Inspired by the adrenalin-charged fervour of the Salt Flats and the post-war bobber builds, Triumph’s brief to Down & Out Café Racers was clear.
In a nutshell, build a bike that puffs its chest with the pure minimalism of a true bobber while also satisfying the need for more power and explosive torque.
So who better to ask than Shaun Walker and his team, who burned the midnight oil to create the ‘Hold On, Go Fast’ bobber in time for EICMA?
He said: “We were given less than three weeks but that’s when we do our best work.”
Dutch van Someren at The Bike Shed London hailed the new base Bobber as further proof that “they prefer to defiantly stride forward with a Steve McQueen-esque two fingers raised at conformity”.
But we wanted to get inside Shaun’s head to find out the thinking behind the world’s first ever custom Bonneville Bobber, drawing its inspiration from the fairground thrill of the waltzers and ‘scream if you want to go faster’ attitude of custom Bobbers from the late 60s and 70’s.
“First off we shortened the original exhaust and took five inches off the length. We then removed the air box and side panels and a pair of race pod filters replaced the air box,” he said.
“We wanted to take the side panels off to show how the rear suspension works and to save weight we trimmed the now shorter seat base with a black leather diamond stitch seat made by Core Seating.”
The build meant a manic October for the team and Shaun, who became a stranger to his wife as the Brutal Beauty was transformed.
Here’s the step by step guide to D&O’s build:
- Replaced the original longer rear mudguard and laced a 5″ rear rim to the original rear hub to allow for a new 170 slick race tyre for a heightened drag feel.
- Fitted a Bates tail light, clip on bars and replaced the hand controls with a set from the Street Twin.
- Ditched the original speedometer and fitted a Motogadget Chrono Classic to give the bike a super clean look on the bars.
- Removed all the switch gear to run on micro buttons instead, complementing the clean lines.
- Lost the front mudguard to show off the 19” front wheel and added a new headlight and protective grill to stop stone chips.
- Changed out the engine cases to black to replace the silver ones and fitted a set of race rear foot pegs.
- Built one-off mounts to carry the two nitrous oxide bottles (told you there was a Salt Flats sting in the tail).
- Bike then rolled over to Joe Black at 8-Ball for the stunning deep metallic purple and gold leaf lettered tank finish.