When Nicola Martini started his course in the motorcycle industry, he was a young Italian guy who was selling British motorcycles in Verona, in Italy. Now, more than 20 years later, he still has his dealership in Verona but he sells his own custom Mr Martinis, probably the most desirable bikes in the world.
The story of Nicola Martini begins at the late 1980s, when he took the initiative to open a Royal Enfield dealership in a small area of his father’s gas station in Verona. A few years later he visited Milan motorcycle show and he met Carlo Talamo, the former importer of Harley Davidson and Triumph in Italy. A year later Carlo Talamo gave him some Triumphs to sell and until 1994 Nicola Martini became the official Triumph dealer. The entire gas station of his father became the famous “Numero Tre” store, where Nicola Martini started modifying the exterior of the British bikes, converting them into unique pieces of art.
At the beginning of the 21st century Martini bought a 1950s gas station which he used as a Triumph dealership and workshop for his modifications. In 2009, he opened a showroom/atelier “La Bottega” in front of the dealership and he decorated it to look like an old British living room where many of his creations, as well as motorcycle equipment are on display. The vintage style is apparent everywhere around his atelier and the Mr Martini bikes are the highlight of his exhibition.
Martini's creations became worldwide famous as he displayed them in the most prestigious motor fairs and he started winning awards that brought more demand for his bikes, and many requests from foreign customers to modify brands other than Triumph.
Everything in his atelier looks special, from the small suitcases and leather jackets he sells, to the bikes themselves. You can immediately understand that Mr Martini is a unique brand which refers to unique customers, in terms of their taste. “Style is very important in my life," he says. "I’m attracted to vintage taste, but forward looking, and when I see objects that intersect their image with mine I want to put them as setting for my creations. Everything must be special”.
Who are Mr Martini motorcycles aimed at? “Someone that’s out of fashion system, someone who likes the style, the beauty, not the trend of the moment," he says. "A special bike that you can find beautiful over the years!”
These prices of these very special machines make sure they remain rare. “The Jerolamo R is a special bike, unique," Martini says. "The price is 24.000 euro (17,294 GBP)." For Martini's BMW Nine T M1 you have to add up to 12.000 euro (8,640 GBP) to the cost of the base BMW bike.
"We can build a special bike, on request, starting from a new one and then ship it abroad or a foreign customer can send his bike (new or used) to our workshop to customise it," says Martini. "Sometimes this option is the best for country as USA (California in particular) where registration rules are so different from European ones.”
Mr Martini bikes are made by passionate people for passionate people and this is the key for the success of the brand. The founder as well as the mind behind these spectacular bikes has worked hard to reach his ambitions and he will continue working, just because he enjoys what he is doing. His plans for the future are simple: “Many special bikes, of course, looking to the future but without forgetting the past – my creations are a mix between the past and the future." Martini also plans to stop smoking and, he laughs, "try to have a week of vacation!”