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2003 Triumph Bonneville Streetrod

Posted on March 3, 2014 by Scott in Café Racer, Racer. 37 comments


The nickname ‘flying Scotsman’ comes to mind when describing Lindsay Young and his previous builds. Over the years, this Scottish Mechanical Engineer has built some super fast sports bikes. This time, he decided to build something a little more “sedate”. Not to say that this Bonneville Streedrod isn’t packed full of performance features – just not in the same league of break neck speed. So when Lindsay’s good friend was selling his stock 2003 Bonnie with only 3000 miles on the clock, Lindsay decided to try his hand at building his first classic styled ground up custom. “I did initially think of some sort of café racer but there are so many of them around and it’s all been done before many times over.” says Lindsay. “I wanted to do something a bit different and unique so my thoughts turned towards a retro style minimalist streetrod/streetfighter.” And so, the Streetrod was born – well, he still needed to do the work.


Having built bikes his whole life, Lindsay knew having a clear direction before he started would save time and money in the long run. He wanted a clean minimalist look so everything that wasn’t needed was stripped off the bike. To get the most out of the stock 790cc parallel-twin, the engine was bored out from 790cc to 904cc, gas flowed cylinder head and skimmed 30 grams off the flywheels. The standard air box and secondary air re-injection system was removed and a Dynojet Stage 1 kit and K&N individual air filters were added. The exhaust is a Zard 2 into 1 with removable baffle and black ceramic finish.


On the handling side of things, Lindsay chose fully adjustable Ohlins gas shocks, Hagon progressive fork springs with 20 weight oil. He also added TEC billet fork brace and steering damper. For braking, he get serious with a 4 pot Brembo brake kit with a 335mm Floating Disc. One of the most time consuming element to the build was the custom wheels. He decided to change the front 2.5″ rim to a 3.5″ and on the rear he upgraded from 3.5″ rim to a 5″ using Talon Hubs and Morad Rims. After two suppliers and five months in wasted time, he finally had the wheels and the look he was after.


Then there was the rewiring nightmare which Lindsay had a crack at doing himself but in the end “looked like a dog’s breakfast” so he decided to enlist the pro’s at TWS . “The rewiring was caused by just about every electrical component being moved to create the minimalist look I was after” he says. It turned out to be the best money he spent.


When it came to the styling, Lindsay only wanted quality components. Using Italian made Rizoma mirrors, grips and LED indicators. The stock bars were replaced with 36” Fehling flat bars and the Bonnie headlight was lost in favour of a Highway Hawk dual oval headlight. The classic single seat came from a Triumph Scrambler. On the back is a Rosscromo hugger and the front is a modified mudguard all in black.


We think Lindsay has achieved exactly what he set out to do; creating a minimalist streetrod Bonneville with top quality components, matched with real performance and handling. He tells us the bike now has 50% more power than stock and “the brakes are phenomenal”. Now excuse me, I have to go upgrade a few things on my Bonnie.

  • Mackster

    Well well, that’s an ugly duck…

  • disqus_DBQb35Bb59

    It’s so busy, it’s kind of hard to look at.

  • Purple Moose

    I fear the amount of bad taste on this bike defies the laws of physics…

    • bimota blue

      Dear purple helmet,

      Are you upset at the quality of the parts, the manner in which they have been fitted or, as I suspect, you just like a good whine?

      • Fantome_NR

        I think he’s saying that it’s butt ugly.

    • Dennis McClune

      Get a clue…..

  • machine

    parts bin not very special

    • Mr Jones

      with a comment like that you don’t have a feckin clue what all went into this bike. Armchair fuckin critics do ma heid in.

  • Telemachus_1

    I like it.

  • Spyker May

    How much is “…only 3ooo miles…”..?

    • bimota blue

      1 less than 3001 and one more than 2999

    • Well spotted. Fixed.

  • bimota blue

    “bad taste” “hard to look at” ” ugly duck”?!? You guys should stick to your plastic models and leave the real bikes to the big boys…
    This trumpet not only looks fantastic, it looks like it has been built to ride not just show!
    Well played Sir!

    • Mackster

      Nope sir. If it would be just for riding, he’d better baught 2 yf-6 for the same amount. And put a fairing instead of this ugly headlight

      • bimota blue

        Wait, your on a custom build Web site suggesting that if it’s for riding he’d be better buying a yf-6…?!?
        Have you checked out the new Volvo range? Sounds right up your street!

        • Mackster

          hey buddy, you got it just right. check the new kawa entry on bike exif.

    • Ben Forshaw

      Disagree, you can ride any show bike. The thing that makes this bike stand out, is the poor finish. Just look at that speedo, it looks wrong. Poorly thought out, but, commendable for the try.

      • bimota blue

        Depends what you mean by ride. If you mean trundle along looking cool then fine, that’s the easy bit… This fella looks like he has put together a one off show bike that also looks balls out fun to ride. Not easy, you should try it sometime…

      • Luke

        The beauty about being a critic is you aren’t saying you can do better (which I can’t), just giving an opinion. I’m with Ben – this thing doesn’t hold together 10% as well as most bikes on this site and the speedo jumped out immediately as “bolted on without thought.” Hard to turn a Bonney with all that visual weight into a “street fighter.”

  • MF

    There must be some work into this, and I’m sure the man is very talented, but it looks as though he’s gone through the British Customs catalogue and bought bolt ons. Too many modern looking items (Headlight, bar setup, wheels) that over ride the old look of the bike. It’s a no for me.

    • Mr Jones

      So, you want round headlight, clip-on’s, and a solo cafe racer seat with skinny tyres……. aye that’s VERY unique and never been done before…

      • MF

        No, I don’t want, nor did I suggest those things. The bike loooks like a bonnie with modern bolt ons with a bore kit. Nothing special about that.

  • Thom Slaske

    I like the wheels, and I like the stance, but the rest can go. The parts don’t work together.

  • Crasher_MC

    Clearly a lot of money has been thrown at this Bonnie and it is quite possibly fun to ride, but you’d want to get on it while it is still dark – the mix match of different period styles is harsh on the eye.

  • Jacob Speis

    Oh dear.

  • nathas909

    I appreciate doing something different, but it is very busy. I dont think that front light fits in well. I do like the tail unit though.

  • Mauro Toffanin

    Being a Bonneville fan I like the overall bike: clean lines, subtle mods; must be a blast to ride.

    Always nice to see a new Triumph custom.

  • Elliot

    I do like the performance upgrades, and I’m sure that this bike is a blast to ride, but the sum of the parts just don’t seem to be adding up to a cohesive whole for me. I like the light, but I wish it wasn’t smaller than the insrument cluster above it. And, the classic scrambler seat would be great, but it just doesn’t seem to match the streetfighter styling.

    I’m also wondering why we didn’t get a single shot of the left side? Also missing a direct front shot and a profile. I’d definitely like to see a rear shot of that tire and how it looks.

    • Mr Jones

      Here’s a YouTube link with a walk around and sound track:

  • Ben Forshaw

    pretty dismal, nothing looks like it belongs.

  • dick face


  • itsmefool

    We have a phrase here in the States that seems apt…”a face only a mother could love.” Obviously, my biggest gripes center on just two items: the headlight and the gauge. I’m not a fan of the former and I don’t like seeing the back of the latter. Otherwise, I could live with it!

  • Davidabl2

    Just for the hell of it, it’d be fun to take a Sportster eyebrow, flip it and use it to make a backplate under the instrument cluster 😉

  • Davidabl2

    The description “classic-styled ground-up custom” has me scratching my head.
    “Streetrod/streetfighter’ makes much better sense..But when you put all four phrases together you get “classic-styled ground-up custom Streetrod/streetfighter” doesn’t seem to make any sense at all.. not for any bike that I could imagine. Not even as advertising copy 😉 btw, I like the bike.

  • jumbo

    Looks like he kinda wanted a cafe racer but he wasn’t quite sure.

  • ApriliaBill

    I admire all the parts and work that went into this bike, but she’s still not attractive. It’s preference and like said that’s a busy girl….. So you can quite the b.s. If you like it, great, that’s why we do what we do, so they don’t all look the same… I’m sure some find this bike beautiful.

  • Erik Bielitzer

    Okay, here is what I think he should do to further the look…get a dark brown weathered leather seat…like a mono/ or tractor style seat , keep the headlight, but put two side by side mounted on a custom bracket, I feel the greatest embodiment of a streetfighter/hooligan bike is the speed triple. Give it a nod with that. Then cut off that silly book rack that extends past the seat, ( street fighters dont have time for reading!) then wrap a nice hugger on the rear wheel. I’m not going to criticize what he accomplished, but that is how I might envision it .