Take a look at Benjie’s Cafe Racer’s latest creation: ” Steampunk Racer” based on a Triumph Thruxton.
In building this bike, we wanted to evolve and stay away from the traditional look. We wanted something different and have that urban industrial feel. This bike started as a 2008 triumph thruxton with only 6,000 miles. Just like any of our bikes, we wanted to build a bike that’s different and original. Though the frame, motor and suspension geometry are stock, we wanted this bike to have that one-off custom look. We opted for a bare polished brushed aluminum finish with jet black highlights.
Starting from the front, we changed the stock front end to a USD forks off of an early 2000s CBR1000RR. To make the front end fit, we had to machine a new steering stem and changed the steering bearings. We used a 40 hole Harley Davidson front hub so we could use wire wheels, and machined the axle and spacer adapters for the double disc brakes. We used the CBRs front brake system so we didn’t have to machine any brake caliper adapters. We cleaned up the upper trees, and fabricated stainless clip-ons. We also fabricated a dash and used a Harley Davidson speedo/tach, used the stock warning lights, and added speed holes around the speedo/tach. The front fenders are made of fiberglass with stainless struts.
We didn’t want to just slap on a headlight in the center of the bike. That would be too easy. We want the front profile of the bike to stand out. So we made an aluminum number plate style fairing. The fairing has a teardrop bead to give the depth, and we offset the position of the yellow headlight. We hand hammered a panel to secure the headlight, and surround it with stainless button head screws to give the fairing an urban machined look. On the opposite side of the headlight, we added claw-like vent grills with stainless screen to cool the voltage rectifier of the bike. And to finish off the faring, we added a 1/4″ plexiglass windscreen, and closed off the bottom with aluminum panel.
We wanted to change to an all hydraulic hand controls for this bike. We eliminated the stock cable clutch, to a hydraulic clutch system. We used the clutch system from a Ducati 900SS. We used a 900SS master and slave, and modified the primary cover so we could bolt on the clutch slave. To make the Ducati clutch slave blend with the primary cover, we fabricated a side cover and drilled speed holes. To match the clutch master, we also changed the front brake master to a Ducati 900SS and slapped on matching brake fluid reservoirs.
What would a custom made bike look without a custom made tank? The aluminum tank design on this bike is totally new and original. We wanted something different, yet has that classic streamline profile. We added an organic scallop bead across the tank to go with the front fairing, and made an all original gas cap. To get that industrial look we want for this build, we added and exposed a vent tube on top of the tank, and used stainless allen caps to secure that one off gas cap. We also added a hand hammered tank badge with a brushed finish, and drilled speed holes around the badge.
We had to come up with a totally new seat design to complement the tank for this bike. We couldn’t just come up with our usual design. To get a nice tank-to-seat transition, we started off by following the tail width of the tank, then tapered into to a wide tail. We had to make a wide tail for this bike to cover the wide stock seat frame, and to match the wide 18″ 160 rear tire. The bottom of the tail of the seat curves up to match how the bottom front fairing is set up, then we split the bottom to give clearance to the rear tire. For the black cowhide upholstery design, we opted for a single stitch tapered front to back layout, then enclosed it with double stitch and piping at the back of the seat pan. Where the aluminum tail and upholstery meets, we added an aluminum strip with speed holes. We handmade a tail light out of aluminum, and mounted it under the tail of the seat, attuned with the headlight. To complement the front fender, the rear fiberglass fender was painted jet black with stainless struts.
In order to correspond with the original design on the tank and seat, we had to come up with a different layout for the exhaust. So we set up the stainless exhaust high, and then tucked in the mid section, clearing the legs of the rider, which then exits high on both sides with oval-shaped reverse megaphone, wrapping the rear shocks. We also added aluminum heat shields with speed holes to protect the rider from the heat.
Other one-off handmade parts on this bike are MX inspired stainless pegs and foot controls, heat shields for the oil cooler, skid plate, oil filler cap, license plate bracket, and even the key. Yes, even the key for the ignition switch was given the one-off treatment. Since we pretty much changed everything on the bike, why not the key? We had the master key duplicated, then added a stainless holder plate with a couple of speed holes on it to match the bike’s detail.
We had a lot of fun building this bike. As a company, we wanted to evolve, show people that we could come up with a different look, and that we can go in a different direction when it comes to the overall look and design of a bike. Sure, we could just slap on any of the other parts that we offer, but, again, that would be too easy. We are always up for a challenge and with this build we proved to ourselves that we could do it.
Would like to thank the crew of www.blacksheepmanila.com (Ben and Maui) for the pics, and Dante Dizon of www.13luckymonkey.com/ for being the art director during the photshoot.
The guys of BCR will offer this kit on our site very soon, so you can build your own Triumph Thruxton Cafe Racer.