This Ducati Monster S4RS Special was built by Nelson Goncalvez from Calgary, Canada, over 4 months of week nights and weekends, roughly about 100 hours of sweat, blood and tears. Nelson has been into everything motorsports for the past 30 years and his first love has always been motorbikes. He spent the last 25 years racing various sport bikes and for as long as he can remember he always had a street bike or two laying around; it does help a lot when you have a very supportive wife and two “gear heads” teenage boys. All the bikes he ever owned were modified in some way, influenced by Durbahns‘ garage/projects.
Being the kind of person that enjoys throwing wrenches as much as riding, nothing was ever left stock for more than a few hours. Even when it should have been left alone in its perfectly reliable state.
Nelson got this Ducati Monster S4RS Special project started when the local race track was shut down for good the previous year and he was considering selling the race bikes and starting a cafe-type project. That’s when during a quiet evening at home, viewing “cafe-racer” images in Google he came across Paolo Tesio’s Ducati Monster S4R.
This translated into another evening of essentially stalking “Paolo Tex” so I could find a way to contact him and convince him to sell me the body parts. At this point, I did not own a Monster (nor had I ever really considered owning one having only owned Ducati race bikes) but I had decided if I was able to purchase a kit from him, I would start shopping for the right donor.
After educating himself on the different Ducati Monster models available, he decided to convince some of his buddies to let him ride their various monsters. He quickly determined that while the air cooled versions were a wonderful classic Ducati experience, he felt the look of this project would be more complimented by the Testastretta soul. He was able to find a clean, black-framed S4RS, in the US. He invited his wife for a 1800 miles road trip to the US to picked up his new project. The day after he arrived home, it was completely dismantled and Nelson began the rebuild.
The kit was of a fairly high quality and included the fork covers (and pedestals to mount them to the forks), tail section (including the LED tail lamp) made of fiberglass and delivered unfinished. According to Nelson, the fit was superb although there were some aggressive modifications required to the frame (to fit the rear section) and the fork-covers (to clear the larger S4RS rotors). HIs painter, Jerry Bjorndal, prepped all the surfaces before laying down several coats of gloss black and clear coat. The seat was another design he struggled with, making no less than 7 different ones.
The most challenging and time-consuming part of it all was re-mounting the gauge cluster, finding/mounting an appropriate headlight and sculpting the headlight shield which are not included in the kit. As any builder knows, it’s amazing how much time you can lose finding that 2mm or 2 cm adjustment to get something into the perfect spot only to find out that you have to move another part and another part to make it all work together.
Most of the performance parts that went into this Ducati Monster S4RS Special were chosen because they were proven to him on the track, some for their form (provided they didn’t compromise performance) to compliment the overall look, while others were recycled from his past Ducati projects. The exhaust was pieced together utilizing a 60MM Akrapovic muffler, DP Termignioni headers, a saw, a big hammer and a very skilled welder whose talents clearly exceeded his own. A custom tune from Sport Cycle (Calgary, AB) and this Ducati Monster S4RS was good for over 130hp at the wheel with an amazingly flat and powerful torque curve translating to a whole bunch more fun than he ever thought a “standard” bike could be.
Brian Taylor (owner of Sport Cycle) has a very well respected reputation as one of Canada’s premier Ducati/Moto Guzzi tuners. His work on this engine left me wishing I could have legally raced this engine in my Twins class! His shop is also responsible for the burns on my credit card….
Overall, I am very happy with the end result and still enjoy the crowd whenever I stop for gas. I know it’s not for everyone, especially those purists, but I really enjoy that most people have no idea what it is. I have enjoyed over 5000 miles on it so far this season (including a 4-day, 2000 mile (round-trip) trek into the American North West) so this can’t be called a “show-bike”.
Make sure you check out the lengthy parts list below as well as the amazing pictures shot by Matthew Vieweger of Begwerk Photography. A big thanks to Matt and Nelson for giving me the heads up on the build and letting me use the photos. Also make sure you check out Matt’s site for some amazing transportation photography.
- 2007 Ducati Monster S4RS
- Body kit by Paolo Tesio of Tex Design
- Graphics by Dublu.ca
- Ducabike clip-ons
- Brembo RSC master cylinders
- HEL Brakelines
- Rizoma levers
- Rizoma master cylinder reservoirs
- Rizoma oil cap
- Rizoma Sportline grips
- CRG bar end mirrors
- Speedymoto triple clamps
- Speedymoto clutch cover
- Speedymoto water pump
- Speedymoto crash protectors
- Braketech AXIS iron rotors w/
- Ferodo sintered pads
- Carrozeria forged aluminum wheels
- -6″ rear with 190/55
- NCR titanium sprocket cover/hub
- Driven/AFAM 520 conversion
- Ohlins suspension (Modified OEM)
- Ohlins steering damper
- CNC slave cylinder
- Sato rear sets
- Akrapovic muffler
- DP Performance kit
- DP carbon fiber accessories
- dynojet PC3r with custom tune by Sport Cycle
- Nichols flywheel
- Samco hose kit
Photos by: Matthew Vieweger of Begwerk Photography