Marco Matteucci is a graphic designer, photographer and image retoucher. Staring at beautiful things for hours on end and working out how to make them even more beautiful is his gig, the world of bikes is all the better for it as he has turned his attention to the custom scene. Matteucci Garage has produced two stunning bikes thus far, one of which featured on the Bike Shed last year so we are aware of his attention to the aesthetic. The other is the rather well executed, matt-black Moto Guzzi V35 Imola, 'Black Boot'. I hope that the bikes are as good in the flesh without the veil of the retoucher’s stylus. His latest creation, Ocean Wave, looks to be cellulite free, with lovely lines and a tidy rear-end. The base is a 1983 Yamaha XJ550, not exactly supermodel material so Marco set to work with the strip-down before the usual trimming of tabs, subframe shortening and working out how to make ugly bits and electrics disappear. The handmade tail section houses the battery, leaving the underseat triangle clear. Rear indicators are neatly mounted to the subframe tube ends, with a thin LED stop light in the centre. A slender number plate holder arcs out from the underside for when legality overrules style. On top double density foam has been covered with top grade leather before being hand burnished and aged. The only part of the bike that doesn’t look box-fresh. Nice touch. The four cylinder motor breathes through stock Mikunis and the now ubiquitous cone filters. A chromed and highly polished 4-into-1 exhaust looks the part, keeps the Carabinieri happy and lets people know Marco is not far down the road. Puny stock forks and a solid brake disc pogo’d their way to the parts bin and were replaced with sexy-looking Marzocchi upsidedowners. In case you’re wondering, the near colour match to the frame is no coincidence. Keeping the front end ‘local’ wasn’t difficult with Brembo providing a 320mm floating disc and 4-pot calliper. A pair of Pirelli Scorpions continue the homegrown theme and are a good blend between classic Cafe Racer rubber and the wish-there-was-a-desert knobblies as fitted to some bikes. Machined aluminium grips are matched to a modern speedo, a small line of LEDs take care of the dashboard’s simplicity. Clip-ons look right and suggest sporting intentions. The blue-tinted, oval headlight is different from the norm, squinting slightly and keeping the front looking neat. Marco lives and works on Italy’s East coast and he wanted his efforts to reflect that with the paint job. To resemble a cliff-top ride the “dark titanium” frame contrasts with the matt and gloss blue. The overall look is sure to land Marco with orders for further builds and The Bike Shed with another feature.
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