Kevils Speedshop laid their foundations on BMW airheads but the more recent demand for newer machines has provided Kev Hill and his team the opportunity to work on a varied range of donors. The latest customer for a Kevils build is ex-city trader Sam who’d swapped the stress and grey skies of London for the winding streets of Monte Carlo and fancied himself something a bit different from the bumper-to-bumper bling clogging-up the principality
Sam liked the look of the Ducati Desert Sled but wasn’t over enamoured with the slightly garish retro touches like gold rims and Yamaha XT-esque fuel tank. He took a flight to London for a test ride at a Ducati dealership and enjoyed the bike for its big dude friendly ergonomics so put a call in to Kev and sealed the deal, speccing a modest yet smart custom ‘Sled over the phone and headed back to Monaco.
Kev found a chap in Skegness who was selling a 700 mile-from-new Desert Sled and arranged for a courier to scoop it up and return it to the Kevils Paignton, Devon HQ. Seems everyone in this story likes to be by the seaside.
The first thing to go was the vibrant tank paint, superseded by gun metal grey metalic and aged side panels, complete with 1960s badges. The droopy line of the stock seat is now a flatter, bratted style thanks to a new base and leather saddle following the existing subframe rails. Powder coated aluminium side panels with die-cut holes shroud the voids.
Barend mounted flashers up front and micros at the rear replace the rather bulbous originals. The rear stop/tail lamp remains unchanged but the front is a small and simple Bates style with amber glass. The wiring and all-in-one speedo on these new models is fairly unobtrusive and was therefore left alone.
The soundtrack though definitely needs attention on the recent air-cooled desmo engine – they’re just too quiet and without a dry clutch clattering away can feel a touch soulless. An aftermarket muffler adds character while matching the dark great fuel tank. Finally the gold anodising on the rims was covered-up with black powdercoat. The standard fit Pirellis are gone too, Continental TKC80s offering a more aggressive look.
The finished ‘Sled was crated and shipped to Sam down in Monaco where it now rubs shoulders with the Veyrons, Zondas and megayachts. Hopefully though he finds the time to hit the white roads up in the hills, the bike looks good but it’d look even better covered in dust.
Kevils will build pretty much anything to your requirements and have an expensive portfolio on the Bike Shed Archive