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‘07 Triumph Thruxton Tracker – Mule Motorcycles

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Andrew in Tracker. 30 comments

Custom bike shops come and go. It’s more than a slight understatement to say that running one without going crazy, broke, or both is no mean feat. The late nights. The cold winters laying on greasy concrete floors. The striking a balance between art and profit. It’s nothing short of the challenge of a lifetime. And a lifetime is exactly how long it’s been since we last featured the work of Richard Pollock and his Mule Motorcycles shop in California. Well, eight years if you must know – but in the custom bike game it’s as good as. And now he’s back – back with bike that makes us wish we’d chased him up a lot sooner. Check out this Triumph Thruxton – it’s his latest, and dare we say greatest build.

Rich sets the scene by explaining that the customer wanted a late-model Triumph street tracker, as he had apparently raced Triumphs in the 70’s. Seems like as good a reason as you could probably get. “He specifically requested the gold paint on an aluminum Trackmaster-style fuel tank, says Richard. “That and the TT pipes. Other than that, he liked all the normal upgrades hat are included in most of my Triumph builds.”

These upgrades are as plentiful as they are beautiful. There’s the stainless flat track bars, an oil cooler kit, a sidestand kit, a seat kit, billet triple clamps, Brembo front rotors… the list goes on and on. “On the other hand, the big differences with the bike is that I normally use Yamaha R6 forks, and this uses the stock 41mm Triumph Thruxton units. They seem to be the lightest forks available, while not being very high-tech.” But by all accounts, they work just fine on the street, and Rich says they improved greatly after a quick trip to local ‘shock jocks,’ Racetech Suspension in Corona, California. They were fully reworked and equipped with emulators (don’t worry – we had no idea what they were either until we read this) that perfectly compliment the other pair of Racetech shocks out back.

“The 2007 Triumph Thruxton donor bike for the tracker came from a friend who had purchased the bike for a build we had planned,” says Richard. “They ended up buying a bike I had previously built for another customer in Mississippi, leaving this little Thruxton without any love.” He makes it sound like a pound puppy. But it also sounds like the perfect opportunity for a custom build of Great Dane proportions.

Richard reports that the build took about 5 months to finish, and while the budget was a little tighter than most of his builds, a real effort was put into finding the right components to do the right job, while not burning someone’s bank account to the ground in the process. Exhibit A for this case is the hubs. “I normally use my own rear hub kit, but I retained the stocker here. Up front, a ‘75 XS650 Yamaha hub was laced up to accept a new Brembo rotor on custom bearing carriers. Then a used (but mint) R6 front caliper on a custom bracket further reduced costs.”

While it took a decent chunk of time to have the tank built, it’s pretty damn obvious from the shots that the fit and finish were well worth the wait. A small Acewell electronic gauge on a custom bracket bolts to the Mule billet triple clamps, letting the rider know exactly how fast he shouldn’t be going. “The 19″ black Sunrims and the stainless spokes were handled by Buchanan Spoke and Wheel, with the Goldentyre brand DT tires coming from Chris Carr at Zanotti Racing provide the grip. Plus, they’re DOT approved,” Rich cheers.

The paint from the Triumph is gold shade from a ‘63 Schwinn StingRay (“My first new bicycle!” says Richard) and it was applied masterfully by David Tovar at Superbike Paint. It’s freaking immaculate, yes? Then stainless tubing was used for the exhaust, transitioning from stock pipeage to a 2″ diameter section with a 12″ long internal baffle to quite the riot a little. “This was to retain the TT pipe’s look while also retaining a driver’s license,” says Rich, with a glint in his eye.

“The air cleaners are K&N, and they are matched with the jets delivered in the British Customs’ kit. A Mule oil cooler kit allows the pipes to tuck in uber tight while also eliminating the cosmetic bolt in, under the motor frame rails. And a Mule sidestand kit in cro-moly holds the bike upright when parked.” For the controls, 1″ bars were used along with stock Triumph Bonneville switches, clutch lever and master cylinder. A Crown Performance brakeline passes just behind the LSL headlight unit and modified-but-stock Bonneville headlight brackets.

Ironically, that hardest part of the build was also something that Rich outsourced – the paint. “Although I didn’t do the work, this was the fourth attempt at applying this color, having done three other bikes with the same shade. They all came out with the paint beautifully applied, but just a bit too dark – it was almost an orange bronze.” So sure, the paint caused a bit of grief, but in the end it was clearly a home run. Just look at it.

And his favourite part? “That’s gotta be the sounds,” Rich exclaims. As you can probably see by the nicely detailed shot above, it’s something he and the Mule team have put lots of thought into. So if this, probably the nicest tracked-out Thruxton we’ve ever laid our rather jaded eyes on, doesn’t impress Mr. 70s Triumph racer, we’re not quite sure what would. But don’t fear, because this bike is one pound puppy that we reckon will never go wanting when it comes to a loving home. Not at all.

[Mule Motorcycles: Web – Instagram | Photos by Olivier de Vaulx]

  • Very tastefully done Richard, and the color scheme is right up my alley. Cheers!

  • bill smith

    And the Master builder continues to impress………….

  • John in Pollock

    Best Trumpet ever. B.O.T.Y. material as well. It’s beautiful.

  • Bultaco Metralla

    Exemplary craft, fine lines, superb finishing and the attention to detail is the standard. Great bike.

  • Greybeard1

    Wicked nice as usual!
    Shame there will have to be a mirror someplace, eh?
    Don’t see why if you just outpace everyone…

  • Motomanic

    It was worth the wait. In my humble view it’s the best Triumph Tracker that Mule has ever built. The tank is resolved now (usually a bit of a thing with Triumphs (proportionally) I think). The ‘rest’ is just Mule and brilliant from A to Z. What a bike!!!

  • Larry Kahn

    Needs Firestones.


  • Duke Fan

    Them Mule Motorcycle boys know a few things about Triumphs!!

  • Neil_TonUp

    Mr. Pollock’s middle initial must be “M” for Meticulous. As a graphic artist I find reasons to be humbled at every turn. As a machinist … well, just forget that. Top work, Andrew! Snazzy snappies from Mssr. de Vaulx are always appreciated.

  • Jim Stuart

    Richard, I still have my lime green 1964 Stingray and some others as well so your taste in Gold is understood. A cable operated Snuff or Nots would be cool. Hat’s off to Chris Carr…

  • the watcher

    The only criticism one can make of Mule motorcycles is that they’re “samey”. The fact that they’re spot on kinda renders it a moot point, though. No more to say, really.

    • Greybeard1

      Don’t forget these are customer bikes.
      People come to Richard for that style in particular because, well…take a look!.
      I’m sure he’d build you anything you want and it’d be killer but if you’re looking for a thick steak you won’t go to Taco Bell.

    • Having done 150+ streetrackers, I could live without ever doing another. The problem (not really a problem), is that’s what people call up and ask for. Wait till you see what I’m building for myself (finally)! And….
      the “Ultimate Streettracker”, which is already in work.

      • the watcher

        Ooh, you tease! Seriously though, looking forward to it already.

  • Another Triumph sails out of the park courtesy of Richard Pollock/Mule. I really like the tank/tail combo, they take the top heavy look that the stock bike has right away, and I’m guessing as soon as you turn the throttle you feel like tucking your knees into that tank and misbehaving. The Schwinn Radiant Coppertone is one of the best (koolest?) colors to ever cover bare metal, great choice……..and the trick silencers, nice touch!

  • guvnor67

    If this was icecream I’d want four scoops!! The tank is perfect (often an issue on modern Trumpys), the detailing is ridiculously good, the stance is begging for a test ride, and those pipes? SOUNDTRACK PLEASE!! Apart from the fact that It’s not mine, I cannot find so much as a flea’s tear drop to dislike about this. In fact, I believe the misses is gonna be mighty peed when she gets home to find a 3′ poster of it in the lounge room!!!!

  • Charlie Allnut

    There are four colors on that tank, what are the other three besides the Stingray copper?

    • Cream white (with some pearl in it), gold and red. The Triumph stickers use the “Old style” logo as opposed to the new style. Very subtle but different.

      • Charlie Allnut

        So no special codes or references I suppose, stock manufacterer chips then. I was intrigued by photos 4 and 5 which showed the red, due to photographic effect, as a magenta or fuschia, which I found quite pleasing, kind of popped, an unusual compliment to the other colors, but very effective. So there must be some kind of pearl or mixed tint in the red, perhaps a touch of blue. I would try and duplicate that effect somewhere sometime. Depends on the bike. The classic brit lines on this Triupmph and the curvature of the tank are perfect for that type of color arrangement. Not so much on a car. Well maybe an Opel GT.

        • The red is “just red”. The lighting and gloss make it pop.

  • AB

    Absolutely beautiful build. A master at his art indeed.

    You know what I’d like to see in 2017 is this master thrown out of his Triumph comfort zone and presented with a different donor to perform magic upon. And not a W650/800 or Yammy 650!

    I tried carving off my left testicle as a part payment and express sending it from NZ to Mule but I only cut halfway – it’s the darn bleeding you understand – it won’t stop. Someone else will need to front up with the lollies and donor (please not a BMW airhead,,,,).

    I’ll patiently wait.

    Fine work Sir – most respect given and please excuse the above, no offense intended.

    • Should not be a long wait.

      • Charlie Allnut

        Here is my suggestion. Re-create the BSA Rocket Goldstar by using a late 1970 or 1971 BSA B25 or B50 OIF which is treated to strengthening gussets, bracing, and so forth, then installing a BSA 650, or 750, or 900 cc single carb twin from SRM Engineering. The 250 and 500 cc frames are nearly identical, but the 250 is cheaper insurance, at least here in British Columbia. $ 350.00 annually. Pays, in savings, for the build!

        • ESP my friend! I bought a 250 OIF new in 1971, called a 250 Goldstar. Set it all up for MX after seeing a picture of Jeff Smith holeshotting Husky’s and CZ’s at Saddleback in an Inter-Am. Mine was death slow and was eventually sold. Secondly, I’m building up a BSA twin chassis for Dave Edwards of Cycle World fame with nice running gear and I have two older Triumphs in work that should meets your “out of the comfort zone” requirements.

          • Charlie Allnut

            Well well well sir… I happen to have a 1967 BSA 441 Victor Grand Prix Special, which is the factory competition version of the VGP production bike. It was a limited run produced in recognition of Jeff Smith and his MotoX Grand Prix success. It is a project, not running but almost all there, including the Ceriani front suspension, but missing all the tin ware including the hard to find bulbous side covers. The nice exhaust is in great shape, carb, maybe hubs too (not sure if original). The tank is hand built aluminium and never seen a drop of gas. I was thinking of building a resto mod with modern improvements such as electrics and styling it sort of like a 1964 T120 Triumph Tiger Cub. BTW your Triumph there sure looks like it will be a sweet bike.

          • Victor GP! Not the Holy Grail, but I’d have one in a heartbeat!

          • Charlie Allnut

            Yes, quite rare, the real deal, according to the VGPS owner website, where there is a global registry with all the bikes, including mine here on Vancouver Island # B44 2771. ( I cannot figure out how to post photos here from my phone. Maybe I could email them to you of the VGPS. Or something. The bike has a California Off Highway sticker from 1976 on the right lower fork leg, which is when I believe it probably last ran. Available to you only,

          • Email through my site.

  • Mo Denaro

    Always perfect……….

  • I can’t add anything that hasn’t already been said. Perfection.