A&J Cycles builds a high-performance retro roadster…
The 2022 Triumph Speed Twin has been called the best Bonnie of the lot, featuring a new 43mm Marzocchi fork, Brembo M50 monobloc calipers, 320mm discs, and 99 hp from the 1200cc liquid-cooled twin. Though the style is decidedly old-school, the bike’s performance is 21st century:
“It might look retro, but the Speed Twin’s performance really isn’t. It feels like the only thing that would keep it from nipping at the heels of the 900 nakeds we just tested last week is its 480-lb or so weight, and even that’s only 14 pounds heavier than the Kawasaki Z900.” –Motorcycle.com
Recently, we heard from our friend Brian Ballard of A&J Cycles — an NY-based shop that prides itself on being a one-stop shop for Triumph enthusiasts across the globe. Over the past decade, the shop has evolved from selling parts out of a bedroom closet to customizing modern Triumphs, using their in-house skills and a catalogue of high end components from their online store.
For this build, customer Spencer provided a few desired parameters and the paint choice — Aston Martin Hammerhead Silver Paint, laid down by Slag Kustom. Says Brian:
“Customer was looking to improve performance, handling, and aesthetics. He wanted a classic, clean, cool look, and not the fastest or most retro/hipster build. The desired end state was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I think we accomplished that.”
Brian readily admits that the bike might not be a full-blown custom, but it shows what can be done with off-the-shelf parts, paint and powder, and a good bit of expertise with modern Triumphs. This Speed Twin is now rolling on Nitron suspension, including a front cartridge kit and R3 3-way adjustable rear shocks, while an Öhlins steering damper keeps the bike tracking straight over rough roads.
Dave Nixon handled the ECU tune — combined with the British Customs 2:1 exhaust and DNA intake, this Speed Twin is now estimated to make around 105 rwhp — 15 more than stock. All of the lighting has been updated, and the bike is rocking accessories wherever you look: LED lighting, aftermarket rear sets, new emblems / mirrors / levers, and much more. Tom at TRG Coating handled the powder coating, while Fish Brothers Upholstery did up the custom seat cover with new foam and gel insert.
The customer, Spencer, was blown away with the result:
“Oh, man, she’s brilliant!!! The handling, performance and sound are perfect. Went out for an extended ride over the weekend haven’t had that much fun in a long time.”
Below, Brian Ballard gives us more details on the build, and thanks goes out to Antonio Carusone for the photography.
Custom Speed Twin: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
2022 Triumph Speed Twin.
• Why was this bike built?
Bike was built for our customer Spencer.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Customer was looking to improve performance, handling, and aesthetics. He wanted a classic, clean, cool look, and not the fastest or most retro/hipster build. The desired end state was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I think we accomplished that.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The bike is a compilation of high end parts, clean paint, and powdercoating. While not a full blown custom bike, it shows what can be done to create a unique bike with bolt-on parts, paint, and powdercoat that performs and handles night and day differently than a stock bike.
The bike was built completely with parts available to the end consumer to install in their garage.
- British Customs Carbon Predator 2:1 Exhaust
- Nitron R3 Piggyback Shocks (Stealth)
- Nitron TVT25 Front Cartridge Kit
- Öhlins Blackline Steering Damper
- Sato Rearsets
- Triumph Euro Tail Light
- Arton Works Vintage Gauge Faces and Spec B Gauge Cover
- Motoism Mini Union LED Turn Signals
- Motodemic Adaptive LED Headlight
- Classicbike Raisch Tail Tidy
- Motone Customs Helmet Lock, Black Fork Stem Nut and Axle Adjusters
- LSL 1 1/8″ Handlebar Risers
- Rizoma Adjustable Plus Levers, Windscreen and Eccentrico Mirrors
- Evotech Performance Radiator Guard, Lower Engine Guard, Engine Crash Guards and
- Weighted Bar End Sliders
- Beeline GPS and Handlebar Mount
- Free Spirits Shock Dress Up Bolt Kit and Passenger Peg Eliminators
- DNA Air Filter
- ECU Tune by Dave Nixon (Estimated at around 105 RWHP)
- Black Triumph Tank Emblems
- STS Smart Self Cancelling Turn Signal Module
- Super Corse Oil Temp Gauge
- Aston Martin Hammerhead Silver Paint by Dave @slagkustom
- Powdercoat by @TRGCoating (Triple Trees, Swingarm various other components)
- Custom seat cover along with new foam and gel insert by @fishbrothersupholstery
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?
From our customer: Oh, man, she’s brilliant!!! The handling, performance and sound are perfect. Went out for an extended ride over the weekend haven’t had that much fun in a long time.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Just the end result and working with the local folks we always do in order to make a customer’s vision a reality. The customer provided some loose parameters to work within and picked the color, and we took it from there.
• Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
The guys at the shop — Dan, Ryan, and Mike. Antonio Carusone for always making our bikes look great. Dave at Slag Kustom (painter), Tom at TRG Coating (our resident powdercoater for the past 15+ years), Fish Brothers Upholstery (Seat). Dave Nixon for the ECU Tune.
Follow A&J Cycles
More A&J Cycles Builds