Scrambled Triumph Bonneville Has Desert Sled Styling Cues Mixed With Modern Performance

Most clients reach out to workshops with a clear idea of what they’re after, but others will take more of a freestyle approach. When Charles got in touch with Purpose Built Moto (PBM) in 2022, Tom Gilroy's specialists were just finishing up one of their previous projects, which he immediately fell in love with.
Triumph Bonneville Desert Sled 7 photos
Photo: Brandan Trudinger
Triumph Bonneville Desert SledTriumph Bonneville Desert SledTriumph Bonneville Desert SledTriumph Bonneville Desert SledTriumph Bonneville Desert SledTriumph Bonneville Desert Sled
The said motorcycle was a 1973 Triumph Bonneville desert sled, and you may recall us featuring this custom beauty on autoevolution last year. In all fairness, it’s no wonder the client was taken away by the classic Bonnie, deciding that he wanted something similar right there and then. However, the donor was to be a modern Bonneville, as Charles didn’t want to face any of the reliability problems associated with vintage specimens.

PBM found a fuel-injected 2007 model from Triumph’s range, in good overall condition and with low mileage on the odo. Their customer agreed that it would be an ideal starting point, so the bike was promptly purchased, shipped to Purpose Built Moto’s shop, and taken apart upon delivery. Then, Tom and his crew ditched the original rims, installing a shiny pair of 18-inch replacements in their stead.

Pirelli’s MT 43 trials rubber completes the footwear side of things, but the Bonneville experienced some notable suspension mods, as well. It now sits on progressive YSS shock absorbers at the back, while the front end features rebuilt forks with stiffer internals. Tom and his crew also fitted a bespoke fender up north, then they turned their attention to the bike’s rear section.

More often than not, old-school desert sleds were a little rough around the edges, as they would usually be pieced together by amateurs. Thus, PBM was deliberately aiming for a raw look at the rear, all centered around a stunning white saddle upholstered by Vintage Seat Co. It rests atop a modified subframe, which is also home to LED blinkers, a Bates-style taillight, and a handmade rear fender built in-house.

At twelve o’clock, we find a retro-looking headlamp and compact turn signals like those installed out back, but there’s a whole lot going on in the cockpit, too. A new handlebar is placed atop custom risers, carrying white grips, aftermarket switchgear, and chrome-plated control levers from Kustom Tech. Furthermore, instrumentation comes by way of a single Daytona gauge.

Sir Gilroy’s specialists fashioned a high-mounted, stainless-steel exhaust system from scratch, following it up with bespoke side covers made of aluminum. Last but not least, the machine’s gorgeous color scheme is the work of Justin at PopBang Classics, employing a blue base and white highlights that match the seat upholstery and grips. Black was the logical choice for the frame, with chromed and polished finishes appearing elsewhere.
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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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