Triumph’s Modern Classics range usually attracts most of the custom builders, but we at FTR love it when someone takes the same attitude to a Street Triple. Rob Chappell of Origin8or Custom Motorcycles, based in Ontario Canada, has produced this stunning build, bringing retro flair to Triumph’s premier sports machine. Rob tells all about his green and gold Street.
Photos: Ben Quinn
Cafe racer styling
The idea behind the build was to make a modern-style cafe racer. My client wanted something different from the same old bike everyone else has and didn’t really care for the angular look of the headlights and fly screen. Since the 675R has some very sharp lines, a lot of the stock parts just had to go. I wanted the sub-frame to flow seamlessly with the tank, as well as the tail following the tank angles at the back.
The lower support braces had to line up with the back of the seat, too. It took a few tries to get it just perfect, with lots of time on the manual lathe making the recessed bungs and many detailed notes on the bender angles for all the tubing.
For the tail, I designed it after taking a few photos of the sub-frame on the bike and playing with some lines in Adobe Illustrator. I then finalised all of my designs on the computer and handed them to my son, who cut some wood forms on a CNC router out of MDF. Once I had the wood tail pieces at home, I spent time sanding and shaping them all by hand. I sent the seat out to Vegas to be made.
While I was waiting for it to come back, I pulled off the wheels and rear shock, disassembled it and got ready to send them out for powder coating. The customer wanted the Triumph in green so naturally, I talked him into some gold for the accents. The wheels and shock coil now sport a ‘goldtastic’ powder finish and they look incredible in the sun.
I have always loved the Cooper Smithing Co. fender designs and I’ve wanted to use them for a while. This build seemed perfect for it, as I wanted to tie in the front raw fender with the radiator covers and electronics box for some continuity. I took some rough dimensions and sent him the info. Since I didn’t plan on painting it, I requested aluminium for this one. In a few days he had sent back a photo of the finished handmade part.
The paintwork was handled by Mat Tobin at Jensens Custom, who I have worked with a few times before. When I met with him to select a colour, not being a huge green fan myself, I flipped to the back of the swatch book to find the darkest green there was. I wanted it to look stealthy at night but with a bit of sparkle and dance in the sun. I went with ‘Oxford green metallic’. In total, the build took 10 weeks working evenings and weekends, that’s more than 100 hours.
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The Origin8or approach
I’d love to say I have a method that works for all builds but that’s not the case. Each client and their needs are different and budget often dictates what can be done. After a discussion about the project, I typically will mock it up in Photoshop to give the client a rough idea of the outcome. I like to keep this loose. I have found if it’s too lifelike a client will dwell on the smallest details that, in the end, were never going to end up looking like that anyway.
My next Triumph project is a 2013 T100 that I’ll be tackling over winter, so watch this space.