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

‘Metal Speed Solid’ Triumph Speed Triple Cafe Fighter – GB Motors 94

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer, Streetfighter. 21 comments

Written by Marlon Slack.

As much as I like the bikes featured on Pipeburn, sometimes I’m left wondering – what are they actually like to ride? They’re always cool as hell but sometimes I try not to think about what they’d be like to throw a leg over. Half an inch of suspension travel on the rear sure makes for a mean looking stance – but how would it fare over a suburban speed hump? That old air-cooled single pot 250 looks lean, but how far would you get on the interstate before your handlebars are being dragged out of the grill of a Scania? Well today we have something that’s meant to be ridden, and ridden hard – a custom Cafe Fighter built around Triumph’s exceptional Speed Triple R, made by Paris’s GB Motors 94.

GB Motors 94 is a Triumph dealership doing business out of the south of Paris, France. And despite selling the latest in electronic-assisted road-going hoonery, they prefer doing their modifications the old-fashioned way. ‘We’re all about passion,’ staffer Nico Herrera says, ‘We’re not into computer assisted modelling.’ And their build process is decidedly French; ‘First we talk, we have a coffee and then we cut, we file and we drill.’

Which is a strange thing to do to a brand new 2016 1055cc Speed Triple. Despite being one of the quickest, best handling bikes on the market that actually has a thing called personality, not too many owners bother with modifications. Most just end up with a slip-on exhaust and an eye-watering amount of speeding tickets.

But GB Motors 94 is in a unique position. They’re the largest Triumph dealer in the area, and besides selling the usual mix of retro classics and that abominable plus-sized cruiser twin Triumph sell (I forget the name of it and I don’t care), they also customize motorcycles out of their workshop.

And that worked out well for the owner of this bike, Antoine, who approached le guys GB with an idea for a build. He wanted a neo-retro cafe racer; something that was reliable, handled well and screamed its tits off when the throttle was ripped open. A bike that doesn’t need a carb tickle or string of expletives to fire into life every morning.

Importantly, the Speed Triple had to remain completely functional and road legal to battle through the grey Parisian streets on a day-to-day basis. That means that the build, dubbed ‘Metal Speed Solid’, needed to retain items like the blinkers, mirrors, lights and the catalytic converter – all parts that get dumped quicker than a baggie in a police chase on most other custom motos.

So if you’re after a story of a ported and flowed head, a frame that’s been cut and shut and suspension dropped on its ass then this isn’t the bike you’re looking for. This is much faster, much better handling and much more of a ‘riders’ motorcycle than many other modified specials you’ll see around the ‘net. Instead, what we do get is a masterful Cafe Fighter that is now firmly pointed in the direction of something a lot more classic and timeless than the donor bike.

“So if you’re after a story of a ported and flowed head, a frame that’s been cut and shut and suspension dropped on its ass then this isn’t the bike you’re looking for.”

It’s all achieved with some tidy top-end parts. It runs a Werks Performance exhaust and ceramic coated headers, clip-ons, carbon fibre hugger and chain guard. And in what has lately become compulsory for a spot on Pipeburn, German electronic voodoo masters Motogadget make an appearance, this time with their trick bar-end indicators. The whole thing is finished in a gorgeous flat black, highlighted with a decal that’s a quiet nod to the old Triumph logo, and set against one the prettiest seats I’ve seen on a streetfighter.

And the result has been a resounding success for the team at GB Motors 94. ‘We noticed something funny,’ Nico says, ‘We’ve had positive feedback from people who don’t like the Speed Triple or even the Triumph brand! That’s really pleasing’. Now if you don’t like the Speed Triple then I don’t think you ever deserve to be pleased. But there you have it – a fast, reliable, gorgeous and legal cafe fighter that even people who are completely bereft in taste can appreciate.

Triumph GB Motors 94 – Facebook | Photos by Maxime Potrel ]

  • revdub

    Whoa. That’s menacing. Very brutal build. This is a custom that seems ready for battle.

  • AB

    This one has made my week.

    • Wait until you see their new one… 😍

      • Dori Kaas

        Got a link there mate?

  • the watcher

    Now we’re getting the good gear! If you don’t like this you’re too old to rock ‘n’ roll. And the first person to say that it is too black wins a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

    • Yeah, it’d be tough to ride for more than an hour or so. But DAMN what an hour that’d be…

      • Marlon

        It’s a Speed Triple – all you have to do is keep the front wheel pointed at 12 o’clock! Comfortable as hell then.

        • HA! You know, we should totally book ourselves in for that Wheelie School in Sydney…

          • Marlon

            You get the tickets, I’ll bring the Monster Energy Drink baseball caps.

  • This is the definition of a modern cafe; a machine for riders with hair in their chest.
    No hipster’s​ gimmick today 😉

    • the watcher

      One for the hairy-arsed not the hairy-backed!

  • It’s all about the tail section, no? Wow.

    • the watcher

      Is it from a 999?

  • the line/rake of the front of the gas tank into the headlight surround angle is really nice…like a gorilla-pitbull-gargoyle sitting on haunches

    • Yes! Well spotted. It does have that ‘ready to attack’ stance, don’t it?

  • Marlon

    And it has proper tyres! Praise the lord!

    Why don’t Triumph sell something like this stock? Never quite got my head around the twin head lights. Beats the current styling and sure as hell looks better than the XSR900.

    • AB

      I agree it would have been a real update of the bike if they had modeled the last upgrade (2016) in this manner. BUT research polls and marketing people dictate the Speed/Street must have twin headlights. Maybe the 2020 version.

  • A little bit of white on the tank and elsewhere to match the tailpiece would be just perfect.

    Really nice RSR

  • martin hodgson

    This machine in the Swiss mountains, a mix of crazy corner carving and tunnels for hearing that engine scream…. That’s my idea of Heaven! And that seat, perfection!

    • Krylov

      And hopefully no Swiss police officer: In Switzerland they put people in jail for extended periods of time when catching them speeding excessively. (Whatever that means.)
      Switzerland should officially be off the map for anyone interested in not moving at a snail pace with a dreadful sense of paranoia.

      BTT: The black Speedy is very nice, the Öhlins gold a bit too much seventies porn bling for my taste (can not get used to it on my own 2016R model). The loss of about 10 to 15 kg and the added lightweight OZ rims should do this machine all kinds of good with its originally somewhat lazy handling.

  • Kieran Blubaugh

    Great custom, but part of the speed triple appeal is the laid back stance so you can be a hooligan. Throw some dirt bike handle bars on that puppy and i’m in, I suppose that would ruin the look a bit, but waaay more functional.