It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of Triumph’s new Thruxton R, that said, try to find someone who’s ridden one and isn’t smitten. Despite the factory option faired version looking every bit the perfect cafe racer silhouette it hasn’t taken long for one of the UK’s premiere custom shops to push the needle on the want-o-meter right off the scale.
Triumph Motorcycles and Barbour International are not only two icons of British manufacturing and enterprise but also synonymous with the spirit of motorcycling from yesteryear. This nostalgic celebration of the two brands was built by custom stalwarts Down & Out Cafe Racers. The Triumph factory have been working closely with Down & Out for a few years now and this latest bike ‘BIT2’ will certainly be one of the showstoppers this weekend when it’s unveiled at Bike Shed London 2016.
With the stock bike being so damn handsome straight from the crate the D&O team had their work cut out if ‘BIT2’ was to not only impress but also set the bar a little higher than the gorgeous Barbour Triumph Scrambler managed a couple of years ago. Repainting the factory fairing wouldn’t give the guys a chance to flex their fabricating muscle so they shaped this classically shaped bikini version from aluminium, with a trimmed bubble screen to tuck behind.
D&O Founder Shaun Walker is a bit of a neat freak and hates wires and switches on show, preferring to re-route through handlebars where possible. The Thruxton requires plenty of onboard computing to run and is packed with tech but Shaun stuck to his aesthetic guns and mated the riding mode selector and left hand switchgear through custom-made button units, hiding the wiring internally.
Barbour’s textile wizards were on-hand to upholster the cafe seat using their world renowned waxed cotton but it was up to D&O to sort tank strap. The belt from a jacket has been repurposed and now secures the brushed metal fuel tank, highlighted by subtle yet striking gold stripes that run all the way down to the hand-rolled aluminium tail.
A signature of Down & Out builds of late is the use of fat rubber, especially up front. This build is now exception with Firestone Deluxe Champions juxtaposing the Öhlins USD forks. OK so Marquez’s Sepang lap record might be safe but in terms of stance and presence this look is close to unbeatable.
For a greater sense of visual speed and more custom points, the clipons have been flipped and the clocks lowered giving a super-aggressive riding position. With space behind the nose fully occupied a classic endurance inspired headlamp is side mounted, complete with button detail from the Barbour International Triumph clothing line.
A bellowing soundtrack comes standard with all 1200cc Thruxtons but just to be sure the point is nailed home a pair of lightly baffled reverse megaphones were fitted. Don’t believe us, then check out the video below.
We are genuinely super excited about swinging a leg over this bike when it’s unveiled at Bike Shed London 2016 this Friday, and with 5 other bikes being exhibited by Down & Out we reckon they deserve a well earned beer.