Some skills can take a lifetime to perfect. There are people however who seem to have a natural ability to pick things up faster than the rest of us. Samuel Aguiar is one such individual. The furniture-cum-motorcycle designer has an impressive set of skills he applies to any project he undertakes – but for his latest custom bike build, he decided to try something new.
Samuel, who works under the title of Shiny Hammer, wanted to create a “weird cafe racer” with this, his latest personal project. The project began when he sourced a crashed 1981 Moto Guzzi 1000SP Spada. The bike’s front wheel and forks were bent right back to the engine, but he knew the motor was essentially in working order and that the Guzzi could be resurrected with some work.
“I had to make the bike ‘straight’ before making any mods. But on the engine, only the alternator was broken.” says Samuel. “The main idea was to start with a known design for the fuel tank and then go a little more unusual on the front fender.”
The teardown began with the removal of the Spada’s ungainly touring plastics to make way for something much more streamlined. The damaged front end was then removed and replaced with a rebuilt set of stock forks. The revised front end was also set up to drop the bike’s nose down closer to the pavement. A pair of adjustable, air-filled Fournales rear shocks were then pumped up to just the right PSI to establish a balanced bone line.
After swapping out the broken alternator Samuel had the 949cc v-twin running good as new. The 1000SP Spada is renowned for its reliability, but he wanted improved performance befitting of its new look. So the 32mm carbs were replaced by 36mm Dell’Ortos which inhale through a set of bespoke alloy velocity stacks. He then fabricated a one-off stainless exhaust system with integrated baffles and tuned everything to suit.
The revised bodywork is of course what this build is all about. Each panel was painstakingly shaped by hand, but to achieve the desired result, Samuel had to upskill a little.
“I have wanted to be able to weld aluminium for years and decided to learn with this project so I bought a new tig for it,” he says, but you’d be hard-pressed picking up noob mistakes. The new aluminium tail unit, fuel tank, fairing and fenders are faultless and any weld marks are virtually impossible to recognise. In fact, Samuel was so happy with the result he opted to leave the bodywork bare…and who can blame him!? Everything is so tightly proportioned and perfectly polished that the whole assembly above the engine almost looks like a single, hand-sculpted piece of aluminium.
The paint-free finish has also been carried over to the frame of the 1000SP. After welding in a tighter rear hoop Samuel opted again to leave things bare. The finish was achieved by first brushing the steel then coating it in a layer of clear to maintain its appearance and fend off corrosion.
When the time came to have the seat upholstered Samuel picked out a nardo grey leather to match the engines cases. The only splashes of colour you’ll find here come from the slight blueing of the exhaust headers, the red of the tail light lens and the Motogadget Motoscope Pro dash. Thanks to all the polishing the lights of the trick dash are reflected on to the tank to create a vibrant red light show when the sun goes down.
The finishing aftermarket touches on this masterpiece of metalwork include Tarozzi rear-set footpegs, Morad spoked rims, Berringer brake and clutch controls and Brembo disks. The rear brake cylinder and headlight assembly utilise components from, of all places, a Peugeot scooter and Samuel has rounded and smoothed the top clamp to keep the cockpit looking uber clean.
Perfect isn’t a term I use lightly when it comes to custom motorcycles, but I’m willing to make an exception with Samuel’s flawless Moto Guzzi 1000SP Spada. The application of aluminium and the fact that he’s transformed an 80’s sport tourer into a timeless cafe racer is nothing short of perfect.