XTR Pepo Monty
By Gareth Charlton - 01 Jul 15
You knew who built this straight away didn't you? The racetrack refugee looks, the protruding endurance headlight, the fierce paddock stand exaggerated forward stance and the retina searing paint scheme. An extreme machine that declares it's dynamic capacity at a stand still, daring you to take it for a test run. An XTR Pepo build - without a shadow of a doubt. Madrid based Pepo has established himself twice in the custom motorcycle scene, firstly with Radical Ducati and now with XTR Pepo. This is the third XTR Pepo machine to feature on the Bikeshed, following in the rubber strewn wake of the brutal Suzuka and lithe Mash Quattrocento. The family DNA is instantly recognisable, each motorcycle bares the hallmarks of their creator, a man with extreme tastes and extreme skills. For his latest machine Pepo was inspired by the rival of a favoured steed from his past. "One day I was sailing in the net when I saw a picture of a superb Laverda SFC ready to race in endurance races. It touched me and makes me remember when I was a Panthista (I rode a Ducati Pantah) and the “enemy” to beat was the Laverda Montjuic." Pepo continues, "The Montjuic was a very unique and rare bike, in this time you didn’t see it on the road…. all were in the races. It was far more racy than the Pantah …was more wild, terrible noisy with a megaphone, a no compromise bike……it was EXTREME!!" With a review like that it is a wonder that Pepo had never got his hands on a Montjiuc before, the more extreme the motorcycle the better for Pepo. A suitable 78' Laverda Alpino was found and Pepo set about making a friend of his old enemy. Challenge number one was to make the Laverda handle to the standards set by the rest of the XTR fleet. The frame was extensively modified, facilitating the switch to a cantilever rear suspension system. A YSS schock was drafted in along with a modified Suzuki Bandit 600 swing arm and wheel with an NG brake rotor. Upfront the forks, wheel and Brembo brake system were relieved of their duties aboard a Ducati Monster 1000 to do a job for the Breganze parallel twin. The cockpit, like the machine as a whole, exudes the feel of the Montjuic's favoured location, the racetrack. TT clocks, PBR aluminum race clip ons with Domino race grips and a Domino quick action throttle, a Brembo PR 19 brake pump and a Suzuki GSXR 600 clutch lever take care of the information and controls while keeping the rider's eye view super clear. Challenge two was treating the beautiful engine to any and everything it could possibly desire. Ported heads, a High comp piston, Laverda Formula 500 camshafts, an oversized oil pump, Dell’Orto carburettors bored from 32 to 34, DNA air filters and Super Mario Megaphone silencers are just some of the parts on the little Montjuic's extensive spec list. For the bodywork Pepo combined fresh XTR pieces and modified original elements. The bellypan, front mudguard, headlight fairing and bracket are all bespoke XTR items. The original tank was modified to take the twin endurance gas caps for that 24hr pit crew aesthetic. The seat is also from the original bike but was trimmed and tidied into a more compact unit which now stores the LIPO battery with very speedy access. The exposed battery is becoming something of a trademark for Pepo who exacted a similar treatment on the tail of his Suzuka project, a machine that always held a healthy crowd in awe at our Paris show. It looks awesome. Christened "Monty" this Laverda would terrify any Pantah riding competition and has even made Pepo a convert to the other side through its extensive charms. "It was a real challenge and I like very much the challenges… It is a bike that makes you feel alive, that breaks the rules, that transports you to the good times in the early eighties………it is AC DC!! And in the predominantly grey, black or white custom bike scene it is a bit of colour… Laverda Orange of course!!!" To keep up to date with the extreme builds of XTR Pepo check out his Facebook page and follow Instagram here.