BMW K 75 Daboia Turns Motorrad’s Ugly Duckling Into Colorful Cafe Racer Eye Candy

With more than 20 years of professional experience in photography and graphic design, Marco Matteucci has a keen eye for details and proportions. Operating in the picturesque Italian town of Montegranaro, he’d entered the custom bike scene back in 2013 and is known to the broader public as Matteucci Garage. You might already be familiar with that name, because Marco’s work has garnered attention far and wide over the years.
BMW K 75 Daboia 12 photos
Photo: Matteucci Garage
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He’s able to turn just about any machine into an absolute stunner, even if the starting point is an unsightly K-series model from BMW. For instance, most builders wouldn’t touch the K 75 with a ten-foot pole, but Signor Matteucci managed to find potential in Motorrad’s borderline obnoxious triple. He dragged a late-eighties variant kicking and screaming into his shop, to ultimately end up with a rad one-off cafe racer dubbed Daboia.

The nickname seems rather appropriate for such a bold custom Beemer, because “Daboia” refers to a genus of venomous vipers in scientific terms. Now, Marco’s restyled K 75 may not have sharp fangs or a cold-blooded predatory instinct, but it does look genuinely intoxicating to say the least! The project’s author found a way to work with the angular geometry which characterizes the donor, and his ingenuity paid off in spades.

Choosing to retain the motorcycle’s stock wheels, gas tank, and radiator cover, he saved the heavy lifting for the rear end. In that area, you will now find a bespoke subframe enshrouded in a pointy aluminum tail section, both fabricated from scratch by Marco. In keeping with the viper theme, the tail was cleverly shaped to resemble a snake’s head.

It comes with integrated LED taillights and turn signals that look like the serpent’s eyes, while a custom solo seat can be spotted a bit further ahead. This new saddle is enveloped in black leather upholstery and stitched together using red threads for contrast. In a very subtle way, the stitching pattern seems to further enforce the snake-like appearance Marco was going for.

BMW K 75 Daboia
Photo: Matteucci Garage
His customization treatment completely transformed the K 75’s suspension, as well, with a full suite of modern Ohlins goodies replacing the factory equipment. Premium upside-down forks have been mounted on bespoke triple clamps at the front, and the rear end gained an adjustable piggyback shock absorber to match. Whereas the stock braking system is still present down south, the front module was dialed up to eleven.

Marco fitted a pair of floating aftermarket rotors measuring 320 mm (12.6 inches), mating them to some sturdy Brembo calipers for ample stopping power. The original wheels were cloaked in Metzeler Roadtec rubber fore and aft, but there are no fenders to speak of. A potent LED headlamp takes care of lighting duties at twelve o’clock, sitting on custom brackets and joined by a small aluminum wind deflector up top.

Furthermore, maestro Matteucci also went to town in the cockpit, installing a tailor-made handlebar positioned in a similar manner to clip-ons. There’s an inverse curvature in the center, offering a clear view of the Acewell dial that makes up Daboia’s instrumentation. A Brembo brake master cylinder and aftermarket grips complete the equipment in this area, accompanied by the standard BMW switchgear.

BMW K 75 Daboia
Photo: Matteucci Garage
As for the front turn signals, they’ve been seamlessly embedded into the bike’s radiator shroud to keep things looking as tidy as possible. New billet aluminum foot pegs finish off the creature’s ergonomics, and all its electronics are now hooked up to a fresh wiring harness. Although he opted to leave the engine internals unchanged, Marco did perform some tasty mods on the intake and exhaust.

The OEM airbox was replaced with aftermarket pod filters, but what really gets our attention is the exhaust plumbing. It comprises handmade stainless-steel headers, which run a three-into-one layout toward a SC-Project muffler on the left. With all the pieces of the puzzle coming together like a charm, it was time for Matteucci Garage to apply the final touches before calling it a day.

Of course, that meant choosing an appropriate color scheme to tie everything together. A glossy dark blue finish worked its way onto the frame, wheels, and all the bodywork components except the fuel tank. The latter is the real showstopper here, though, sporting multiple layers of paint sanded away around the edges for a mesmerizing patina-like effect. Matte-red was chosen for the top coating, with yellow and black hiding underneath.

Marco painted the knee indentations black, as well, and the same treatment was carried over to the engine covers, swingarm, and triple clamps, among other items. The gold Ohlins suspension and brake rotor flanges fit the chosen color scheme perfectly, but one may also see white Daboia graphics on the tail and custom BMW roundels with the builder’s name engraved on the outer circles. This whole ordeal looks almost cartoonish, yet undeniably intriguing at the same time!
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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