The year was 1993, Bill Clinton was sworn in as President, Seinfeld was cleaning up at the Emmy Awards and Whitney Houston was belting out ‘I will always love you’. That was thirty years ago, and these cultural facts help us to remember just how long ago it really was. It was also in that year that Italy’s Filippo Barbacane began to build custom motorcycles, and now you can start to really appreciate the incredible experience he possesses. A few years later he turned his passion into a small production line and he’s never looked back. The bikes of Officine Rossopuro are in hot demand and when a proud sailor got his chance to have his Moto Guzzi SP1000 transformed by Filippo, it made sense to call his new weapon ‘Tridente’.

The Trident is, of course, the weapon of choice for the gods of the sea, Poseidon (Greek) and Neptune (Roman), and for a proud Navy man, it’s now a two-wheeled classic for when he returns to the land to terrorise the roads. Having seen the amazing motorcycles that come out of the Abruzzo-based workshop, the sailor knew it was worth waiting for when Filippo had a free spot in his busy schedule, and when it’s a Guzzi you’re after, Barbacane is the man. Now moving into his fourth decade as a custom bike builder, it was early on in his career that Filippo decided to ignore the ’90s trend of everything being Harley and focus his attention on the homegrown product.

There really is something special about a Moto Guzzi and Filippo just couldn’t understand why more people weren’t creating specials from them. So, he decided he’d make it his life mission to do so and for as long as I can remember he sends us three or more absolute beauties to checkout every 12 months. No two Officine bikes are the same, but the core philosophy of each build is, “Not objects to be observed, but motorcycles with a soul made to be used, experienced and preserved over the years.” So, with the SP1000 up on the lift, Filippo went through his usual process of stripping the bike down to every last bolt and examining all of the mechanicals.

Having gone over every inch of the SP and planning out his attack, the first task was to refinish the famous Tonti frame and bring it back to its past glory. All of the bearings are replaced, new nuts and bolts are used throughout and the shaft drive rear is completely rebuilt. To get things rolling, a classic look was the desired outcome and so “I used spoked wheels with aluminium hubs, stainless steel spokes and Borrani Record aluminium rims: 18 x 2.5 in the front and 18 x 3.5 in the rear,” Filippo explains. To bring the braking up to scratch a full overhaul has been performed with a set of Brembo gold brake pumps, 300mm discs, rebuilt calipers and a new set of lines.

The suspension is an area that is never overlooked, as Filippo builds his bikes so that they can be ridden hard on the back roads of his beloved Adriatic coast. But this SP proved to be a surprise packet, turning up having already been given a complete Bitubo upgrade. The rear shocks are adjustable items, with progressive rate springs and look a treat with their fresh coat of chrome. At the front end of the bike, the 35mm fork tubes had been filled with a Bitubo cartridge kit, so that all that was needed was for them to be serviced and given a new lick of paint.

Before the rest of the bike could be painted, Filippo had to build the bodywork and no two bikes of his are ever the same in this department. First, he draws up the design to suit the theme of the bike, then moulds and bucks are created before the arduous task of hand-beating each part from alloy can begin. It is an area where Barbacane’s work truly is brilliant, and it is worth pouring over the photos to really appreciate just how extraordinary his talent is. Take the 3D side covers, you won’t spot a seam or crease and the combination of raw and polished alloy really brings them to life.

The one-off tank is just as special, with Tridente being given a long and lean appearance. To further accentuate that look, the silver graphics, with a single pinstripe, run rearwards and narrow as they do. At the same time, the deep green metallic paint gives a truly classic appearance, with a little extra something mixed in for when the tins are subject to the full force of the sun.

The front and rear fenders are both hand rolled so as to perfectly sit within the silhouette of the bike and match the tyre choice of each individual machine. As with all Officine Rossopuro builds, the leather seat is both of the highest quality and also generously padded for pleasant days in the saddle. And to finish out the look, Filippo shuns LED lights, in favour of quality old-school items to truly maintain the vintage vibe.

Time for the engine to go into the frame and the mounts are CNC’d in-house to reduce vibrations from worn-out old components. The thumping v-twin also gets a pair of Filippo’s own rocker cover protectors and the whole thing has been rebuilt from top to bottom to ensure years of trouble free motoring.

Again with his sketch pad out, a unique exhaust was designed for the bike, with a torque improving x-pipe sitting under the gearbox and the stainless system brought to life and homologated by MASS exhaust systems; a long-term partner. The controls are all custom to suit the customer and it must be hard these days to be at sea, with such a special spear like Tridente awaiting your return.

[ Officine Rossopuro ]