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Custom of the Week: Triumph Bonneville ‘Taniwha’ by Macco Motors




Triumph’s designers did such a good job with the new Bonneville range that it’s tricky to improve upon without ripping the thing to pieces and throwing a big budget into the ring.

A flick through the burgeoning official aftermarket parts catalogue would do the trick for most owners but some are a little more discerning. Andrew, a Kiwi living in London, had his heart set on a Macco Motors flavour for his T120 Bonnie and shipped this 2016 model to Jose & Tito’s Malaga workshops for a sophisticated overhaul.

Andrew wanted a burlier front end and better brakes, a perfectly valid request for anyone wanting to push a T120 harder than the stock RWU fork and brake setup will comfortably cope with. A pair of Showa big piston upside downers from a Thruxton R were earmarked for the project. Being slightly shorter the stance is instantly improved and the chunkiness adds aggression to the otherwise retro silhouette, especially with the black powder coated legs. The shorter mudguard is from Rizoma’s phonebook-esque catalogue and well engineered upgrades.

Spacers were machined to mate the original front wheel to the new fork and the Brembo calipers are from a Ducati – floating discs are stock Thruxton R. An LSL triple clamp kit and risers with Biltwell bars completes the conversion.

One of the most effective ways of improving the looks up front is to adjust the clock mounting angle (see Dutch’s Thruxton here for a side-by-side comparison) so the Macco guys did exactly that, moving the ignition to just below the throttle body on the right hand side, freeing space to drop the stock clocks. Below is a simple 6.5″ headlight from a Harley which does away with side mounting brackets, instead it bolts directly to the lower yoke – much neater.

The current Bonnie subframe is still a chop ‘n’ loop affair requiring a degree of finesse to make the end result appear factory. Rizoma mini bullet type indicators disappear into the background and simple taillight attaches to an own-brand Macco fibreglass mudguard. The side panels are also a part the guys have developed as a replacement for the slightly bulbous and overly retro stock versions. The Macco saddle is particularly considered, the proportions and shape suit the overall silhouette but also deal with the Bonnie’s sticky-up frame – the outgoing T100’s tubing was more horizontal allowing for flatter boneline.

Brit suspension stalwarts Hagon specced a tasty pair of adjustable Nitro rear shocks to Andrew’s weight and the T120’s tweaked geometry. The rear tyre is a Tourance by Metzeler and the front a Dunlop F20. The clumpy stock pegs are gone, replaced by LSL for the pillion and Rizoma for the rider, and the levers are the adjustable, race derived type. A brace of Predator mufflers by British Customs look meant-to-be and unleash more bass from the 1200cc twin’s melodic, 270 degree cranked soundtrack.

The signature Macco Motors paint scheme is the icing on a very tasty looking cake, which we’ll hopefully get the chance to taste soon, if Andrew pops into the Bike Shed at some point. And the name… Taniwha is a name from Maori mythology he chose – some form of deep water monster apparently.


This article was first published on The Bike Shed; It’s republished here with explicit permission.

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Custom of the Week: Yamaha SR500 ‘Scrambler’ by Daniel Peter




SCRAMBLERS ARE A HOT TOPIC. Build one, and you’re sure to be judged solely by how well equipped it is for hardcore off-piste use.

But that’s not all that scramblers are about. Daniel Peter compares his latest build to his childhood BMX—and it’s pretty much how we feel about modern-day scramblers too.

“When I was four years old, my BMX bike became my life,” he explains. “It was so simple, yet so fun. Just wheels, pedals and brakes. I’d ride it to the beach, jump a few curbs along the way, race my friends. Those were the good days.”

“30 years later, I set out to build a motorcycle based on the same principles. There’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t need to be there. It has wheels, a punchy engine and great brakes. I didn’t even put a speedo on it, because I never looked at the one on my last bike.”

Daniel works as a photographer in Chicago, but wrenches during the winter to keep his passion for riding alive. He keeps a workshop in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, outfitted with a tool cabinet, a welder, and a 1940s South Bend lathe.

This 1978-model Yamaha SR500 is the fourth Yamaha 500 he’s built to date. “It’s the most simple, yet the most thorough, of the bunch,” he says.

The motor’s been bumped to 540 cc, with a grocery list of go-fast bits that includes a lighter XT500 crank, a new piston from JE and a Megacycle cam for better torque down low.

R&D valve springs with titanium caps, a Powerdynamo ignition and a high-flow oil pump from Kedo round out the package.

Hoos Racing refreshed the crank and cut new valve seats for Daniel, but he tackled the rest of the rebuild himself. Every single bearing and seal was replaced along the way too. As for the carb, it’s been swapped out for a 39 mm Keihin FCR flatslide number, fed by a fat K&N filter.

The exhaust system is a combination of a custom made stainless steel header, and a Cone Engineering muffler.

The SR rolls on 17” supermoto wheels, borrowed from a KTM (front) and a Honda CRF450 (rear). They’re wrapped in Pirelli MT60 Corsa tread; a 120 up front, and a chunky 160 on the 5” rear rim. (“It juuust fits,” says Daniel.)

The brakes have been upgraded with a mix of Brembo and Beringer parts, with an RCS 14 radial master cylinder up front.

On top is an aluminum Yamaha XT500 fuel tank, wrapped in a paint scheme “inspired by an unforgettable riding trip through Baja.” Just behind it is a new saddle from MotoLanna, with a new kicked-up subframe loop.

It’s just about spring in Chicago, so Daniel must be itching to rack up the miles on his SR500. And we’re betting it’s going to be impossible to get him off it.

A version of this article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here with permission.

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Icon claim back the streets in their latest, epic video



Street’s Not Dead.

Regular readers will know that we eagerly await anything released from the US streetwear firm Icon Motorsports. So the moment that a video drops from the Portland firm we’re bound to pay attention.

That’s an interest piqued double when they post it alongside what is essentially a call to arms…

“Street’s not dead. If you think it went away, you’d be wrong. Street’s still here undermining pompous authority, rejecting standards, and bucking the status quo..”

And they’re not kidding either. With the Icon clad rider thrashing their Kawasaki ZX-10R through city streets, car parks and even a public fountain at one point, there’s a lot to take in.

Couple that with their usual loud, Icon style and you’ve certainly got a statement of intent.

(Don’t try this at home kids).



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