Triumph Thunderbird Storm - The Bar Hopper By British Customs

The British Customs “Bar Hopper”

Our goal with any bike build is to develop some parts that allow Triumph owners to customize their bike’s look and change its performance with basic bolt-on parts. The 1600cc parallel twin is a solid foundation for a build, and we took the opportunity to develop our initial lineup of parts for the Thunderbird line of cruisers.

The modifications started with the adaptation of one of our most popular pieces for Modern Classics: the BC Predator Exhaust. Using the reverse cone design we fitted it to the Thunderbird and gave it a black finish to match the matte black paint and blacked out styling. This exhaust is available as a cat-back system and for those of you looking for a race application, a cat bypass pipe can be purchased separately.

Thunderbird riders looking for even more performance upgrades can install a BC Air Box Removal Kit, which redirects air intake away from the restrictive underseat ports and through high flow K&N filters. The kit includes everything required for easy bolt on installation and must be installed with the Power Commander V. The Air Box Removal Kit and Predator Exhaust combine to give the Thunderbird an extra 12.7 horsepower. The Air Box Removal Kit was specifically designed to work in conjunction with the BC Predator or Hog Slayer Exhaust systems, and for this reason it is not recommended to install one without the other.*

Moving onto appearance, we replaced the traditional twin headlights with a single 5 ¾” Halo Headlight. Bolt-on installation with this piece is very straightforward, making it one of the easiest ways to give your Thunderbird a unique look.

The bars are an 18” swept back Ape Hanger that is currently in development and is set to release as a kit that will include the handlebars, risers, bushings and cables necessary to perform the bar swap.

While the Ape Hanger kit is designed to work with factory controls and switches, we decided to replace the factory controls with aftermarket Harley controls on the Bar Hopper build. This in turn required that we relocate the switches using micro switches.

Next up was seating, and we gave the Bar Hopper a fresh look by installing the British Customs Low Profile Seat. This trimmed down seat positions the rider lower into the bike, and the combination foam and gel construction means no sacrificing comfort. For this build we opted for a distressed brown leather finish on the seat and pillion. This version of the Low Profile Seat is in the final stages of development and should be available in mid-summer 2014.

The seat and pillion combo has been complemented by a Triumph Sissy Bar and Triumph quick release bag system that allows for quick installation and removal. We left the aftermarket backrest off to keep the bike looking clean. The tail section of the bike was finished by relocating the license plate and turn singles up into the factory fender.

As with all of the British Customs bike builds, the Bar Hopper served as a platform for product development. The BC Design Team made the most of the opportunity, and the upgrades performed on the Bar Hopper represent the first of a new line of products for the fast and capable Triumph Thunderbird.

*Competition Use Only parts may not be sold or used on a motorcycle that is used on or off public highways other than those motorcycles that are used exclusively for competition; defined under California Law as a "Racing Vehicle". Competition Use Only parts are any aftermarket parts that replace, eliminate or interfere with the original equipment catalyst, such as a catalytic converter, oxygen sensor or some other emissions control device connected to the exhaust system. These items may be sold and used on a motorcycle that is used only for closed course competition.