Speed Read, January 29, 2023

Custom Triumph Street Twin, Suzuki Katana, Triumph Tiger 750, and BMW R68 ISDT
This weekend’s edition of Speed Read starts off with four of our favorite words—“Suzuki Katana” and “AC Sanctuary.” We also profile a vintage Triumph Tiger, a rare BMW R68 ISDT Special, and a tastefully modded Triumph Street Twin from Deus.

Suzuki Katana restomod by AC Sanctuary
Suzuki Katana by AC Sanctuary What happens when a legendary Japanese workshop customizes an iconic motorcycle? Magic, that’s what. Pure retro magic.

The commission for this particular Suzuki Katana project came from a source close to AC Sanctuary. The bike belongs to Mr Wang—who not only runs a hugely successful motorcycle dealership in Taiwan, but is also the country’s only licensed AC Sanctuary dealer. Given their tight relationship, he was happy to give AC Sanctuary’s Hiroyuki Nakamura free rein on the project.

Suzuki Katana restomod by AC Sanctuary
True to form, Nakamura-san did not disappoint. Step one was to tear the bike down, and set its frame into a jig to make sure everything was straight. AC Sanctuary also reinforced the frame in all the right places, then added a gorgeous alloy swingarm.

The Katana now rolls on OZ Racing wheels, with Öhlins suspension at both ends. The rear wheel is wider than stock, so AC Sanctuary modified the engine mounts to make sure that the rear sprocket still lines up perfectly. The brakes are a mix of AC Sanctuary’s own ‘RCM’ parts and high-end Brembo stuff, and the tires are Pirelli Diablo Rossos.

Suzuki Katana restomod by AC Sanctuary
The Katana’s bodywork looks stock-ish, but it’s actually all-new. AC Sanctuary built most of it from scratch, buying in only the smoked screen, headlight and front fender. YF Design laid down the graphics; an intoxicating livery with a Suzuki factory racing feel to it.

AC Sanctuary put considerable effort into upgrading the engine too. It’s gone through a full rebuild, complete with bored and honed cylinders, skimmed heads, modified valve seats, a balanced crank and forged Wossner pistons. Now sitting at 1,135 cc, power delivery is optimized via a programmable ignition, an array of Mikuni Yoshimura carbs and a full titanium exhaust system.

Suzuki Katana restomod by AC Sanctuary
A sprinkling of tasty bolt-ons and subtle mods drive the point home. The dashboard is particularly neat, complete with a carbon fiber backplate and a Stack tacho. If you’re wondering what motorcycling perfection looks like, this is it. [Via]

Vintage Triumph Tiger 750
Serge’s 1973 Triumph Tiger 750 It’s rare that we feature a custom motorcycle without knowing the history of how and why it was customized. But the story of this fetching Triumph Tiger 750 is less about its mods, and more about its owner. It belongs to a Frenchman by the name of Serge Reveneau, and it symbolizes his return to two wheels.

Vintage Triumph Tiger 750
Serge has been a fixture on the local moto scene for quite sometime, and has built a couple of interesting bikes already. But things took a nasty turn when, one fateful day, he took one of his bikes out to quickly check some carb adjustments. An SUV made an illegal U-turn in front of him, and Serge had nowhere to go.

Serendipitously, the car behind him was an ambulance—but his road to recovery was tough. He was in surgery for 10 hours, in a coma for 19 days, and in intensive physiotherapy for the longest time (with a few follow up surgeries thrown in for good measure). All the while, Serge battled with the sort of physical and emotional pain that usually accompany this sort of traumatic event.

Vintage Triumph Tiger 750
Luckily Serge counts renowned motorcycle photographer, Kati Dalek, and her boyfriend, Basti, among his friends. The two visited him relentlessly during his recovery, started a social media campaign to rally support for him, and reminded him of how much fun motorcycles can be, by way of photos that she’d taken of him pinning it on the beach at the popular Wheels and Waves festival.

More than two years after his accident, Serge got back on the horse with this 1973 Triumph TR7RV Tiger. It was originally owned by a woman who had never owned a car, then a second owner who rebuilt it as a scrambler—but didn’t ride it much.

Vintage Triumph Tiger 750
Serge is the third owner, and plans to keep it going as a street legal desert sled.

To celebrate Serge’s comeback, he, Kati and Basti took his Tiger down to the beach, to cut loose and shoot these photos. Welcome back, Serge. [Via]

BMW R68 ISDT Special
Sold: BMW R68 ISDT Special The BMW R80G/S might be the first proper dual-sport motorcycle that the German marque ever built—but it wasn’t the first time they’d competed in off-road racing. Back in 1952, BMW fielded three R68 boxers in the International Six Days Trial in Austria.

Rider Hans Roth came close to winning the event with a perfect score card. But a mechanical failure during the speed trials, where he reached 104 mph, knocked him out of the event.

BMW R68 ISDT Special
The BMW R68 was a follow-up to the earlier 594 cc BMW R67. With improvements to the engine and brakes, and larger carbs, it was billed as “The 100 mph Motorcycle” by BMW. It made 35 hp at 7,000 rpm—up from the R67’s 26 hp.

BMW offered the R68 in a ‘standard’ road model, and the ‘Gelandesporte’ version—recognizable by its high-mounted exhaust system. The rarer of the two models, it was this version that BMW ran in the ISDT.

BMW R68 ISDT Special
The R68 you’re looking at here is about as clean as these rare machines come. It’s been restored to concours standards by a BMW expert, with matching numbers and the manufacturer’s original ID plate still on the frame and engine.

If you’d like to park it in your garage, we have bad news: it went on sale at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction this weekend, and was sold. We shudder to think for how much. [Via]

Custom Triumph Street Twin by Deus ex Machina
Triumph Street Twin by Deus ex Machina It’s tough to beat a Triumph modern classic as the starting point for a custom build. They look really good out the box—which means you can change as little, or as much, as you want to, and still end up with a handsome motorcycle.

This Street Twin comes from the workshop of Jeremy Tagand, at Deus ex Machina in Australia. And it while it hasn’t strayed too far from the classic Triumph Bonneville formula, it’s actually sporting a lot of clever mods. Park it next to a stock Street Twin, and it won’t take long to spot the differences.

Custom Triumph Street Twin by Deus ex Machina
For starters, it’s rolling on much fatter rubber. Jeremy installed wider yokes from Down and Out Motorcycles, along with a set of beefy Canyon Motorcycles wheels. Measuring 150 wide in the front and 180 in the rear, they’re wrapped in Pirelli dual-sport rubber.

The forks have been upgraded with new internals, and the rear sits on longer shocks; all courtesy of YSS. Beringer braking components add extra stopping power.

Custom Triumph Street Twin by Deus ex Machina
Jeremy also installed alloy fenders at both ends, and a custom seat. A lot of work went into the cockpit, which now wears wide 1” bars, Kustom Tech levers, Purpose Built Moto mirrors and Motone switches. BAAK Motocyclettes in France sent over leather fork gators, leather ‘cable ties,’ a skid plate, front turn signal mounts, an ignition relocation bracket and a headlight kit with an integrated Motogadget speedo. Kellermann LEDs take care of turn signal and taillight duties.

Custom Triumph Street Twin by Deus ex Machina
The engine now breathes in through a K&N filter, and out via a pair of HiTech Mufflers headers with SC Project mufflers. It’s been tuned too, courtesy of RB Racing and a Dynojet chip.

Wrapped in a luscious blue paint job (by Jud’s Kustom Paint), with a hit of leather on the seat (by Badarsetrimco.), this Triumph should look right at home on New Zealand’s North Island, which is where it’s headed. [More]

Custom Triumph Street Twin by Deus ex Machina

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