BMW Motorrad Spezial

James Dean Triumph

James Dean motorcycle
I tend to associate James Dean with a certain Porsche 550 Spyder, and Steve McQueen with Triumph motorcycles. But James Dean was apparently a Triumph rider too, and the bike he rode was a 1955 Trophy. The shots were sent in by Andy Enness, an Australian now living in New York. Enness works with the legendary Hollywood photographer Phil Stern: “One day I was over at his house in Los Angeles and stumbled upon an old pile of photos of this Triumph scrambler. I quizzed Phil on them and was told how James Dean’s brother had asked Phil if he could use some of Phil’s photos as reference to restore James’ motorbike. Once he’d finished the restoration, he sent Phil these photos. In typical Phil fashion, he thought nothing of them. And of course I freaked out.” Andy scanned the shots, and here they are. Does anyone know anything more about the history of this bike?

Update 1: According to reader Dan Hunter, the original bike is in the James Dean Museum in Fairmount, Indiana.

Update 2: It appears that the bike in the images is one of three replicas built by Justin Glory: the final shot was taken in Justin’s front yard in L.A.

James Dean motorcycle
James Dean motorcycle

  • That’s a “James Dean” bike that we built about six years ago. It was built from the crank up (including finding the donor bike) in 26 days. Those photos with the trees are in my front yard in LA!

  • tm

    Is it a different bike in the 3rd (bikeexif) pic? Slightly different pillion seat? Or is it mounted back to front?

  • mingh

    this raises the bar for Awesome. What a great bike!

  • King

    check out the cars in the background of the 3rd pic. that easily puts the picture in the mid 80’s to Early 90’s. The stand is different on the third bike picture as well.