John Pellew of Taimoshan Cycle Works has built another nicely modified motorcycle and this time, subtle is the word. When we last saw the work of John Pellew, it was the Taimoshan Super Cafe Racer, an Aprilia engine in a featherbed frame. This time, he’s built what he calls the Llandough Flyer, a Ducati 860 GTS, with all of the “ugly bits” removed and redone in a more subtle and tasteful style.
According to John, the 860 GTS was a styling letdown for the Ducati faithful after the 750 and 900SS. Mechanically sound but simply done wrong with too much plastic and a boring look. John took a rather undistinguished 860 and decided to clean it up for daily riding duties, giving it a little head down stance, single seat, clean frame and a black and polished metal scheme. The result is a nice example of what many owners could do with a bit of time and effort.
John took the Duc down to the basics, stripped the frame and swingarm and painted or polished as needed. He chopped the rear grab rail and subframe for the old seat and rewelded the necessary pieces for the new single seat.
He detabbed the frame, cleaned up the factory welds and added tabs with Dzus fasteners for the new seat.
He found a set of Akront alloy flanged rims with stainless steel spokes and polished up the rear brake hub. He polished and swapped the left and right fork legs to move the calipers to the rear. John tossed the rubber gaiters and installed new dust caps.
He cut off the handlebar top mounting brackets, TIG welded the bolt holes, sanded and polished the yokes and cleaned up left over casting marks. He installed Tarozzi adjustable clipons to get the right stance. He made a new mounting bracket for the gauges from 2mm aluminum. New alloy headlight brackets lowered the light.
The 860 had plastic handlebar controls, so John put those in the trash, finding some nice alloy British bits on eBay which polished up nicely.
He was going to replace the tank but found the original actually looked better than some replacements he considered so that piece survived the restyle.
He rewired the somewhat ratty and less than totally stock harness. The starter had already been removed by a previous owner and since it was known to be a trouble spot, he kept it kick start only and finds it to be easy and trouble free. The battery is a heavy duty unit from a Buell XB12S, it’s all black, fits great and has lots of grunt should someone ever decide to reinstall an electric starter.
A light engine clean up, some Ducati green fuel hose and a good tune up were the sum total done in the engine area. Nothing more was needed since it runs great.
Tarozzi adjustable folding footpegs were installed to give John a little more room.
When you look at the finished build, unless someone runs down the list of what John did, you might miss a lot of it, it’s very subtle but very well done. The end result is one of those bikes that catches your eye because everything seems to fit together. Nice work, John!
Link: Taimoshan Cycle Works