Ducati 1299 Panigale - Roland Sands KH9 - 1

Roland Sands is an artist who works in the medium of motorcycles. Long-known for his cafe racer specials, and provision of parts for Harley-Davidsons, Triumphs and BMWs, Sands turned his eye to the Ducati 1299 Panigale at the request of a customer, and worked his particular brand of magic to create the KH9 in his shop, Roland Sands Design.

Originally inspired by a Jeff Koons BMW art car, Sands was commissioned by a customer who is a drag racer, and is into speed and all types of racing, to build a motorcycle that matched his Top Fuel Funny Car dragster. Sands took the design, and simplified it, using a satin gloss pattern and brushed satin metal finish.

The KH9 wasn’t an overly complicated build, according to Sands. Using the skills of Chris Wood from Airtrix, the fuel tank was polished, along with the triple clamps, billet parts and other items. Wood then did the paint job, and custom-striped and lettered the rear wheel, as well as the Superleggera exhaust. The bike was also liberally sprinkled with carbon-fibre parts from the Ducati catalogue, and custom-built components from Sands himself.

The overall look of the Ducati 1299 Panigale is retained, but the eye-popping Corsa Red colour is now gone, leaving behind a subdued, almost stealthy, black satin finish. In an interview with Sportbike Inc magazine, Sands said the Panigale would be a one-off, and that it was difficult to develop parts for a machine that changed every three to four years, unlike cruisers and retro bike, which stay unchanged for decades.

Sands did say that he was working with Ducati to develop a line of custom parts and accessories for the 2016 XDiavel, building upon the earlier work he did developing parts for the previous Diavel for Ducati. This time around, Ducati wanted to put the Roland Sands brand on the parts, unlike previously.

The design shop Sands founded is not short of work, with projects such as another Panigale and a Superlegerra Cafe Racer coming down the pipes. There is also a full hand-built 9T-based custom, a BMW Drag bike and possibly a Diavel Custom on the long waiting list.