WHEN TRIUMPH PULLED the wraps off the ‘new’ Bonneville back in 2016, they flew several journalists to London to attend the official launch. The event was critical for Triumph: the ‘old’ Bonneville had been in production for 15 years, and the future of the marque was at stake.
I wasn’t the only journalist who spent 36 hours travelling from Down Under. Australian Geoff Baldwin from Return Of The Cafe Racers was there too, and after seeing the new T120, decided he wanted to do a custom build.
“The idea was to create a T120 that celebrated the bike’s history,” he says. “During the four-year product development of the new T120, the Bonneville celebrated its 55th anniversary—and that became my starting point.”
With a website called ‘Return of the Cafe Racers,’ Geoff obviously wasn’t going to build a chopper. But he needed another twist to make his custom T120 memorable.
“I discovered the missing piece when I realized another company was also celebrating a milestone when the T120 was released. Fifty years previously, Rickman produced their first street-legal motorcycle.” And what engine was it powered by? A Triumph Bonneville engine, of course.
Brothers Derek and Don Rickman had become famous by shoehorning sporty engines into their specially made nickel-plated frames. The fiberglass bodywork was shapely, and Rickman bikes also outperformed many factory teams on the track—causing a few monocles to drop in the paddock.Read More...
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