From Thruxton to Traxton: Street Tracker from Speakeasy Motors, et al.
Introduced at Bike Shed London in 2015, the Triumph Thruxton R was the sharp point of the Bonneville range, a modern café racer with multi-adjustable Showa Big Piston Forks, twin Öhlins piggyback shocks, sticky Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa rubber, and Triumph’s 96-bhp liquid-cooled, 1200cc “High Torque” parallel twin cylinder engine.
“It was a fine-handling, fast, easy to ride and above all fun motorcycle in its own right and even had a devilish appetite for skids and wheelies when you turned the electronics off.” —MCN
Our friend Sean White of Fast for Fun proved just that, pushing the hooligan envelope with his 2016 Thruxton R, purchased from Fredericktown Triumph. In fact, we featured a video of him taking his “Dirty Thruxton” on woods rides, doing ice wheelies on a frozen lake, and riding in various MotoJam Productions events — organizers of App MotoJam, SaltCity Flat Track, Winter HillClimb, and other hooligan-style events.
Later, Vince Perry of VPCycle loaned Sean a Yamaha TT500 to turn a few laps on a flat track oval:
“The first lap I knew I was hooked, and that I needed to get the Thruxton out there to do some left turns in the dirt. That’s when a team of awesome local shops stepped in to make the flat track dream a reality.”
Evan Favaro of Speakeasy Motors, Brian Ballard A&J Cycles, and Vince Perry of VP Cycle stepped up to help transform this factory café racer into one sexy street-legal tracker. Highlights include a shorter OEM Triumph Bobber tank, Saddlemen tail section, hand-formed aluminum number plate with quick-disconnect lightbar, 19” Sun wheels, Zard exhaust, nitrous blue paint, and even a removable kick stand spacer for switching between 17” and 19” wheels!
Fish Brothers Upholstery stitched up a custom seat, Bert Graphix laid down the custom pinstriping and gold leaf, and Johnny’s Laser engraved the tank strap. This Thruxton has become the “Traxton R,” and it’s currently making the rounds at several bike shows and events. Below, Sean gives us the full story on this Thruxton street tracker.
Thruxton Street Tracker: Owner Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Sean White, I am the owner and content creator for Fast for Fun. I began riding at the age of 5 with family, and have worked in the motorcycle industry since age 15.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
2016 Triumph Thruxton R purchased at Fredericktown Triumph in Frederick, MD.
• Why was this bike built?
This build has evolved from the form follows function mantra. From the first eye-opening woods ride after mounting the Free Spirits fat bar conversion, the modifications that followed were aimed at increasing this café racer’s hooligan riding credibilities. The bike was originally built to compete in the MotoJam Productions hooligan events. From mountaintops to frozen lakes and the trails in between, the do it all — Bonneville formula of the 60’s still works today. After spending some time riding the ice oval, Vince Perry of VPCycle loaned me a Yamaha TT500 to ride at an open practice. The first lap I knew I was hooked, and that I needed to get the Thruxton out there to do some left turns in the dirt. That’s when a team of awesome local shops stepped in to make the flat track dream a reality.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Flat Tracker/Hooligan race bike, a look back at Triumph’s time in flat track.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- Custom cutting and mounting of OEM Triumph Bobber tank using modified Thruxton R tank strap (engraved by @johnnyslaser); this is to allow the rider the ability to move forward on the bike as compared to the longer Thruxton tank.
- Chopped rear frame section to mount Saddlemen tail section with integrated LED tail light and quick disconnect harness for track use.
- Hand-formed aluminum number plate with removable LED light bar with quick disconnect harness for track use.
- Modified Free Spirits triple clamp to allow for much more steering angle.
- Removable kick stand spacer for correcting height when switching between 17” and 19” wheels
- Free Spirits Fat Bar Conversion Clamp
- Zard exhaust
- 19” Sun wheels laced to Sun Rims laced by Mike Di Rienzo of Paul Jr Designs (@mike_mechanic_pjd)
- Shinko Tires
- Motone gas cap
Provided by Vince Perry of VP Cycle (@vpcycle):
- Saddlemen tail
- Custom nitrous blue paint
- Custom stitched seat
- Custom pinstriping/leafing
Provided by Johnny’s Laser (@johnnyslaser):
- Laser engraving of tank strap
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
Classy, inspiring, and intoxicating like a glass of Speakeasy Motors Whiskey.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
On a personal note, riding this bike many places a Thruxton has never been before. For the build itself, following the quality over quantity formula to build a bike that looks unique while still having an OEM quality and appeal.
Builders / Sponsors
Mike Di Rienzo