We like to think that we watch the global custom bike scene pretty closely. Like a United Nations of two wheels, if there’s a hotspot somewhere in the world, we’re there. But Paris’ GB Motors 94 has really taken us by surprise. Like an unexpected rebellion in some far-flung corner of the world, one minute there was nothing, and now we’ve seen two major events in two weeks. First there was their Speed Triple ‘Metal Speed Solid’ and now this. Please lay down your arms and surrender to their ‘Jubilee’ Street Triple 675.
At 3 years of age, France’s GB Motors 94 is one of Paris’ largest motorcycle dealerships. Max and Nico head up the front-of-house sales team, while Vivien & his staff wrench out the back. The team is pretty young, and have clearly yet to be jaded by the industry. As a result, they still have the passion and drive to push them just that little bit further. And nothing proves this better than their recent spate of incroyable custom Triumphs.
“As big fans of the 675, we really wanted to create a tribute bike to the already legendary Street Triple. She’s a true legend and a real gift to us riders from the UK’s Triumph engineers. Yes, she is graciously stepping down from her throne for the upcoming 765 to take her place. But we wanted to remember her with something a little special.”
[superquote]“As a custom bike builder, half the pain of your everyday existence is finding those little engineering surprises that others less talented than yourself have left behind.”[/superquote]
As a custom bike builder, half the pain of your everyday existence is finding those little engineering surprises that others less talented than yourself have left behind. The stripped threads. The bad welds. The broken valve now playing a game of satan’s frisbee with the piston at 7,000 rpm.
But when you’re a dealer, you can avoid all this unpleasantness with a factory-fresh starting point. “The bike was a brand new 2016 model straight off the showroom floor. It saves a lot of time knowing that everything’s going to be mint and that there won’t be any hidden disasters laying in wait.”
The genesis of the bike, as with every new creation of theirs, started with a sketch, defining in broad brush and/or pencil strokes where they were headed. Then, rather than just adding what they needed to an already finished bike, they decided to emulate a factory construction process by breaking it down to its constituent components and then creating the new bike from scratch.
“Once the bike was completely naked and in pieces (sounds like us on a Saturday night), we planned the build in discrete steps. Clearly there was some major fabrication to be done; mainly with the bike’s new rear frame section. Once complete and in place, we tackled the rewiring and the seat. Finally, after the details and accessories had been chosen and installed, we finished it with a particularly time-consuming paint job which hopefully shows up in the photos.”
From a mechanical point of view, the French team report that undoubtedly the building and fitting of the rear frame was the most challenging part of the job, including refitting all the original Triumph electronics into the newer, smaller tail.
“But we’ve learned that we can count on our workshop supervisor Vivien Boisserie for that. He supervised the bike’s build team, and he was the one who realise that painting the chrome-plated parts (as you can see above and below) was going to be a major undertaking if done properly. And it was.”
And while Mother England might have supplied the vehicle for the boys to go wrench on, it was the Fatherland that gilded the lily in the form of some Motogadget, erm, gadgets including their motoscope tiny speedo. It’s the very same unit we used for our recent Wenley Andrew’s ‘Phantom’ Thruxton build. There’s also a damn pretty brake reservoir from the Triumph parts catalogue that works remarkably well with its German compatriot. English, Germans and the French working together? Wow.
“There’s many individual things we like about the finished bike, but it’s probably her nasty chic that really impresses us the most.” And that says it all really, doesn’t it? A bike that has a personality you can define and admire. It’s more than you can say about many people out there, and it flags this build as another triumphant success from these Anglais-loving Frenchmen.