It's great to see more and more franchised main dealers making the effort to produce customised versions of their showroom models. The recent upsurge in availability of bolt-on parts, especially from Triumph, has allowed this to proliferate. Some dealers though are true bike nuts, just like you and I, going the extra mile to build unique motorcycles for the more discerning customer. Like this 2010 Speed Triple 1050 by Erne’s Euromotos in Switzerland. The customer had been riding passed the dealership on his daily commute before a chance meeting in a bar with Erne’s owner Tobias Hyrenbach resulted in plans for converting the 1050 into a café racer. Five years later the chap returned to Erne's clutching a photoshopped render of his bike with a bright green fairing and tail. Without further instruction he entrusted the bike to a clearly capable team. There had been plans to use a new T120 Thruxton fairing but at the time of building Triumph hadn't manufactured enough spare units to offer them as a part of their forthcoming 'Inspiration Kit' so a classically shaped Ducati 750 Imola style fairing was combined with a 2015 T100 Thruxton headlight for a traditional look. Behind the screen the dash retains a minimal, racing vibe with a GP inspired Koso tacho and removal of the ignition key. A Motogadget m-lock RFID chip was sewn into the owner's glove allowing for fuss-free keyless go. Machined aluminium plugs hide the bar riser mount holes in the top triple clamp and the edges have been ground for a more vintage feel before being polished. Quick release r-clips on the fairing mount and a bright bright tank vent add to the go faster looks while clipons will allow the owner to stretch-out and hunker down. Although apparently he's 2m tall so ducking behind the screen might be tricky. One of Ernie's crew used to repair aircraft and builds model RC planes as a hobby so he was given the task of modifying a 8negro Jarama fibreglass tail unit. It was cut-and-shut to achieve a silhouette and proportion that matched the tank and fairing before being grafted to the lower side sections. Slash-cut conduit left over from a workshop refurb recessed into the tail and fairing house discreet stop lights and turn signals.
While the bodywork received attention the rest of the bike received a comprehensive overhaul, front to back, with nearly every worn part, seal and bearing replaced. The motor benefits from K&N pod filters and a gorgeous Hydroform exhaust by Italian specialists HP Corse. A Power Commander and dyno set-up should see the owner's commute time trimmed considerably.
The Bridgestone race slicks fitted for this photo shoot and subsequent exhibitions at bike shows look the absolute business but have now been replaced by more practical pair of Conti Sport Attack 2. The owner was overseas during the entire build process and only got to see the completed bike when unveiled to the public at the Swiss-Moto Expo.
To say that he was happy is an understatement, apparently he was left speechless for quite some time, in awe of the fabulous job the team from Ernie's had done. Tobias recalls the project, saying "When building a custom motorcycle you inevitably build a connection to the bike you are working on. It becomes your project, your passion. A feeling everyone building custom bikes for fun in their own garage understands. It seems that people building bikes for a living in a big, commercial dealership know that feeling too."
"I find this very refreshing, to create something big and new you need not only a vision but the ability to utilise that passion, something that gets easily lost when bolting-on the same “custom” parts on a dozen bikes a day. The Dark Matter seems not to be so dark after all, it's one project that's stoked a fire in the bellies of the employees at Erne’s Euromotos and is a beacon for future projects - they're all in love with the bike"
We won't argue with that! It should be dealerships with all of their resource and facility leading the way rather than chasing the runaway gravy train. Hat's off to the Tobias and the Erne's Euromotor crew, hopefully we'll persuade them to bring a few bikes over to Bike Shed London 2018 in May.
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A special mentions also to photographer Marc Schneider for help in putting this feature together. If anyone reading this is thinking about submitting a bike.... this is how to photograph a motorcycle!
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