Elegant Bastard: A custom Triumph Speed Twin by Unikat Motorworks

Custom Triumph Speed Twin 1200 by Unikat Motorworks
Black and gold seems to be a theme lately. Here, it’s been applied to the Triumph Speed Twin 1200 with exceptional judgment by Unikat Motorworks. But the Polish outfit has done a lot more than just wrap the Speed Twin in pretty paint—this one’s a brawler, through and through.

In stock form, the Speed Twin 1200 is delightfully brutish—a torquey parallel-twin roadster with handling to match. But it looks so good off the showroom floor, that there’s little room for customization. The best approach is to lean into the qualities that make it so good in the first place, and then amplify the whole package.

Custom Triumph Speed Twin 1200 by Unikat Motorworks
That’s exactly what Unikat did with this 2019-model Triumph Speed Twin 1200. The bike’s owner is a true petrolhead—a four- and two-wheeled enthusiast who runs a transmission refurbishing company. The brief called for an agile city bike with sharp looks and oodles of attitude; an “elegant, shiny, and aggressive bastard.”

It quickly became apparent that Unikat’s client wanted more than just a show pony, so the shop added some suspension upgrades to the already well-specced Speed Twin. Bitubo parts did the trick; new shocks for the back, and new internals for the front to add a full range of adjustability.

Custom Triumph Speed Twin 1200 by Unikat Motorworks
Next, Unikat installed a luscious set of 17” laced wheels from Kineo, specced with gold rims and hubs, and black spokes. Measuring 3.5 inches wide at the front and 5.5 inches wide at the back, they’re shod with Heidenau K73 supermoto tires. Since the Speed Twin comes with twin Brembo front calipers, there was no need to upgrade the brakes.

Unikat also decided to leave well enough alone when it came to bits like the engine and airbox. The stock mufflers were ditched though, replaced by a pair of aggressive handmade reverse cone mufflers.

Custom Triumph Speed Twin 1200 by Unikat Motorworks
Up top, the handlebars were traded for a set of drag bars, creating a more hunkered-down riding position. The bars are adorned with leather-wrapped grips and stubby CNC-machined levers. Motogadget bar-end turn signals and mirrors finish off the cockpit.

The OEM fuel tank is still in play, but it’s been kitted with a knurled aluminum gas cap.

Custom Triumph Speed Twin 1200 by Unikat Motorworks
The seat unit is completely new though. It features leather upholstery with a unique geometric stitching pattern and a custom-made steel tail bump. Despite the café racer-style design, the Speed Twin still sports a rear fender.

Three-in-one Highsider LEDs act as taillights and rear turn signals, while a side-mounted bracket holds the license plate.

Custom Triumph Speed Twin 1200 by Unikat Motorworks
At the opposite end of the bike, a slim aluminum fender hovers over the front tire. Lower down, a belly pan from Renstall Moto gives the Speed Twin a sportier profile. LSL foot pegs round out the parts list.

But it’s Unikat’s commitment to the Triumph’s black and gold livery that really stands out. Gloss black adorns the bodywork, with slivers of gold accents popping against the dominant wheels. Dig deeper, and you’ll discover that the theme extends to even the smallest of parts.

Custom Triumph Speed Twin 1200 by Unikat Motorworks
The entire exhaust system has been ceramic coated, and the swingarm, brake calipers, and throttle body covers have all been redone in black. The bike also wears a set of golden-colored fasteners, with a black chain keeping things dark and moody.

With just the right amount of contrast to keep things interesting, Unikat’s Speed Twin is easy on the eyes—and it reportedly goes as good as it looks, too. We certainly wouldn’t mind taking it home.

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Custom Triumph Speed Twin 1200 by Unikat Motorworks