The raw simplicity of race bikes is something that strikes a chord with us in the Shed. We may have dream jobs but on a cold grey December day in London we’d much rather be dragging a knee over the kerbs at Jarama. Pepo Rosell is actually living the dream, building bikes to both look and go fast and this Bol D’or racer is based on his all time favourite brand, Ducati.
The XTR Pepo workshop in Madrid is turning out bikes a pace to match their looks and this 1983 Ducati Pantah 600 TL is the latest off the line. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to workout that Pepo’s builds are stripped completely bare before blending on-trend customisation with traditional race prep.
The twinshocked tubular swingarm has been superseded by a modded Monster 696 unit and YSS adjustable shock. The Bolognan parts bin is an ample one, yielding Monster S4RS forks with radial calliper mounts and 696 wheels. Spanish outfit NG provided the pair of floating discs up front gripped by a brace of Brembo Monoblocs.
The seventies style endurance race fairing is moulded in-house and mounted with custom brackets. One can imagine the nostalgic yellow lights piercing the early morning fog at bike’s namesake 24hr race. Nestled behind is the most minimal of cockpits, complete with yet more Ducati components, this time levers and master cylinders swiped from a 1098.
Fibreglass moulding was a prerequisite skill set of any race team from before the times of pricey autoclaved carbon. Pepo is handy with the stuff and made the tank and TZ-esque tail for this bike. The NCR style twin-filler tank complete with transparent level windows looks the business and offers at least some degree of practicality for road use.
All this retro raciness would be nothing without a bit of whiz bang in the engine department and the XTR Bol D’or doesn’t disappoint. A 900s from 1992 was robbed of its motor which was then stripped and breathed on. High comp pistons and ported heads spin-up with ease thanks to the lightened flywheel and a slipper dry clutch assists with shedding ratios when pressing on. An exposed SPH race alternator and Dyna electronic ignition provide the bang for heady mix provided by a pair of 40mm Dellortos.
Just down the road from Ducati’s Italian factory is Spark Exhaust Technology who’ve been producing zorts for race teams and well known manufacturers. Peso’s been using these guys for a while and has them fabricate pipework for all his builds. The aptly named Il Trombone mufflers spring clipped to Supermario headers and collectors. As with all XTR builds the level of finish is impeccable with eat-your-dinner-of-it cleanliness and spool of lock wire on each bike offer assurance to the new owner that pushing to the extreme on a track is not only possible, but expected.
Pepo is no stranger to the Bike Shed and has exhibited at both our London and Paris shows, creating a stir at each. Our only issue is that Madrid is nowhere near Brands Hatch.