on stage at Ducati Island, a special tribute bike was unveiled that remembers the Italian brand’s history with the Kentucky Kid,
The special Ducati Panigale V4 is the work of the folks at MotoCorsa, and it imagines what Nicky’s Ducati MotoGP race bike would look like in street bike form.
“We wanted to do something special for Nicky Hayden and the NH Foundation, so we could honor him and his legacy,” explained MotoCorsa General Manager Jamie Rucklos, when talking about the impetus for making the tribute bike.
“The best way we could think of to honor Nicky’s memory was by building a tribute bike based of the livery of his 2012 Ducati MotoGP bike. Our goal from day one was to do the official unveiling during the MotoGP event in Austin.”
As you can see, the livery is practically inch-for-inch the same as the MotoGP bike (or at least as close as possible considering the different lines between the two motorcycles), and it is hand-painted onto the fairings – no stickers or vinyl here!
From there, the MotoCorsa team added more than a few parts from the Ducati Performance catalog, namely some carbon fiber BST wheels, Öhlins suspension front and back, a dry clutch from STM, Ducati Performance rearsets, and no shortage of Rizoma goodies.
The bike is a well-balanced blend of race track bling and go-fast parts, and considering the Panigale V4’s connection to Ducati’s MotoGP program – namely the 90° V4 desmodromic engine – the treatment here feels right.
In person, the bike is a stunner. With some help from the moody Portland sunshine, we got to snap more than a few pictures of the machine (check the gallery below) – it really does look good in the light…and even better in person.
“I think Nicky Hayden has a special place in the hearts of many Ducatisti because of the five seasons that he rode for the Ducati factory team, and because the US is one of the largest markets for Ducati,” continued Rucklos, talking about MotoCorsa’s creation.
“Nicky being an American and one of the most influential riders in modern day made it easy for people to like him. During his years as a Ducati factory rider, he always represented the brand with such class, and had a positive impact on customers and dealers worldwide. We certainly all miss him.”
To that end, MotoCorsa’s tribute bike isn’t just a show bike. The dealership plans on doing a special seven-day auction on eBay, with 100% of the proceeds above the reserve price going to the NH Foundation – the charity of choice for the Hayden family.
The auction will also have a “Buy it Now” price of $69,000 – a nod to Nicky’s racing number, and certainly a healthy donation to the foundation that continues his memory.
If you didn’t get a chance to see the Nicky Hayden tribute bike in the flesh at the Circuit of the Americas, you will have a second chance during the WorldSBK round at Laguna Seca, which starts on July 12th. Until then, enjoy the photos below.
Build Specs for the Nicky Hayden Tribute Ducati Panigale V4:
- Hand-painted MotoGP livery from the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 by Eddie Slepicka
- Akrapovic slip-on Exhaust
- Superleggera BST carbon fiber wheels
- Öhlins R/T forks and TTX rear shock
- Öhlins steering damper
- Ducati Performance V4 R Dry Clutch Kit
- Ducati Performance rearsets
- Ducati Performance levers
- Custom etched triple clamp with “01/01” and Nicky’s “69” logo
- Ducati Performance race seat
- Ducati Performance wheels sliders
- Ducati Performance Oversized Windscreen
- Futurismoto mirror blocks turn signals
- Futurismoto Tail Tidy with turn signals
- Ducati Performance Carbon Fiber Tank cover, swingarm cover, rear tire hugger and heel guards.
Photos: © 2019 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – All Rights Reserved