The Ultimate Triton

Triton motorcycle
I’m not sure about you, but I’d love to wake up on Christmas Day and find this in my garage. This gorgeous Triton is the brainchild of French designers Frank Charriaut and Vincent Prat from Southsiders MC, and was built by the extraordinarily talented Daniel Delfour, one of France’s leading motorcycle builders.

Triton motorcycle
As with most beautiful motorcycles, there’s a story behind ‘CP Project #1′. It was inspired by a trip to the 2008 Legend Of The Motorcycle event in California; Delfour’s exquisite Norton Ala’verda caused a stir there, so the three friends hatched plans for a sequel. “As English motorcycle fans, we choose to use a Norton featherbed frame and a Triumph 750 Bonneville engine,” says Vincent. “But we didn’t want to make the thousandth café racer or Triton; we decided to follow our own road. We started designing a mix of Batman’s motorcycle with a T.Rex fastback and Cat Woman’s curves. Inspiration came directly from the culture of comics.”

Triton motorcycle
The design brief for Delfour was to create a very slim and low-slung motorcycle, all in black. By this point, a leading French fashion house was on board, and the tightly imposed specifications proved to be a challenge. But Delfour is also a violinmaker, and his thirty years of experience in that field came to the rescue. Working from sketches provided by Vincent and Frank, Delfour carved multi-part moulds for the bodywork in plywood, balancing the volumes and shapes of the tank and seat until the styling came together as a whole. The featherbed frame is spacious, whereas the Bonneville engine is compact, so the visual balance of this bike became doubly critical.

Delfour decided to do away with front brakes, flat-track style. So he used a vintage Yamaha hub, with a Bonneville item at the back, and laced the hubs to black anodized rims with stainless steel spokes. The front forks are Yamaha items, connected to Moto Guzzi triple trees modified to match the original Norton geometry. And the jewel-like detailing is amazing. Many parts are hand-made, including the oil tank, rearsets, levers and pedals; the speedometer and billet alloy gas tank cap were designed by Vincent, taking cues from a classic French chronometer. “Purists will say that it’s a sacrilege,” says Vincent, “but why do we have to follow any rules? The only thing we’re talking about here is fun. Why the length of the fork tubes? Why a front wheel without brakes? Just because we wanted it like this.”

Daniel Delfour's Triton custom motorcycle
The engine was rebuilt to original specifications, but using a TR7 single-carburetor head rather than the fussier stock twin-carb item. The visual finishing touches came from French master builder Momo, who not only painted the frame in gloss black and the bodywork in a black flake, but also created the exhaust system and heat guards. The completed bike was then handed over to Benoit Gerry from Studio Ze for the first image captures.

For more images of this bike, including the design and construction process, check the photo album on the Bike EXIF Facebook page.

  • RetroGrouch

    Finally some info regarding this controversial bike. I like it. Original, non-traditional and beautifully crafted. Impractical? Yes and will polarize diehard cafe fans.

  • http://shoprustyknuckles.com Rusty Knuckles

    Damn beautiful!

  • Josh

    Already posted as http://www.bikeexif.com/chanel-motorcycle

    Looks so god damn sexy without the chanel labels and knowing that it actually runs.
    Love the tank

  • MichaelArtCenter

    how the heck does nobody realize this is the very same chanel bike that karl lagerfeld used for his ads?

    im so glad he had nothing to do with the physical design, that mans a hack.

    absolutely beautiful bike though. call it dangerous all you want, the way i see it, didnt we all sign up for the “danger” part when we decided to ride a bike anyway? my rents call them “murdercycles”.

  • http://www.newyorkparis.com YJH

    Yes, Xmas is a Holy Day
    thank you for the Revelation
    Absolute Joy

  • cat

    Poor photography.. no way is this any good. i cannot see the shape with black on black. Trendy it may be, but informative it is not..

  • http://www.newyorkparis.com YJH

    boo hoo poor cat_how about a new comp with a real screen for Xmas_still time

  • http://www.slingshot-cycles.com Slingshot

    Why did they not internally limit the fork length? did they really just slide them up in the triple trees? ruins it.

  • Josh

    this was already on this site, but not in nearly as nice detail and sadly the bike was badged with some shitty designer clothing brand.

    Love the tank

  • Rico Delrosado

    “…Inspiration came directly from the culture of comics.” Obviously not from the culture of riding functional motorcycles. “…but why do we have to follow any rules?” Not rules. Laws. Of physics. No front brake = bad idea. A real Triton is a race-winner. This is just ignorant.

  • Frank Sider

    So regarding Rico’s opinion, dirt track motorcycle and choppers are against the laws …
    Joder Rico calmate un poco…

  • Carson

    I don’t see how some drum or small disc brakes on the front would hurt the look of the bike, and it would definately add to the functionality of it. Other than that it’s beautifully designed.

    Also if every bike were purely about function, all we’d have would be dirt bikes and track bikes.

  • Mattro

    I have to say I’m a little surprised at how toasty-brown and steamy-hot the hater tots are over this bike. If there were only one bike per person on the planet, I suppose I’d be offended if one weren’t more for riding than for lookin’ at, as we say in Kentucky. However, there are plenty of mules out there and, honestly, never enough inspired designs.

    Deriding this motorcycle for a lack of prudence or practicality is missing the point, even after having been warned so by one of its creators. Taken as a piece of art, this bike has plenty to offer.

  • http://www.newyorkparis.com YJH

    the other publisher of the CP PROJECT ONE is The Vintagent_there, clicking on the pics make them really big and you can see other aspects of the work of the makers
    http://thevintagent.blogspot.com/2009/12/building-cocos-custom.html
    thank you Chris & Paul for being the 2 pillars of the Temple of Motorcycling Culture_your work is a source of constant inspiration & knowledge_
    if you guys were magazine publishers, we’ll take lifetime subscriptions

  • tk

    i love that you posted more than one image for this bike! since i turn to this site for my daily dose of motorcycle porn, it’s a shame that there is usually only one image to tease me in my lust. but with a layout like this, i feel as if i’m almost there, lingering over the bike, able to breathe in every unique scent, and caress every supple curve. please keep it up.

  • http://www.atombombcustom.com Clay@AtomBomb

    I actually like this bike, or I did…until I got to the picture of the painted over patent plate. That’s just poor no matter how you look at it. Either fill the holes and do the whole cover black, or put a nice new plate on there.

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com/ hoyt

    Great bike. Tank, tapered pipes, proportions, speedo, etc.

    I respect the builder’s choice in doing whatever he wants (e.g. no front brake), but I hope removing vital parts for no reason other than aesthetics is not a continued trend. Look how ridiculous the chopper world went with barely functional motorcycles. Something this good-looking begs to be ridden hard and requires good braking.

    “I run good but I’m hard to start
    And my brakes are bad so I’m hard to stop
    I found a woman who’s soft but she’s also hard
    While I slept she nailed down my heart”

    - from All Your Way by Sandman/Morphine

  • Kozzy

    Beautiful.

  • Haberdashery Jones

    Mattro, I wholeheartedly concur. If given a disclaimer before even viewing then the designer tried to convey to his audience the importance of an open mind and the dismissal of discriminating taste. Although every aspect isn’t for everyone, the bike as a whole does what it was intended to do, be a work of art. Yes they slid the forks up through the triple trees SlingShot. Inform yourself of the design aesthetic that this was taken from and you’d realize that this is true to form of many cafe racers of the past, and not often replicated in “cafe racers” today. Yes, it is the “Chanel” bike, taken out of context of Karl Lagerfeld, and people want to appreciate it just a little more knowing that he had nothing to do with it (MichaelArtCenter/Josh). Well to bad, because he had much to do with it. He brought it to your attention. So credit him for being the tastemaker that he is, it doesn’t take a gear head to know what looks damn good.

  • http://www.mywedding.ie gabriel

    beautiful. it reminds me of 40′s triumph…did you take more than just the engine?

  • http://www.hp2.info macfly

    What an ugly POS, I grew up with Tritons, they were great bikes for real riders to ride hard, This is just a stupid poseur bike.

  • ivancustom

    ride to heaven…..

  • http://www.ddogbreath.stumbleupon.com Dogbreath

    Is there a shortage of Norton engines? I don’t get the concept of replacing the more potent and reliable Norton power plant, with a comparatively weaker Triumph motor that is more prone to oil leaks. I’d put my Norton up against this one any time.

  • http://www.locomotiveclothing.com GB400TT

    Funny. I never understood why people on this great site drag a post down. Why do you even look at this site if you post negative? If ya don’t like it, why not build your own? If you do build your own, you should know that the work put into one is purely personal and no one’s opinion matters (other than those working on the build.)
    Build…and ride.

  • buddhistpunk77

    quelle beaute.Great design, but above all Daniel Delfour is a master,his work is just brilliant and inspiring . To those who question this bike I’ve just one thing to say ‘ vive la difference’

  • http://werwinning.blogspot.com/ Todd Blubaugh

    I see a lever but no front brake. HMMMM?

  • vincentdreaming

    While we’re on the subject of combining engines and frames from vintage bikes, have you guys heard of Big Sid’s Vincati? Its a stunning bike with a very interesting history (check out the book on amazon).

    It would be great if you could cover it on Bike EXIF sometime. You can check out photos of the bike at http://www.bigsid.com/photo-gallery

  • J-Waldo

    Good day, if you’ve thought of selling this masterpiece please drop me an email and lets talk price?

    Waldo

  • http://www.pipeburn.com/home/2010/7/30/1971-honda- scott

    absolutely gorgeous! ranks right up there w/ the falcon and rudge-whitworth for me, which in my opinion are the most amazing bike ever to grace this site. amazing work!!