Review: 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120

Review: 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120

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.

Sugar Kane – Suzuki GSX250 Cafe Racer

“We found this Suzuki GSX250 on a Greek island named Othonoi in the possession of a retired Lighthouse Keeper. Its journey to our workshop in Athens took 3 months instead of the normal 3 day journey, so it kind of stayed true to the island’s very history. Legend says that Othonoi was the home of the nymph Calypso who stalled Odysseus for seven years, so we believed the bike itself had been lost or forgotten wandering the seas. I guess it was a stroke of luck that it ever arrived!”
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The Guy Next Door – Kerkus Cycles Suzuki GS550

When was the last time you talked to the guy next door? In Kuala Lumpur neighbours Azahar and Azree Zo discovered one another’s passion for cafe racers during a friendly neighbourly chat. That discovery quickly developed into a strong friendship, which lead to the formation of their own custom motorcycle brand in 2012. Four years on their backyard hobby has grown to become a working business located in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur that goes by the name of Kerkus Cycles.
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‘The Missing Piece’ Yamaha XJR 1300 – Jigsaw Customs

’The Missing Piece’ Yamaha XJR 1300 – Jigsaw Customs

Written by Nick D.

The deafening chorus of engines scream by. The crowd collectively gasp, as legendary Grand Prix World Champion, Barry Sheene dangerously cuts up his opponent’s inside but somehow manages to slips back in, just ahead of them into the corner. Sheene cheekily flips his opponent his signature two finger “up yours!” from the hip, then roars on to take the checkered flag.

Oldscool Mechanics – Triumph Trident cafe racer

“There are many other beautiful café racers that already exist, but this one was built to put those in its shadow.”

When I first read the email from Belgium workshop ‘Oldscool Mechanics’ that brash statement left me feeling a little apprehensive. As I read on however I started to understand where the confidence behind that statement came from. This was no ordinary build. Rather than following the classic cafe racer recipe these guys had started out with something a bit left of field, instantly making it unique. They’d also used their experience in racing to fabricate parts that you won’t find on any other bike, parts that were put together for the express purpose of making the bike better. Finally, and most importantly they’re proud of what they’ve done, and while it’s easy to start naming other bikes to compare this one to I have to admire a man (or men) who is proud of his own work.
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‘Das Taco’ BMW R80 – Box-Werk Custombikes

‘Das Taco’ BMW R80 – Box-Werk Custombikes

Written by Martin Hodgson.

In the quiet German city of Oldenburg a highly skilled carpenter whittles away his days designing and crafting the finest furniture from timbers gathered from the local oak forests. But by night a darker side comes out to play, the chisel and mallet swapped for the tools of a blacksmith, here the carpenter turns motorcycle builder creating minimalist machines with the single purpose of carving up those same forests in a totally different way. Meet Marcel Papenberg who’s turned his passion and skill for motorcycle building into a second business,

The Minka – Yamaha XS650 Cafe Racer

Around 5 or 6 years ago the Yamaha XS650 was the go to bike for many custom builders. At the time you could get your hands on a decent condition, running XS for a relatively low price and there seemed to be a never ending supply of them. Yamaha did a great job of reengineering the British parallel twin so much so that the XS was well known for it’s bulletproof reliability. The only bad thing about the XS, shall we say their achilles heel, was the points style electrics that eventually gave way as the bikes got older. The incredible popularity of the XS also meant that there was no shortage of bolt on accessories or kits to transform them into cafe racer, street tracker or bobber styled builds; and some people, much smarter than me, even devised an easy-to-install electrical ignition system to do away with the troublesome points.

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Norton Seeley Commando – Worth Motorcycle Company

Norton Seeley Commando – Worth Motorcycle Company

Written by Martin Hodgson.

If you could place a value on a motorcycle there may not be another bike on the planet worth as much as this Seeley Norton Commando. Not just because it’s a Seeley Commando, the frame made on an original Colin Seeley jig in the traditional way with all the very best parts and materials used throughout the bike. But because the proceeds of the sale of this motorcycle go to supporting