Blood, sweat and tears; it’s what most of us pour into our personal bikes. It never ceases to amaze us how a professional builder can turn out some of the most amazing work for customers, seemingly without blinking an eye, and then almost kill themselves by simply trying to build a bike that’s designed to impress no one but themselves. And as it just so happens, blood, sweat and tears are just the ticket for bullfighting, too. Keeping in mind the parallels, here’s a bike to finish off a pretty courageous week of custom builds here on la Casa deTuberías Quemadas. Meet Analog Motorcycles and their ‘El Matador 2.0.’
The challenge Triumph gave themselves when redesigning the Bonneville was nothing short of Herculean. As a company whose entire brand rests on one hundred plus years of biking heritage, this is the bike around which their entire world revolves. How hollow would their references to legendary motorcycling heroes such as Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando sound if the new Bonneville missed the mark? So to this end, the brief from John Bloor, Triumph’s owner, was as clear as it was short. It had to be as good as the original ‘59 Bonneville T120, “and whatever you do,” he said “do not fuck it up.” Which begs the question, did they or didn’t they? To find out, Triumph Australia asked us to take the bikes on an epic journey over some of the most challenging landscapes in Australia to do battle with the weather and the road in a ride we’ll be telling our grandchildren about for years to come.
When you grow up in a city of historical beauty – the setting of a Shakespeare play and where Galileo lectured at the local university – that also happens to be one of the oldest in the world, richness of culture and a passion for creation are in your blood from birth. For brothers Diego and Riki Coppiello, it was the internal combustion engine that become their passion at a very young age. However when they reached university, art and physics became their courses of choice. But the call of the engine brought them back together and they founded North East Custom in Padova, Italy where they combine all their talents to create motorcycles like this 2007 Triumph Bonneville that focus on clean design and highlighting the beauty in mechanical simplicity.
Tradition, it would seem, is a double-edged sword. While some Japanese bike brands would salivate at the thought of having a model in their line-up whose roots went back more than a few years, the likes of Triumph, Harley Davidson and Norton are in the challenging position of marching headlong in the 21st Century with baggage tagged ‘please return to 1900’. For these brands, a big new model design requires a deft hand to strike just the right balance between influences spanning more than 100 years and the always-fickle ‘modern consumer’. The perfect balance is a bike that will appeal equally to almost any age group. The latest salvo in this old-meets-new battle comes to us from Triumph’s 2016 Hinckley headquarters via a greasy British motorway cafe from 1959. It’s their new take on what has to be one of the world’s best-know motorcycles. So now, after their biggest-ever bike launch, how does the new model stack up and should you really spend your hard-earned shekels on one?
If I’ve learnt anything from my time here at Pipeburn, it’s that a custom bike does not need to be in your face to get your attention. A clean build, with flowing lines and an attention to detail, will create just as much of a stir as a full-blown hyper colour super custom machine. That’s definitely the aim of today’s feature bike. Simplicity itself, this 1968 Triumph T100 bobber has been streamlined and lightened to achieve the look desired in the build, while still retaining functionality with the ability to easily kick-start the vertical twin and put some miles down on the Tarmac.
For 2016, the Triumph Bonneville has finally shed its air-cooled status and embraced a raft of new technologies that brings the engine of the retro-styled machine truly into the 21st century. It’s a brilliant machine that will no doubt sell like hot cakes, but with such a change there is also a chance for a new bike to become a modern classic. That very well could be steeds like this “new” 2004 Triumph Bonneville. With no electronic aids, no fly by wire and carbies for induction it is perhaps the true bridge between the old classics and the new retro-tech masterpieces. Either way, Macco Motors in Spain sure know how to turn out a brilliant Bonnie of any vintage and this little lady known as ‘Wayra’ sure likes her hair in the wind.
Lordy! What are they putting in the water over there in Lisbon town? One would have to assume it’s a mixture of amphetamines, high-octane racing fuel and a big gob-full of ecstasy. Why? Because it seems that for a country of only 10 million people, they are certainly pumping out some very quick and very beautiful builds. And clearly no-one’s been keeping well hydrated more that Luis and the boys at Maria. Here’s their next build – hot on the heels of August’s muito popular Spitfire bike – it’s a 2001 Bonnie they’ve entitled ‘Lieutenant’.
When Macco Motors built their No. 3 Triumph Bonneville named “Dusty Pearl”, they created a machine that would inspire customers from around the world to send the Spanish workshop orders for a Macco Bonnie just like it. Each bike has been created with a twist here and turn there to suit the visual tastes and the type of riding each client desires. But when a big German by the name of Martin made the call for a Macco Bonneville of his own, the guys convinced him that it was worth taking his 2008 Triumph Bonneville for a walk on the wild side. It was time to create “Apache”.
Most ‘barn finds’ (or shed finds, as we like to call them Down Under) are a story enough in themselves. What more could you add to a tale where a bike nut finds their dream wheels like a pirate finds hidden treasure? Well, the Pudney brothers weren’t satisfied with finding a killer unit Triumph lump in next door’s garage. They also added an old lady, the loss of a loved one and decided things would be more interesting if their dream engine was in pieces as well. Here’s Ric and Johns Pudney’s Triumph Bobber.
Spain’s Macco Motors are building a large following with their clean and classic builds of everything from Harley V-Twins to little European 2 Stroke smokeys. But it is there Triumph Bonneville builds that are gaining fans from all corners of the globe and it was this that brought to them Jarlath, a customer from Belfast in Northern Ireland who’d seen the Macco Bonneville’s and had to have one of his own. Who could blame him, Macco Motors build many of the parts themselves, they do everything in-house and all of their builds are first class. Road racing is arguably the national sport in Northern Ireland but with its iffy weather Jarlath wanted a machine that was more than capable in all conditions; Macco delivered exactly that and more, a 2010 Triumph Bonneville delivered across the Irish sea sporting the most fitting of names, “Pilgrim”.