Thruxton R Cafe Racer

The Build

I first clapped eyes on a Triumph Thruxton R when I went to London at the end of 2015 for the Triumph Global Dealer Conference. As soon as I saw one I thought I'm gonna have one of them and I'm going to build "my" cafe racer.

As you can see as you scroll through the pics the bike went through three key stages of change. Firstly we started with a red unmodified Thruxton R. At the time we started work on this bike, there was nothing in the aftermarket to be bought for these bikes and Triumph genuine accessories had not yet arrived in New Zealand. So we set about working out how to decat the bike and to see if we could fit a set of open reverse cone megaphone silencers. Plus remove the rear mudguard, tail light and indicators and fit something more suitable.

LH exhaust with decat pipe in situ ready to offer up to bike.

Decat pipes shown from under the bike.

With the decat pipes in place, it was time to turn our attention to the silencers. We took a pair of aftermarket chrome slip-on silencers and set to work to make them fit the Thruxton and of course achieve a brushed finish to match the factory headers.

With the rear guard assembly removed we now had to make up a plate to carry the bikes ECU, mount a tailight and a numberplate.

It was around this time that we were faced witha bit of a sales dilemma, one of our customers had ordered a Thruxton R in red, but a Silver bike had arrived ahead of schedule. So we invited the customer to come in and inspect the paintwork on my bike. If he was happy that it was perfect and unmarked then I would swap all the red painted parts from my bike to his new bike and I would have the silver bodywork.

The two bikes with the painted parts now swapped.

As the bike was back in the workshop, it was time to progress the project a wee bit further by removing the original Thruxton clip-ons and adding a lower set. While we were doing this we were also going to fit small LED indicators up front and lower the headlight and instruments to give the bike a better stance.

with the bike like this I was quite enjoying it so we decided to do a few photos

So now I had a bike that sounded great, handled great and looked "quite nice". Hmm that quite nice was nagging away at me, so time to do some more! I paid Lee a visit a James Lee Designs and we talked through my ideas for a copper toned bike with very little in the way of graphics save for the tank badges which I wanted airbrushed but made to look like the could have been riveted. After many colour swatches were sprayed and laid out the final colour was selected. 

The next thing was what do we paint? Obviously tank and front guard, but the side panels on a Thruxton are black and I kinda liked them that way, So we decided to paint the engine cases!

Now it was time to get into all the small details that make a custom build start to gel together. We painted the throttle body badges black and then rubbed them on a sheet of glass to highlight the lettering. We painted parts such as the footpeg heel guards black and the sprocket cover.

Looking at the bike side on the gold Showa upsidedown forks and the Ohlins yellow rear springs didn't look right on this bike. We whipped out the rear shocks removed the yellow springs and painted them black. At the front the forks were wrapped in a carbon effect vinyl, this had the effect of drawing your eye to the paintwork on the tank not to the bright blingy forks.


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