Radical Ducati Matador

12/02/2013 @ 3:13 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS


We haven’t seen something from the boys at Radical Ducati in a while, so their timing with Radical Ducati Matador and the holidays seems like an early moto-related present.

For the un-initiated, Radical Ducati is a small shop in Madrid, Spain that specializes in Frankensteining together custom motorcycles from the Ducati parts bin.

Based around the Ducati 1198 Superbike lump, and featuring all the usual Radical Ducati parts, the Radical Ducati Matador is not only typical of the Spanish firm’s gritty design practice, but also makes us nostalgic for the now deceased Ducati Streetfighter 1098 platform, which hit upon the same raw vein during its brief time in Ducati’s lineup.

The signature minimalist carbon fiber RAD solo tail section and RAD fuel tank are included in the Matador’s design, and we especially like that Pepo and Reyes have massaged some love into the 1198 engine, with a lightened flywheel and ported heads being part of the build — though no word is given on available power.

Still at 304 lbs, this machine should positively kill it at your local track day. We like that. Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes, an EVR slipper clutch, and a RAD designed exhaust pipe complete the go-fast parts. You’ll have to remove your own chicken strips though.

Build Specifications of the Radical Ducati Matador:

  • RAD 02 Aluminum frame
  • RAD 02 Aluminum subframe
  • RAD 02 Aluminum swingarm
  • RAD 02 ergal triple clamps yokes
  • Öhlins front fork
  • Brembo calipers
  • Discacciati Brake and Clutch radial pump
  • Discacciati rotors
  • Domino quick open gas throttle
  • RAD 02 ergal clip ons
  • RAD carbon fiber front mudguard
  • RAD carbon fiber rear mudguard
  • Discacciati rear brake kit with support, 200mm rear rotor and four piston caliper
  • Öhlins rear shock
  • RAD 02 Ergal regulable rear height rod
  • Rizoma footrest
  • Ducati 1198 SP engine: ported heads, lightened flywheel, EVR slipper clutch
  • Febur race water radiator
  • RAD 02 carbon fiber airbox with Jet Prime special air intakes with holders for injectors.
  • Super Mario 2 in1 exhaust system
  • RAD “tail fish” megaphone
  • RAD carbon fiber bellypan
  • NGK race spark cables.
  • RAD 02 electrical wiring
  • Aviacompositi race dashboard
  • Baylistic LIPO battery
  • ITX Aluminum forged wheels
  • RAD 02 Aluminum fuel tank
  • RAD 02 carbon fiber Corsa Evo solo seat
  • RAD front plate number
  • Weight: 138 kg
















Source: Radical Ducati

  • Mitch

    Beautiful, but unless you think you can out-engineer Ducati, there’s probably a reason why their trellis frames were steel, and not aluminum. Plus, swingarm design is very complex and dialing in flex is an art; something tells me this bike has made some performance sacrifices in the name of design.

  • Crom

    all that money. all that effort and “design”…

    and they can’t out-hooligan a stock/production KTM 1290 Super Duke R

  • j.davis

    I almost puked when I saw this mess.

  • froryde

    Wow, tough crowd.

    Granted, I don’t this is Radical’s best work to date but there were plenty of other awesome builds – retro endurance Monster M900, “Pantahstic” endurance, carbie 900TT, Dirt Rad, 9 1/2… And I feel the choice of colours isn’t doing the bike any favours either.

    And I can think of many reasons why Ducati stuck with steel instead of aluminium – cost, legacy (as we all know motorcyclists are actually quite a conservative bunch), marketing, supply availability, technical know-haow…etc. Not saying that aluminium in this case is superior, but perhaps the answer with steel is not purely one of performance.

  • Richard Gozinya

    Yeah, Aluminum is more expensive, largely because in cases like this, where lots of welding is involved, it’s a much more tricky process than steel. An easier, and nearly as light, way to go would be chromoly, which Ducati never bothered with, because it, like aluminum, is more expensive than steel. What I’m getting at is Ducati opted for the cheap route, not the best route. Look at how long it took them to deal with their cheap as hell to make plastic fuel tank issues. Sure, a company like Ducati can do some impressive work, when they want to, but they’re more about profit than product, like most legacy companies.

    Compare a stock Ducati with what RAD, NCR or Walt Siegl does sometime. When cost to mass produce isn’t an issue, some amazing stuff can get made.

  • Jeram


  • Andrey

    The “engine bay” (for want of a better phrase) on this bike is a total mess. They would have been better putting a two valve motor in there. There are plenty of other bikes that provide performance; why ride something that looks this bad?
    Looks like a poorly put together parts bin special.
    It’s a shame because most of their work is really cool

  • Kenny

    I disagree, I think the engine looks fantastic! No pretence or faffing about. It’s a big hairy brute of an engine thats here to chew bubblegum and kick ass….and it’s all out of bubblegum.
    Besides the air-cooled custom duke has been done almost to death by everyone including ducati themselves, these LC dukes make a welcome change. Especially when function appears to supersede form.

  • smiler

    Seeing as it does not have a 300 rear tire then I guess the crowd just don’t get it.

    They always produce something interesting and even if the entirity is not always beautiful, elements are always worth a look. They have their own tank now and that looks great.

    Well done to them again.

    Would like to see an OCC Ducati, that would be funny.

  • Johnny Crash

    From an engineering point of view an aluminum frame has sense only with large section frames (deltabox type, or monocoque).
    With small section structures, it is not adequate to use aluminum because you can not improve the structural efficiency of a steel frame, and however, using aluminum in this kind of structures has several disadvantages, for example with steel you can achieve infinite life and with aluminum not.
    That’s why Ducati, and other brands, build their trellis using steel. The same applies for trellis car frames, or light airplane trellis frames… all are built using steel.
    This issue is not related with cost or problems in the fabrication. Even the MotoGP Ducatis had steel trellis, and the reason is because with this kind of structure you can achieve a better efficiency with steel than with aluminum.

  • chris

    a friend of mine bought that aluminum frame. he paid a lot of money and had to wait a long while. he needed a 5′ pry bar to get it to fit on the motor. everything i’ve ever seen from them doesn’t fit or is terrible quality. they are masters of color, but not craftsmen. the 1/8″ seat foam is only draped on the bike. looks good in pictures, but i wouldn’t ride it.

  • The Architect

    @MiTch …..you are dumb as rocks!! Ever heard of Pierobon???? They have made race frames for Ducati WSBK since 1998 and they are made of 100% ALUMINUM!

  • Richard Gozinya

    @chris, So, better off going with NCR, or a custom from Walt Siegl then? The former seems to mostly use titanium, the latter chromoly.

  • Jw

    Nice name heist from Bultaco

  • chris

    @richard i don’t know if you can title seigel’s or ncr’s for the street… best to stick with an oem ducati frame as a starting place… unless you don’t care about titling. i’m building four ducatis right now. kaemna, a german shop, sells modification kits for 999/749 frames to drop some weight.

    @The Architect you are wrong. all trellis wsbk frames are steel. period. the other frames they make are for track day toys, and not homologated for racing.

  • Norm G.

    re: “Would like to see an OCC Ducati, that would be funny.”

    you do realize they did one don’t you…? they filmed a show on the bike and actually had a franchise and everything. it lasted for all of 5 mins.

  • Norm G.

    re: “Ever heard of Pierobon???? They have made race frames for Ducati”

    you’re prolly thinking of Verlicci. they subcontract manufacture for a lot of brands. Aprilia, BMW, even Buell iirc.

  • Norm G.

    re: “but i wouldn’t ride it.”

    me neither, not unless you had a death wish.

    I actually had to do a double take. looking at just the pictures, I just naturally assumed this was a stock steel frame. then i’m reading all the comments discussing aluminum…? and i’m like, what the f#ck is everybody on about…?

    ok, lemme go back up and see. OMG, items 1 and 3 in the build spec say aluminum…!!! I thought it was friggin’ typo till I zoomed in. the welds give it away.

    FAIL can’t sub 6000 series (or any grade of aluminum for that matter) for steel 1 for 1 like this. this is a disaster waiting to happen. I know. I’ve got personal experience with this approach and i’m lucky things didn’t end in tears. I should’ve known better. my only saving grace was that my design (only semi-related) started life from solid billet with no welding so no HAZ. I experienced a progressive failure (bending) rather than catastrophic failure (crack propagation followed by rapid disassembly). i/we were afforded the luxury of time to react.

    while I knew the item would probably fail, I thought would last weeks and months before failure…? instead it didn’t last but a few hours (mind blown). I redesigned it (still 6061-T6) and now it works great. stress reversal is aluminum’s Achilles heel, so it’s not a question of if this frame will fail…? but when. should it happen at speed, you don’t wanna be the guy on it when it does.

  • Still using that tail piece with waves in the surface similar to an ocean,
    RAD needs to get a good modeler onboard, give me a shout.