The Triumph Bonneville has got to be one of the most heavily customized bikes on the market today. In fact, we don’t think we’ve ever seen a Bonneville on the street that hasn’t been tweaked in some way, whether it’s a discreet farkle or a full performance upgrade.
This cafe racer from Spain’s Macco Motors definitely falls into the performance camp. The forks are the first giveaway—they’re from a Ducati 999 superbike.
Jose and Tito have called the bike The Maltese Falcon. Their explanation is enigmatic: “If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know why we chose that name.” It’s based on a carbureted, 2006-model Triumph Bonneville Black—a great value machine that you can pick up on the US secondhand market for less than $4,000.
“We got a phone call from Florida,” says Macco co-founder Jose. “A lot of people call us from all over the world—asking for prices or parts for their bikes—but not with Miami Spanish accents. Oscar wanted to send us his Bonneville, so we could build a classy Macco version with ‘something more.'”
The price for shipping a bike from the US to Europe isn’t that expensive—it’s about the same as sending a bike from one European country to another by van.
But Macco needed to make the process worthwhile, so they started with the new suspension. The Ducati forks were grafted on using Free Spirits triple trees, and they’ve also fitted Öhlins shocks at the back for an even plusher ride.
A new 18-inch front wheel was built up from a Triumph Thunderbird Sport hub, with a Thruxton rim. It accommodates a twin-disc brake system, with Brembo calipers also from a Ducati 999. A new radial master cylinder and a Rizoma brake fluid reservoir complete the system.
The mufflers are HP Corse’s highly regarded Hydroforms, which weigh less than a kilo each. They were originally designed for the Ducati Monster, but the Macco boys have adapted the Bonneville’s pipes to fit.
The rest of the build is textbook modern café styling: a Bates-style headlight, a chopped subframe, a beautifully quilted seat, and lightweight fiberglass side panels and fenders. The rubber is sporty: a Dunlop F20 tire up front, a Metzeler Tourance out back.
The cockpit gets a touch of class too, with Biltwell Tracker bars, LSL Clubman grips, racing-style levers and a simple speedo.
Aside from the gold forks, there’s no color on this bike. “Oscar wanted to preserve the matt black paint but have some raw metal on the tank,” says Jose. “So the bike shines bright under the Miami sun.”
The brief for the tank paint and logo was handed over to the Spanish hot rod artist Hugo Corral of Brusco. Famed the world over for his lettering work, Hugo also painted a pair of matching helmets for Oscar and his wife.
The Maltese Falcon is on the way back to Miami right now.
We think Oscar’s going to be pleased.