Dubbed Thunderbird, This Custom Triumph Thruxton Is a True Masterpiece

Thunderbird 40 photos
Photo: Tamarit Motorcycles
We sometimes wonder if the guys over at Tamarit Motorcycles ever sleep, because the pace they’ve been operating at in the past eight years is rather startling. During this time, Tamarit went from a small workshop known locally in Elche, Spain to the leading Triumph customization outfit on the globe, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Never missing the opportunity to feature their masterpieces here on autoevolution, we regularly keep an eye out to see what they’re getting up to. A little while back, Tamarit’s 131st build broke cover on their official website, going by the name of Thunderbird. The project’s donor was a carbureted Thruxton 900 from Triumph’s range – the perfect basis for building an elegant cafe racer with vintage vibes.

Coincidentally, the number 131 just so happened to hold great significance for Mike, who’d contacted Tamarit from the other side of the big pond to commission this build. Back in 1978, he enlisted in the British Royal Air Force as part of the 131st apprentice class, so it seemed like a matter of fate for him to own the Tamarit-built marvel bearing that same number.

With the Thruxton on their workbench, the Spanish bike-modding doctors wasted no time taking it apart and figuring out a concept. Mike wanted something inspired by three of Tamarit’s previous builds, those being Gullwing, Jade, and Helios. Borrowing design elements from all these machines, the guys came up with a mouth-watering cafe racer that looks like a million bucks. Let’s go ahead and analyze how they got there, shall we?

Aside from the gas tank, all the original bodywork components have been eliminated as the motorcycle was coming apart. Items like the subframe, exhaust system, and rear shocks followed suit, as did the stock lighting hardware on both ends. Starting at the rear, Tamarit had the Thruxton’s swingarm extended ever so slightly, then modified to accommodate a monoshock suspension arrangement.

Photo: Tamarit Motorcycles
Up top, the new shock absorber is linked to a custom seat support built in-house. Atop this module lies a pointy tail section with dual-function LEDs embedded at the back, and it is in turn topped with a stylish, tailor-made saddle. The seat was put together using black leather and red stitching for contrast, but the upholstery continues to make its way forward in the form of a classy tank strap. In addition, there’s an aluminum plate with circular cut-outs sitting right above it.

The fuel tank is adorned with Tamarit badges and a plain filler cap, as well, and the way it’s been merged with the tail unit is absolutely seamless. At the front, the Thunderbird comes equipped with a gorgeous cafe-style fairing similar to those worn by Jade and Helios. Held in place via bespoke brackets, it surrounds a sizeable LED headlight and a Motogadget Chronoclassic dial mounted right above.

Rounding out the creature’s attire is a small but effective front fender, and its factory forks are now paired with fresh CNC-machined triple clamps. The cockpit features aftermarket clip-ons embellished with Kustom Tech control levers and a collection of Motogadget goodies. These include bar-end mirrors and turn signals, as well as compact switches that keep things looking as tidy as possible. Billet rearsets finish off the bike’s ergonomics.

Photo: Tamarit Motorcycles
Tamarit’s overhaul got pretty spicy in the footwear department, too, involving the addition of premium brake rotors and calipers from Beringer. The retro-looking tires installed fore and aft are Shinko’s stylish E270 compound – an excellent choice for a motorcycle like the Thunderbird. Besides all the snazzy cockpit equipment, Motogadget also supplied a Bluetooth-enabled mo.Unit controller for the electronics.

As a very neat little trick, Tamarit revised the frame’s twin down tubes to house an integrated oil cooling system, just like they had done on Helios and some of their other builds. The exhaust system was clearly inspired by Helios, as well, running up high and giving the impression of straight pipes. Custom perforated heat shields have also been added, so as to prevent things from getting too toasty near the rider’s legs.

On the intake side of the equation, you will spot high-grade pod filters from K&N allowing the parallel-twin mill to breathe a bit more freely. Its power is channeled to the rear wheel by means of a fresh gold drive chain, but the engine internals were left untouched. In terms of paintwork, the Thunderbird flaunts a delightful mixture of red and silver, along with gold pinstripes separating the two main hues.

Most components aside from the bodywork were either chromed or brass-plated, right down to the various bolts and fasteners. To commemorate Mike’s time with the RAF, Tamarit designed a small emblem based on his apprentice badge, fitting it on the left-hand side of the belly pan. With this installed, the Thunderbird was complete and ready to meet its lucky owner over in the States.
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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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