New seat, new matte paint, new lights, grab rail… this is going to be a good year.
Bonneville Speed Week has just wrapped up and while the riders are busy brushing the salt off their tyres Geoff from Return of the Cafe Racers has been busy sourcing images from the various bike builders and racers. Bikes featured include works from Shinya Kamura, Low Brow Customs, MegaDeluxe and the Impossible Team. I’ve included a sample for your perusal but can see more at this link.
Finally received my new exhausts for my Triumph Bonneville! These are the Dominator Touring exhausts, made by the same guy who designed the Predator exhausts. The Dominators (on the left) look like they are screaming while the stock one on the right seems almost shy in comparison. That basically sums up the differences in the sound it makes as well. The Dominators have a beautiful growl and burble, louder without being annoying, while the stock pipes are restrained and quaint. They are well crafted, being a bit smaller and lighter than the stock pipes.
Installation was fairly straight forward. I removed a nut of the ring clamp that hold the muffler to the header pipes, undid a bolt at the back of the passenger pegs, to wriggle off the stock pipes. I reused the ring the clamp and the circular foam bits and washer from where the pipes bolt onto the bike. It took a little bit of effort to align everything as it does not quite sit as snug as the stock pipes do. The only disappointing thing is that there is no rubber stopper for the kick stand on the Dominators and it simply rests against the metal of the left muffler. Overall, it took me about 30 minutes to install and about an hour to stare and appreciate my shiny new exhausts.
I took it for a short ride tonight and it was like it had a new personality, more confident and a little bit cheeky. The sound of the exhaust resonated through the quiet suburban street and howled when I accelerated hard on an open road. It’s hard to say if there are any significant power gains or if I just like revving it more. It makes a satisfying popping sound as I decelerate but someone who knows about exhausts can tell me if that is a good thing or not!
Mine were purchased from New Bonneville and they charged about $120 for express delivery to Australia. It arrived well packed and very clean. It’s satisfying to finally have these exhausts on my bike as modern-retro bikes deserve to run with a bit more character. There may be no end to the modifications you can make to this bike but for now I’m pretty happy with how all the parts work together.
Update: Here is a profile photo of my bike with the new Dominator exhausts…
You can follow me on Instagram @jasonlauphotos.
Remember that giddy feeling when you went into your favourite toy or sweet shop? That’s the feeling I got when I stumbled onto the Cafe Twin website. They are an Italian company who sell the bits that can transform your retro twin cylinder bike into the custom machine of your dreams – if you have the money. This is best exemplified in their bountiful gallery of customised Triumph Bonnevilles, Scramblers and Thruxtons. This video below features one of their builds dreamily meandering through a folky Italian landscape just to incase you didn’t feel envious enough. Watch it full screen.
I have finally made the upgrades to my 2009 Triumph Bonneville! My main aim was to slim the bike down and give it the cafe racer look that it deserves. I found the parts from four different suppliers in three different countries! Gone are the stock lights, replaced with the oval cat-eyes tail light and mini bullet indicators. The rear indicators are relocated to the shocks. This has significantly cleaned up the rear and generally slimed down the look of the bike. The clubman handlebars are from Royal Enfield and it has neither rise nor fall, giving me a more agressive riding position, but it is kinder to the wrists than clip-ons or other clubmans. Lastly I found bar end mirrors from Moto-Deluxe on ebay which I have been very impressed with as they vibrate less than my Napoleon mirrors. Overall, I am absolutely in love with the new look of the bike.
I had the parts installed by my mechanic Brett from Madbiker in addition to my regular service. He texted me back with this message, “Your bike is ready & you’re gonna love it..”. Right he was.
This is what it looked like before…
Got my dream bike! Triumph Bonneville SE 2009 model. Used but still under warranty! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. As I stare at it in my garage, I can’t believe I actually own one – such a beautiful machine.
The best way to describe the ride is… easy. The engine barely feels like it’s ever struggling which belies the power it delivers. Steering is quick and riding is confidence inspiring. Coming from my Honda VTR 250 it certainly feels like a bigger bike but everything is in easy reach and the weight is incredibly well balanced. Just like many riders out there, I wish the pipes made a bit more noise and I wouldn’t mind the handlebars being a little further forward. Already bought some Napoleon bolt on mirrors to replace the lolly pop mirrors.
MCN recently compared it to the “new” Norton Commando and found that in the low end the Bonnie was actually quicker despite costing three times less. Can’t wait to take it on a big ride and enjoy all it’s retro goodness.