We once listed the Triumph Speed Triple 1050 as one of our favorite modern motorcycles. And with good reason: the grunty motor and sharp-edged looks are icons of 21st century motorcycling.
Which is probably why the Speed Triple doesn’t get customized too often. But if you have a Triple in your garage, and an itch to give it the café racer treatment, help is at hand. Just contact Erne’s Euromotos, a bike dealership and custom house in Zürich, Switzerland.
The owner of this remarkable 2010-spec model bumped into the Erne’s crew five years ago in a bar. He wanted a café racer back then, but it took him until last year to commit.
He finally waltzed into the workshop with a picture of a bike he liked, and a color in mind: bright green.
Erne’s showed him a more tasteful color swatch. Bright green was taken off the table and the project kicked off.
The client’s only other prerequisite was that the bike should have a fairing. Plan A was to use the new Thruxton’s optional fairing, but the part wasn’t available in time. A Ducati 750 SS unit turned out to be the perfect match, right down to its windshield.
The crew fitted a 2015-model Triumph Thruxton headlight before installing it. Then they took extra special care to make sure that the cockpit behind it was kept as clean as possible.
The mounting system is simple and elegant, connecting to the fairing via custom tabs that have been bonded on.
The Speed’s streetfighter-esque bars have been swapped out for clip ons. To fill in the original riser holes, Erne’s tapped in aluminum sleeves before smoothing everything off. They even went so far as to round off the edge of the triple trees, for a more classic effect.
A Koso speedo was installed for a little GP-inspired flair, with a Motogadget keyless ignition keeping things extra minimal. (The chip to switch the bike on is being sewn into the owner’s glove.)
The rear end proved to be more challenging. The team started off with an aftermarket Triumph Bonneville café-style seat from Tamarit Motorcycles.
They liked the basic shape, but soon realized that it was too chunky for the Speed Triple’s lines.
Luckily, one of the mechanics on the project had experience with repairing small airplanes and building remote controlled planes.
First, the seat was trimmed down to mock up the finished product. Then he scrapped everything but the base plate, and built an entire fiberglass rear unit from scratch.
Erne’s also trimmed the subframe—and relocated what components they could—to keep everything tidy. The seat itself is barely padded, but we’re told that the aggressive overall riding position alleviates most of the discomfort. (That, and the fact that the bike is best ridden with a healthy dose of body English.)
When it comes to stance and flow, Erne’s get full marks; just look at how the HP Corse exhaust’s line is echoed in the tail unit. Plus, the bike is dripping with sexy little details. A keen eye will spot some carbon fiber bits, and an exquisite rear brake line bracket-cum-chain guard.
The turn signals are a standout feature too. They consist of Rizoma LEDs, embedded in conduit tubes that have been sprayed reflective silver and cut to sit flush. The rear signals do double duty as a taillight.
On the performance side, that gorgeous Italian exhaust is joined by K&N filters and a Power Commander (yes, the bike’s seen some dyno time). The suspension’s been rebuilt too, and the bike’s running on practical Conti Sport Attack 2 tires, rather than the race slicks you see here.
Instead of the client’s original bright green, the Speed Triple’s adorned in a combination of deep black and a brushed silver, separated by a pinstripe. The edges of the rims have been chamfered and polished, and the Triumph logo on the engine casing ground down to the bare metal.
It’s a stunning result, which took 350 hours of work to produce. The bulk of that went into the tail section—a part that Erne’s will consider reproducing if demand is high enough.
The bike was finished just in time for Switzerland’s annual motorcycle expo, Swiss-Moto, where it was presented to the public and its owner at the same time.
Unsurprisingly, he was speechless.