Don’t be fooled by the conservative stereotype: the Swiss have a long-standing love of fast bikes. The small country has given us the racing builders Egli and Suter, and workshops like Britalmoto, Erne’s Euromotos, VTR Customs and Erbacher.
To that list we can now add Tricana, based in the tiny French-speaking mountain village of Chamoson (pop. 3,461). Shop boss Jonathan Natário has just built a custom Electra Glide that can shred on the drag strip and the twisties.
We met Jonathan at Wheels & Waves in 2015. He’d just finished an amazing custom Triumph TR6R, and was preparing to move his workshop from Portugal to Switzerland.
He’s now an official MV Agusta dealer, and will soon start selling Aprilia motorcycles too. But he still enjoys building and fabrication—which is great news for the Swiss custom scene.
“The Electra Glide was my first paycheck in Switzerland,” says Jonathan. “At the time I was working for a Harley-Davidson garage, and I thought it’d be a good idea for the next Tricana to be a Harley.”
It was probably tempting to plunder the giant Screamin’ Eagle catalog, but Jonathan decided to try something entirely different.
“I realized that I could create something crazy, using parts from my track day bikes,” he explains.
So the front suspension is from a Yamaha YZF-R1, the brakes are from an R6, and the wheels and front rotors are from a Ducati 999R. The aluminum swingarm is custom, and a Suzuki GSX-R supplied the rearsets.
The regular Electra Glide V-twin is not short of torque, with 80 cubic inches (1340cc) tuned for low-down grunt. But the suspension upgrade required an engine that screams as well as slugs, so Jonathan tore the motor apart.
The big twin is now boosted to 93 ci, with bored out cylinders and Wiseco pistons. There’s also a toughened crank, a Super G carb and a hi-flow oil pump from S&S—plus an Andrews race camshaft and modified pushrods.
That’s heavy-duty power—enough to melt the standard FLH clutch like a bar of Lindt left out in the sun. So Jonathan has installed a dry clutch from Barnett, and switched out the belt drive for a tougher chain drive.
There’s no way the stubby megaphone exhaust will meet Switzerland’s famously stringent noise regulations. But the rules only apply to post-1983 bikes, so maybe Jonathan’s got away with it…
He’s also got a keen eye for aesthetics. ‘Hot Racer’ looks nothing like your typical big twin custom, and that’s down to the hand-made, asymmetrical bodywork.
“The ‘fuel tank’ cover is an original Tricana part,” he tells us. “The red section is a cover for the battery (from a BMW S1000R), the high voltage coils and the oil tank. The carbon fiber part is the fuel tank itself.”
Jonathan couldn’t find the right size of filling system to fit the tank, so he built every component himself, piece by piece, influenced by the designs on endurance racers. He also built the left-hand side fairing using carbon fiber, and the long, sportbike-style seat unit.
For the paint, the story gets even more interesting. It’s the work of Marty Design, a renowned Swiss paint shop on the shores of Lac Neuchâtel.
“I met Marty himself at the Verbier Bike fest, and showed him the project,” Jonathan recalls.
“He loved the bike and the idea. While we were looking at photos of the original 1983 Electra Glide, he suddenly said, ‘Wait a moment! I painted this exact bike back in the eighties!’”
“We laughed, and I knew that he was the right person to repaint the bike, almost 30 years later. I just chose the color, and the rest is by Marty and his team.”
‘Hot Racer’ is a world away from the usual chopper and bagger Electra Glide customs. It’s fast and in-your-face, and we wouldn’t change a thing.