Inspiration: Interview

Metal Gear Solid

Red light spells danger!

Where fantasy meets reality

As night fell, the moon slipped briefly behind the clouds, casting a watery shadow over the factory. Inside, all was dark except for the pale yellow light of an angle poise lamp. Scrunched up balls of paper littered the floor, proof of the designer’s incredible attention to detail.

Just hours earlier he had slunk, visor down, to a street-corner rendezvous in England’s Hinckley to collect the list of special features needed for the project, codenamed Venom.

A little far fetched? Maybe, but the engineers at Triumph definitely did work long into the night to make fantasy meet reality, with a real-life version of the bike used by the game’s main protagonist.

Their mission was to create a bike fit for the most hazardous of special ops led by Snake, the former Green Beret star of the soon to be released Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

So why did Japanese games giant Konami want Triumph as its partner of choice to design a bike for their special ops hero?

Sandra Arcan, the firm’s Senior Licensing and Merchandising Manager, said: “Triumph’s engineers have a global reputation for creating market-leading bikes with expertise and craftsmanship, just as our designers do with the games we produce.

 

This was the first time a bike featured in a game has been recreated with extra detail. And judging by the response from Metal Gear Solid aficionados worldwide, the mission to inspire has been completed.

Special features demanded by Snake’s creators included a heavy-duty ammunition rack loop, but no mirrors, speedo or rev counter. Because when you’re escaping a sniper’s bullet, the niceties don’t matter.

Sandra said: “We asked Triumph to create the bike that Snake would ride and if the feedback is anything to go by, they’ve exceeded all expectations.

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“The audience for the game is aged 18 to 35 and they’ve been going crazy for it. It’s a classic bike created by two premium brands for a whole new generation.” The response might suggest a further limited edition of the bike could be a possibility.

The Venom bike has been earning rave reviews at comic shows in London, Wheels and Waves in Biarritz, Bike Shed in Paris and Gamescom in Cologne.

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Hard-edged and stripped back, it features:

  • Aggressive go-anywhere Continental TKC80 tyres
  • Cut down stock saddle finished in Sneaking Suit neoprene and carbon Kevlar leather – a nod to Snake’s combat wear • Heavy-duty ammo rack loops around the back of the saddle to bolt down an extra case or two of rounds
  • A yellowed-out JVB Rumbler headlight
  • External heavy-duty fork springs
  • Cut-down rear guard and exclamation mark tail light
  • Colour-coded calipers and cam cover
  • Tiger off-road footpegs and Triumph sport levers, along with stencilled matte black Diamond Dogs livery.

Sandra said: “Triumph’s brief was to bring Snake’s stripped-back edge to life via unique styling and detailing. The resulting Venom is a mission-ready bike tailored to the wilds of Afghanistan and Africa.”

For more information about the game, which launches on September 1, click here.