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2008 Triumph Thruxton – ‘Steampunk Racer’ by BCR

Posted on December 22, 2013 by Scott in Café Racer, Racer. 32 comments

Written by Ian Lee.

Speed hole:
(noun) a sometimes superfluous modification where a hole is drilled into an automotive accessory, denoting a sporting aspect in relation to the machine. See also; ‘awesome’.

Sometimes a bike appears in the Pipeburn inbox that is truly something special. A high level of work, thought, and time, create a truly magnificent motorcycle, the sort of machine that catches your eye and won’t let go. BCR’s latest project, the ‘Steampunk Racer’, is one such bike. A transformed Triumph Thruxton with a beautiful finish, nicely matched with tasteful performance mods. And speed holes as far as the eye can see.

Starting out with a 2008 model Trumpy with 8000 miles on the clock, the BCR crew decided they wanted to build something out of the ordinary. The factory cafe racer was relieved of a good part of it’s aesthetic componentry, and a design brief decided to finish the bike in bare polished and brushed aluminium with jet black highlights. The frame, engine and suspension geometry was to remain as Triumph intended, but the rest would have to be something not seen before.

Stripping the front end, the Triumph forks have been replaced by a set from an early 2000s CBR1000RR. In order to accommodate the Honda forkset, BCR fabricated a new steering stem and the steering bearings changed to suit. To allow for a spoked front wheel a 40 hole hub from a Harley-Davidson was sourced, a set of axle and spacer adapters machined up in order to keep the front end dual rotor setup. The calipers are the stock CBR units, ensuring no adaptors were required for fitment.

Looking now at the upper end of the forks, the top trees were cleaned thoroughly and a set of stainless steel clip-ons were made in house. Sitting atop the forks is a custom dash, using a Harley tacho/speedo and keeping the factory warning lights. The dash has been treated to some speed holes to add lightness and cool to the build. The front fenders are fibreglass with stainless steel struts.

One of the many highlights on this bike is the aluminium front fairing. BCR didn’t want to take the well travelled road and just put a fairing and a headlight on the front. That would be “too easy”. A teardrop bead was used and the yellow headlight offset in the fairing. A panel was hand beaten and used to secure the headlight. In the opposite side to the headlight, louvred have been fitted to keep the voltage rectifier cool under pressure. Mounted atop the fairing in a 1/4″ plexiglass windscreen and underneath is covered up by an aluminium panel.

Once this was done, it was time to change the hand levers. To eliminate the factory clutch cable setup a hydraulic clutch system was fitted, courtesy of a Ducati 900SS. Using the master and slave cylinder from the Duc, a side cover was fabricated and some speed holes added. To keep with the Italian aesthetic, the brake lever was exchanged again for a 900SS unit and matching brake reservoirs mounted.

To ensure the bike had an overall look unlike any other, the fuel tank was built from scratch. The main idea was for it to be streamlined and unique. An organic scallop bead was run across the the front of the tank to match the front fairing. A tank cap was fabricated, and to keep with the raw industrial look of the bike a vent tube was added and exposed. To round out the tank, a hand hammered badge was mounted and speed holes added.

Once the tank was made, the next step was to fabricate a new seat and tail assembly. To keep with the lines of the tank, the seat widened the further back it sat. This was also done to keep with the stock wide seat frame and to accommodate the 18 inch 160 profile rear tire. The bottom end of the freshly made ducktail kicks up, mirroring the fairing at the front end of the bike and is split to allow for the large tire. The seat trim is black cowhide with single piping front to back, reinforced by double stitching and piping at the rear. Mounted where the seat and the ducktail meet, a speedholed aluminium strip holds the two materials together.

Sitting under the rear end of the bike, the tail light is mounted in aluminium and designed to keep in tune with the headlight. The rear fender is painted jet black, matched with stainless struts again to match the front end of the machine. To keep with the look of the new seat, fenders and tank, a new exhaust system was fashioned up. Starting out high the piping kicks in under the rider, then branching out and culminating in twin reverse megaphone silencers flanking the rear guard. To protect the rider from pipeburn a set of exhaust shields were produced, complete with speedholing.

From the front to the back, from the tires up, BCR has gone all out to prove themselves to be one of the top custom bike outfits around. The little touches, the amount of in house fabrication, the speed holes, all add up to this being one of the most unique and beautiful custom bikes to grace the pages of Pipeburn. BCR themselves say it best: “We had a lot of fun building this bike. As a company, we wanted to evolve, show people that we could come up with a different look, and that we can go in a different direction when it comes to the overall look and design of a bike. Sure, we could just slap on any of the other parts that we offer, but, again, that would be too easy. We are always up for a challenge and with this build we proved to ourselves that we could do it.” We have to agree.


  • Geno

    I love the look of the bike but I can’t decide what is more distracting… Hundreds of unnecessary speedholes or hundreds of unnecessary commas!

    • I’ve removed a few commas for you. Can’t do anything about those speed holes though.

  • Forcefedvw

    It needs more bits of copper and brass to be truly Steampunk. That red air intake would have been perfect in brass. Still very nice work and I’d ride all day then spend a week polishing it.

  • Amazing bike. It has a kind of movie-esque feel to it…

  • Zundap

    One of the most unique bikes I have seen. I’m a huge fan of polished aluminum .If it was mine I would change the front fender to polished aluminum and fill a lot of the holes (not all) but it’s not. A modern classic, way cool. ..Z

  • ccc40821

    With apologies to all the café racers of Chabott Engineering.

    • Oldschoolmachinist

      I think the headlight bucket is meant to be an hommage to Shinya Kimura.

  • Jacob Speis

    Can we expect to see this tank and tail section for sale on the BCR website for $1800 next month?

    • Glocker

      Yeah, probably, but I surely hope that its constructed better than the tank and seat I purchased from them for an ungodly amount of money. The fiberglass pieces turned out to be total crap. Thanks BCR. NOT! I’m of the opinion their stuff is just frosting. Damn fine looking bike though.

      • epires

        Fuck you’re not the only one. Join the group =(

        • Dyrden

          3rd that. My Benji tank and tail are on a shelf. Terrible fit and leaked fuel. If his quality were half as good as his eye for design hed be onto something. Admire the photos, but save your money..

  • Daniel

    This is gorgeous. In the cycling world we call speed holes drillium.

  • Leo

    The bike is gorgeous, wish i had one just like it. Lets hear three cheers for their heroic drill press too, that thing’s a trooper.

  • caffeineandpixels

    Yeah, I love a lot of it (Especially the fairing), but red plastic for the velocity stacks? They couldn’t use aluminum?

    • They could, but this red dot in a such beautiful motor-canvas is attractive as hell!

  • Deej

    Just threw up a little…

  • The last picture taken from a distance is the best one. The shape of all the major components is awesome, but the holes went from just right to a few too many to holy crap, there’s way too many holes. They ruin an otherwise landmark bike! Knowing when to stop or when there’s too much of a good thing is an art. Also, why did they just barely cut out the hydraulic clutch set -up in each picture, or at the least, not have one solid side shot of it?

    • Стефан ‘Dobermann’ Петров

      A good designer knows when to stop “adding” things, since the line between “too much” and “just right” is very thin.

  • arnold

    The tin knocker really out did himself, the fairing is the whipped cream and cherry on this Christmas trifle.

    • arnold

      OT My wife sent me this video. It well describes my motorcycle riding anymore. The euphoria, followed by the pucker factor, and the relief of having a place to park in sight and safely shut down.

      Thanks to you all.
      Happy Holidays.

  • Ichiban Moto

    I need more speedholes

  • Nice to see a bike with a real front fender again.

  • bartsky

    Amount of speed holes just perfect (lesser builders jealous)….great buid.

  • The fairing is just about the best piece of beaten aluminum I’ve ever seen.

  • Lewn

    Obsession over how a bike looks rather than how it performs is not my cup of tea, however this bike actaully looks good to ride. Is it really Steam punk though? Shouldn’t there be loads on brass nic-nacs from German WW1 airships all over it unnecessarily making it heavier for it to be a real steam punk bike?

  • Stephen Bacon

    “To protect the rider from pipeburn a set of exhaust shields were produced” – Holy

    double entendre BatMan! Are they talking about the comments section? 😉

    This bike certainly looks like it’d be fun to ride.

  • frizzyrick

    love it! they even speedholed the key!

  • coldsunshine

    This was manufactured using 100% Swiss aluminum.

  • coldsunshine

    I think sometimes people confuse “industrial” with “steampunk.”

  • cbkspa

    Love the build, but definetlt too shiny clean and busy for true “SteamPunk” Nice piece of kit though….

  • Shaun Miller

    Just buying a thruxton this kit is going to be my next purchase for sure….

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