When they are rolled out of the factory, some bikes are a lot closer to a rider’s dream of visual perfection than others. Your early 80s Yamaha Virago is a great example of this. Until an intrepid customiser realised that there was gold buried under them there faux Harley hills, most people would have crossed the street to avoid riding one. Now we’re not about to lump the Bonneville into this category. Not at all. In our eyes, it’s a bike that is as close to perfect as you’ll ever get from a mass-produced ride. But that’s not to say that it couldn’t do with a few little custom touches to really let it shine. And that’s just the approach that the bike’s owner and the team at Ellaspede took when they started this, their latest build.
Brendan, the bike’s owner, came to Ellaspede convinced that although the bike’s looks were in the ballpark, something cool could be done to improve them. They worked together deciding on an aesthetic that scrapped the fussy bits, added some colour and generally tightened things up. And all for a not-to-silly budget, too.
The bigger changes are the shortened frame, custom seat, custom graphics on the side covers (which relate to Brendan’s profession), a custom rear guard, lowered handlebars and all-black rims. They lads toyed with the idea of returning the Bonneville to the spoked wheels of the previous model, but there was a budget to consider so some powdercoating on the existing mags was the route chosen.
Post the bigger mods, the finer details were seen to. The headlight and gauge were lowered and a custom shroud was added to smooth the headstock. Gators now cover the forks. The ignition, regulator/rectifier and horn have also been relocated via a British Custom bracket.
The final mod was a custom wiring loom to make all the new bits work, an air injection removal kit (again c/o British Customs) and an alarm which had everyone in the shop bleeding from the ears until they figured out how to use it properly. Amazing what an instruction manual can do, isn’t it? All up, it’s maybe not a ground-breaking build, but definitely one which has gilded this Bonnie’s lily and made Brendan a very happy chappy.