Maria Motorcycles are known for wrapping their builds in exquisite liveries. But today’s offering wears little more than the original paint on its borrowed fuel tank.
It also has no turn signals, speedo, passenger pegs or front fender. That’s because it was built with one purpose in mind: to get dirty.
The owner is Maria’s founder, Luis Correia. Luis has had several dirt bikes in the past, and wanted to get back into off-road riding—so he hauled his 2005 model Triumph Bonneville onto the bench.
He chose to ditch the usual glossy Maria finish for three reasons:
“One is because I can fall as many times has I want, without being worried about damaging something. The other is because I’ve always wanted a bike with this look! And finally, because it was made with old parts that I had in stock.”
Luis has stiffened up the suspension, braced the front forks and specc’ed the wheels with Metzeler Karoo 3 tires. And most of the Triumph’s original body parts have been tossed, to bring the weight down.
Up top is a vintage Yamaha RD400 fuel tank, mounted as found. The subframe’s been chopped to the minimum, and supports a custom-made leather seat—arguably the neatest part on this self-proclaimed “rat bike.”
The Bonnie still has its airbox—upgraded with a K&N filter—while the carbs have been rejetted with a kit from Dynojet. The exhaust system’s a one-off, and the battery’s been replaced by two, lighter Lithium-ion items.
Along with tossing the clocks in the bin, Luis relocated the ignition and rectifier, and fitted a small headlight up front. The handlebars are from LSL, as is the front sprocket cover.
There’s a small aluminum fender at the rear to keep mud off Luis’ back, topped with a tiny tail light. And there are number boards at both sides (for racing, naturally).
Luis has already put his scrambler Triumph through its paces, and reports that it’s agile and aggressive. He’s christened it the Red Baron—“because it’s a war machine!”
And to those who would question the Bonneville’s ability off-road, he has one thing to say: “That’s just bullsh*t talking—the photos can speak for themselves!”