Triumph Thruxton - Cafe Racer Duex

Every bike has a story to tell. Where it’s been, who it’s carried around, what kinds of parts it’s gained or lost over the years. Some bikes spend their days commuting to work or filling up a spot in a showroom. Others are destined for a life full of adventure and forward thinking. The Café Racer Deux tells the story of the evolution of design that has established British Customs as a leader in the Triumph aftermarket.

It all started a few years ago with a stock 2011 Thruxton. The bike was originally torn apart and rebuilt for a series of segments in the second season of Café Racer TV. A couple dozen new parts, 15 extra horsepower and about 60 lbs of weight loss later, the British Customs Café Racer TV Thruxton was born.

Though it began life in front of a camera, the Café Racer TV build was destined for bigger and better things. Canyon carving, road trips, track days, local ride-ins and events – we build these things and put them to the test. We even took it out to the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speed Week. The last major event the Thruxton made it to was the 2012 Barber Vintage Festival, along with the British Customs “Back to Basics” Triumph Bonneville.

Back at BC headquarters, we always review these bike builds to see how we can update our designs or develop new products. Moving forward with this transformation we wanted the bike to remain a Café Racer, but with added classic design elements and some new products we had developed over the past year. The goal was to update the styling and demonstrate how the BC product line can transform a motorcycle, while also looking at how our own products can continue to evolve.

So there we were, back in the workshop with this Thruxton up on the lift once again. After removing the seat and tank we reinstalled the factory headers and a set of British Customs Slip-On Predator exhaust to give the bike its classic 2-into-2 look. We brushed the headers and pipes, giving them a satin finish to match the brushed engine covers.

A perfect example of how important these builds are to our design process is the chain guard. During the Café Racer TV build we discovered some issues with our chain guard, and after re-tooling and re-designing the piece we’ve introduced the Modern Classic Chain Guard. This was designed to complement the BC low-profile sprocket cover and it shares design elements with the factory Triumph Thruxton heel guard.

The fork brace is another piece that has evolved over time, most recently updated to allow the mounting of fork gaiters. This brace was designed to work with our new removable halter tab design. A solid fork brace with fender mounting holes allows us to mount aluminum or steel aftermarket fenders. This piece is still in development and is expected to be available in early 2014.

The suspension had been upgraded the first time around to include shocks, fork springs and a steering dampener, but we really wanted to try out the new Hagon Nitro 440 Piggyback shocks. The simplicity of the design and the performance boost versus the cost made these a no-brainer. A bonus is that these piggyback reservoirs sit lower than other piggyback setups on the market, leaving space to relocate the turn signals.

Moving up to the front of the bike, we felt no need to replace the LSL Clip-Ons and Billet Triple Clamp. However, we did want to install a smaller headlight and push the gauges closer to the triple clamp. First we used the non clip-on version of the Dual Gauge with Ignition Cluster Bracket by re-designing the factory brake line. Then we fitted it with a new Halo Headlight to give the bike a modern touch.

When working on builds like this we look at every single part as an opportunity to contribute to our vision. A perfect example of this mentality is the side covers on the Deux. We removed the old set of BC number plates and replaced them with the factory side covers, but with a twist. The incorporated wire-mesh cutout on the right hand side cover showcases the K&N filters while adding a custom touch.

Now it was time to get the tank and seat back on so we could get this bike back on the road. We fitted this Thruxton with a British Customs Café Racer Seat with Built-in Lucas Taillight. A lot of the Café Racer look is attributed to the seat hump, tuck and roll stitching and the fenderless design, and this seat helps achieve those elements.

With all of the parts in place the only work remaining was the finish, so we took the bike over to our friends at the Department of Customz in Anaheim, CA. They gave the tank and headlight a slick silver paint job with red and black racing stripes, and slapped the “78” back on the side covers. If you look closely, you’ll see they put some beautiful finishing touches on by adding some red accents on a few of the BC components, such as the BC Clutch Finisher.

Most people can’t afford to go to a shop and get a bunch of custom work done, so as an alternative BC offers bolt-on parts that are affordable and that can be installed with limited experience. The Café Racer Deux is just another example of how the right combination of parts can help anyone achieve their vision for what their bike could be. For a complete parts list visit http://www.british-customs.com/sbb-cafe-racer-triumph-thruxton-part-deux.