It’s often said that owners are like their dogs, I’ve seen enough combos to be in agreement.
The same is also true for some bike builders. Anthony Partridge is a feisty dude with more energy packed into his squat frame than a classroom full of over Haribo’d toddlers. Not surprising then that this fire breathing drag bike is what rolled off his bench at Goblin Works Garage when Dutch watch brand TW Steel asked for a collab build.
TW Steel’s Auke Possel knew what he was in for though, telling us “We met at Wheels & Waves some years ago when Anthony showcased his Yamaha XV950 Playa del Rey. Riding this stunning machine around the mountains, we had a good time sharing ideas and just having fun. Appreciating Anthony’s crazy ideas and fearless attitude, we knew we were going to join forces at some point. So when we wanted to build a beast to complement our previous beauties, there was only one man I could think of.”
While the TW Steel horologists set to work designing a new 48mm Maverick timepiece to accompany the collaboration Partridge took delivery of a highly acclaimed Yamaha MT10, and promptly ripped it to pieces. The MT doesn’t exactly lend itself as an obvious donor for a traditionally styled custom, which is handy as Partridge isn’t one for following the herd. Instead a full composite body was made, including the aero nose section, mimicking a carbon girder fork which this build budget and timescale didn’t allow for. Well known Brit paintshop Image Design Custom took care of the graphics and matt graphite finish.
Partridge is no wilting wallflower and likes to impart his exuberant personality on the mechanicals of a project rather just tart-up a bike for the cameras, he wanted the already powerful 1000cc cross plane cranked four-banger to pack proper punch on the on the drag strip. After all, TW Steel work with properly fast folk such as Mick Doohan, Valentino Rossi, Emerson Fittipaldi and David Coulthard, so the Tempus Fury needed to top the time sheets. Extreme Creations from Australia shipped a turbo kit specifically developed for the MT10, hiking power to a proven 202 hp, running just 7 psi of boost. There’s plenty of room for scary figures with a few tweaks as the kit runs its own oil scavenge system to feed the ball bearing 320 hp Garrett turbo. PCR Performance dialled-in the conversion on their dyno confirming the numbers, so any excuses now are all the rider’s.
Seeing as the first few meters of a drag race are the most critical getting the power transmitted to the Tarmac is key for a decent 1/4 mile time so Nottinghamshire based GIA Engineering were called-in to fabricate a new extended swingarm. Super lightweight Boost carbon wheels by Rotobox from Slovenia look damn sexy and shed a bunch of unsprung weight – every gram counts when trying to defy gravity. Sticky Shinko Hook Up drag tyres are as soft a compound as is road legal and should last a whole day – at least.
The rear shock needed a huge range of adjustability as Partridge was in relatively new territory with a machine sporting this spec and geometry. An Öhlins TTX GP was chosen, not only for the obvious quality and alignment with Yamaha’s racing operations but also the easy access to a plethora of alternative springs – and technical support. When we spoke to Partridge recently he’d been experimenting with pull-down straps for the forks to eliminate see-sawing under hard acceleration.
Hopefully Tempus Fury will remain upright as Partridge attempts to dip below 9 seconds for the 1/4 mile but should he throw the thing on its side Rizoma engine protectors should save the expensive and un-repairable bits. Clipons, levers, pegs and the fuel cap are also from the same fat catalogue, fastened by Pro-Bolt hardware. Without much testing Partridge and the TW Steel team headed to Wheels & Waves to compete at the Punks Peak hill climb. With a kinked course, lined with barbed wire and complete with a stream running across the damp Tarmac Tempus Fury held its own against seasoned competition. Now back in Blightly we look forward to joining Partridge and seeing the bike do a proper straight run, fully dialled-in.
TW Steel’s commitment to their Son of Time collaborations with some of Europe’s top builders looks to be gathering real momentum and there are already more bikes on benches, but this effort from Anthony Partridge is one of the boldest yet.