California Dreamin’: Triumph Bonneville by FCR Original

California Dreaming: A brat style Triumph Bonneville by FCR Original.
We’re often asked how we choose bikes to feature. In reality, there’s no real science—but we do have a few criteria.

Is it an original concept? Or a copy of someone else’s work? Is the fabrication and finish good, or does it fail close inspection? Does the bike move the scene onwards, or is it just another custom [insert model name here]?

California Dreaming: A brat style Triumph Bonneville by FCR Original.
Then there’s perhaps the most important criterion of all: ‘Do we want to ride it?’ And in that department, this Bonneville from FCR Original of France scores a ten out of ten. Just looking at the photos makes us want to swing a leg over right away, and head off to the beach.

It’s one of the most timeless and elegant Bonnevilles we’ve seen in a long while. It’s essentially a ‘brat’ style bike—but unlike most attempts to mimic real BratStyle bikes, it just looks ‘right.’

California Dreaming: A brat style Triumph Bonneville by FCR Original.
The talented builders behind FCR Original are Sébastien Guillemot and Mathieu Ménard. From their base in the small town of Chavigny (pop. 7,000), they are making a name for themselves as Triumph specialists of the highest order.

FCR can turn their hands to performance machines—like the ‘Crazy Bonnie’ Sultans of Sprint bike—but we’ll take this stylish boulevard cruiser any day.

California Dreaming: A brat style Triumph Bonneville by FCR Original.
They describe the ‘Sunrising’ Bonneville as “A desire to get back to basics: A playful motorcycle without artifice, but still efficient.”

There’s a strong vintage vibe from the nickel-plating on the frame, with the forks polished to a similar luster and attached via custom CNC’d triple clamps. The adjustable hydraulic shocks are from the boutique Italian manufacturer Matris.

California Dreaming: A brat style Triumph Bonneville by FCR Original.
There’s a custom rear loop too, crafted from steel and finished to match. The underseat battery box and bobbed rear fender are shaped from aluminum.

The 865cc engine is stock, given that 67 horsepower is ample for this kind of machine. But there are neat aluminum velocity stacks at the intake end, and a two-into-two exhaust system—as simple as it gets. (We’re told there are removable baffles to keep the noise down.)

California Dreaming: A brat style Triumph Bonneville by FCR Original.
The Ceriani wheels are heavily shouldered, and shod with chunky Firestone Deluxe Champion tires. They’re 19 inches at the front—the same as stock—but go up a size to 18 at the back.

The inevitable cockpit clutter of a modern bike is gone, with just a compact Motogadget MST Vintage speedo to provide rider feedback. Housed in a brass bezel, it’s mounted on custom bars with ample rise and pullback. The vintage-style switchgear comes from Kustom Tech.

California Dreaming: A brat style Triumph Bonneville by FCR Original.
Sébastien and Mathieu handled the paint themselves—note the matching grips—but farmed out the construction of the comfortable-looking seat to local specialist Pascal Proust.

To the casual observer, this Bonneville could have been built at any time over the past forty years. And with the nickel-plating and raw metal finishes, it won’t be long before it develops a lovely patina.

California Dreaming: A brat style Triumph Bonneville by FCR Original.
The lads tell us they went for “the California look, the seaside exercise, accompanied by a pretty girl in a bikini under sunny skies.”

Very French, but we get the drift perfectly. In the increasingly serious custom world, ‘Sunrising’ is as light and refreshing as a cold glass of rosé on the terrace of a beachfront restaurant. More, please.

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California Dreaming: A brat style Triumph Bonneville by FCR Original.