Thruxton Gullwing X: A twist on classic café racer style

Triumph Thruxton Gullwing cafe racer by Tamarit
Every car enthusiast of a certain age knows the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. It made roof-hinged ‘gullwing’ doors famous—despite being a design trick first seen on the Bugatti Type 64. And it’s one of the most iconic sportscars of the last century.

The 300 SL has inspired the Alicante workshop Tamarit to create a limited edition series of customs, and the latest version is ‘Gullwing X.’ The link to the Mercedes design is the new bodywork on the bike, which is a monocoque arrangement with a front-mounted hinge allowing it to be lifted up at the back.

Triumph Thruxton 'Gullwing' cafe racer by Tamarit
‘X’ is an upgraded version of Tamarit’s ‘Gullwing‘ design, and this prototype is the first in a limited series of nine. Tamarit’s José Antonio describes it as a ‘sport’ version: “Parts like the brakes, rims, carbs and cooling system are dramatically improved.” And quite aside from the nifty engineering, it’s drop dead gorgeous.

The base is a carbureted Triumph Thruxton, which means it’s powered by the classic 865cc air-cooled parallel twin that offers 70 hp in stock form.

Triumph Thruxton Gullwing cafe racer by Tamarit
Tamarit reckon their version is pumping out a stonking 98 horses, thanks to a complete engine rebuild, big valves, hot cams, and a free-flowing Tamarit ‘Speedster’ exhaust system. Plus two Keihin FCR39 racing flat slide carburetors with the essential TPS sensors.

The velocity stacks shown in the images are replaced by a pair of K&N pod filters for road use, but this engine has a much stronger and smoother ‘pull’ throughout the rev range than the standard setup. There’s also a custom oil-cooler-in-frame setup, with machined fins that help the cooling system work more effectively.

Triumph Thruxton Gullwing cafe racer by Tamarit
The new bodywork is made from fiberglass, with the standard fuel cell attached to it via a skeletal frame on the inside. “The biggest challenge was fitting the hydraulics inside, so the one-piece body can be lifted to access the battery and the rest of the electronics,” says José.

The hydraulic components are within the frame tubes, under the four gel seat pads of the shortened tail unit and custom subframe. There’s a hinge unit by the steering neck, and the body is secured to the frame by several pins. It takes just the turn of a key to release it.

Triumph Thruxton Gullwing cafe racer by Tamarit
The fairing is designed and hand-made by Tamarit, and shaped to echo the retro curves of the 300SL.

The wheels are especially stunning: they’re Kineo’s lightweight ‘Radio’ design, matched to Galfer discs and Beringer calipers, with Kustom Tech levers on the bars. The top triple tree is custom, with an inset Motogadget digital speedo and warning lights to keep the cockpit super-clean.

Triumph Thruxton Gullwing cafe racer by Tamarit
Despite the vintage look of the forks, they’re reconditioned originals—with new internals from Hagon, and chromed ‘springs’ added to the top to accentuate the retro vibe. The shocks are also deceptively modern, being Hagon ‘Nitro’ fully adjustable units with stainless steel construction.

More modernity comes from the electrics, which are routed through the omnipresent Motogadget mo.unit control box. And for easy starting, there’s a keyless mo.lock contact-free digital ignition system.

Triumph Thruxton Gullwing cafe racer by Tamarit
For us, the Gullwing X is just the right mix of ‘modern’ and ‘classic.’ The styling is faultless, it’s got oodles of power, and it’s likely to be as reliable as any modern showroom bike.

If we were putting in an order, we’d change out those Victory Classic TT tires though. This Spanish flyer looks like it could hold its own on the twisties as well as the straights.

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