The Ducati Paul Smart 1000 LE is special on so many levels. It’s not only one of Ducati’s greatest hits, but also one of the best looking modern classics ever produced. And since only 2,000 were ever made, it’s as rare as hen’s teeth—so good luck getting your hands on one.
This isn’t lost on Analog Motorcycles founder Tony Prust. Faced with a client that was keen on having his Paul Smart customized, Tony had to figure out how to improve on perfection, while still respecting the rarity and beauty of this factory cafe racer. But Tony’s a professional and Analog are known for their clean, tasteful builds… so naturally, they did good.
Analog’s client approached the shop with the Ducati already in hand, and initially just wanted some mild tweaks. “I kindly said he should have the dealership pick the bike back up,” says Tony, “and they can take care of those mods quicker than we would have time to, and probably for less money to be honest.”
“We were focusing a bit more on the Analog Motor Goods parts brand and I was only trying to book builds that were higher level full custom machines. We were not really doing simple custom stuff anymore. I did not want it to sound snobbish—but we just wouldn’t have even entertained this type of build to begin with.”
The customer then pivoted and asked Tony exactly what level of custom work would make it worth his while to take on—and that got his gears turning.
“The idea was to build a Paul Smart that was tailored enough that Ducati enthusiasts would look at it and say ‘wow, that is amazing,’ and not be upset we tailored a limited edition bike. If I had known we were going to go this route I would have said ‘let’s save some money and scoop up a Sport Classic to start with.’ I do have some integrity when it comes to things that are rare and more valuable, so I designed everything to be able to go back to stock if ever needed.”
The big trick here is that Analog have trimmed the Ducati down, without changing the silhouette much. From afar, all but the staunchest of Ducatisti will confuse this for a stock Paul Smart—but up close, Tony’s work shines.
He’s kept the OEM fuel tank up top, but shaped a new fairing and tail that he feels complement the lines of the tank better. Focus on the tail bump, and you’ll notice that it has the same indentation on top as the tank—something the stock unit doesn’t.
“That top piece was a compound curve and one of the most challenging hand-formed pieces I have made to date,” says Tony.
The seat pan’s his handiwork too, and is topped off with upholstery from regular Analog collaborator, Dane at Plz Be Seated. Tony also designed the seat pan to release via the original latch and key, so that it would feel factory.
The same consideration went to the fairing, which was made in four sections before being welded together and massaged into shape. Behind it, Analog relocated the dash and built new fairing stays and brackets, all of which bolt to the Ducati’s original mounting points. A small Denali M4 LED headlight keeps things tidy up front.
“Overall we shaved probably 4 to 5” off the width and height of the original bodywork,” says Tony. “It is a Ducati Paul Smart put on a serious visual diet.”
Analog slimmed the bike down further by ditching its chunky side-slung exhausts. In their place is a full custom system, pieced together with stainless steel sections and mufflers from Cone Engineering, and exiting under the tail. Tony opted to ceramic coat the system in black, to match the original color scheme.
Most of the Ducati’s running gear is still the same, since it came from the factory with Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes. Analog simply re-sprung the suspension for their client’s weight, and fitted a set of Alpina wheels that the client supplied. EBC rotors and Metzeler Roadtec01 tires round out the package.
The client also sent new clip-ons and foot pegs, which went on along with Vortex grips, new mirrors from CRG and Magura master cylinders. Analog also installed custom made Spiegler brake lines and a Demontech rear caliper relocation bracket. The taillight is a Denali B6 unit, the LED turn signals are from Analogs’ Motor Goods catalog, and there’s an EarthX Lithium-ion battery hiding under the tail.
Just as Analog were buttoning the Paul Smart up to ship it out, their client threw a beautiful spanner in the works: he wanted a full engine upgrade too.
The shop was in the process of relocating from Chicago to Tennessee, so they paused the build, took the bike with them, and stripped it again on the other side.
The motor went off to The Duc Shop in Atlanta, and came back with a 1,100 cc big bore kit, Ducati performance cam and Kbike slipper clutch. It’s now also running a NCR oil cooler and Pramac slave cylinder, and a Corse Dynamics intake kit with K&N filters. With everything put back together, The Duc Shop then tuned it to coax the maximum potential from the upgraded mill.
Finished off with matching silver paint on the new bodywork by Ron Siminak, Analog’s ‘Paul Smart 2.0’ tastefully rides the line between original and custom. And just to prove it, photographer Steve West shot the bike in a style that mimics Ducati’s original Paul Smart 1000 LE marketing imagery.
If you absolutely must customize a Paul Smart, this is how it’s done.