Not all custom motorcycles built for reality TV are bad. Anthony Partridge is the bike guy on Discovery Channel’s Goblin Works Garage show, and his bikes are aggressive and purposeful, rather than goofy and clichéd. This Ducati Scrambler 1100 is solid proof—even if Ant almost got the brief wrong.
Ant secured the donor bike from Ducati UK, along with a brief from GM Tim Maccabee: build a hill climber. “I immediately thought; ‘okay, super-extended swingarm, paddle tire on the rear and a motocross front end with styling to suit’,” he tells us.
With a head full of ideas, Ant met up with frequent collaborator Ziggy Moto to put together a render of the proposed design. The show’s production company signed off the design—but when Ant enthusiastically presented it to Tim, he was met with confusion.
“There was silence, for what seemed like an eternity, before he replied with, ‘When I said hill climber, I meant Goodwood or Prescott Hill Climbing—not racing up grassy dirt hills.’ Luckily, we both had a laugh about the British versus Canadian translation of hill climbing, and I amended the design to suit. To be fair, other than the extended swing arm and paddle tire, it pretty much stayed true to the original idea.”
Ant might have abandoned the idea of a stretched wheelbase, but the chassis got attention nonetheless. Up front are a set of upside-down Öhlins forks, held in place by Fastec Racing yokes. Out back there’s a gorgeous trellised swingarm—fabricated to spec by GIA Engineering, and linked to an Öhlins TTX GP Pro shock.
The wheels are 17” carbon fiber numbers from BST in South Africa. Ant kept the OEM Brembo brakes, but upgraded them with Galfer discs, and Venhill lines and quick-release connectors. The tires change according to the application, but right now the Ducati wears Dunlop SportSmart TT rubber.
Save for the Scrambler 1100’s fuel tank, most of the bike’s clothing is new. Ant fabricated a new headlight nacelle, then embedded a pair of Highsider LED projectors. Olliminium Auto Fabrication shaped the front fender, and the carbon fiber fork guards are from Sudo Cycles.
The rear’s been reworked with a stubby custom subframe and tail cowl and the seat is new too—flowing neatly into the top of the tank, with upholstery by Inflex Interiors.
Up in the cockpit are Magura controls, a Rizoma mirror and a Fastec Racing speedo housing. The brake lever guard and foot controls are from Sato Racing, along with the frame plugs and crash bobbins. A full set of LED turn signals from Kellermann keeps things street legal, with the rear pair doubling up as taillights.
Ant’s ‘hill climber’ also wears a set of custom exhaust headers from Olliminium, with a modified Yoshimura muffler providing the soundtrack. Under the hood is an Antigravity Lithium-ion battery, hooked up to custom wiring from Wiring4bikes.
Torben handled the menacing black paint job—then Ant tore into it to make it look distressed out the box. (Although given the way he’s been riding it, it would have looked like this in a couple of months anyway.)
The Scrambler’s first outing was at a hill climb race at Gurston Down in the UK. It meant that the whole build had to be completed within six weeks, and in true reality show fashion, Ant was tightening bolts right up to the eleventh hour.
“It was so close,” he tells us, “I frantically pulled into a Ducati dealer near Gurston and begged the manager to lend me a lift—and a mechanic with the special Ducati tool for tightening the headstock, so I could actually ride the bike for the first time.”
“My shakedown run was a 500-foot ride, from the service shop at the back of the dealership to my van in the parking lot. I popped the front wheel in the air, hit the rear and front brake, pumped the clutch and that was that—back in the van and off to the race.”
“To say I was feeling nervous ahead of the event is an understatement. This was the first time I’d be racing a hill climb, on a track I’d never seen, on a bike I hadn’t tested, while being filmed for an international TV show. What could possibly go wrong?”
Luckily, not too much went wrong—other than Ant overshooting the first corner on his sighting lap and running onto the grass. His second hot lap yielded a decent time, but naturally it was the sketchy moment earlier in the day that made it into the final show edit. (“Remember, TV loves drama,” he quips.)
Soon after the Gurston Down race, Discovery called up and asked Ant for more footage of the bike racing—so he entered it into the Malle Mile, and finally raced it on dirt.
“I slapped on a set of Continental TKC80 Dual Sport tires and raced the same bike up a hill in the mud. Not only did I have an absolute blast, I also won most of the races that weekend. Only had one ‘off,’ with no real damage.”
“The Ducati is now my daily ride. On the street this thing is an absolute weapon—a proper hooligan machine that loves to be ridden hard. It’s light, it’s nimble and it’s as quick as anyone needs to go on public roads.”