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THE WIZARD OF OZZ. A Ducati ST4S Cafe Fighter By Ozz Customs

Posted on November 3, 2017 by Andrew in Café Racer, Streetfighter. 30 comments

Written by Marlon Slack

Despite being one of the most enlightened countries in the world the Netherlands custom scene is quieter than you’d expect. I’ve no idea why this is – they could be all too busy getting ripped, getting drunk or falling off pushbikes to really catch the bug. But for whatever reason, Roosendaal-based Ozz Customs breaks the silence yet again with their latest build, a Ducati ST4S touring bike cut down into a mean cafe fighter.

First up, Jeroen ‘Ozzy’ Potters is quick to point out that his shop is much more than a motorcycle workshop. ‘It’s not just a shop, it’s a man cave!’ he says, ‘We’ve got welding equipment, a lathe, grinders, compressor… all the things a man needs. We’ve also got big speakers for music and a fridge for beer!’

But it’s not all about getting trashed and listening to music in the land of Ozz. A few years ago they produced a traditional cafe racer based on a stinking old two-stroke Suzuki T500. ‘I desperately wanted to ride it, but the vibrations made my prosthetic leg hurt like hell,’ Ozzy explains. ‘So eventually somebody offered to trade it for a 2001 Ducati ST4S. It’s not the most beautiful Ducati – but it’s still a Ducati, it has bucketloads of character and a 996cc engine.’

The first thing Ozz did was remove the wind-beating fairing and laid them aside. ‘If anybody is after some plastics for a ST4S, I’ve still got them here!’ he says.  After a quick hack with a grinder to remove the tail section they had a few drinks and studied the stock fuel tank, a curious mix of soft lines and a straight right angle down to the standard seat.

‘A friend of mine is a Ducati specialist and had a plastic fuel tank for a 1098 sitting around,’ Ozzy explains. ‘That’s smaller and has a better look. But not exactly what I wanted. So I made a stainless sheet steel cover for it by hand.’ While he was there, the sides of the tank were also smoothed down, to help match the rear of the bike.

‘At the back I made the tail from cardboard and kept altering it until I was happy with the final result. Then I made it out of sheet steel.’ At the same time Ozzy inserted the tail lights into the seat. ‘That tail was the hardest part to build,’ he explains, ‘together with the seat pan’. After it was completed, local stitching gurus Miller Upholstery did the honour of building the saddle.

Up front, triple clamps were designed in CAD and then milled out by a friend of the workshop. Above that a superbike handlebar is held into place by Honda risers. The USD forks and capable Brembo brakes are left standard.

The engine itself remains relatively stock. ‘The side where the belt drive is so beautiful I wanted to keep it open and on display,’ Ozzy says. ‘So I made some custom covers for it.’ The covers on the belt drive protectors and dry clutch plate are both painted in a ‘wrinkle’ finish, a favourite of the Harley Davidson crowd.

Internally though the Ducati has gone for a trim. The flywheel has been machined down, from 1.8 kilos to only 1 kilogram. ‘After all that shaving it was put on a dyno and we remapped the ECU. It’s got around 110 horses at the rear wheel now,’ Ozzy says. ‘This winter we’ll upgrade the exhaust and open up the airbox and it’ll improve even more.’ In the meantime the bike, which rolled out of Bologna tipping the scales at 225 kilos now weighs only 192. I can’t repeat the exact phrase that Ozzy used to describe how quickly the bike winds the power on but it involved scared, molested primates.

All in all Ozz Customs have crafted a pretty bland Ducati sports tourer into something reminiscent of what factory manufacturers are trying to build themselves. It’s a lightweight, powerful bike that’ll absolutely hammer – and one that straddles the line between cafe racer and a bike that really hauls ass. But no one is happier with the bike than Ozzy himself. ‘I love the overall look of it and the smaller details of the build. I just love it!’

[ Ozz CustomsFacebookInstagram | Photos by William Pelgrim ]

  • John in Pollock

    I gotta say- I hate the seat. I’m sure that there is a lot of cool on this bike, but I cant get past the seat. It’s that bad.

  • the watcher

    Bloody brown seat! Sticks out like a rhinoceros in a petting zoo.

    • guvnor67

      But what if you like Rhinos?!

  • IvanTrotsky

    KTM 690 SM exhaust styling.

  • David Irons

    Yes , besides the color, the seat is on backwards.

    • Marlon

      Your bum is on backwards then.

      • AB

        Front bum?

  • Dave Coetzee

    I may have been riding visor-up too often lately ’cause I’ve started taking to brown seats on black bikes – while this one even has some similarly coloured (brownish-gold, to my dusty contact lenses) matching parts, eg. the inner front disk (and really pushing it) front brake reservoir fluid.

  • Steve Meltzer

    It looks like a circus elephant. What an injustice to a majestic motorcycle that Ducati’s once were!

    • Quintan Neville

      Personally, I’m confident saying the ST4s (and the rest of the ST series) might have been the worst looking bikes Ducati ever made. IMO, this looks so much better.

      • guvnor67


    • Marlon

      You do realise what an ST4S is? It looks like a shit Triumph Sprint ST.

  • Tough crowd. The seat’s the wrong colour? Really?

    • the watcher

      Ok. I don’t like the over- tank thingy, the steering damper placement, or the headlight either! Apart from that it’s quite nice but it’d be cheaper and easier to start with a Streetfighter.

    • AB

      I really like the seat. And hating on brown motorcycle seats is just trendy like hating on Taylor Swift, but late at night when alone, those people relax in their brown leather lounge suites with their i-pods listing to Taylor.

      • guvnor67

        Except T swift is really dull. . .

      • the watcher

        Brown seats are trendy. Having them is only a natural reaction to hideous uncoolness.

    • guvnor67

      No, it’s fine, and nicely made.

    • Jonesy

      Tell the truth— I’m not wild about all these tiny seats—

    • Marlon

      I think it works. It needs a dab of colour somewhere and the contrast from the seat works quite nicely.

    • There is no right or wrong in a build, because everything is subjective in a custom bike, but it is striking odd for for me also.
      On a brutal machine like this with a black “murdered” look, this color pops up in the wrong way, in my opinion. A different shade of brown, (perhaps a deeper one), could possibly work, or, if you ask me, I would go with a deep burgundy one in order to give some color and class to the build.
      But you know what they say about opinions…

  • guvnor67

    Brilliant! That’s one brutal looking machine, and screams RIDE ME! Nice attention to detail and the more you look the more you see. I want!

    • Bultaco Metralla

      We’re on the same page for this one. A real wow factor and hunky presence

      • guvnor67

        That front-on view says it all!

    • Len Farquharson

      Well summed up Guvnor! Going by all the early comments I thought i must have been seeing a completely different bike! This an impressive interpretation including the seat!

      • guvnor67

        Thanx Ken! It’s definitely divided the masses, which is no bad thing because if we all liked the same thing life would be grey to say the least! I think this build has a hint of Germanic Streetfighter going on.

  • Harold

    I like this bike. This custom build has character. It can be seen in the hands on craftsmanship, right down to the fart (or poop) notch at the back of the brown seat. Hence BROWN seat.

  • Bart Verhoeven

    Really like the bike!
    But I don’t like the writers comments about the Netherlands…
    The custom scene is very alive up here! Choppers, bobbers, cafe racers, you name it.
    Past couple of years a lot of shops have opened throughout the country and there are plenty of garage builders out there.

    • Marlon has Dutch blood and an Aussie upbringing. Considering this, I think we can excuse his unorthodox techniques… 😉

  • Mayakovski

    Ugly, nuf said.