Recently, Ivo Tschumi of Switzerland’s Britalmoto blew us away with his “Robe Tracker,” a Triumph Thruxton Tracker he built while recovering from a high-side at the track. Now Ivo is back with a modern Triton cafe racer, a Norton Commando 961 frame fitted with a Triumph Thruxton engine. We’ll let Ivo give you the details.
Contemporary Triton Cafe Racer: in the Builder’s Words
The name “Triton” is a combination of “Triumph” and “Norton.” One says that a Triton combines the best of a Triumph and a Norton. It is a fact, that Norton built, with its Featherbead frame, the best frame commercially available in the 60’s. The frame was developed originally for the legendary Noton Manx race bikes, but found its way into the mass production bikes in the form of the “Slimline” and “Wideline” versions.
Triumph, on the other hand, built the excellent Twin Cylinder engines (T100, T120, T140), which all were based on the design on the “Speed Twin” introduced in 1937. It was therefore not more than logical, that ingenious brains came up with the idea to combine the two outstanding components.
One of the best known builder of Tritons certainly was Dave Degens. He was not only commercially successful, but also showed on the race track how superior a Triton was by winning the prestigious 1965 Barcelona 24h race at Montjuic Park. The Triton then became the “poor mans” race bike and resulted as synonym for the “Cafe Racer” cult in the 60’s.
Each and every Triton is unique and until today a very sought-after motorcycle. It is therefore not more than logical again, after revival of Triumph and Norton, to combine these two products.
On one side, Triumph Hinkley is building since 2001 successfully air cooled twin cylinder motorcycles which have, with regard to quality, a superior reputation. Especially the engines are very reliable and have a large tuning potential. With regard to the rolling chassis and design people have different opinons.
On the other side, Norton is building since 2009 the new “Commando.” This bike attracted instantly the interest of the motorcycling public. The new “Commando 961” is an excellent bike, especially the rolling chassis. But with regard to the engine and transmission, a few major flaws came to light. Hence the situation today is very similar to the one in the 60’s.
Britalmoto therefore decided to combine the best of the two worlds again…
One of our customers had bought a new Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer. As many others he was unhappy with the engine and transmission. Because he knew the potential of the new Triumph Twin Engines he asked us to transform his Norton into a “New Triton.”
What sounds easy developed into a 450-hour project.
Extensive modification on the Norton frame were necessary to fit the Triumph engine. All engine mounting points and swing arm supports had to be re-engineered and fabricated in house. The swing arm pivot point has been located such that it is almost identical to the original and the excellent road performance of the Norton chassis is maintained.
Further, our customer wasn’t satisfied with the performance oft he original Triumph engine for his dream bike. So is was decided to install the 1087ccm, 96HP, 104Nm (measured at the rear wheel) version. To match the increased power oft he engine, new enlarged primary pipes made from stainless steel and QD silencers were installed.
An other issue was the original design oft he rear seat assembly. It was felt as being too big. We therefore designed and manufactured a seat which suited our taste.
Finally, it was not our intention to build a typical custom bike but to keep the character and the original appearance oft the Norton Commando 961. One should only see at second glance that it is not a repainted Norton but a true New Triton.
Triton Cafe Racer: Technical Facts
- Bike Name: Triton (New Triton)
- Owner: Werner Näf
- Base Model: Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer 2011
- Builder: Britalmoto (Fritz+Ivo Tschumi)
- Time: 450 hours
- Year: 2013
- City: Siglistorf
- Country: Switzerland
- Web: www.britalmoto.com
Make and Model:Triumph Thruxton EFI
Leistung: 96 rwhp and max.torque 104Nm
– Big bore kit(new cylinder with increased bore and crankshaft with increased stroke): 1084cc air-/oil-cooled
– bigger In-and exhaust Valves
– Throttle body modified
– Camshafts from Bonneville 790
– Carillo connecting rods
– EBC Racing clutch/stronger clutch-springs
Exhaust: self made by Rieben Cars and Britalmoto/QD silencers
Rolling Chasis & Accesories
Frame: Norton Commando 961 modified for Triumph engine
Fork: Öhlins USD
Triple Trees: Norton Commando
Headlight holder: Britalmoto
Hand Controls: stock Norton/Triumph
Front wheel: stock Norton 3.5×17“ / 120/70 ZR17
Rear wheel: stock Triumph Thruxton 5.0×17“ 170/60 ZR17
Calipers: (front)Brembo radial calipers / (rear) Nissin original Triumph Thruxton
Gas Tank: stock Norton
Foot controls: Free Spirits/Britalmoto
Seat: selfmade Britalmoto
Swingarm: Triumph Thruxton
Other: all modifications on engine, frame(except welding the engine holding plates) are done by Britalmoto. Also the drawings, design of the parts and the seat, manufacturing of the new holding plates, design of paint etc. are done by Fritz and Ivo Tschumi.