Friday, November 16, 2012

Champions Moto’s hot-rod Triumph line-up revives 1960s style

custom-built retro-style Triumph
custom-built retro-style Triumph custom-built retro-style Triumph custom-built retro-style Triumph
From left, above: Champions Moto's SO-CAL Miler, Streetmaster and Brighton, all of which are powered by an 865cc, 78bhp parallel-twin from Triumph. We love the Streetmaster!

Based in Costa Mesa, California, Champions Moto recently unveiled a range of three retro-style bikes based on modified Triumph machines. ‘All three meld vintage 1960s style inspired by the British bikes ridden by Steve McQueen and James Dean, imbued with modern technology for maximum performance, handling and reliability,’ says a press release from the company.

Champions Moto use their own custom-built frames and body parts (fuel tanks, fenders etc.) along with contemporary Triumph engines and gearboxes to create their unique motorcycles. ‘As a British bike enthusiast, I wanted a motorcycle that looked like a flat track racer or café racer from the ’60s, but with the reliability of a modern superbike,’ says Champions Moto co-founder, Richard Varner. ‘We couldn’t find a turn-key motorcycle offering the type of performance and appearance we were looking for in a bike, so we decided to build our own. We set out to create a trio of completely different models that allows customers to order exactly what they want – a truly bespoke hand-built motorcycle,’ he adds.

Of the three new bikes that Champions Moto have built, first up is the SO-CAL Miler, which is fitted with the Triumph Bonneville’s 865cc twin-cylinder engine, with ported heads, lightened flywheel, high-lift cams, programmable ignition and 39mm carbs. With 78bhp and 74Nm of torque, the engine is well up to the task of propelling the Miler, which weighs 160kg. The bike rides on 19-inch wire-spoke wheels shod with Dunlop dirt track rubber and running gear includes Buell Cyclone M2 forks, Race Tech shocks and Brembo brakes. The chassis, swingarm, seat unit, fuel tank, clip-on handlebars and even the exhaust system are all custom-built by Champions Moto. Only 20 of these bikes will be built and you can have one for US$37,000.

Up next is the one that’s our favourite, the Streetmaster street tracker, which uses the same 865cc parallel-twin as the Miler, with the same power and torque figures. The Streetmaster also rides on 19-inch wire-spoke wheels, but the front fork is from the Triumph Speed Triple and the brakes are from Wilwood. The chassis, swingarm, clip-ons, seat, tank and titanium exhaust are all custom-built by CM and the bike weighs just 137 kilos.

And finally, there’s the Brighton, which also uses the same engine and running gear as the other two but rides on 18-inch wheels shod with vintage-style Dunlop tyres and weighs 160kg. As with the other two bikes, the Brighton also costs US$37,000. For more information, visit the Champions Moto website

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