Cream of the crop: A Ducati 749 café racer from Estonia



Similar to any historic marque, Ducati has had its fair proportion of divisive bike designs. The Ducati 749 and 999 spring to thoughts. Penned by the legendary Pierre Terblanche, they have been a daring step away from the design language established by the enduring 916.

The sharp fairing and stacked headlight design shared by the 749 and 999 divided opinion. However it finally didn’t matter; each finally proved to be extremely succesful sportbikes. Even the smaller 749 made a decent 108 hp in inventory trim, with the upgraded S and R fashions good for 116 hp and 121 hp every.

Ducati 749 café racer by Kalapea Garage
This practice 2005 Ducati 749S has strayed removed from Terblanche’s authentic design, but it surely hasn’t sacrificed an iota of that efficiency. In truth, it really goes higher than earlier than.

Hardcore Ducatisti needn’t weep; the donor bike was wrecked when the proprietor, Kaspar Ilves, received his fingers on it. Kaspar is predicated in Estonia, the place he builds customized bikes as a passion underneath the moniker of Kalapea Storage. This café racer was a private mission, constructed on-and-off over the course of six years.

Ducati 749 café racer by Kalapea Garage
Kaspar’s been tinkering on bikes since he was a teen, and used to purchase, repair and flip no matter he may get his fingers on. For the previous decade he’s taken on extra severe builds (and commissions), up-skilling alongside the way in which. So every thing you see on this bike, from the engine work proper as much as the paint, was carried out by Kaspar.

“I constructed it for myself, so there have been no restraints,” he tells us. “The roadworthiness was irrelevant, so it was only for enjoyable. I received the donor and had at all times needed a Ducati SportClassic, noticed some cool Sultans of Dash drag bikes on the Bike Shed present that I appreciated, and likewise had the suitable elements on the shelf—in order that’s the way it happened.”

Ducati 749 café racer by Kalapea Garage
Kaspar dragged the broken 749S into his storage, and proceeded to bin something he wasn’t planning on utilizing. The one recognizable 749 elements are the trellis body, sculpted gas tank and L-twin engine.

The engine’s hardly inventory although. It now sports activities ported heads, lighter rods, a lightened flywheel, 12-point injectors, a Ducabike slipper clutch, and a programmable ECU with launch management. The exhaust system options customized pie-cut headers, terminating in an aftermarket muffler.

Ducati 749 café racer by Kalapea Garage
Up entrance, Kaspar repurposed the 749’s entrance wheel and twin Brembo brakes. However the upside-down Öhlins forks are from an Aprilia RSV, held in place by a set of CNC-machined yokes.

Eager eyes will discover that the Ducati’s wheelbase is a bit longer than ordinary. Kaspar tailored the single-sided swingarm (and rear wheel) from an MV Agusta Brutale to suit, including 10 cm to the swingarm size. It’s hooked as much as the 749’s OEM Showa shock.

Ducati 749 café racer by Kalapea Garage
The rear tire’s a curious alternative; impressed by dash racers, Kaspar opted for a Shinko drag tire. Then he added white lettering to attract much more consideration to it. “To be trustworthy, it was extra for the ‘WTF’ impact than an precise want for it,” he admits.

In his protection, it’s in all probability the one nonsensical alternative on this bike. Kitted with carbon fiber fenders at each ends, it’s a surprisingly sensible construct for one thing that’s not highway authorized.

Ducati 749 café racer by Kalapea Garage
However it’s the customized bodywork that actually shines on this good-looking café-slash-dragster. The fairing comes straight from a Ducati PaulSmart 1000 LE, but it surely’s been massaged to suit the 749. It additionally incorporates a detachable headlight cowl, with an LED unit tucked behind it.

A twin radiator setup additionally hides behind the fairing. Kaspar constructed a customized bracket that not solely holds the fairing, dashboard and radiators, however doubles up as an enlargement tank too.

Ducati 749 café racer by Kalapea Garage
The floating tail part’s one other slick element. Kaspar first created a hand-shaped prototype, then 3D-scanned it and tweaked it digitally. That allowed him to CNC lower the rear’s hidden subframe, and produce a mould to form the fiberglass tail unit over.

The design enhances the inventory 749 gas tank completely. Plus it suits so snugly, that it may simply be mistaken for a monocoque physique from a distance.

Ducati 749 café racer by Kalapea Garage
The bike is plagued by neat little elements—just like the customized battery tray and foot controls. Kaspar went all-out on the controls too, choosing carbon fiber clip-ons, Ducabike race-style switches and a Speedhut GPS-based speedo.

The livery is an intoxicating mixture of an off-white base coat and a purple body, with just a few refined variations thrown into the combo. Including a contact of gold to the wheels was an impressed alternative too.

Ducati 749 café racer by Kalapea Garage
Unsurprisingly, Kaspar’s Ducati has already began racking up accolades. He debuted it at Estonia’s native AMD World Championship affiliate occasion, the place it took house the gold. (It additionally secured an invitation to the primary occasion, which has sadly been postponed.)

However regardless of its recognition, Kaspar says that he’s not sure concerning the 749’s future.

Ducati 749 café racer by Kalapea Garage
“It’s clearly not a day by day commuter, however it may experience. It’s not an precise drag bike, but it surely has potential. It’s not furnishings, but it surely seems good.”

“So it’s a piece in progress to determine what I’ll do with it.”

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Ducati 749 café racer by Kalapea Garage