Flat caps. Wellington boots. Picnic lunches. The world of Land Rovers seems light years away from the dusty, rough-and-tumble world of desert racing. One’s all cucumber sandwiches and pheasants, the other’s realising that once you’ve hit the cactus and you can see your bike off in the distance doing somersaults, it’s probably far too late to land the jump gracefully. Yet from this ying and yang-ness of contrasts comes today’s rather splendid build, the Triumph ‘Greenhorn Express.’ Colby, the bike’s owner and builder, makes a living restoring Early model Land Rovers and spends his spare time on pursuits of a decidedly more one-wheel drive variety. Or, as he puts it, “It’s a Land Rover and motorcycle hobby run amuck…”
Portland’s Thor is an interesting character with an even more interesting name. Not only does he run one of the largest custom bike shows in the world – The One Show – he also builds top notch bikes out of his shop, See See Motorcycles. He recently sent us this bike and included such a comprehensive write-up that we thought we’d run it as is. So we’ll pass you over to Thor to take you through his latest build, this tough looking Triumph Scrambler entitled ‘Gap Tooth.’
Gap Tooth is a strange name for a custom built motorcycle. This is a fact I won’t dispute. Named Gap Tooth because Thor, the God of lightning, had a goat named “Tanngrisnir” which translates loosely to Gap Tooth. Tanngrisnir was his pet goat and when Thor became hungry, he ate ol’ Gap Tooth. After finishing his scrumptious meal, he would simply pile the bones up and poof, Gap Tooth would be resurrected as a live, stinky goat again.
So I found myself building a 2012 900cc Triumph Scrambler, a bike which needs little modification straight from the factory. Not only that but many, many folks have customized this bike into many, many variations – all equally cool and different. The idea was to tear this beast apart and rebuild it just a tad more off-roady, a smidgen more scrambly. In a sense I wanted to chew up and eat a perfectly new Triumph just like the god of thunder and lightning.
With over 240 cities in more than 55 countries involved, it’s already the biggest united motorcycle ride in the world. And if you get yourself along to this weekend’s ride you’ll not only see a whole bunch of sweet bikes, meet some great people and have an amazing day – you’ll also be doing your part to help the fight against prostate cancer. They’ve already raise a whopping USD$900,000; now they need your help to get it over the 1 million dollar line.
Need another reason to get involved? Well, you damn well shouldn’t… but we’re going to give you one anyways. Those who register and manage to raise more than $100 will go into the draw to win this sweet Triumph Thruxton you see above.
So do your bit and register now at www.gentlemansride.com
Written by Martin Hodgson.
“Oh come on!” is not a quote from the builder of this custom masterpiece but my own as I gazed across the first images that appeared in my inbox and realised that like my latest build this too was done at home. But whereas I thought I was fairly clever for making a carbon fibre seat for my ride, Ram Ram has literally built this bike from scratch. We both started by searching eBay, but that is where the similarities end and I for one can only stand, applaud and tip my cap to a man who takes back yard builds to a whole new level.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
When you’re a workshop that specialises in Ironhead Harley-Davidson’s and a customer asks you to build them a custom 2001 Triumph Bonneville, there is only one way to prepare, boil the kettle and start watching Guy Ritchie films. And that is exactly what Brothers Jarrod and Justin Del Prado of DP Custom Cycles did when they were approached to build their first British bike. The customer request was clear; a simple and clean looking bike, dark in colour and fun to ride but the spanners they were swinging would have to change.
When you’ve been building custom Vespa’s for most of your life and you decide you want to build something with a bit more power, then a 1953 Triumph 500 hardtail is a pretty good place to start. Built by Marcus Offergeld and Martien Delfgaauw of the relatively new Berham Customs based in Berlin and Hamburg. “I’ve always ridden, raced, tuned and customized Vespa’s” says Martien. “It’s not what you work on, but rather how. Because for a great result you need to be driven by the joy of doing, rather than wishing to finish.”
After happening upon an “ugly looking and pretty run down” 80s chopper with raked front forks, the boys from Berham could see potential not in the bike itself, but certain aspects of it. Most importantly, the Triumph 500cc pre-unit powerplant had the 1957 Triumph race kit with the splayed port aluminium cylinder head kit. A good base for a build, the bike was given the Berham treatment.
Ironically, Wenley Andrews from Sydney based Mean Machines is one the nicest blokes you could come across. But give him a wrench and a Triumph and he turns meaner than a junkyard dog on a particularly bad day. This Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde split personality is probably why he keeps building these bikes; they just seem to have the right dosage of toughness, style and simplicity. The latest bike to roll out of the Mean Machines ward is this beastly 2013 Triumph Thruxton – not bad for someone with an identity disorder.
When it comes to custom bike builders in Portugal, there’s only a handful that immediately spring to mind. Porto’s Ton-Up Garage are one of the standouts in a country more famous for producing world class soccer players than world class motorcycles. Their latest bike is named ‘Hiawatha’ and was obviously given that moniker after the legendary American Indian leader who departed down the river on his hand crafted wooden canoe and came back up riding a modified motorcycle – but don’t quote me on that. Or as the guys at Ton-Up put it: “the green tones of nature sprayed the grey ashes left upon Hiawatha’s departure with the seeds of life and warmed by the Sun allowed the peacemaker’s return.” Ok, now pass me that peace pipe.
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.
Most of us will start a custom bike build with a genre, fashion or style in mind. You might want something that oozes classic café racer. Or maybe you’re thinking of a creation in a brat style with a touch of tracker thrown in for good luck. Hell, if you’re anything like me you’re probably planning the colour of the brake leads before you’ve even got a bike. But few of us have the skills or courage to just trust in your love of metal, your passion for bikes and your creativity and simply let the build happen. Which is exactly what Gian from France’s Tredici Custom Castings did. Meet his very groovy ‘Black Smoker’ Triumph.