Master Class: 1970 Triumph TR6 Bobber

Triumph TR6 Bobber

Heiwa Motorcycle’s Triumph TR6 “Parrot Star”… 

The Triumph TR6 was the single-carb version of Triumph’s 650 twin, originally known as the Trophy and then as the Tiger from 1969 onwards. While the dual-carb Bonneville received most of the limelight, the TR6 would become the quintessential desert sled for off-road racing in the United States, and many riders came to prefer the Trophy / Tiger over the Bonnie:

“People who will tell you that the single-carb TR6 of the very late 1960s was and is a better bike to ride than the Bonneville of the same era (in the following breath they’ll go on about the low-revving flexibility and clean carburation of the TR6, and the T120’s harsher nature…)” –Classic Bike Hub

For 1970, there were four models in the TR6 lineup: the standard TR6, TR6R roadster, TR6C (competition) street scrambler with high pipes, and the TR6P police version. In a period test, the TR6R ran the quarter-mile in 14.2 seconds at 92 mph and went on to a top speed of 103 mph — solid numbers for a single-carb twin of the day.

Triumph TR6 Bobber

Of course, the 1970 TR6 Tiger you see here is a far cry from original. It’s the work of one of Japan’s most respected custom builders, Kengo Kimura of Heiwa Motorcycle. Kengo began riding motocross at the age of 10. When he was 23, a fractured femur forced him to retire from racing, but he’d started working in the custom department of a local shop and opened his own workshop, Heiwa Motorcycle, in 2005.

“The company name means ‘peace,’ a paean to his city’s post-nuclear cry for world harmony…” —The Vintagent

Triumph TR6 Bobber

Over the years, Kengo’s two-wheeled creations have brought him international renown, and he’s well known for Triumph TR6 customs like his “MasterPeace” and “Dirty Pigeon” builds, which both took “Best in Show” at the prestigious Yokohama Hot Rod & Custom Show (Mooneyes Show).

Triumph TR6 Bobber

Now Kengo is back with this gorgeous 1970 TR6 bobber dubbed “Parrot Star,” which was exhibited at the 2023 Mooneyes Show. Really, only the engine is from 1970, as Kengo fabricated the single-downtube, mono-shock frame and swingarm himself.

Triumph TR6 Bobber

The one-off oil tank hides the rear shock, giving the bike the look of a rigid bobber, and there is none of the empty triangle look here. Rather, the side covers house a custom air cleaner.

Up front, there’s a set of Kayaba forks, and the bike is rolling on custom-laced 2.5-19″ (front) and 2.5-18″ (rear) wheels with a Robinson 2LS (dual leading shoe) front hub / drum brake.

Triumph TR6 Bobber

The engine has been highly modified as well. Says Kengo:

“The key point of this build is that the primary was changed to a belt drive, and the primary cover was designed and manufactured in three pieces.”

Triumph TR6 Bobber

Kengo always builds some of our favorite exhaust systems, and this one pays tribute to the high-mounted scrambler exhaust of the TR6C, with a gentle, lovely rise toward the rear and integrated heat shields.

Triumph TR6 Bobber

The paint is the work of Shakin’ Speedgraphix, who laid down the olive green metallic and dark green metallic colors.

Triumph TR6 Bobber

The tank was hand-hammered from aluminum, made to sit nice and low on the backbone of the frame, and so many other elements of the bike are one-off creations: the tail section, headlight cowl, top yoke with integrated risers, handlebars, pegs, controls, oil tank…the list goes on.

Birds of peace — including pigeons, doves, and paper cranes — are important to the culture of Hiroshima, and Heiwa Motorcycle’s logo bears a painted bird. So it comes as no surprise that winged tings turn up in the names of many of Kengo’s projects: “Dirty Pigeon, Bull Pigeon, etc.” This one he’s dubbed “Parrot Star.”

“There is no origin for the name Parrot Star. It’s intuition.”

Triumph TR6 Bobber

This TR6 custom was a highlight of the Mooneyes Show — the work of a master craftsman at the top of his game. We’re honored to feature it, and a special thanks goes out to Kimura-san himself and our friend Kaz Matsumoto (@steeldog_photo) for the gorgeous photography. Enjoy!

Triumph TR6 Bobber

“Parrot Star” Triumph: Build Sheet

Name: Parrot Star
Year: 1970
Builder: Kengo Kimura
Model: Triumph tR6
Year: 1970

Ignition: Full transistor
Carburetor: Mikuni VM32
Air Filter: one-off air cleaner
Pipe (Muffler): One-off

Painter: Shakin’ Speedgraphix
Color: Olive Green Metallic / Dark Green Metallic
Special Coating: urethane

Frame: All handmade one-off
Swingarm: One-off
Builder: Kengo Kimura

Bars: One-off
Controls: One-off
Grips: Kijima
Stabilizer: One-off
Seat cowl: One-off
Headlight cowl: one-off
Tail light: HEIWA
Speedometer: Digital meter
Foot controls: One-off
Pegs: One-off
Gas tank: One-off hammered aluminum
Oil tank: One-off
Seat: One-off

Front fork
Manufacturer: Kayaba
Type: 50mm

Wheels / Brakes:
Front Wheel Size: 2.50-19
Tire: 4.50-19
Brake Calipers: Robinson Double Two Leading
Rear Wheel Size: 2.50-18
Tire: 4.50-18

Triumph TR6 Bobber


Follow the Builder

Instagram: @heiwamc

Photography & Interview

Photographer: Kazuo Matsumoto, @steeldog_photo

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  1. Le gomme mi fanno impazzire

  2. Nice machine.
    IDK how one can register it.
    But it has an incredible about of work into it. I don’t love the frame . But it’s ingenious for sure.

  3. Bradley Hardacre

    Beautiful bike, wouldn’t call it a ‘bobber‘ though.

  4. Just one word: ; beautiful 👍

  5. Kimura is one of the best. Amazing machine!

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