For most pro custom bike builders, working to a brief is the norm. So any opportunity to take on a carte blanche project is relished. This brawny Ducati café racer from Kris Reniers is one such machine—which is why it has of his favorite things rolled into one.
Kris is the man behind Deep Creek Cycleworks, based in the Belgian town of Diepenbeek. He’s an experienced endurance racer, enjoys customizing Ducatis, and is besotted with a specific metallic green paint. Which is why he’s just built his third race-inspired Ducati in this color scheme, and dubbed it ‘Green Machine 3.0.’
The commission came from a friend, with a 1998 Ducati ST4 selected as the donor. The ST4 is one of those rare classic Ducatis that favors practicality over excitement—but it has good bones. Sitting inside its trellis frame is the same 90-degree V-twin motor as the Ducati 916, good for 105 horses.
Kris took inspiration for the project from a Holographic Hammer illustration that he’d stumbled across. “I wanted a rough look for this bike,” he explains. “A bit nose heavy, a bit buff. With the headlight as low as possible, and a more sporty and beefed up front suspension, I knew I could get that look.”
To achieve this, Kris started by transplanting the front end from a Ducati Streetfighter 848 onto the older ST4. The upgrade included the Streetfighter’s radial Brembo calipers—but not its wheels. Instead, a set of spacers and bushings were machined to accommodate a set of Alpina wheels, originally designed for the Ducati Paul Smart 1000 LE.
The burly upside-down forks were added for more than just their looks; Kris is a bonafide track racer, so performance was another key factor. To that end, the rear is now propped up on a new Wilbers shock.
The biggest magic trick here, is how Kris massaged the Ducati ST4 so much that it almost looks like a Monster now. Remarkably, he did it without tossing away the OEM fuel tank either.
“The fuel tank was not an easy job,” he says, “because all the electrics needed to be kept out of sight—and the perfect place was under the tank. It’s a bit of a Frankenstein tank, welded up using the original as a donor, which was cut and reshaped.” Sitting on top is an endurance-style filler—another nod to Kris’ love for the track.
More heavy lifting went on out back, where Kris hacked off the rear half of the frame. He then shaped up a new trellised subframe, which now bolts onto mounting points on the main frame. The seat is small and waspish—an intentional move to keep things looking racy, and to push the visual weight to the front.
The back end of the bike is neatly finished with a small LED taillight from Wünderlich, and a splash guard to keep muck off the engine. There’s a discreet hand-made tray under the seat too, holding a few of the Ducati’s essential bits.
Up front, a handmade cowl sits over a low-slung led headlight from Koso. The cockpit is incredibly compact, featuring clip-ons with LSL grips, basic switches, and a digital Motogadget Motoscope Pro dash.
Lower down are new rear-sets from Valtermoto, which are actually designed for the Suzuki GSX-R750. “We race the GSX-R in the classic endurance scene,” explains Kris, “and I knew those would look great on this build.”
The final piece of the puzzle is the asymmetrical exhaust system, terminating in twin mufflers from Tyga. “The pie cuts were a handful for me,” says Kris. “I am not used to welding them, and that bit could have been done better by a professional. But nobody is perfect—and this bike is no exception.”
We appreciate the humility, but honestly the stance and proportions are so good, we can forgive a few errant welds. That stunning livery doesn’t hurt either.
“The metallic green is a color that was used way back in the day by Ford USA,” Kris tells us. “It has a gold-ish flake that shimmers when the sun strikes. It’s become a bit of a trademark for me.”
Complementing the green base are gold and white accents, and a textured cognac leather seat, upholstered by Atelier Lepez. “We used that leather to get a bit of a vintage racer look, a reminder of the green Moto Guzzi V8 racer of the 50s.”
This Ducati ST4 ain’t no showpiece either. As soon as Kris gets a chance, he plans to take it to the track—with his friend’s permission, of course.
“When I look at this bike, I think about how much I would love to ride it,” he says. “And when think that thought, I know I am on the right track. I promised my friend we would take it to the track in Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and let it rip up Raidillon!”