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Canadian Cool: A Bonneville bobber from Origin8or

Canadian Cool: A Triumph Bonneville bobber by Origin8or Cycles
Classic Triumph bobbers tend to be commissioned by riders with many years and miles under their belts. After all, it usually takes time to appreciate the elegance and understated style of a hardtail build.

This spectacular Bonneville from Rob Chappell of Origin8or Cycles has a very different backstory, though. “The owner is a new rider with just two years under his belt, on a Honda Rebel,” Rob tells us. “He wanted a classic ride in his stable as well.”

Canadian Cool: A Triumph Bonneville bobber by Origin8or Cycles
The client may be a newbie, but he has excellent taste—and he picked the right guy for the job. Rob is based in Oshawa, a small city on the Lake Ontario shoreline in Canada, but his reputation extends worldwide.

He first made a name for himself as half of Chappell Customs, which is now run by his brother Chris in L.A.—some 2,500 miles away.

Canadian Cool: A Triumph Bonneville bobber by Origin8or Cycles
The Triumph is the 26th build to roll out of the Origin8or Cycles shop, and work began in Jan 2020. “But by March, COVID hit us,” says Rob. “Most businesses were closed, or only open sporadically. Supply chains took a hit and it basically stalled for three entire months. So the bike that was promised for June got delivered in September.”

Rob started with a 1968 Bonneville frame, but set the engine aside and installed a T120 650 motor from 1972. This has been upgraded with a new barrel and pistons via a 750 kit, to match the capacity of later Meriden Bonnies. Rob has also installed new valves and springs, plus hotter cams.

Canadian Cool: A Triumph Bonneville bobber by Origin8or Cycles
For the exhaust system, Rob has modified a Lowbrow Customs unit, adding internal baffles to keep the sound level down a little, and stainless turnouts

Once the rebuilt engine was slotted into the frame, Rob bolted on a hardtail conversion (also from Lowbrow), and added LED turn signals on the lower rails. The hardtail gives a 4″ stretch over the stock wheelbase, and a 2″ drop.

Canadian Cool: A Triumph Bonneville bobber by Origin8or Cycles
Both the original front end and the new hardtail are finished in a rich bronze metallic—a glossy ‘Super Rootbeer’ powder from Prismatic Powder, applied by by Flash Fire Coatings.

For rims, Rob has selected Borrani hoops: 19″ at the front and 18″ at the back, and installed disc brakes plumbed into braided lines. The rear brake is a modern touch—it uses a Suzuki GSX-R750 caliper—and the tires are Michelin Pilots rather than the Firestones you’d normally see on a build of this type.

Canadian Cool: A Triumph Bonneville bobber by Origin8or Cycles
The electrical system gets an upgrade too, with a tiny 8-cell Antigravity battery housed snugly in a discreet box from LC Fabrications. Juice goes to a trad headlight up front, but the rear lighting is via LED, and there’s a modern Koso gauge just ahead of the clip-ons. The bars are finished off with Vans grips, bar-end mirrors and discreet bar-end blinkers.

To ease the owner’s transition into riding the bobber, Rob has kept the hand controls as familiar as possible. “We covered him for Hi/Low lights, a horn and turn signals. Other than the deleted front fender, the bike is legal for the road.”

Canadian Cool: A Triumph Bonneville bobber by Origin8or Cycles
Chunky MX footpegs provide plenty of grip further down, and there’s a spring-mounted pleated leather seat from Las Vegas-based Motosaddle.

The paint on the tank and snug-fitting rear fender is a low-key gunmetal grey, a perfect match for the bronze powder on the frame. It was shot by Ontario local Mat Tobin of Jensens Custom, who also created the classic script Triumph logo—using gold leaf with a root beer drop shadow, all under satin clear

Canadian Cool: A Triumph Bonneville bobber by Origin8or Cycles
Parts supply problems spilled over into the photo shoot, though. “Waiting on some parts meant the shoot happened before the bike was finished,” says Rob. “The PWK carburetors have since been swapped for new Amal 930 MK1 concentrics spruced up with LC Fabrication brass tops, and the front brake fluid reservoir has been swapped out for a small billet unit.”

The Bonnie looks damn good to us as it is. And it’s a fantastic achievement on Rob’s part, given the difficulties he faced. A Triumph over adversity, you might say.

Origin8or Cycles | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Ben Quinn

Canadian Cool: A Triumph Bonneville bobber by Origin8or Cycles

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