Most custom shops would relish the opportunity to take a second crack at a build—especially if it was one of their early efforts. So the crew at Lisbon’s Maria Motorcycles must have been smiling when this Triumph Bonneville found its way back onto their bench.
The bike in question is “Silly Kid”: a 2006 Bonnie that belongs to a good friend of the workshop. “It was one of our first projects,” says Maria’s Luis Correia. “A trial bike for many things we wanted to experiment with.”
“Our client is very much into the custom culture, and wanted his Bonnie to be something totally different from everything else. Ideally, when people look at it, they won’t know what bike it is.”
Last time the Bonnie left Maria’s workshop, it had a fiberglass tank, a shortened subframe and custom-made seat. Maria had also fitted new handlebars and controls, and trimmed the switchgear down—moving the ignition and start button to the left side of the bike in the process.
The clocks and turn signals were ditched along the way too. But this time, the owner was after an even more minimalist vibe—even if that meant it wouldn’t strictly be street legal.
“He wanted it to be as simple as possible in terms of equipment,” explains Luis, “with a front end similar to a competition dirt bike.” So Maria traded the headlight for a discreet LED strip and cleaned up the front end still further.
Under the seat (where number boards had previously been fitted) the airbox was removed and the battery relocated to a custom-made box. The Bonnie was already kitted with a two-into-one exhaust system from Zard, so Maria installed a pair of K&N filters and tuned the carbs to tweak its performance.
To improve handling the front suspension was shortened and stiffened—matched up to an existing set of Bitubo rear shocks. The tires are Metzeler Tourances: dual-sport items with a road bias.
Luis and his crew opted to keep the seat that they’d previously made, but wanted to improve the fuel tank. Taking design cues from the fiberglass unit they were replacing, they hand made a new steel tank with slightly more capacity.
It was treated to a unique color scheme, with accents picked up by new Posh grips and a bright red front sprocket cover. The rims and engine were repainted too.
With a bunch of stock parts shed—and selective performance upgrades—the Bonnie’s now lighter, lower and more agile. Luis reckons it’s more fun to ride than any Bonnie they’ve built to date.
We believe him.