A Speed Triple 1050 inspired by 90s sportbikes…
The Triumph Speed Triple was one of the first and most formidable production streetfighters, a bug-eyed brute with a high-powered three-cylinder triple and scant bodywork. With the introduction of the Speed Triple 1050 in 2005, the mighty steed could boast 128 bhp and a top speed of nearly 155 mph:
“Triumph’s Speed Triple 1050 is one factory Streetfighter than delivers the goods…. It sounds beautiful and the fact that it’s a big heavy lump that needs manhandling round corners actually attracts devotees. The Speed Triple always was, and remains, a bit of a Rottweiler.” —MCN
But wait, you’re thinking, wasn’t the Speed Triple a naked bike? Indeed, normally it is, but the machine you see here is the work of our new friend Frédéric Lagarde of Tumulte, who was a GT race car engineer for more than a decade when he began customizing motorcycles five years ago.
This 2009 Triumph Speed Triple 1050 is Frédéric’s own personal bike, and he had a clear vision in mind:
“The Triumph Speed Triple RC30 is for me the wedding between old and modern bikes! The goal was to custom a modern bike, with a good chassis and a nice engine, to make it look from the nineties.”
As you may have recognized, the front fairing is indeed from the legendary Honda RC30, though it had to be heavily modified to work with the Triumph’s existing headlights and chassis. The rear bodywork is custom-made, inspired by tail section of the Ducati 916. The colorway, however, is pure Triumph:
“The idea was to imagine what could have been a race bike from Triumph, in this decade, which also explains the choice of colors.”
This racy Speed Triple is now sporting clipons, rearsets, Arrow silencers, and a custom license plate support, which is available for sale. Gold-painted wheels with Pirelli Supercorsa rubber are coming soon. Frédéric says the bike is amazing to ride:
“It’s quite radical! With the clipons, the riding position is very forward — really good for pushing hard in the long fast corners. And once again, the three-cylinder engine is wonderful!”
Below, we talk to Frédéric for the full details on the build.
Speed Triple Sport Bike: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I started as a race engineer in GT cars for more than 10 years, so I have a solid experience in mechanics, welding, wiring and reliability!
I did my first custom on a BMW K75 about five years ago, in my house’s little garage, then I customized some bikes for friends, and then friends of friends…
I moved into my first workshop in 2018 when I had more customers and needed more space! Now I am currently buying a new workshop that I can arrange like I want, so I’ll have a perfect place to receive customers and work in the best conditions.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Make = Triumph
Model = Speed Triple 1050
Year = 2009
• Why was this bike built?
This bike was built for myself, to finally have a decent bike to ride. I like to push, and I like also 90s design, so this bike was the perfect base to work on! The idea was also to keep this bike to promote my company at various events, and display my style and my skills.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I wanted to have a modern bike with a good chassis and engine (three cylinders, I love it!) to be able to go for long and fast rides, and to give it a “young-timer” look, like the sports bikes from the nineties. I love the fact that a lot of people think it’s an old bike, and only when I start the engine do they figure out that this is a cool Triumph!
I wanted iconic bodywork, so I adapted the front from an Honda RC30 and the rear is custom-made, but very much inspired by the Ducati 916 (the rear light is from that bike).
The idea was to imagine what could have been a race bike from Triumph, in this decade, which also explains the choice of colors.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The front end keeps the original lights, but with a new fairing coming from the mythic Honda RC30 (with some necessary modifications) and a pair of clipons. For the rear, the bodywork is all custom made, but inspired by the Ducati 916.
The green / gold colors give the bike a real English touch! The bike seems to come out directly from a paddock in the nineties!
More: rearset controls, a shifter for quicker gear changes, and Arrow mufflers from the Triumph catalog — the sound of the three cylinders, love it!
This English bike has road-use tires right now, but will be equipped soon with a new set, more racing-type rubber like Pirelli Supercorsa, and the rims will be painted in gold, for more of the 90’s look!
The offset license plate support is homemade and available for sale — it really helps to clean the rear design. Everything is about racing on this bike!
• Does the bike have a nickname?
No specifically, only Speed Triple RC30 for the reminder of the iconic Honda 😉
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride the completed bike?
It’s quite radical! With the clipons, the riding position is very forward — really good for pushing hard in the long fast corners. And once again, the three-cylinder engine is wonderful! With my large size (1m95) and my long legs, it’s actually great for long rides and “quite comfortable.”
I’ve already done 2000 km with this bike, and I enjoyed it a lot, even with one off-road excursion 😀
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The main challenge was actually the adaptation of the front fairing, and the design of the rear. I’m not a specialist of the fiberglass, but I’m quite happy with the result!