Not all projects start with the intention of ending the way they do, in fact, most start with much more humble intentions and then the bug bites. What was going to be just the fitment of a new part or a small repair, has somehow seen your otherwise stock bike totally transformed into a one-off custom. But other than a hit to your bank account, how can you complain, especially when the end result is as good as the bike before you. From the shared passion of two incredibly talented lads in Melbourne, Australia, comes Hellraiser Garage. Who have followed a client’s desires to bring to the streets this kickass custom 1969 Triumph Bonneville.
Chris and Tom are two bike mad guys who come from very different backgrounds, but with their passion for two wheels, they went from pipedream conversations to a full-on custom shop in the space of just a few months. With Hellraiser Garage born they decided to not only focus on custom, vintage, and race bikes but also some seriously cool commercial fabrication offerings that see them capable of turning out one-off offerings to full store fit-outs. But this build started with much simpler desires, “The Triumph came to us with a clutch issue and some small fabrication jobs requested by John, our customer,” Tom tells us.
“As we started working through the bike we realised the engine was in need of some serious love and so the decision was made to split the cases for a full rebuild. While this was happening, John kept at us with new ideas for how he saw the end product.” So, to start at the bare bones of the build the boys took the 50-year-old British steel frame back to raw metal by blasting it and then had it coated back up in a hard-wearing black powder coat. “The Triumph was built during 2020 while Melbourne was in full lockdown. We couldn’t go anywhere, so we used our time to really make the bike stand out.”
One of the parts that John brought in was the full 39mm Sportster front end that now gleams at the front of the bike. The riserless bars are the work of our friends at Spread Cheese Fabrications, mounted straight to the top Harley triple clamp and run a Biltwell Whiskey throttle with Cult x Vans grips. The front rim is the 21-inch Harley unit, the perfect size for the look of the bike the guys were going for, and is wrapped with an Avon Speedmaster Mk2 tyre. The benefit of the Sportster front also extends to the front disc and caliper, giving plenty of stopping power on the lighter Bonnie and making it very streetable.
At the rear end, the rim and spokes are nicely polished up to match the front, with a smaller and beefier Avon tyre completing the roller. The tins are next on the list and with the vintage styling of the bike, it’s hard to go past that classic look small tank that the lads picked up as a brand new piece from the crew at Lowbrow Customs. To prepare it for the Triumph setup, a pair of Prism Supply petcocks slot in and supply the fuel. The rear fender is perfect for the bike, providing plenty of coverage while finishing just past the axle line to show off plenty of rubber, it too is a Lowbrow piece.
To get the picture-perfect paint the guys turned to Steve Hennis of Flamethrower Customs in Doylestown, Ohio. His work never ceases to amaze, with some of the coolest custom paint you’ll see and he’s a master of the vintage chopper look. Propped up on a set of chrome springs, the one-off solo seat is the work of local upholsterer Weirdo, who even took the time to use a paint matching stitch on the black diamond pattern leather. The last of the major metal work was handed over by John and sits below that seat, a rusted-out oil bag that required a new floor to be fabricated.
The iconic Triumph engine was next on the list and the boys made sure it was well looked after. “The heads were machined, new barrels and pistons were sourced to take the capacity up to 750cc and the bottom end was rebuilt with new bearings throughout.” The twin Amals feed the fuel and a full rewire includes a Sparx electronic ignition module. “John wanted both exhausts to exit from the right side of the bike via cocktail shakers. We took reference from what has been done many times before and gave it our own spin. Each exhaust was fabricated from 1-3/4 stainless tube, TIG welded and linished to a brushed finish.”
The final details shine through to complete the build, the twin Volkswagen reverse lights were wired to run high/low beam and create a sweet look upfront. While at the rear a Biltwell taillight/license plate combo sits out back on the picture-perfect polished sissy bar. Upon the bars the switch gear is a TC Bros twin momentary unit and a Harley master cylinder sends the fluid to the front brake. Then there are the little touches like the speedo mount machined from a solid piece of brass, and a host of other pieces made by hand from more brass and stainless. The completed build is exactly what you’d expect from a garage called Hellraiser, old-school cool, flawless fabrication, and a cohesive custom ready to hit the streets, bark loudly and turn plenty of heads doing it.