The Dirt Bike By British Customs

Custom Triumph Scrambler By British Customs - The Dirt Bike

The Background

Donor Bike: 2012 Triumph Scrambler 900

Previous Iterations: BC "The Great Escape"; BC "Street Tracker"

The Story

The Great Escape and "Desert to Mountains"

Triumph motorcycles enjoy a long and flavorful history in pop culture, but few actors have placed Triumph in a more iconic role than Steve McQueen in the 1963 film The Great Escape. McQueen’s extensive screen time with his Triumph TR6 Trophy catapulted (much like the bike over the barbed wire fence) this unique marriage between Hollywood icon and British motorbike into the history books.

Jump ahead 50 years, when British Customs decided to buy a stock 2012 Scrambler and see where it took them. After a quick installation of some Hagon Nitro Shocks we took it out to test while filming our “Desert to Mountains” video.

The Scrambler returned to BC headquarters where we added some Ammo Can Saddlebags to carry our gear and installed a low-slung 2-into-1 exhaust. Then it was time to hit the road for some paved and unpaved adventures on the new British Customs “The Great Escape” build.

The Street Tracker and "Hot August Nights"

After our off road adventures we needed a bike to take out for the Hell On Wheels “Hot August Nights.” Since this bike was a perfect candidate for a dirt track we prepped the Scrambler for the event. First we replaced the stock wheels with 19x21.5 Excel rims laced to Talon hubs. Then we went back to the original exhaust layout with some slip-on mini reverse cones. A number plate replaced the headlight and our new Street Tracker was ready for some racing.

Brian Catterson, formerly of Motorcyclist Magazine, hopped on board for the Hell On Wheels races and rode this project bike to a 3rd place finish. As much fun as we had ripping around town on this thing, we felt this bike was destined for greater – and dirtier – adventures. Back to the drawing board to update the design and better equip the bike for off road riding.

From Street Tracker to Dirt Bike

First we mounted the standard Scrambler wheels in place of the Flat Track wheels and fitted the bike with a set of Continental TCXII 80 tires, a shop favorite for its aggressive tread and great street handling. Next up we refitted the Braking Front and Rear Rotors and upgraded to the new British Customs Retro Sprocket. The prototype chain guard was exchanged for the production BC Black Powder Coated Chain Guard, which accented the bike nicely in conjunction with the BC Sprocket Cover with holes.

The handlebar section was upgraded to Renthal Fat Bars equipped with BC Control Clamps, BC Four Bolt Handlebar Clamps, and the BC Direct Mount Reservoir. The bars were finished off with a BC Single Gauge Bracket and were wrapped in Motion Pro Model 717. The headlight was swapped out for a low profile 7” headlight and was mounted to BC Low Profile Headlight Ears. The new sucked-in low profile headlight required we relocate the rectifier with a modified version of the British Customs Rectifier Relocation Kit.

To give the Scrambler a more vintage dirt bike look we found some fenders that reminded us of the old vintage Preston Petty plastic fenders, and the British Customs design team fabricated some mounting brackets. The front fender mount pays homage to the vintage dirt bikes of the past, and gives the bike an aggressive look while still offering protection from road debris.

Next up was exhaust. We re-installed the factory khaki green side covers and refitted the factory headers with a twist. We developed one-off heat shields and wrapped the factory headers to give them a vintage look. On the end of the headers the BC design team fitted a set of straight header tube silencers, which incorporated a louvre core baffle, much like our Predator pipes. This setup gave the bike a great sound while also freeing up some extra power. These pipes are currently in development; visit the BC Blog for more information.

To further increase performance we removed the factory air box and installed the BC Air Box Removal Kit, integrating a pair of K&N high flow air filters mounted directly to the end of the throttle bodies. The factory cam was swapped for a British Customs Stage I Street Cam for the extra power needed to muscle a 400 lb bike up rugged terrain.

To complete the enduro look and give the bike dual sport status we mounted the Speedmaster Pan Light to the new fender, mounted Retro Turn Signals using the BC Relocation Brackets and Aftermarket Turn Signal Harness. We dressed up the clutch with a British Customs Clutch Lifter Arm Finisher.

To allow the rider to shift riding position while off road we developed a new low profile seat. The BC Slammer Seat features gel inserts to absorb shock and disperse weight, making for more comfortable riding on long trips or off road exploring. The Pivot Pegs were swapped out for BC Bates Style Foot Pegs to complete the vintage look, and a BC Rear Master Cylinder Reservoir was installed. The bike was finished off with a Triumph Skid Plate.

The British Customs “Dirt Bike” is now on tour with Triumph Motorcycles North America at the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows. To see the event dates and locations, along with which events BC staff will be attending click here.

The Parts List





Racing Components