Sleeper: A stealthily upgraded Triumph Street Twin

Triumph Street Twin custom
We’re all for extreme machines that draw a crowd when parked up, but we also love ‘sleeper’ customs—those that keep their performance potential under wraps.

At first glance, this Triumph from Amsterdam looks like a regular Street Twin with a mild retro makeover. But it’ll probably get its rider from A to B faster than any other Street Twin in Europe, thanks to a heavily reworked engine and big suspension upgrades.

Triumph Street Twin custom
It belongs to sculptor Ram Katzir, whose work is shown all over the world—from theaters in Tel Aviv to parks in Japan. And when Ram isn’t working on static objects of beauty, he likes to ride fast on his bike.

The Street Twin is a terrific starting point for customization. The 270-degree crank engine has oodles of torque and feels bigger than it really is, the ergos are great, and the styling nails the classic ‘Brit bike’ look. As soon as it came out, it was a massive sales hit, and garnered plenty of positive reviews too.

Triumph Street Twin custom
Ram bought one of the first bikes to come out of the factory, and quickly starting planning a few mods.

“It started as a commissioned project, designed by me and Steven Decaluwe from Motokouture in Belgium,” Ram tells us. “We used a brand new 2016 Street Twin as the base.

Triumph Street Twin custom
“After a 5,000 km trip across Europe, from Amsterdam to Paris to Barcelona and back, I decided it could use extra power. So in 2018, Classic Bike Raisch in Germany installed their Stage 4 kit—adding 16hp to the stock bike.”

The engine work includes a new camshaft, an x-pipe for the exhaust, a new air filter cover with a bigger intake, and a Dynojet Power Commander V with custom mapping. The new mufflers are from the Italian company Spark, and at 3.5 kilos each, are under half the weight of the standard items.

Triumph Street Twin custom
The compact Street Twin now pumps out a solid 70 horsepower, with the grunt hitting the back wheel via a Renthal sprocket and DID chain. But the new suspension can handle this comfortably: the forks are from a Street Triple R, with Öhlins shocks to match.

The Triumph catalog was raided further for the F18/R17 wheels from a Thruxton R, which are now shod with Pirelli MT60 tires. At the front, stopping power increases with a Beringer four-pot caliper and Galfer disc.

Triumph Street Twin custom
Less obvious upgrades are the Rizoma bars capped with Renthal grips. The levers are from Brembo (brake) and ASV (clutch), the lighting is provided by LSL all round, and Ram has specified a Daytona rev counter to sit next to the stock Triumph speedo.

The Raisch engine mods increase the rev limit from 6500 rpm to 7500 rpm, which is still within the healthy range used by the 900 cc engine—so Ram can now keep an eye on revolutions.

Triumph Street Twin custom
The aesthetics are as sharp as the performance, thanks to the additions from Motokouture. There’s a quick release leather seat, a waspish tracker-style tail unit, new side panels and 
a custom front fender, chain guard and number plate holder.

Motokouture also built luggage racks 
and soft panniers, which Ram can install when he goes on one of his longer rides.

Triumph Street Twin custom
This is one of those customs that hits the sweet spot between form and function. And exactly the type of bike we’d love to take on a massive road trip around Europe right now.

Ram Katzir | Instagram | Images by Paul van Mondfrans Lindén

Triumph Street Twin custom