By Gareth Charlton - 26 Sep 14
As you cast your mind back through all of the motorcycles you have ever owned or ridden there are always, inevitably favourites, bikes that got away. Even with enough new and old models out there to keep us switching for a lifetime, sometimes the urge for a change is overtaken by the want to regress, to go back to that perfect partner you let go. Yet time moves on, our personal tastes and ideals change so why not take a fresh approach with that old favourite. For the owner of this coffee coloured concoction it was the 99' Speed Triple 955i that harboured a special place in his motorcycling history, "Among the many bikes that I had, it was the one that perhaps most of all gave me pleasure and satisfaction. Today, after so many years, I had the opportunity to buy it again and I wanted to give her a robe closer to my current lifestyle." For this redressing of his preferred steed the owner turned to Marco Matteucci, a man who describes himself as "not a mechanic. Not even close, I would offend the category." Marco is actually a graphic / advertising photographer who with over twenty years experience in that field decided to turn his good taste and obsessive attention to detail to the art of bike building. A trip to the Matteucci Garage Website shows why one would choose to trust the self deprecating photographer to build your motorcycle, with an array of impressive machines in his back catalogue, all predictably, exquisitely photographed. The Triple was left in his able hands, work commenced. The bike was completely disassembled, then restored and rebuilt with a shortened and raised custom subframe with incorporated indicators and a hand made rear mudguard. The electrical system was re-engineered and new double layer side panels were fabricated from aluminum and pvc. The seat was redesigned to both comfortably accommodate a pillion and appear as if for a single rider, it was upholstered by a master craftsman in brown leather and suede with a diamond stitched top. The paint has a pearly iridescent finish and the shades were chosen to reflect coffee and cream, referencing the bikes café inspired name. The raised clip-ons sit either side of a long vintage headlight retrofitted with a modern built in speedometer bearing the Matteucci Garage monicker. "When you get on top of her it looks like you drive a classic motorbike of other times, but when you open the throttle, you are right back to reality." No doubt the crackling Supertrap muffler helps break the illusion... Hot on the heals of Gunnar's epic Speed Triple this offering from Italy reinforces how the Hinckley triple can yield to a more classic line despite the modern sinewy frame. The flat lower line of the tank is pitched at a perfect angle from which to follow with a seat unit creating a dynamic modern cafe racer. Maybe twisting that favourite old ride and turning it into your favourite new ride is the way to go after all? You can see Marco's other offerings on the Matteucci Garage Bikeshed Page.