Bill’s Triton

Triton Norton 650 slimline featherbed
Frank Charriaut of the French blog theMotArt sent in this lovely story he received from a friend. I think it’s something many of us can relate to.

My name is Bill and I’m a café racer at heart. I live at the base of the Cascade Mountains, twenty miles north of the Oregon/California border.

I bought the Triton about a year ago as an unfinished project and as is often the case, it was a lot more unfinished than I first thought. Many times I stood alone in my garage scratching my head and saying out loud, “Why the Hell did they do that!” In the end though, I’m quite happy with the result. I wanted a period-correct British café racer, and I think there is nothing more iconic to the genre than a pre-unit Triton.

The bike is a ’64 Norton slimline featherbed, with a 650 built from ’58 Speed Twin cases, and the original AMC gearbox mounted with converter engine plates. I especially enjoy some of the small details that you don’t notice at first glance, like the NOS Wassel grips and the John Tickle headlight brackets.

I think people, including myself, get somewhat jaded by the internet. It’s easy to write off a bike like this as “just another café racer”, but to see and hear one, on the road, in person, then you’ll understand. I love this bike, and I think it would take a very large pile of cash for me to part with her.

[Merci, Frank! All photos © Back Alley Studio.]


Triton Norton 650 slimline featherbed
Triton Norton 650 slimline featherbed
Triton Norton 650 slimline featherbed
Triton Norton 650 slimline featherbed

  • http://themotart.blogspot.com/ Frank

    Hi Chris,
    thank you for sharing this story, Bill is going to be crasy to see his bike there.
    He made a precious work on his bike and the result is really stunning
    The guys from the backalleystudio did a great job too.
    All my best, cheers
    Frank

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/1962_cb77_restore/ Scott Pargett

    Very nice to see a clean, true to heart cafe. Many a builder trying to reinvent the classic and rare bikes with misplaced and forced modern flare.

  • Emmet

    I’m more impressed with what the builder had to say. I agree, this is not ‘another cafe racer’

  • Steve

    So very nice. Awesome job Bill.

  • Aaron Burke

    Great bike, made better by fantastic shots and hearing from the builder. Anybody who has worked on bikes/cars/etc knows a lot of time goes into getting the details right. Big credit to Bill in building a high quality bike and also making the effort to get some high quality shots done of his ride.

  • bryguy9

    I get this bike, it makes me remember why I ride. This is a bike to fall in love with.

  • llamacice

    Finally, someone who gets it…. this is a true “cafe’ racer” in the classic sense.
    Proof that just because you put clubman bars on and chop your fenders, doesn’t make it so…..

    Great bike and write up!!!

  • Bob

    well said bro, bike looks awesome. when can I ride it?

  • Rex Havoc

    “I think people, including myself, get somewhat jaded by the internet. It’s easy to write off a bike like this as “just another café racer”, but to see and hear one, on the road, in person, then you’ll understand. I love this bike, and I think it would take a very large pile of cash for me to part with her.”

    I saw this bike and said to myself “not another %$#@ing Triton with the same damn paint scheme” as they are a dime a dozen. Then I read the story and realised I’d become “somewhat jaded by the internet”.

    A good bike is a good bike regardless if there are thousands of them out there. Nice build, nice bike.

  • http://kubimedia.com Matteo

    The Triton is pure cafè racer ART! Thanks guys for sharing the story and Bill: Keep it up mate!

  • PB

    respect.
    “simple and classic” (be it a café racer or another iconic bike) is actually never as easy as you might think.
    keep it up!

  • Neil Hamburger, America’s Funnyman

    I love the knight on the sidecover. It’s just a small little extra but gives such a nice little “visual pop” that catches and draws in the eye to a usually bland spot.

  • Bill

    Thanks all. Special thanks to Chris and Frank.-Bill

  • http://www.divebombersgarage.com Chris Miller

    I’m usually busy riding around on 4 wheels. I love art, photography and machines, from printing presses to front engine dragsters. Bill’s craftsmanship is all heart, and this piece reflects who he is. Congrats on the build, you’re a good neighbor!

  • Bill

    Thanks Miller

  • http://www.dotheton.com locO leoN

    Simply amazing!!.. Great job…

  • http://Cb350.circleatseven.com Alex

    Beautiful bike, beautiful photographs. Amazing!

    I’ve always been amazed that people could be unimpressed by a bike like this. “Yawn. Another cafe racer.” How about “YESSS! ANOTHER CAFE RACER!”

    If my CB350G turns out half as nice as this I will be ecstatic!

  • Bill

    Thanks again for all the kind words. Alex, I also have a cb350. Good luck with yours. Cheers-Bill