If I was asked to pull together a list of my top 10 custom motorcycle workshops from around the globe (there’s an idea for a future post!) South Garage from Italy would be a shoo-in. Their ‘Martinez’ Ducati 749 Cafe Racer was an absolute show stopper and clocked up thousands of shares when I featured it back in March 2012. Their latest build, the Ducati Monster S4R based ‘Kelevra’, took out first prize for best Cafe Racer at the 2012 EICMA and it’s easy to see why.
Inspired by the lines of the Manx Norton, the Monster’s factory bodywork has been replaced by a custom made South Garage fibreglass components. The new bodywork transforms the Monster into a classicly styled Cafe Racer as well as revealing more of the S4R’s beautiful engine. The Kelevra’s tank is 5cm wider than the original to match the width of the Monsters trellis frame. This change in width has also resulted in a larger fuel capacity even though the overall dimensions are smaller than the original. The tail section is again inspired by classic Cafe Racer styling. A wasp tail, a single saddle seat that sits 6cm higher than the stock unit, matches the lines of the Kelevra’s new tank while also levelling the bodywork with the road.
Installing the new tank necessitated the removal of the bikes stock airbox which South Garage replaced with intake ducts attached directly to each throttle body. The Kelevra’s 2-into-1 stainless-steel exhaust features around 70 individual, hand-welded components. Designed and constructed by workshop metalsmith Fabrizio, the two headers snake their way around the Monsters engine before merging at a reverse Megaphone muffler. To manage the changes in airflow from these modifications South Garage remapped the bikes ECU to “optimize power”. With an output figure of 113 bhp (83.4kw) from the S4R’s 996cc, 90 ° twin the Kelevra is capable of eye-watering 10.8-second quarter-mile runs.
Handling has also been addressed by fitting a set of Showa upside-down forks to the front end and a pair of progressive Sachs to the rear which is all fully adjustable to suit the drivers riding style. Other aesthetic and performance modifications to the Ducati include a Lucas style headlight, Tarozzi rear sets, custom made brake and clutch reservoirs, custom made aluminium front fender and the ribbed brown leather saddle. As with other South Garage builds the Kelevra’s paintwork is an absolute work of art. Completed by Ivan Design it’s an orange/gold metal flake over a base of matte sand yellow. The Kelevra script was hand-laid by Ivan along with the copper leaf South Garage branding.
As well as taking out ‘Best Cafe Racer’ at the prestigious EICMA show the Kelevar has been crowned as one of the 30 most beautiful Cafe Racers in the world (no one here is disagreeing) and will be making an appearance at this years Sturgis AMD Championship. Giuseppe from South Garage revealed plans to me about a new retail project in Milan that will be happening in conjunction with a certain well known Australian custom moto brand which sounds like the perfect pairing. The South Garage retail store will stock their custom conversion kits which are designed to be bolt-on bodywork upgrades for modern Ducatis (including a Kelevra kit) and Triumphs. If you’re not in Italy (like yours truly) never fear, the South Garage website now offers their body kits and performance parts for sale through their new online speed shop.