BMW Motorrad Spezial

Triumph Bonneville by Drags & Racing

Triumph Bonneville custom motorcycle by Drags & Racing
Drags & Racing is an Italian custom shop owned by the flamboyant Dino Romano, and he’s been putting out a steady stream of custom Triumphs and Harleys for twenty years now.

Dino’s latest creation is this Bonneville, and he’s done a remarkable job in giving a modern Triumph an authentic vintage look. (So we’ll forgive him the ubiquitous Steve McQueen reference—the bike is called ‘La Grande Fuga’, meaning Great Escape.) There’s a suicide shift on the left, the exhaust has been cannibalized from an Iveco van, and the seat is a genuine 1939 Harley-Davidson item.

Triumph Bonneville custom motorcycle by Drags & Racing
The matte green military paint is equally authentic: it’s from a sixty-year-old cache discovered in a Czech warehouse. La Grande Fuga has attracted a lot of attention on the Italian custom scene, and Dino can build you one for around US$24,000.

Triumph Bonneville custom motorcycle by Drags & Racing
Given the level of customizing going on here—with virtually all bodywork and controls being hand-made—that sounds like a pretty good deal.

Triumph Bonneville custom motorcycle by Drags & Racing

  • David Enfield

    Bike Exif :- Done it again , just astounding . What a find .

  • Beautiful modern Bonnie. Would like to know what the deal is with the kick pedal? Is it just a fake, or is there an aftermarket kickstart available for Hinckley Triumphs?

  • joe

    Don’t really like it, seems a little cartoonish…

  • My next solo – seater will have a hand shifter like this one. I can’t wait! I would drive the crap out of this bike.

  • Aaron Burke

    I like it. Fun idea that’s been done well overall. Taking the rear foot pegs off and tidying up the rear around the guard would tidy up the finish but overall fun looking bike.

  • @Aaron Burke: The rear foot peg bracket is also an exhaust hanger. It’s a hard item to get rid of with pipes like those.

  • pascie

    what’s with the round headlight made square??

  • That is a military modification. It limits the amount of light at night giving just enough for the rider to see the road, but not enough for the enemy to see you at a distance.

  • PeteP

    Very nice work, but ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!

    Stop trying to create an old bike out of a new one, at twice the price. I just don’t get it.

  • Bob

    I don’t know why you have to forgive him for falling it ‘La Grande Fuga’ seeing as how its basically the bike that was actually used to shoot the motorcycle scenes in The Great Escape. The German bike McQueen rides is actually a modified Triumph (lust like this one).

  • The McQueen eulogies seem to be moving into overkill mode on the motorcycling scene at the moment … I’m a big fan of this bike, less so of the movie reference. Looks like it’s worked well from a marketing point of view, though.

  • Boots

    The kicker is 100% fake, and that’s just silly.

  • Phil

    Sorry, can’t share your enthusiasm: Crappy photography and the bike is quite kitschy…

  • badhairday

    yeah, kitschy as kitschy can be. the problem with italian builds is that sometimes they don’t feel the switch to selfironism. would be a great name for that build, huh?

  • David

    I have to say, i would have much preferred the stock triumph.

  • Saw the bike and it’s a really well done project and very cool bike to watch, but I would not buy it..

  • Art

    I’d like to know about the kickstart too. And the hand shifter must be a bit tricky being on the same side as the clutch, no? The hand shifters I’ve ridden have all had the clutch on the left and the gearlever on the right…

  • chesterton mcfeely

    In the end I think it’s a bit overdone to the point of being “costumey.”
    A fake kicker is never cool.

  • Sal Paradise

    That bike is ugly and frankly, a little creepy. I have the T100 version of this, an its a good bike but I am tired of seeing these faux military versions complete with non functional kick starter. It just seems like a waste of money to me.

  • Mark

    I would have one in a flash, if it were a bit cheaper, and without the suicide shifter. It is great art in the purest form. Remember, the McQueen bike was also a fake. No German bike of the period was that cool.

  • ghostyrider

    You can like it or not, but… the kickstart works! I saw the bike in Verona, last january, and Dino explained me how it works. Now is under registration, so I can’t tell you the secret, but believe me: works.
    greetings from Italy!

  • cbbeanbags

    I rode my Scrambler to the post office and was approached by an old timer who said,”We rode Triumphs in the military. I didn’t know they still made them. We had Harleys too but no one wanted to ride them. They were just too heavy and we spent most of our time pushing them through the mud”.
    This bike is nice “tip of the hat” to the guys who did their part for our freedom. Good job.

  • I have better designs on my mind,just dont have the money to start
    this bike looks like an stock t-120.,many off roaders was on the 60¨s,so were is the design genius here??

  • mark b

    To start this is not my bike! Os you don’t get confused. In most case you guys don’t know what the hell your talking about. Lots of people hated riding Harley’s back then. Which is probably what you guys are riding now. People are always putting older tank badges on their Harley’s and doing stuff to make them look older. Not that this bike is an old one, it’s a new one. But has been a design that triumph has used for a long time. They just keep reinventing it. The new one’s are modeled after the 68. They didn’t even but fuel injection on this bike till 2009. And with a lot of people they really like the look and old style of the bikes. Just like all the Harley riders and there big bad biker look (but I don’t get the fake due rag with the hair, gay!) but there’s no other models with the classic look that have the ((reliability)) that the new triumph has and there’s no looking for that old bike or old part to replace all the time these you can ride not rub with a dipper. Not to mention that all the grates road triumphs like Steve Mc Queen, that helped start the Elsonnor 500 and the bike that he road in the move the grate escape which was a triumph and was his bike that they fixed up just like this one. Just for the move so he could do the stunts (it was not a German bike!). Marlin Brando road a 59 in the move The Wild One. Arthur Fonzarelli in happy days, Clint Eastwood, and Elvis. The list go’s on. These bike were just as popular if not more, in the 50’s, 60’s as the American bikes. Not to mention at this was the don of racing. Triumph broke the land speed record 214 MPH in Bonneville Salt Flats in and for a time was #1 in flat track. IF any thing this bike is a choice on look and he did a dam good job. The kicker they don’t make one for the new bikes for you to buy, but it has been made. They’re not available. Painting the headlight read some history. Good job Garrick. It was for Low light. look it up guys. Nice bike Drags and racing.

  • Patrick

    I see no real custom anything other than the kicker, shifter and airbox. Stock tank, fenders, frame, right side cover and all the stuff like the gaiters, eyebrow and the tool box are all mail-order. Looks like the standard cheapo horn/ign button on there and some skinny Amal grip (copies?) Neat story on the paint, cool it’s kickstart…not worth anywhere NEAR $24k.

  • Design

    This is my alltime favorit Scrambler/Bonnie customizing ever! i loverd it since i first saw it. I hope to get my Scrambler close to this.