Tag Archives: France

Freddie Cooper Triton

The definition of a cafe racer gets looser as the years go by. But this Triton, which will go on sale at the Wheels & Waves event in France in June, is as authentic as they come. Built in 1960, it’s a truly original English cafe racer—and one with a particularly interesting history. It’s the

Bonneville Speedweek Triton

The lure of the salt at Bonneville Speedweek is strong, and two years ago, the bug bit Vincent Prat of the French Southsiders MC collective. This year, he’s returning with his own motorcycle to ride, the extraordinary Triton you see here. The story of this machine begins 25 years ago, when Vincent bought a Rickman

New Direction: A Custom Bonneville from CRD

If you live near Madrid and fancy a custom Bonneville in your garage, you’re in luck. Cafe Racer Dreams have made a name for themselves with tweaked Triumphs and Honda CBs, but for build #15 they’ve turned to Triumph’s modern classic. It’s a 2007-model bike, the year when the Bonneville was given a capacity boost

Honda CX500 by the Wrenchmonkees

The Honda CX500 has always lacked the cachet of the earlier CB550 Four. Which is ironic, because the CB550 was little more than a downsized CB750; Honda was losing ground in the technological stakes to the other Japanese makers. So Honda gave the new CX500 a water-cooled V-twin, shaft drive and tubeless tires—all quite revolutionary

The original Ducati (350) Scrambler

The ‘scrambler’ look is getting more and more popular by the day, with high pipes and heavily treaded tires becoming de rigeur for many custom motorcycle builders, especially in Europe. I’ve always attributed the look to vintage British bikes, but the appearance of this Ducati 350 on the Southsiders blog made me think again. The

1963 Triton

The Triton is the stereotypical café racer—especially when painted in the iconic silver and black colors. So it’s getting harder to find one that impresses. This lovely machine fits the bill, though. It hails from France, and is owned by photographer Vincent Michel. The engine and frame are from 1963, although the Triton was originally

Impoz Speed Racer

The Triumph Speed Triple is a terrific bike straight out of the box, and it’s been a huge sales success for Triumph. Ample power comes from a 1050cc DOHC, three-cylinder, fuel injected engine and the styling is unusually distinctive—thanks to those ‘bug-eyed’ twin headlamps. But you don’t see many customs based on the Triple, unlike

Thierry's Tribsa

Put a Triumph engine in a Norton frame and you’ve got a Triton. Put a Triumph engine in a BSA frame and you’ve got a ‘Tribsa’. It doesn’t seem to roll off the tongue as well, but it’s a good-looking bike. This one belongs to Thierry, a member of the Southsiders MC collective in France;

Interview: Nick Clements of Men's File magazine

Nick Clements of Men’s File Magazine is a man of many talents. He’s a top-flight fashion photographer, a menswear designer, and thankfully for us, a dyed-in-the-wool motorcycle fanatic. In the motorcycling world, Clements is best known as the publisher of Men’s File, a moto-themed style rag with a fast-growing following. Here’s an insight into his

1998 Triumph Thunderbird custom

Triumph has used the Thunderbird moniker for four completely different motorcycles since WWII. The first appeared in 1949—predating Ford’s use of the name—and became famous as the bike Brando rode in The Wild Ones. Then came the short-lived TR65 from the early 80s, a machine that died when the Meridian factory closed. The bike you’re

Manurhin scooter

When I was a lad growing up in the North of England, the Mod Revival was in full swing. Scooters were everywhere, mostly heading down the M1 motorway for weekend trips to the south coast resorts. At that time, I couldn’t tell the difference between a Vespa and a Lambretta, so goodness knows if one


The French have a knack for classy, timeless motorcycles. There was Jean François Vicente, in the days when he owned VD Classic. We recently featured restorer Jean-Claude Barrois, who created the Rudge ‘bitsa’. And then there’s Patrick Godet of Godet Motorcycles of Malaunay in northern France, who created the machines you see here. These bikes

Blitz BMW R60/2

In the car world, you often see “murdered out” vehicles, painted completely black for a sleek and sinister look. You occasionally see it in the motorcycling world—Steve Jones’ Ducati being an example—but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fifty-year-old classic motorcycle given the “murder” look. This traffic-stopping machine, called “Great Escape“, is a 1963

Mecatwin Bonneville TX-A1

Mecatwin is a name you don’t often hear outside France, but the company is one of the top European Triumph specialists. Based an hour or so south of Paris in the town of Montargis—sometimes known as the “Venice of the Gâtinais”—Mecatwin turns stock Bonnevilles into mouthwatering eye candy. Most creations are produced in limited runs