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A Triumph sidecar built to deliver cold brew coffee

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
We love sidecars, but they’re usually sedate rather than sporty. And a classic café racer with a chair? That’s even more rare.

So we love the look of this most unusual combination from sunny Queensland in Australia. The ‘Cold Brew Cafe Racer’ comes from Tom Gilroy of Purpose Built Moto, and it’s built around a Triumph Scrambler.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise

The project started like many others: A couple of blokes meeting up for a beer at their local haunt. Tom’s favorite spot is the iconic Sandbar restaurant in Surfers Paradise, on the famed Gold Coast stretch of Queensland.

“I rolled up on my GS550 to see my mates Jake and Rich, who threw an idea my way,” Tom recalls. Jake’s family own the Sandbar, and the idea was to build a sidecar rig to deliver Vittoria Cold Brew Coffee to the coastal community.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
A deal was done: Tom would build the rig as a creative collaboration with the coffee company and the restaurant. And all agreed that the bike had to perform with and without the sidecar.

“When it’s not delivering a morning boost to Gold Coast residents out walking their trophy dogs, it has to handle a fast-paced Sunday afternoon run over the mountains!” says Tom.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
The donor was a 2009 Triumph Scrambler, with the air cooled 865cc parallel twin—and a 270-degree firing interval for that famous exhaust note. A Cozy sidecar would be attached, mimicking the style of the vintage Steib 350 and 500 series sidecars.

“I was glad to do something different with a Triumph,” says Tom. “They’re such a staple for custom builders—and with a sea of bolt-on parts available, it’s easy to blend into the crowd.”

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
Tom wanted a timeless look that never grows old: “A bit like a vintage Rolex.” While he set to work on the bike, he sent the sidecar body to a friend for a cleanup.

The brakes and suspension were top of the to-do list. Tom’s given the Scrambler hefty 54mm polished USD forks and twin disc brakes from a Triumph Tiger, and a custom triple clamp. He’s also lowered the forks 40mm and rebuilt them to suit the ride height with the sidecar attached.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
The rear suspension was treated to a set of all new K-Tech Bullit shocks, a spring-less system that offers an incredible ride. (“I was a little apprehensive on this one but the product over-delivered and presents a really tidy finish.”)

New wheels were the next big ticket item: specially machined alloy soft lip rims, 17” x 3.5” at the front and 17” x 5.50” at the back, laced up to the existing hubs. The massive rear wheel was wrapped in Shinko Stealth 003 rubber and required sprocket offsets to fit.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
Up top, Tom’s built a short, hooped tail with a flowing cowl and integrated lighting. And since the color scheme was to be white with metallic highlights, he decided to integrate a few touches of brass into the design. “But you have to be careful,” he acknowledges. “It’s easy to go overboard with such details.”

Look closely at the tank, and you’ll notice a subtle raised edge following the top line. “I’ve seen a lot of chopper builders using round or flat bar to add a 3D aspect to the tank design,” Tom explains. “I like the concept, so I’ve adapted it to this café racer design with 6mm solid brass rod, hand-shaped and welded to the tank and tail sections.”

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
TIG welding brass to mild steel wasn’t the easiest feat, but after a few runs and stuff-ups, Tom got the hang of it. And then he added other brass details like custom-turned EFI choke and idle controls, EFI caps and a billet brass fuel cap.

The final piece to finish off the silhouette was the front cowl, which is a 2017 Thruxton piece—modified to fit the front end, and housing custom PBM Speedhut gauges. Clip on bars are finished with new levers and PBM’s own minimalist button switches. The Tarrozzi rearsets are a very neat upgrade too, because Tom has repositioned the master directly above the right foot brake, eliminating the need for a clunky linkage.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
Tom has been dabbling in building exhaust headers, so he was determined to craft one for the Triumph in-house. He’s used a single sided 2-1 design with the collector placed just before the muffler—so the headers could frame the triangular stator covers. “When you hear it fire up [in the video below] you’ll see why we all love it so much!” says Tom.

Marios at DNA Performance Filters made a one-off set of custom brass filters, laser etched with a PBM logo. “Paired with the color-matched EFI body, brass caps and polished bowl (albeit a fake one) they look incredible. Most importantly, when on the tuning bench at Dynomite Moto they opened this torquey Triumph motor nicely.”

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
Tom gave the Triumph to his friend Jake for a shakedown run, minus the chair, on the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. “While he was out testing the bike, I was in the shop tinkering away on the sidecar.”

Tom pushed the sidecar opening back 400mm to achieve a bullet shape, and braced and hinged the body. This allowed room for a custom-built cooler to serve the bottles of cold brew.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
He also trimmed down the fender and installed new mounts, so the fender now moves with the wheel and hugs it tightly for a cleaner look. Extra lighting went in: a PBM 4.5“ LED headlight and a twin stack of prototype PBM Orbit Mini LED brake lights at the back.

New brass rods shaped onto the sidecar body match the highlights on the bike, and there’s new upholstery inside—coffee brown leather and stitching.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
The final piece of the puzzle was the intricate sidecar alignment. “Having read through a few manuals on geometry and functionality, I figured I needed some advice from those who had done it before me,” Tom admits.

“The answer was to set up some straight edges and calculate three key running factors—the toe-in, lean-out and axle lead. It took me a few rounds of fine-tuning.”

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
Tom reckons that riding the Triumph without the sidecar is an equally pleasurable experience, thanks to the suspension mods, dyno tuning and bellowing 2-1 exhaust.

“Due to the quite weighty sidecar mounts, the bike alone isn’t the nimblest performer—but you can have the time of your life leaning into some nice mountain corners, with power on tap at a slight twist of the wrist.”

Sounds like the best of both worlds to us. We’ll drink to that.

Purpose Built Moto | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Nathan Duff | Video by Electric Bubble

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