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Triumph’s new Bonneville Speedmaster has us all excited!



Return of the ‘Junior Cruiser’ teased by Triumph.

The Triumph Speedmaster has been described as many things – MCN like to refer to it as a ‘kind of cruiser’ and Motorcyclist Magazine wrote about the 2012 model as a perfect example of a bike for beginners because it’s neither ‘daunting nor difficult to ride’.

2012 Triumph Speedmaster

So, when Triumph tease the new Bonneville-based baby cruiser in the same way as they did their 2017 Bonneville Bobber, well… You can pretty much guess what to expect. And that has us salivating at the potential.

Back in 2012, the previous model was treated as something of an oddity in the landscape. Believe it or not, people still didn’t really see the whole ‘new wave custom’ development happening online and in the trendier cities across the world as anything much to get excited about – the ‘small cruiser’ from Triumph was regarded as little more than a curiosity.

In the office of our former employer it was all regarded as ‘hipster bollocks’. In fact, our editor there once wrote a whole editorial article about it.

But now, the landscape has been radically altered.

You only need to look at Ducati’s success with the Scrambler, BMW’s runaway rNineT sales and Triumph’s own success with the Bonneville Bobber to see that ‘retro’ bikes with easy to handle – and easy to maintain – attributes are the big winners within a manufacturer’s line-up.

Which makes a reformatted and repositioned bike such as the new Triumph Speedmaster an extremely intriguing and exciting proposition.

So if Triumph are about to release a ‘cruiser’ that handles as well as the Bonneville Bobber and looks as great as the rest of the Bonneville range?

Well, chalk us up to the ranks of the ‘arty tattoos, rolled-up jeans and open-faced lid’ brigade that doesn’t exist.

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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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