When it comes to naming adventure bikes, the marketing team at just about every major manufacturer recalls their time spent in a high school geography classroom and lets loose. Transalp, Ténéré, and Tuareg, Himalayan, Desert X and Africa Twin to recall but a few. So, it made sense that as the team at Spain’s Tamarit Motorcycles searched for inspiration for their latest build with an off-road bent, they found it in the name of a sacred mountain. Tindaya, rises above the Canary Islands, and the magic location is a barren and windswept place of dirt and sand. Built to conquer such conditions, and bring a little of that ancient alchemy to life, this rose gold Bonneville 900 Scrambler has all the bits and the bling for any task at hand.
Despite the popularity of the newer water-cooled Triumphs, the older engine configuration, with its more classic lines and less to go-wrong engineering, remains a staple at Tamarit HQ. And they should know, new and old, they build more Bonnie engines than anyone else on the planet. “Bonneville engines are typically associated with the more classic genre, but being such a versatile motorcycle, it can even adapt to the most off-road style without losing a bit of its essence.” And that is what Tindaya is all about, a classic Triumph, built for off-road duties and yet retaining that touch of class that has made them popular for so long.
But you’re not going to get very far on the sandy hills of the Canary Islands with the stock mag wheels that came with the bike, so the guys got busy building a new set of rollers. The hubs are now laced up with quality stainless spokes, while the black rims are lightweight alloy. The tyre choice is another big tick for venturing into the unknown, with the offset size Continentals delivering maximum tread for all kinds of loose surfaces. An interesting addition to the rear hub is the sprocket for the belt drive conversion which the team has carried out. Not often seen on Triumphs, its durability and zero maintenance are perfect for those who can’t do their own wrenching.
Having built hundreds of Bonnevilles, this being numbered officially as 139, although the real number is far greater than that, the guys knew the stock suspension was now way out of its depth. To rectify things at the rear they followed a well trodden path, spec’ing a pair of YSS fully adjustable shocks, that feature progressive springs and the ability to dial in the preload. At the front of the bike, the factory traditional style forks remain, but are completely rebuilt and protected with custom covers, gaiters and new caps. These are held tight in place with a beefy set of triple trees, with a three-bolt lower clamp and custom risers.
The final mechanical change to the front end was to fit up a semi-floating wave pattern disc which helps to improve stopping power and reduces weight. While the rear gets a smaller version, and both ends have been given updated Nissin calipers, with shielded braided lines for good measure. To finish out the mechanical side of things, the guys pulled the famous lump from the frame and cast their expert eye over the serviceable parts to bring it up to new spec. Before decking it out with a pair of Free Spirit pod filters, and giving the exhaust a big kick in the pants with ceramic-coated headers wearing Zard mufflers.
The look will divide, as a nickel finish always has. Tommy Lee Jones isn’t a fan, “Get yourself a Glock, lose that nickel-plated sissy pistol”. But tell that to the thousands of bandits and bad guys in the old West, whose memory of a nickel-plated Colt .45 was literally their last. The rose gold is simply the hue that the team has created, the finish itself is not only spectacular but hard-wearing and long-lasting. It adds some magic like the mountain that lends its name to the build, and is “a very exclusive result and an example of innovation in techniques.” On areas like the engine’s side covers and the calipers it serves a functional purpose.
When used on the badging and those absolutely stunning side covers with speed holes and flutes to feed the pod filters, it simply adds a beautiful contrast to the black that is splashed across much of the bike. Here the team have used a variety of finishes to good effect, with gloss black on parts like the tank and engine where the rose gold is flowed on thick. Then a satin black on parts such as the custom front fender or fork legs, which lets them settle into the background. Speaking of fenders, the generous rear item on the custom hooped frame is a welcome addition to a bike that will be kicking up plenty of dust.
With those rough conditions in mind, all of the old wiring has been ditched and a completely new loom has been built, which centres around a Motogadget control unit. The quality component is seen on almost every Tamarit build and for this bike, they’ve raided the catalogue, with switch gear, indicators and speedo all from the Motogadget lineup. A set of blacked-out billet pegs are fitted for rider and pillion and the final part is the perfect fit for two-up riding.
But rather than simply throwing on a long seat, the stunning piece with its ‘rays of light’ custom upholstery is another beautiful touch. There is no doubt that Tindaya has a hard to miss visual presence, but don’t mess with this mountain, as she has all the tools for some serious fun in the sand.