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Back In Black: A Bonneville cafe racer resurrection

A 2014 Triumph Bonneville cafe racer by Gasoline
It’s a familiar story: a treasured bike, a crash, and then a rebuild. Except this isn’t a streetfighter: it’s a low-slung Triumph Bonneville with a serious set of upgrades.

‘Blak’ is the work of Gasoline, a Sydney shop that doesn’t (yet) have the worldwide fame of its neighbor Deus, but is fast building a reputation.

A 2014 Triumph Bonneville cafe racer by Gasoline
The bike belongs to a Gasoline client called ‘Mixy,’ who was fortunately less damaged than his bike after the crash.

“When his 2014 Triumph arrived, it was in shabby but repairable shape,” says Gasoline founder Jason Leppa. “It wasn’t looking too pretty: the tank was dented, the engine cover was scratched, and the exhaust was practically hanging off.”

A 2014 Triumph Bonneville cafe racer by Gasoline
The Bonneville was riddled with other issues too. Mixy had made some mild modifications himself, but after meeting Jason and the Gasoline team, he decided to leave it to the experts. Plans for the rebuild expanded, and ‘Blak’ began to take shape.

The front end was binned, and USD forks from a Suzuki GSX-R grafted on. A custom axle and spacers ensure that wheel specs remain the same, and the sportbike forks are held in place by a CNC’d triple clamp.

A 2014 Triumph Bonneville cafe racer by Gasoline
The triple clamp was designed to house a Motogadget Classic speedo—in black of course. An m.lock keyless ignition system keeps the wiring simple, and the Purpose Built Moto switch blocks are sleek and contemporary.

Adding to the racing vibe is a shift from mid to rear sets, and new low-profile clip-on bars for that vital café racer rider tuck.

A 2014 Triumph Bonneville cafe racer by Gasoline
The wheels are US-made Canyon TTs—forged billet wheels CNC’d from 6061 T6 aluminum, with a revised cush drive and sprocket system that allows you to run wide rear tires with the correct alignment.

They’re a tribute to the Bonneville SE’s billet cut style, and designed to work with Galfer wave disc brakes. On this Bonneville the rims are shod with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires, for a sporty vibe and maximum grip. The rear is a hefty 190 and really amps up the appearance of the bike.

A 2014 Triumph Bonneville cafe racer by Gasoline
The biggest visual change is the new tank, which eschews the somewhat bulbous proportions of the Triumph original.

It’s Gasoline’s take on the classic Yamaha SR tank, fabricated in aluminum and shot with deep satin black paint. Running across the top is a subtle gloss black racing stripe.

A 2014 Triumph Bonneville cafe racer by Gasoline
The subframe has been reworked in-house too, and now supports a new fiberglass seat pan hand molded by Gasoline’s head tech. The local artisans at the Bad Arse Trim Co. made up a new seat to match, using a dark shade of suede.

There’s an integrated LED tail and indicator light strip flushed into the tail, and tiny indicators up front from Kellermann. “They are some of the smallest LEDs you’ll ever find,” says Jason, “but still bright enough to cut through the darkness.”

A 2014 Triumph Bonneville cafe racer by Gasoline
The only real splash of color on the Bonneville is the headlight, with a yellow lens concealed behind a black grill. “Like the flames from a raging furnace,” says Jason, tongue in cheek.

‘Blak’ is hot stuff all right. The new liquid-cooled Bonnies are getting all the column inches at the moment—but the older machines can look just as good, if you know what you’re doing.

Judging by this build, Gasoline are masters of the dark arts.

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A 2014 Triumph Bonneville cafe racer by Gasoline

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