WHAT TO do when your Fat Boy’s running well, the hotrod’s doing fine, and the Pontiac’s beyond your control at the painter’s for nearly a year—you build a period-looking Triumph of course.
Terry decided a ‘quick little project’ was in order and started leaning on a mate to sell him a 29-year-old Triumph that was gently rusting away in his garden. He’d originally intended to build a rigid bobber but couldn’t get the right frame so he decided to build a 1960’s street-racer type instead.
Looking at the bike now, you may not pick it straight away as being a 750 Bonnie, but that’s exactly how it started life back in 1978. The frame is the tried and true oil tank variety, shortened behind the seat, and the period look is achieved by the whitewall tyres and the paint job, plus early pre-unit guards with ridges.
The paint’s by Dave of Von Bullis Design Concepts at Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. It’s more old school looking than the car, and designed by Terry himself, although he’s quick to point out that ‘Dave made it come alive.’ Initially he designed it without the checkered stripes; they were a late addition that provided the finishing touch in the style they were trying to achieve.
Terry hand-made the seat in leopard skin and white leather to match the whitewalls and tie the bike and his 1968 Pontiac together a little more.
One of the few other parts he hasn’t been able to source so far has been matching white footpegs and handle grips—you’d think there’d be a demand for them in the Lowrider fraternity if nowhere else, but no luck so far.
Dave Cole from Hackham rewired the Bonnie with a Boyer electronic ignition. He also rebuilt the top-end and got it running properly with new carbs as the old ones were a good few years beyond redemption.
The 16” back wheel and 19” front were built by GC Motorcycles of Prospect, powder coated, and fitted with stainless steel spokes.
Tyres are Avon Venom 140/90 back and 100/90 front; the shocks are Koni and the back guard’s mounted on a swinging arm.
PM supplied the updated front brake, master cylinder and levers.
Being used to apehangers on the Harley, the flat bars and high pegs on the Bonnie mean Terry’s riding position is ‘leaning forward quite a bit and a bit crunched up knee-wise,’ but he’s happy with the way it turned out.
And it’s a good match for the car too; they sit together and complement each other well.
Now that this ‘little project’ has reached completion and will only need the occasional wear and tear type of repair, Terry’s thinking about the next project. The Pontiac’s come back with gleaming paint and new airbags, the other vehicles are still doing fine, and with summer here it’s a good time to contemplate a speed boat. You can bet that’ll be worth seeing when it’s finished.
words & pics by Chris Randells