The definition of a cafe racer gets looser as the years go by. But this Triton, which will go on sale at the Wheels & Waves event in France in June, is as authentic as they come. Built in 1960, it’s a truly original English cafe racer—and one with a particularly interesting history. It’s the work of motorcycle racer Freddie Cooper, the first man to exceed 200 mph on English soil.
Cooper was a racing contemporary of John Surtees, and he knew how to build bikes. Motorcycle News bet that he couldn’t build a race bike for £100, and lost the bet when Cooper presented the Triton to one of its journalists to ride at the Isle of Man TT.
Cooper built this Triton using contemporary parts, from the Miller light at the front to the Lucas tail light. The headlight brackets and triple trees are John Tickle, and the clip-ons are Manx. The megaphones are Dunstall, and the cylinder head is a sturdy T120 9-stud item. The rims are 18” Akront alloy.
This Triton is owned by Neil Williams, who was a DJ at the Ace Cafe before moving to the South of France. But not for much longer. Williams is selling the bike, and it will go under the hammer at Wheels & Waves on 15 July. It’s expected to fetch between 7,000 and 9,000 Euros, which is $9,300 to $12,000.
Seems like a very reasonable price, don’t you think?