Somehow it seems only fair that the first bike Barnett’s Magazine Online profiles from Jack Cofano’s photo galleries from recent Smoke Out, known for its brand diversity, should be a non-Harley (although there will be plenty of those to come). Yeah, it’s not only a Triumph, but a modern day version instead of the usually expected classic vertical twin from Old Blighty. Nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned anyway as Smoke Out produces some of the most unusual and interesting bikes in a world of ‘same old’ customs.
Tim Bradham of TBC Hot Rods & Bikes in Fayetteville, North Carolina, is the man to point a finger at if for some stupid reason you hate anything non-Harley. Tim’s been turning out a bunch of Harley customs along with race cars and hot rods to die for so he’s got an open mind and I can only hope you do to. Getting back to the Triumph aspect, most bobber/chopper Triumphs are built from the older 650/750cc Meriden machines, but this little baby was built from a late model reincarnated Triumph which is a bit unusual as it’s not as easy to build around the physically larger twin. Most builders scratch their heads and try to figure out what to do and then go find an old classic version.
Not Tim, though, who could see where he wanted to go with the 2005 Triumph Bonneville and dove in headfirst until he had a charming bobber that can not only cut it at the Smoke Out, but turns out to be a fun, rideable and reliable bobber for the street. Not only that, but it’s an affordable custom too with used late model Triumphs being priced pretty damn decently.
Using the resources and the people at his shop, Tim, along with Josh Cipra, fabbed up the hardtail conversion to set the bobber tone for this build. If the front end looks surprisingly familiar to youBarnett’s Magazine Online readers, that’s because it’s from a Sportster along with the front brake too. Tim stuck with the Triumph rear brake and a set of laced wheels in rideable sizes that are not only nice and tidy, but look right. No ridiculously fat or twisted spokes, just the straight old kind I’d choose myself.
The Bonneville engine provides ample power as is for a bobber ride, but Tim livened things up a bit both in power and looks. The stock black engine finish was fine as is and it helps to diminish the physical size of 790cc twin. Tim got rid of the big stock air box for a set of always stylish small K&N filter pods and really knocked it out of the park with the gorgeous GT40-style bundle of snakes 2-into-1 stainless exhaust that ends in a perfectly proportioned megaphone. Nice stuff Tim. Like any Harley, the Triumph twin responds nicely to intake and exhaust mods that make it quite a bit peppier (and considerably louder) in the real world without affecting day-to-day reliability.
Tim had TBC’s in-house painter, Robbie Lynch, paint the tins gloss black that contrasted nicely with the flat black finish chosen for the frame. A dash of British flag graphics on the tank provides the only obvious bling and that seems like one thing any Brit bike has to have. A wide Biltwell sprung saddle featuring a diamond pattern cover sits comfortably from the mini-apes which look appropriately aggressive, but not over the top. You could sit on this bike for a long time with this combo while the pretty damn smooth counterbalanced twin does its best to make sure not to intrude with a passel of needless vibrations. All in all, this bike is a hit with me as it hits all the right notes for me personally without being a pain in the ass to live with.
If that sounds like a winning formula to you too, check out Tim’s website and blog for more info atwww.tbcworks.com. While you’re there be sure to check out the Harleys and hot rods too.