Some bikes look so right they can cause your eyeballs to drool. This is one of them. With this motorcycle, owner Cliff has built a bike that not only looks a million dollars but is seriously fast to boot. How fast you ask? Fast enough to set the Triumph Salt Racing team’s first land speed record of 156.219mph (251kmh) at Lake Gairdner in 2016.
That record made it the fastest Bonneville in the world at the time. There’s quite a backstory to that 2016 record because the engine you see here was taken along as a just-in-case backup unit. It was then fitted into the bike when the main engine nipped up. And when the team goes back to the salt in 2020, this engine will return, once again, as a backup.
This bike began life when Cliff built it for Triumph Australia as a stunt bike for Lukey Luke, who unfortunately blew it up by wheel-standing it for too long, thus starving it of oil until it spun a main bearing.
Then, in 2016, Cliff started putting this Bonneville together, and not being afraid of a hacksaw, angle grinder or plasma cutter he removed the whole back half of the frame and fitted a one-off, hand-made monoshock swingarm extended 90mm and utilising an Ohlins monoshock. Cliff says it’s the only one like it in the world.
Assembling the bike with the modified frame and custom swingarm, including the suspension meant, among many other things, a custom steering stem for the upside down forks.
Mag wheels and big brakes came next with the aforementioned Ohlins shock to keep the five inch rear rubber on the road. After installing the motor, Cliff and Andrew Hallam designed and built a 2-1 intake manifold to suit a monster singl