Events: Interview

Ace Cafe boss hails “game changing” Triumphs

… and reveals why custom kits are king

Mark Wilsmore & Felix Maginn (Rock band Moke)

The boss of one of the world’s most recognisable motorcycle brands has hailed Triumph’s new range of Bonneville classics as “true game-changers.”

Ace Cafe owner Mark Wilsmore believes the Hinckley manufacturer’s five new bikes throw down the gauntlet to the rest of the industry. “Apart from being stunning-looking bikes, the custom kits which sit alongside them make different levels of customisation accessible to everyone,” he said.

“Previously people could make their bikes unique to them but there was an element of trial and error involved unless you paid to go to a customiser. The custom kits change all that.”

The new Street Twin, Bonneville T120 and T120 Black, Thruxton and Thruxton R have been critically acclaimed for combining retro feel with a world of new technology. Wilsmore, currently preparing for the north London Cafe’s annual Santa Toy Run, said: “The addition of the custom kits is obvious really, but like many good ideas it hasn’t really been done properly before. “Harley and Triumph have offered a plethora of bolt-ons before, but this is the first time they’ve been packaged up to really give riders that involvement in their bike.”

Thruxton R + Inspiration Kit


Track Racer, Café Racer and Performance Race kits are available as add-ons to the standard Thruxton and Thruxton R while the T120s boast a Prestige Inspiration kit and the Twin Street a Scrambler, Brat Tracker and Urban Inspiration kits – all hailed by Wilsmore as examples of the marque’s commitment to innovation.

“Triumph have successfully created bikes from the Rocket III through to overland adventurers like the Tiger while also continuing to enhance their reputation for retro. Now you can have retro plus,” he said. “The new range looks great and is packed with new technology which is also user-friendly. “Triumph has again done a first-class job of judging the social mores of moment to prove once again they still punch well above their weight.”

Bonneville T120 Black


Wilsmore was speaking as he unveiled plans for the Ace Cafe’s annual Christmas Toy Run on 13 December when hundreds of riders traditionally show their softer side by showering poorly children with presents. The group will leave the Ace at 10.30am with the best festive-dressed rider and bike being judged on their return from St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, the Royal Brompton in Chelsea and Westminster’s Evelina Children’s Hospital. Mark said:

“The Toy Run is a great opportunity to show just how powerful a force for good that riding and riders are – and to have a bit of fun at the same time. We usually get a few hundred but the numbers seem to go up year by year.

“We’d like people to bring their gifts unwrapped this year and no stuffed toys or sweets please, although I’m sure sweets and chocs will be fine for the nurses!” Toy Run veteran Ron Miles’ has been heading up the event for the last 15 years, but this year’s will be his last.

He said: “I started this run back in 1998 and have attended the event every year. It has been wonderful to see the smiles of the children in hospital and also to see the smiles of the riders who take part – it’s a very emotional experience, and I would like us to make this year a big one!”