Triumph Thruxton: British Customs Cafe Racer Deux
Every bike has a story to tell such as where its been, who its carried around and what parts it has gained or lost over the years. Some bikes spend their days carrying an enthusiast to work each day or shining in the spotlight of a showroom but others are destined for a life full of adventures and forward thinking. This brings us to the Café Racer Deux and the story of how British Customs constant evolution of design has made us the leader in the Triumph aftermarket.
The Café Racer Deux started a few years ago as a stock 2011 Thruxton that was broken down 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.
The Café Racer TV build may have begun its life in front of a camera but it 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. This beauty was even taken out to the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speed Week. This Thruxton’s last major event was the 2012 Barber Vintage Festival where it was accompanied by British Customs “Back to Basics” Triumph Bonneville.
At BC headquarters we are constantly reviewing our builds to see how we can update our designs and develop new products. It was time to move forward with this transformation and the goal was to update the styling while maintaining its Café Racer heritage, adding more classic design elements and some new products we had developed over the past year. We wanted to 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 shop with this Thruxton up on the lift once again; we made the decision to start over. We reinstalled the freshly brushed factory headers and added a set of brushed British Customs Slip on Predator exhaust mufflers to give the bike its classic 2-into-2 look that matched the engine covers.
During the Café Racer TV build we discovered some issues with our chain guard; a perfect example of how important these builds are to our design process. After re-tooling and re-designing the piece we’ve introduced the Modern Classic Chain Guard which was designed to complement the BC low-profile sprocket cover that 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. The solid fork brace with fender mounting holes was designed to work with our new removable halter tab design and allows us to mount either an aluminum or steel aftermarket fender. 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 Cluster Bracket with Ignition and re-designed the factory brake line. Then we fitted it with a new 5 3/4″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 set of BC number plates and replaced them with the slightly redesigned factory side covers. 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. To maintain the design elements of a true Café Racer we fitted this Thruxton with a British Customs Café Racer Seat with built-in Lucas Taillight.
With all of the parts in place the only work remaining was the finishing touch. We took the bike over to our friends at the Department of Customz in Anaheim, CA where 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 and Clutch Cable Bracket.
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 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 the Modern Classics section of the British Customs Shop by Bike section.