Custom-Built 1964 Triumph Bonneville T120 Bobber Spent 14 Years in the Making

Triumph Bonneville T120 Bobber 12 photos
Photo: Onno Wieringa via Pipeburn
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The Dutch bike-modding duo at DBBP Design is comprised of Mark van der Kwaak and Aad Heemskerk, with the former being the one who founded the company back in 2003. They complement one another’s skills rather nicely, as Mark handles the initial design phases while his teammate takes care of the metalwork. For a clear idea of what they can accomplish together, you should look no further than the custom bobber pictured below.
It all began with a Triumph Bonneville T120 around 14 years ago, yet the project was constantly put on the back burner due to other builds taking priority. As such, the bike had only attained its final form pretty recently, and it’s an absolute head-turner to say the very least! The guys left no stone unturned, either replacing or modifying just about everything on this 1964-model Bonnie.

Aside from DBBP’s busy schedule, another reason for the lengthy transformation process was clearly the sheer extent of the mods performed here. Once the classic Triumph had been brought back to the shop, Mark busied himself with some 3D scanning and penning the original concept in CAD software. Most of his design ideas landed well within bobber territory, but there is also a distinct bit of chopper flavor found throughout this build.

When the customization was ready to get underway, it came time for Aad to work his metal-shaping magic on the frame. The rear section of the tubing got deleted altogether, and the Bonneville’s factory shock absorbers followed suit. A bespoke hardtail structure was then built from scratch and fitted in their stead, though the rest of the motorcycle’s frame hasn’t gone unmodified, either.

Even though you will still find the standard T120 forks at the front, they’ve been shortened and wrapped in a pair of custom sleeves for a beefier look. These covers were made from scratch using stainless-steel, requiring more than one attempt to get just right. Up top, we notice a tall and narrow handlebar fabricated in-house, and it’s devoid of any controls except for an internally wired throttle.

Triumph Bonneville T120 Bobber
Photo: Onno Wieringa via Pipeburn
The lack of a front brake meant that no accompanying lever was required, but we’ll get to the clutch mechanism a bit later on. Right behind the bike’s minimalistic cockpit, DBBP installed a vintage fuel tank of Japanese origin, which was then topped with a couple of snazzy accessories. One of them is a keyless ignition module adding a pinch of modern flavor to this bobbed Bonneville.

It’s the other component that’ll really draw your attention, though, it being an unusual filler cap shaped like a crown and home to a glass eyeball. Glancing southward, you’ll spot a neat black leather saddle whose upholstery extends onto the rear fender. The latter is a tailor-made part manufactured using the English wheel, and it’s connected to a tubular sissy bar which does double duty as a fender strut.

Above the mudguard, the specimen carries a custom license plate bracket and a circular LED taillight, both attached to the sissy bar in seamless fashion. Although the stock oil tank was kept in play, DBBP had it repositioned upside-down and carved out to make space for the chain drive. The bike crawls on fresh aftermarket wheels fore and aft, with diameters measuring 21 inches up north and 18 inches down south.

Triumph Bonneville T120 Bobber
Photo: Onno Wieringa via Pipeburn
Whereas the front wheel hub was supplied by Flying Choppers, the rear unit is still the original item from Triumph. In terms of rubber, Mark and Aad chose an Avon Speedmaster tire at the front and Firestone’s retro-looking Deluxe Champion compound at the back. The Dutch artisans spared no expense when it came to powertrain, either.

They sent the parallel-twin engine to Jos Reijnders for a complete overhaul, which involved the installation of things like larger pistons and new valves. Air flows in through a pair of replacement Amal carburetors, topped with velocity stacks whose openings feature grilled brass covers. On the exhaust side of things, we come across stainless-steel pipework put together by Aad’s capable hands.

Gear changes are now performed by way of a jockey shifter and a foot-operated hydraulic clutch. In addition, the foot controls were inverted so as to have the rear brake pedal sitting on the right-hand side. Last but not least, the paint job was outsourced to KustomBart for the best possible result, and it combines off-white with the different shades of teal and a bit of black.

Fourteen years are most certainly a long time to spend on a custom project, but all the effort was worth it given how nicely this T120 bobber turned out. We’d be thrilled to see more like it from DBBP Design, preferably without having to wait over a decade for that encounter. Either way, Mark and Aad are all about quality rather than quantity, so you can be sure their next build will be just as enticing.
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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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