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‘01 Triumph Bonneville – Macco Motors

Posted on April 1, 2016 by Andrew in Tracker. 29 comments

At the heart of every custom bike build, there’s usually a story of a lost bike. There can be a million reasons why bikes get set aside. Mechanical issues, health reasons, young kids to look after – hell, sometimes life just gets all up in your face. And it’s not just old bikes that are hung out to dry, either. Witness exhibit ‘A’, a 2001 Triumph Bonneville that has spent a third of its life doing sweet F.A. Screw the RSPCA, where’s the society the prevents cruelty to sweet, sweet bikes? In this case, Spain’s Macco Motors were the knights in shining (or maybe greasy?) armour who rescued this bike from stagnation and turned it into something anyone would be happy to give a home to. Meet ‘The Wasp’.


“I guess it’s obvious why we named it The Wasp,” says Macco’s Jose and Tito. “Yes, it’s yellow and black. But there’s a little more to it. In Spanish, her name is actually ‘The Muddy Wasp,” as the bike kind of emerged from the dirt to become something really striking and powerful.”


Clearly fate wanted this bike to end up with Nono, its current owner and the guy who commissioned Jose and Tito to do their magic. “The bike’s previous owner was an English guy. For one reason or another, it didn’t see any use for more than five years. It was in a sad state when we first saw it, but Nono wasn’t able to get it out of his head afterwards.” A romantic at heart, Nono insisted that the bike be kept in yellow, the original colour it was painted when it left the Hinckley factory. “Luckily he wasn’t married to the specific shade, so we went with a different one; something a little brighter and more exciting.”


The boys wanted to do a little more than just slap a new coat of paint on the bike and be done with the yellow theme, so they’ve included touches of the same shade into other parts of the bike – most notably the beautiful bespoke seat. Look closely and you’ll see that the piping at the front and rear nicely contains the more subtle yellow diamond stitching at the seat’s centre.


Then came the dirty work. The bike was not only in need of a bath; the boys suspected it had missed a scheduled service or twelve. So in due course, they reversed engineered the living daylights out of the thing until it was nothing more than a pile of dirty parts on the shop floor. Then they started to clean as they built it back up.


“In this build, the thing that catches your eye after the yellow is clearly the pipes. For these, we adapted a pair of Italian-designed Hp ‘Corse’ mufflers.” While it’s a subtle addition, the tension between the modern-looking dual pipes and the more classic-looking frontend treatment really seems to work. The bike is both better looking, and a little different to most other Bonnie builds we’ve seen.


“And sure, the seat looks good. But we’re happy to say that it’s also one of the most comfortable units we’ve ever built. It’s very hard to do both at the one time, but this one does actually manage it. We’re pretty sure Nono’s backside will be happy, too.”


Next, the bike received a fresh set of Biltwell grips, along with a minimal analog speedo. Then came a set of Macco Motors custom fibreglass side panels, painted a matching shade of satin black. Hagon Nitro rear suspension was bolted on, with a matching set of the company’s progressive front springs up at the pointy end of town. Once the springy bits had been sorted, more Macco Motors fibreglass kit was attached, this time in the form of a freshly yellowed front and rear mudguard.


Up top, a new rear frame was constructed to hold the seat in place, and while they were there some turn signals and a fender-mounted brake light were also wired in. Rubber was the next job on the list, with the boys giving it a big old Metzeler Tourance-shaped tick. If you’re looking to recreate these little grippers for yourself, they are 110s at the front and 140s following things up out back. To help Nono hold on once the rubber hits the road, some new alloy footpegs have kicked the original units to the curb.

The final steps were to add some racing-style clutch and brake levers and bandage the pipes in what seems to be a fairly subtle pipewrap job. Lastly, they relocated the rectifier and ignition, and threw some new paint at the tank to complete the whole wasp look. And what a look it is. While Macco’s stock-in-trade is to never overdo a build, we happy to report that their chops are clearly improving with each and every bike they finish. Watch this space for whatever comes next; it’s sure to be a killer.


[Photos by Sergio Ibarra]

  • guvnor67

    Really like those cans and that seat is superb. Also like the way the satin black bits like the side panels and headlight sort of disappear.

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      Yes but then they tacked on the ever present pipewrap not to mention ubiquitously trendy semi knobbies that for me undo all the positives you’ve mentioned . Not to mention this ‘ build ‘ regardless of the craftsmanship that may or may not of been involved has me asking the question : This is a custom ?

  • BobFalfa

    Oh, I got the joke

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      OK , it is April Fools and all . But what am I missing here that you’ve picked up on ?

      • BobFalfa

        It’s a cliche bike.
        As you said , usual pipewrap, smaller headlight and transeuro tyres, plus a yellow that’s was in fashion 20+ years ago(the yellow is not that bad really but it reminded me of a Guzzi that was in Cycle World 25 years ago),
        You and how many more have picked up on it.
        I said before these folk that are putting bike to the site to be featured are supposedly professional bike builders ,
        Now I’m not saying about the build quality far from it , but they really need to step up their game!
        Just a couple of idea that could have set it apart, and it’s only my opinion and many will hate it I’m sure , but rubber fork gaiters, bin those and what about recessing the 60mm speedo in the tank and recessed filler cap symmetrically opposite

  • I can fab up a lighter kickstand puck for you guys

    • BobFalfa

      I think only you and I noticed that one,
      Still I suppose the the car brake will add ballast to the rider’s backpack

  • Jester the Clown

    An excellent job in rescuing a wreck and I do like that colour but does adding the now seemingly compulsory pipe rags and Tonka toy tyres really qualify the “custom” tag?

    • BobFalfa

      IMHO it doesn’t
      This Exhaust Wrap thing just pees me off, I addressed it ,on another forum or two a couple months ago . and I’d be happy to see any valid reason for wrapping bike exhaust apart from getting bits of you body burned

      • Flathead

        1: Preventing burns, 2: Obtaining the look the owner wants and 3: Covering up welds and imperfections on a homemade exhaust, are alle valid reasons to me. In addition, it’s been claimed that the higher gas temperature inside a wrapped exhaust, results in faster flow and more power.

        • Dream on. Funny, you would think that if even added .001 HP, it would be used by every bike on the Moto GP grid. But in fact it’s not used in ANY form of racing except where it’s used to protect “other” parts from exhaust heat damage. But this here is a cosmetic world we’re commenting on.

      • the watcher

        I reckon it’s mostly used to cover nasty chrome downpipes that are difficult or, more usually, expensive to disguise any other way. The idea that it’s just to hide poor welding is, betcha, wrong 9 times out of 10.

  • Andy Rappold

    Boooooring!! Do they will come up ever with something exiting??

  • the watcher

    Really went out on a limb this time eh, Macco? In fact, it’s so tired I suspect you’re even boring yourselves.

  • Andy Rappold

    There are a handful good moto shops over there in Barcelona… Overbolt, Kiddo, etc. Why is it always Makko over here??? I don’t get it.

  • For those having a go at Macco for building a bike that doesn’t break any boundaries, just remember that Macco (like any other well known builder) need to keep the lights on.

    It might surprise you to learn how many customers go to established workshops, and ask for that workshop’s signature style. No builder in their right mind turns down steady work like that. So they’re faced with the challenge of building a bike in their style, with a unique enough spin to set it aside from their previous work. And I think they’ve managed that here.

    Let’s face it, this Bonnie is really nicely executed. Sure, there’s pipewrap, but take the tyres for example—they might be dual sport tyres, but they’re heavily road biased dual sport tyres. Aggressive look plus actual day to day practicality—imagine that.

    The yellow paint is delightful, the seat is killer, and every little part and finish gels perfectly with the next. It might not be genre-redefining, but it’s damn cohesive, and that’s not easy to achieve.

    Well done, lads.

    • BobFalfa

      Hold on there, the bike is to be ridden correct? So you go 100 miles and decide to park it , the side stand lays the whole thing on it’s side!!!
      So much for the “every little part and finish gels perfectly with the next.”
      Should that be, bike and ground??
      No one is expecting something ground breaking,nor is anyone expecting a “Reality Show” piece of tinsel (Thank goodness for that) to hang on a Christmas Tree
      As I said “cliche bike” But it was built by professionals,
      Possibly the idea of “European bikes are best” need to be forgotten
      My first post on this was
      “Oh, I got the joke”
      Followed up with
      “It’s a cliche bike” possibly I should have left it at that
      But no, I had to start about the Pipewrap

      PS, have I said I hate Pipewrap?

    • guvnor67


    • the watcher

      I wonder why we need “editorial interference” to tell us what we all really know about capitalist necessity. We are responding to a bike and it’s manufacturer who are moving further and further away from anything that claims or deserves the moniker “custom” (note, not “customER”). Come on Wesley, don’t be disingenuous, we can all see clearly that this is the 6th (7th, 8th ?) nearly identical, variation on a theme, and frankly we don’t need to see every single one and you don’t need to be justifying their business model.

      • Editorial interference? I don’t write for Pipeburn… also, I really don’t think my comment was disingenuous.

        • the watcher

          Sorry, my mistake (why did I think you did?). Nonetheless, if not disingenuous then a little too “earnestly face value” for my jaded old cynical understanding.

          • No worries. I write for another website, maybe that’s where the confusion set in 😉

          • the watcher

            That, and I’m easily confused.

          • guvnor67

            Howz the health Wesley?

          • Major milestone around the corner: follow up with the doc in two days, which is when I hopefully start walking without crutches again!

          • guvnor67

            YEY!!! Back on 2 feet, and back on 2 wheels before you know it!! Motorcycles- the best therapy known 2 mankind!

  • MayDayMoto


  • PATtheHUFF

    I think it looks great, well done Macco! There is always room for subtle in the custom build world, not everyone needs a bespoke frame, carbon fiber and USD forks. I’m not a fan of pipe wrap or “city knobbies” either but it doesn’t ruin the build for me.

  • John Wanninger

    Kind of resembles a mid 70’s Yamaha DT- which, by the way, I’d rather have.

    This bike is a yawner.