Portugal, crippled by the GFC, is not a good place to conduct business at the moment. But nobody told the Lisbon-based custom workshop Maria Motorcycles, which is turning out some very sharp bikes indeed. Like this latest build, a 1994 Ducati 750SS called “Italian Sniper”.
According to Maria’s main man, Luis Correia, working with a modern style of bike was a challenge. But he relished the idea of turning it into a smaller and more aggressive machine, and giving it a distinct personality—“a simple look, almost like a classic street racer.”
The biggest change is the more powerful engine, which is from a 900 SS. It’s torquey, with 80 hp and plenty of low-down grunt compared to most sportbikes. Maria overhauled and repainted the motor, polished the covers, and cut the clutch cover in half to partially reveal the interior.
Maria then shortened and simplified the lines of the standard 750SS tank, to better fit the lines of the frame. The wiring was completely revised, and fitted into a box under the tank. The rear subframe was shortened, and despite the single seat, it’s possible to transport a passenger after removing the rear fiberglass section.
Adding to the aggressive look are a Firetrap exhaust system and Avon dual-sport tires—with Brooks leather tape on the grips adding a touch of class to the thuggishness.
Head over to Maria Motorcycles’ Facebook page to follow their works in progress—a website is coming soon.