Bobbed 1949 Triumph Speed Twin Is Stylish Beyond Words, Makes Use of Hardtail Frame

Bobbed 1949 Triumph Speed Twin 10 photos
Photo: Paul Berger
Bobbed 1949 Triumph Speed TwinBobbed 1949 Triumph Speed TwinBobbed 1949 Triumph Speed TwinBobbed 1949 Triumph Speed TwinBobbed 1949 Triumph Speed TwinBobbed 1949 Triumph Speed TwinBobbed 1949 Triumph Speed TwinBobbed 1949 Triumph Speed TwinBobbed 1949 Triumph Speed Twin
We spend a lot of time talking about Australia’s top custom bike firms, but this vast nation is home to many lesser-known builders whose work demands a closer look. Paul Berger is one such individual, as he doesn’t indulge in customization professionally despite having all the necessary talent to do so. Along with his brothers, he’d spent a fair portion of his childhood and teenage years tinkering with various bikes.
The Aussie’s passion for motorcycling is largely centered around British machines of yore, thanks in no small part to his father. Not long ago, we got to see what happens when Paul and his dad embark on an ambitious custom project together, and the outcome is nothing short of astounding! Over the course of several years, their joint efforts gradually transformed a 1949 Triumph Speed Twin into the handsome bobber shown above.

Not only does the finished motorcycle look incredible, but it also holds a ton of significance for the father-and-son duo behind it. Paul’s mother sadly passed away in 2013, and he began looking for ways to help his dad cope with the loss. Given their shared interest in modded two-wheelers, a custom build of sorts seemed like the logical way to go.

First, they found a partially dismantled ‘49-model Speed Twin and took it back to their garage for further inspection. Creating a classy hardtail bobber was their aim right from the get-go, so the conversion would involve some very intricate structural changes to come full circle. Paul and his father were ready to get the ball rolling once the old Triumph was on their workbench, with the latter taking it upon himself to refurbish its powertrain.

An arduous 18 months were required to take the engine and gearbox back to their former glory, yet Paul wasn’t content with sitting idle in the meantime. He orchestrated the rest of the project while the aforementioned parts were being restored, starting with a bit of frame surgery at the back. Gone is the Speed Twin’s rear suspension hardware, giving way to a rigid hardtail construction suitable for the authors’ vision.

Bobbed 1949 Triumph Speed Twin
Photo: Paul Berger
Up north, you will now find a slim girder setup supplied by Spitfire Motorcycles, originally designed for a Harley-Davidson but adapted to fit the classic Speed Twin. The whole shebang is hooked up to a mountain bike shock absorber from Fox, and the aftermarket sorcery is also in full swing down in the unsprung sector.

A pair of Borrani wheels can be spotted where the factory items had once been, with diameters measuring 21 inches at the front and 19 inches at the opposite end. The rims are clad in retro-looking Avon rubber and connected to fresh stainless-steel spokes, but Paul paid great attention to the brakes, as well. We still see the stock drum out back, fully refurbished to ensure optimal performance.

On the other hand, the bobber’s front end makes use of a ventilated, twin leading shoe module whose diameter measures 8 inches (203 mm). The updated cockpit bears no resemblance to its former self, as Paul sought to make a big visual impact while reducing clutter wherever possible. Most of the real estate in that area is occupied by a wide drag racing handlebar, perched atop off-the-shelf risers from Roland Sands Design.

Bobbed 1949 Triumph Speed Twin
Photo: Paul Berger
KustomTech supplied the control levers and a new throttle housing, but there are no gauges or mirrors in sight. Moving on to the bodywork, the centerpiece is a heavily revised aftermarket fuel tank, which was initially destined for a Harley model. The Bergers got in touch with a metal-shaping guru by the name of Steve, who was tasked with reworking the tank to make it suit the Speed Twin’s frame.

He didn’t just reshape its bottom section, though, instead splitting it up into two separate halves and welding their openings shut in seamless fashion. Further back, you’ll notice a Biltwell Slimline saddle upholstered in black leather, courtesy of Jeff Squires Trimming. As for the bobber-style rear fender, it was crafted by Joe at Cooper Smithing Co. and secured in place via custom mounting hardware.

The bodywork components were then finished in a shiny coat of silver taken from the Thruxton color palette, while the rims and frame have been painted black. At that point, Paul’s father was done with the engine-related work, so the parallel-twin powerhouse made its way back inside the hardtail skeleton. It now breathes through a youthful pair of 26 mm (one-inch) Amal carburetors and some fresh exhaust plumbing.

These chrome-plated pipes are bolt-on solutions from Classic All Parts, and the cylindrical oil tank placed beneath the seat is a Mooneyes part. For the finishing touch, Paul Berger bobbed Speed Twin gained a swingarm-mounted license plate holder that also supports an LED taillight. The latter dwells inside a bespoke housing shaped like a mesh-covered velocity stack.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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