Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.

Saint’s ‘72 Triumph Tiger – “Tesla”

Posted on April 1, 2013 by Andrew in Classic, Tracker. 30 comments

Of all the inventors that have taken their place in the annals of history, few have had quite the impact that Nikola Tesla has. Along with the many real-life inventions he patented or designed for others, Westinghouse and Thomas Edison included, there’s a slew of wild rumours that have become associated with the man. Some say that he invented a machine that could display thoughts like a mental movie projector. Others say he mastered the technology to transmit electricity wirelessly like radio waves. All we can safely say now is that the man understood and saw things on a level us mere mortals could only dream of. Which brings us to the latest creation of Jeff Yarrington’s Saint Motor Company. Now, we’re not saying that Jeff’s a mad genius or anything, but let’s face it, anyone who can conceive of and build a bike like this has to be more than a little Dr. Emmet Brown upstairs, yes?

Here’s the Doc Jeff. “The Tesla Bike was a Project started a couple years ago. I had started reading about Nicola Tesla, and was amazed by his work, and what it would have meant if finished. He was doing stuff 100 years ahead of his time, literally. Anything to do with motors, generators, x-rays, lasers… it all stemmed from Tesla, but those items pale next to what his main goal was. People have tried to finish what he started, but have always stopped short.”

“I imagined if he had a taste for Motorbikes and built one what it may have looked like. I had Captain Nemo, Rocketeer, and others floating around in my head too. I tried to stay period-ish correct with details, and wanted it to look a bit more hand built, with reused parts. There are more then a few re-purposed parts mixed in.”

“First and foremost was that I always wanted to make a bike with a fin on the rear and exhaust under it and second, I had always wanted to do a construction like this. A steel bar body skeleton, followed by a skin of metal to mimic blimps a bit or old sidecars, that kind of a look.”

“Its base is a 1972 Triumph Tiger, the first year for oil in Frame. I bought the bike from the original owner who had already added the Amen tail section and chopped it up a bit. He rode it for years, and then put it away, long ago. The single boxed muffler is a first for me, I copied a flowmaster 2 in 2 out chamber design for a unique sound. Theheat shields are cast iron, the copper and brass compass is the GPS, there’s many little details that I tried to not be normal with, even the weld on tabs are cut to be a reminder of old.”

“Now, it’s reborn again as Tesla, a very different kind of bike. I was very lucky to have this bike be the first on my projects to be professionally photographed and have people interested in it before it was done, and help with things.”

“I’d like to thank Sasha from Caferacerxxx for doing Sasha stuff, and Alicia Elfving, aka the Motolady for doing the beautiful photos, and for shooting an amazing video. Thanks.”

  • Wind-blown

    No one is going to accuse this bike of being bland. A little over the top for my test, but I can appreciate the efforts. I think the rear shocks interest me the most.

  • kr f

    What! no Rocketeer helmet to wear while riding this!!!

  • MotoTrooper

    This does not need the white frame/shocks. Everything else has that old worn appearance and everything white looks new and untouched. A charcoal silver paintjob would bring things into harmony. Only an opinion.

    • itsmefool

      I was thinking the same thing, Moto! How about instead of of a different paint job, a frame made to look like water piping? I mean, if you’re going steampunk, go all the way, yeah?

      • Mike Cambareri

        Better yet, why not just electroplate the current frame in copper and put clear powder coat over it? That would save him from building a new frame, and would mesh with the overall look soooo well…

  • kr f

    The white frame sucks! I had a white frame rigid HD. It was always covered with chain oil and every little chip looked like that giant zit you had as a teen that screamed “Look at Me”

  • Kai Vallon

    There are a few details here that I absolutely adore like the headlight and fairing, compass, and a few others that I don’t care for like the slope of tail and the frame color. The whole construction is so interesting and the bodywork so unique that I’ve just got to like it.

  • Bogdan D.
    • ccc40821

      (Oops, posted before noticing you already mentioned Shinya Kimura….)

  • revdub


  • Alex Braun

    With a name like “Tesla” I was hoping for an electric bike!

  • arnold

    No one ‘bails out the back’ anymore, so the fin is a moot point other than a design element.
    As a sheet metal design and color exercise I would give it a superior rating. As a motorcycle, if I had built it and brought it home, my Mother would like it. But, only because she is my Mother.

    • arnold

      I do think that Andrew has a left side blind spot. Must be a Bandwidth issue.

  • This is a bike that I can see John Carter, Warlord of Mars, riding. For me, this is one of the coolest bikes of this genre that I’ve seen in a while.

    • ccc40821

      I can see quite a lot of the Shinya Kimura / Chabott Engineering style here too, particularly the H-D ‘Spike’. Nice build, though.

  • Troy

    As the saying goes: just because you can it doesn’t mean you should. But as an excersise in art, well ok. But then again, the theme is sort of lost here, looks like he was going for an all out steapunk theme but ran out of steam!

  • Troy

    Also, first year for oil in frame is 1971 not 72.

  • Lewn

    Modern tires, inspired exhaust and routing aside. This is a pointless theme bike, hours of fabrication for no benefit in performance, uncomfortable, illegal and impractical. Tesla was massively more innovative than this nonsense.

    • Davidabl2

      Keeping an open mind about it is kinda difficult, i grant you. Clearly 1 part motorcycle, mixed with 1 part sculpture -and the sculpture part IS “Rocketeer”-inspired.
      One very interesting thing about it re Shinya Kimura is that it doesn’t look oriental at all, which by comparison shows how traditionally Japanese Shinya’s sensibility is.

  • shivakestyananda

    it is very different and original …. great job really …. um how come in the video it dosnt show it in motion or running???? is it done ???? how does the throttle work in that configuration with those calipers????/

  • ramon deathisbeautiful

    its like a mix between slim’s bikes from “slims fabrication” and shinya kimura”. but something is missing on this.

    • Davidabl2

      Slim’s “attitude” and Shinya’s calmness.

  • ramon deathisbeautiful

    still it does have creativity. i like it!

  • your local surveyor

    A compass is useless when mounted to metal objects, magnetically stuck…. due north I guess.
    Form did not follow function here.

    • Davidabl2

      I was thinking that an ammeter, an oil pressure gauge, or even a time clock would make better sense.. even if the clock was set to GMT and not to local time 😉

      If the compass had a quick release so you could park the bike & take it a few steps away from the bike, that’d be a different story…

  • w

    Worst bike I have ever seen.

  • Triumphlover

    poor craftsmanship. A crying shame what you did to this motorcycle.Flat ugly an unridable.

  • Pingback: 2013: The Year In Review - Moto Lady()

  • Pingback: Tesla & the Maryland Meetup - Moto Lady()