As you leave greater London along the M40 there are four large green hills which seem oddly out of place. Looking like strange neolithic formations, they were actually made from the rubble of the old Wembley Stadium when it was torn down in 2003. The famous twin towers, now four rotund mounds. Every time I pass them I can't help but imagine pulling off the highway and taking a run at them. They form part of a park, and were it not for the frowns of the lycra clad joggers, they'd be ripe for a quick blast up and down. The idea of taking an old bike that's been transformed for a scramble up some re-purposed rubble is appealing; maybe one day my inner child will speak loud enough to give it a go... It's the similarity of vista in the images of this feisty Dominator based scrambler by Trinta&Um which triggered those thoughts. Based in Porto, Portugal since 2013, the builders started as a group of friends, in a garage, talking and building bikes as a hobby in their spare time. Simply meaning 'Thrity-One' in English, the faces behind Trinta&Um Motorcycles come from diverse backgrounds including a videographer, a graphic designer, a welder and a mechanic. They became united as a bunch of friends who hung out at the garage after work and on weekends. Having tinkered with their own bikes for long enough, the guys wanted a fresh challenge and agreed to buy into a Dominator as a group project to sell on once finished. Scanning the classifieds, an old 1990 NX was soon found for an appealing price and things became real. It's that moment we all know. The difference between an advert and a head full of ideas, and a decrepit bike in a dusty garage contained by a limited budget. Being the first 'proper' build, the plan was to keep things relatively simple and let the mechanics of the bike do the talking. A key influence for the bikes direction was the 'Uno' built by Spanish neighbours Kiddo Motors. This meant the grinder had to come out and the subframe be reworked. As well as the usual rear hoop, adding the double loops on the subframe down-tubes spreads the load of the kinked pipe and looks funky. So pleased were the guys with the outcome of the frame modifications, that a clear coat was applied to the freshly blasted chassis to show it off. As with any build, it's the tank that shapes the bikes character. A dinged up item from a '79 Yamaha XT500 was bought in from the US and once stripped back to the metal, the guys decided it was too charming to cover up again. Brushed and lacquered with some simple striping applied, the splashes of colour are effective against the monochromatic rolling chassis. They are picked up once again on the Flat-tracker style number board, twin offset lamps giving genuinely useful lighting once the sun goes down. High level mudguards and tall riser bars give a vintage crosser stance to the machine, the mildly battered tank adding to the 'just-thrashed' vibe. Purposely mismatched levers give another splash of colour, a short reach from the classic Renthal grips. The boingy bits at both ends received some love; new seals, progressive springs and a thorough clean up lends a new lease of life. The electrics meanwhile are tucked neatly away in the subframe and in the otherwise awkward intersection between tank and seat. With the bullet-proof 650 engine providing adequate thump, there was no need to poke around inside. The perfectly healthy powertrain was serviced, cleaned, and painted in satin black to contrast the natural metal finishes of the tank and frame. An Akraprovic system lets the big thumper bark to it's fullest, while the rejetted carb slurps cool air in through a simple pod filter. Power is laid down to the ground through a set of Continental's trusted TKC80s, perfect for finding the grip when the going gets loose. Despite the worries, the bike came together bit by bit. The guys finally reaching that 'oh-so-satisfying' first running of the finished machine: the juicy reward after months in the workshop. Taking a step back, they were rightly pleased with the end result: "A mean looking Tracker that rides really smooth and sounds really tough!" Next up on the bench is a '97 Kawasaki Zephyr 550, also awaiting a tracker conversion. With a full schedule, the prospect is to launch 5 more bikes before the end of the year. The final words go to the guys, “To build our own bikes was the main reason why it all started. Thankfully nowadays we’ve got a few clients, so 2015 will definetly be a great year! We are pumped!” As you'll see on their Facebook page, the bike has already been put to good use on track, roosting its way round at Dusty Track IV last week. Bom trabalho, rapazes! ...and there's a video here of the bike in action
Your cart is currently empty.