When you name a motorcycle after a race track, then as a manufacturer you are not only making your intent for that machine clear, but you’re setting yourself a very high bar. Thankfully Triumph has never failed to deliver when it comes to the Thruxton name, first as a homologation special for endurance racing in the ’60s and then reborn decades later to head a retro model lineup. But it was in 2016 with the release of the water-cooled Thruxton R, that the British manufacturer unleashed on the roads the best version yet. And for Sean White of Fast for Fun, he’s a guy that likes to go as fast as possible on the road, dirt track and even on ice. So he put together a special bunch of builders and created his own one of a kind, do it all, trash machine.
Inspired by the Bonnevilles of more than half a century ago, Sean loved the Triumph model’s ability to do a bit of everything and do it well. With its powerful twin, well-sorted chassis and excellent suspension and braking, you have a machine straight out of the box that can be fast on the track and out on the roads. But Sean’s love extends to hooning on the dirt and even laying a bike over and going stupidly quick on the ice ovals, so the R would need some changing.
To get the job done he called on some of the best in the industry and each would perform their role to unleash the very best in form and function from the British beast. The stock Thruxton tank is one of its key features, defining the style of the modern retro machine. But when it comes to the sort of riding Sean does, it restricts the rider’s ability to move their weight forward and climb over the back of the tank. So it was over to Speakeasy Motors who have brilliantly adapted an OEM Triumph Bobber tank for the job and made it work on the Thruxton frame.
The guys also put their fabrication skills to good use and chopped the back of the frame significantly and while they were at it, they neatly integrated an LED taillight strip. At the front end, a simple plastic number board didn’t feel like it would be befitting of the rest of the build, so the guys have perfectly hand formed a custom piece in full 3D effect. The final task for Speakeasy was to retain the tank strap, and they’ve neatly shortened it up and made sure it flows over the back of the new tank.
With the function side of the strap sorted, it was then sent over to Johnny’s Laser, who took care of engraving into it the Speakeasy and Triumph logos. At the rear end, it’s goodbye to the big fender and the bulky cafe racer inspired cowl and a Saddlemen flat track tail section gets the call up. To provide the necessary grip for flinging yourself around on all manner of surfaces, it was then over to Fish Brothers Upholstery to restitch the seat in the appropriate material and it doesn’t half look bad either.
A&J Cycles was tasked with taking care of a lot of the functionality of the bike and their first port of call was to perform a full Free Spirits Fat Bar Conversion. The stock clip-on bars just aren’t up to the task of controlling a high-speed slide out on the dirt or skating across the ice. These demands also required a rethink of the rolling stock and the factory hubs have been laced up to a set of 19-inch Sun wheels and then wrapped with Shinko tyres. Combined with the factory suspension from Showa and Ohlins, and braking by Brembo, it makes for a hell of a set-up.
The guys also had the task of extracting some extra power from the thumping big twin, which wisely has been given some extra protection in the form of a full length bash plate. To achieve the task a full Zard SP two-into-one exhaust system has been fitted, which not only gives a great soundtrack and extra performance but hugs the bike tightly, creating extra clearance for when it’s all leaned over to full effect. A few more small jobs like wiring in the LED front running light and fitting the Motogadget Motoscope Mini, and the tins were pulled off and readied for paint.
First VP Cycle took on the job of laying down the base, and nothing matches the gold components like this blistering bright Nitrous Blue colour that they’ve mixed up. Then it was over to Bert Graphix who has done an incredible job of laying down the graphics and pinstriping, before finishing off the whole look with gold leaf. Named for a race track and built for a guy who likes to go Fast for Fun, the finished result is ready to rip up any kind of road you care to name and do it in absolute style.
[ Photography by Josh LaGrave ]