Triumph Thruxton R subtle customisation with a big attitude!
“At the end of the 2022 season, I was getting itchy feet to build another bike.
Unfortunately, that meant that the Triumph Bobber I built the year before had to go to a new home to fund building something else. I wasn’t sure what I fancied next, but was interested in something like a Thruxton, Speed Twin or another Bobber.
My Bobber was soon snatched up leaving me with a bundle of cash rapidly burning a hole in my pocket.
I put the word out that I was looking for another bike to build and within a few days Sam from Destination Triumph Washington called me to say they had a Triumph Thruxton R which had fallen over in the car park with minimal damage and therefore I could have it at a reduced rate. I wasn’t going to miss that opportunity and a deal was soon done.
That was a week before Christmas and we were going away for the weekend. Therefore, I wheeled the Thruxton into the workshop, took a photo of it, posted it up on Instagram and went off for our Christmas break.
While we were away the Brand Manager for Dunlop Moto UK (friend to mono motorcycles) messaged me asking what the plans were for the Thruxton. I gave him a brief description of the vision I had for the Thruxton and he asked if I could have it done for February and the MCN London Bike Show as they needed a bike for their stand to showcase SportSmart TTs! Well, what could I say, I was in!
Now what to do..?
I had borrowed a Thruxton R from a dealer a few years ago when my Triumph Street Triple RS was in for some warranty work and at the time I wasn’t that enamoured. The handling was good, the brakes felt strong but it all felt, well a little safe? The chassis was excellent, but the low revving twin needed a bit more go.
Then one day a customer came to the mono motorcycles workshop on his new Triumph Speed Twin which is basically a Thruxton R with straight bars and more basic suspension. When I rode that, I felt much more at home on it. However, this was almost the opposite performance to the Thruxton. The brakes although good, felt a bit spongy and I could ride it off the suspension without trying.
So that was it, I basically needed to build something that Triumph was missing in their range; a Triumph Speed Twin ‘R’.
First thing that had to go on the Thruxton was 90% of the polished bits! We had a Thruxton in a few years ago for detailing and we knew from this that the UK weather really hammers the shiny bits!
The wheels needed to be black, as did the swing arm, engine cases and the yokes. With this in mind the wheels came out and went straight over to Tony at Moto Velo Wheel Builders to be measured and stripped. Once measured, Tony ordered me some stainless spokes instead of the chrome ones that were fitted at the factory. Then the rims and the front sprocket cover went over to Olly at The Wheel Specialist in Fareham to be coated gloss black.
So now I needed to start looking for parts. The first part that I looked for was a top yoke. LSL make a yoke for the Thruxton and an eBay search came up trumps with a second hand unit from a breakers yard.
Then it was on to the exhaust. Being on a deadline for the London show I didn’t have the time to fabricate one from scratch, so I purchased a TEC big bore front pipe and found a pair of SC Project exhaust end cans which look awesome.
There was a small scratch on the front mudguard, so I touched base with Stuart from S Jago Designs and he repaired the mudguard and also painted the silver sides in a matt black.
Now, I knew I wanted the engine cases and a few other bits Cerakoted by Wesley at Hi-Spec Coatings as he had just done an outstanding job on the Honda CB200 engine.
The engine case, swing arm and yokes needed to be matt black and I had seen an awesome colour called burnt bronze. I needed some of that! Therefore, the wheel hubs, rocker cover, exhaust header clamps, tank strap and the case badges were all cerakoted in burnt bronze. It was a bold statement that I wasn’t sure was going to work but I went for it!
Now I had got the front-end design in my sights, it was time to look at the rear. The big rear mudguard and the rear light had to go to give the bike more of a minimal look.
Therefore, I opted for a small LED back light from Highsider, which I fabricated a small metal bracket to mount it onto. I tig welded the bracket to a plate and mounted this under the seat. The micro indicators came were Kellermann Atto Dark, the same as I ran on my Bobber.
For the front light I kept the original but bought a gloss black headlight rim and found a company in Germany which makes lower headlight mounting brackets.
I also cut down the original indicator brackets removing around 10mm and tig welded them back together lower down. These were then painted satin black and refitted with the new Kellermann Atto Dark front indicators.
Once the parts were back from Wesley at Hi-Spec Coatings, I could get on with reassembly.
The front end went on first, black top & bottom Yoke, the big piston Brembo front forks were cleaned & refitted along with the gloss black headlight & Triumph Street Triple black handlebars.
The clutch cable needed to be longer and a quick call to Venhill and a new cable was on its way. Next, I re-fitted the cerakoted swing arm, which looked so much better in a matt black. Engine covers in matt black and the rocker cover in burnt bronze looked awesome on the bike and luckily the bronze strap didn’t look out of place against the silver of the fuel tank.
When the wheels came back they looking incredible with the bronze hubs, stainless spokes & gloss black rims. I added new bearings & refitted the brake discs then fitted the new Dunlop SportSmart TTs.
I then fitted a new chain & sprockets from DID which topped the rear end off beautifully. The front mudguard looked stunning against the wheels and I finally topped it all off with the new exhaust system.
Talk about cutting it fine, I was still wiring up the rear lights two days before the Thruxton had to be transported to the Excel for the MCN London Bike Show.
Once everything had been checked over, the Thruxton was loaded into the van early on Thursday morning and I transported it up to London. My bike was on the Dunlop stand next to a stunning creation by Pier City Custom.
Once the bike was on the Dunlop stand, it really made me realise how much of an opportunity it was to have a bike I had customised being talked about so much.
Katy and I headed to the show on the Sunday and it was then that we really could see the interest the Thruxton was gaining.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dunlop Moto UK for the opportunity to showcase the Thurxton at the MCN show.
I would also like to say a massive thank you to Wesley from Hi-Spec Coatings and Vapour Blasting, Olly from The Wheel Specialist – Fareham, Tony from Moto Velo Wheel Builders and Stuart from S Jago Designs for their incredible workmanship and for turning everything around so promptly for me. I really do appreciate it!
Next stop……..supercharger!!! Watch this space!
If you are interested in a custom build or modification similar to how I have transformed the Triumph Thruxton R; then please do contact me or Katy on 01243 576212 / 07899 654446 or email us email@example.com ”
Written by Daniel Morris, Proprietor/Partner – mono motorcycles