No single manufacturer has been as committed to their retro range as Triumph, it’s not even close. Others have presented wonderful offerings, some exist solely as retro brands, but the Hinckley factory stands head and shoulders above the pack. But don’t think they’ve done it alone, a huge proportion of their success comes from a loyal customer base and incredible custom workshops who give their bikes an unmissable presence online, at shows, and out on the street. One of the brand’s best ambassadors is Brian Ballard and his team at A&J Cycles, and they’ve returned with an old friend, a stunning 2007 Thruxton cafe racer.
As Brian explains, “A little over 10 years back this 2007 Triumph Thruxton was obtained in a trade for my personal Harley. It set off our passion for Triumphs and led to the eventual creation of A&J Cycles – a one-stop customisation shop and webstore for Triumph Twins. The bike has been through multiple transformations over the years, the latest completed this past winter.” And the 2022 version is as good as it gets, clean and classic good looks, high-quality paint, and packed with performance upgrades.
A great bike starts with a solid foundation and the original tubular steel cradle frame has been brought back to its brand new best. To clean up the tail section but not end up with something so stubby it ruins the classic Thruxton lines, the subframe is neatly finished out and the old school factory fender ditched. To truly transform the bike into a serious handler, the swing arm is now a fully braced item from Calfab, made from aluminium. Then to tie it all together and give an ultra-clean look, it’s all hit with black powder by the guys at TRG Coating.
The suspension package is a serious bit of kit and the rear end can be dialed in to perfection thanks to 3-way adjustable R3 shocks from Nitron. The front end comes together with the help of the always excellent parts from Cognito Moto, with one of their sweet top triple clamp packages. Through these goes a set of GSXR600 forks, with an LSL steering damper added to prevent any scary tank slapping moments; and so well is it all pieced together it looks like a factory job.
To get things rolling and allow for the sort of rubber that can live up to the capabilities of the suspension, the stock hub is swapped out for a Cognito Moto item. This has been laced up to a 17×3.5” Excel rim and the rubber is Dunlop’s Sport Maxx. The rear end gets a little wilder and goes beefy with a 180 wide wheel kit using Buchanan Spokes and a 17×5.5 Excel rim. There is a 520 chain conversion, using Supersprox stealth sprockets. And the braking package is enhanced with Galfer rotors and Spiegler vintage lines.
But you still need that knockout Thruxton look, this is a model that made its name after all, as much for its good looks as its stonking performance. The blade-like front fender has perfectly rolled edges and sits over the tyre on a custom set of struts. The Triumph tank has been restored to an as-new look, and the blacked-out badges and filler keep the theme flowing. The rear is the ever-popular PlasticBike Thruxton Cup 1-Piece tail section, with lines befitting of the original and neatly padded too. And that killer colour is Acura NSX Valencia Red Pearl Paint by Dave at Slag Kustoms.
As is obvious just by looking at it, the engine certainly hasn’t been left out and a few key modifications bring the big twin to life. The first of these is possibly the best money you can spend on a Triumph carby lump, a set of Keihin FCR 39mm flat slides. These absolutely awaken the beast and to help that instant throttle response is a remapped ignition from the guys at TTP. Before all of those burnt gasses scream out of the sweet stainless Iron Cobras Fabrication GP 2into1 exhaust.
A custom battery tray keeps all of the new wiring loom and its components out of sight and only the very best has been used. A Motogadget Classic Tachometer/Speedometer is mounted in a Benji’s headlight bucket that holds an adaptive LED headlight. Motogadget also comes to the party with their M-Blaze bar end signals and Mo-View Spy mirrors.
The license plate and taillights are neatly hidden away and to make the riding position truly sporty, the clip-ons are joined by Discacciati adjustable rearsets. The genius to this build is that at first take it appears mild, but the more you soak in the detail, the more you appreciate this is an A&J Cycles special with no corners cut.