Rubber Soul: Triumph Build
Interview by Andrew Jones of Pipeburn.com
Photography by Seth Neefus and Casey Neefus
March 1, 2018
AJ: Tell us the latest about you/your shop.
RCC: Red Clouds Collective has a new store and workshop located in SE Portland, Oregon. We spend most of our time making waxed canvas clothing and bags and tons of leather products, but we always have a few motorcycles in the works. We spend our nights and weekends building these dream motorcycles. Most of them are vintage British bikes and old Honda and Yamaha enduro’s. We love riding these classic bikes to the river for a swim or to go fishing or camping. We also love riding trails in the woods and enjoying the beautiful northwest on modern dirt bikes when we aren’t working or riding the vintage builds.
AJ: What style of motorbike is it? (cafe? scrambler? other?)
RCC: We would consider this build a modern day desert sled.
AJ: What make, model and year of motorbike is it?
RCC: 2006 Triumph Bonneville T100
AJ: Do you have a name for the motorbike?
RCC: “Rubber Soul” which is inspired by one of our favorite Beatles albums. We listened to a lot of Beatles during this build.
AJ: Where did you find the motorbike?
RCC: We found this bike right outside of Portland, Oregon. An old guy owned it and had a handful of other bikes that he loved. He really made sure they were all well maintained. He didn’t need it anymore and definitely grew more interested in adventure bikes. He hopped on one of his other bikes and he took me on a 20 mile ride to show me a good time on some country roads while I tested out this Triumph. We had a blast and his enthusiasm for motorcycles and riding made me feel proud to take this bike off his hands.
AJ: What was your inspiration for the build?
RCC: We wanted to make this modern, dependable bike into a classic looking Triumph. The stock ones are nice, but the plan was to streamline the bike and make it into a beautiful classic machine. The look of the 1960’s and 70’s Triumph’s are so perfect, especially the ones people would race. The bikes that Bud Ekins and Steve McQueen are known for are so iconic and there is just this certain style that looks cool, fast and fun. The high pipes, wide bars, short seats and only the essentials left on the bike gives it a classy and aggressive stance. A motorcycle that is ready for whatever is in its path.
AJ: Can you run us through the build process?
RCC: We started by taking everything off of the bike to see the bare frame with just and motor and wheels. We then began to slim it down by cutting off the passenger foot pegs, and the tail end past the shock mounts. We then looped out the rear frame. We worked with British Customs for their help with the high pipes and the brackets to relocate the rectifier, the headlight mount and their skid plate. We used +20mm Hagon Shocks to get the bike to sit higher and we used the British Customs battery box to house the battery, cdi control and everything else on the wiring harness. A modified old rear fender was mounted to the looped out rear frame. We designed the handlebars and made them with our friends at One Down Four Up. They are made with 0.120” Wall DOM Stainless Steel and feel great. They are 35” wide with a pullback of 5.5” and a rise of 4.25”. We then used the See See Motorcycles Mini Handlebar Controls. Getting everything by the bars and controls simplified was a priority. We used chrome levers and master cylinder and added a mini speedo. Less is more.
We used a 1970’s Triumph Tank and removed the badges, and repaired it from a lifetime of use; it had a lot of dents and some outside rust. Small modifications were made to mount the old tank onto the frame and then it was seamless and secure fit.
We wanted the color scheme to feel light and for the design to have a race vibe with an elegant and classic sense. A simple and vintage looking bike with modern features built to wake the neighbors up and turn their heads in the city and leave dust trails on the country roads. We chose the light-green-gold color to work with the chrome that was already on the bike and made a creamy-white leather seat to keep the vibe consistent. Added a no.12 to the number plates, as well as the tank artwork and some vintage white grips to tie it all together. The color of the bike is called Enchanted Summer and we couldn’t have been more excited when we saw the frame, tank and fenders after they were powder coated. We polished every other part that wasn’t painted and put the bike back together with a very cohesive color scheme.
No.12 represents the year we started Red Clouds Collective and we have been building bikes on the side the whole time. During the day at Red Clouds we run a company that makes a ton of products in house and our time with Motorcycles is our time to relax when we’re not actually working. Motorcycles inspire life to keep moving; rather you are building one or riding it.
AJ: What was the hardest part of the build?
RCC: There was not one part that was really harder than the rest. It was all very time intensive and detail oriented. Lots of late nights and a countless amount of hours. We built this bike with the One Moto Show as the deadline and just making it all happen and come together in about 2 months total was difficult, especially since we have a company to run and hundreds of products to make during the same time. The vision was pretty clear when we starting the build and since the bike ran great we didn’t have any mechanical work to do that allowed for us to spend all of our time on making it look and feel the way we wanted it. Every part of the bike was really fun to dial in and the dream came to life better than we could have hoped for.
AJ: What do you like best about the finished motorbike?
RCC: Our favorite part of the build is the overall color scheme, the stance, and achieving the goals we set out to accomplish. Ultimately we love that we were able to minimize the handlebars, the rear end and make this modern bike have a vintage look. It is definitely a motorcycle that we have been riding everyday since we built it.
Year, Make and Model:
2006 Triumph Bonneville T100
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