“The hills are alive with the sound of Triumph!”
THIS SLIGHTLY MODIFIED opening line from the world renowned theme from the ‘60’s movie ‘The sound of music’ sort of illustrates the origin of this build.
Although his name might suggest otherwise, Gabriel Alares is a Stockholm based wrencher who is a trained producer/songwriter turned mechanic.
The 36-year old Swede gave up his profession about two years ago as he was lured in to the garage by the Sirens of bike building.
All his life he needed an “outlet for his creative itch” as he describes it, and for years he found it in songwriting. Being a songsmith and trying to make a living out of it is not an easy thing. Many gifted minstrels had to turn to other professions to feed their families over the ages.
But, the editors at Bikebrewers are happy that Gabriel switched paths two years ago and decided to scratch his itch by focussing on modifying bikes.
Choosing the right bike
“So why a Triumph?” we asked him.
“I love to work on the Triumph bikes”, the builder answers.
Continuing, “They’re easy to modify. I love the looks of the air cooled modern classic Triumphs between 2001 and 2015.
But sometimes, in my opinion, they look a little bit too classic in the sense that they almost become “old man’s bikes” if you know what I mean”, he says laughingly.
He goes on: “I like to modify them so that they are still Triumph modern classics, but with a more edgy approach so that they look more contemporary and maybe attracts younger riders. This was my thought with this build too.”
This particular Triumph was born in 2008 as a Bonneville.
When the builder came across it, the bike only had 8000 kms on the clock but the tyres were really bad and it had a bit of a warped front brake disc. He managed to get it for quite a good price he tells us and, even though the bike was in another town, the previous owner kindly offered to deliver it to Gabriel’s garage in Stockholm, making it a relatively easy decision to purchase it.
Origin of thought
When we talk to creative minds, we always are curious about the spring of their vision. We dig a bit deeper into the mind of our man from Stockholm and pry open his box of Pandora.
“I guess as I mentioned above, I felt inspired by the thought of making something that looks very classic and old fashioned into something more contemporary and edgy!
Usually I love bikes with a slightly left of center and modern look, whilst staying true to solid retro colour schemes. This was also my initial thought on this build.
I thought it might be cool to black out the lower part of the, such as the engine, the exhaust, wheels and fenders, but to top it off with a solid retro white or grey tank with some colourful stripes or something.
But whilst in the middle of the building process, I met an artist who wanted a one of a kind motorbike that he could bring down to his new home in Spain. When visited the garage he loved the look of the ongoing build on the lift so he decided to buy the bike even though it wasn’t anywhere near finished at that time.
As the client’s decision prevails, he opted for a matte black bike with his own name on the tank. Who am I to say no, when that is not such a bad idea after all?”
Solidly riveted to inspiration is transpiration.
“so what were the major stumbling blocks on the road to finishing this project?” we continued our interrogation of the Stockholmian.
“Well I think a major headache was when I had cut the whole electrical loom under the tank in half to shorten it down,” he counters.
“Triumphs have a lot of wiring in the headlight housing and because I swapped out the original headlight to a smaller Bates-style light with no space in the housing whatsoever, I had to pull everything backwards under the tank.
I think I cut down around 65 small wires and soldered everything together. Then comes the moment of magic when your turn the ignition key and nothing happens…
After 2 days of sweating and a lot of swearing and being close to putting myself into the mental hospital, I managed to solve the problem. I had mistaken one black and white wire for being another cable with the same colour, which made the Motogadget gauge act funny. I had to go through every single cable in the loom to find where I had made the mistake” he laughes.
The paintwork is outsourced to a neighbouring paint shop. The rims are powder coated and an upholstery shop helped out with the black leather seat cover. Looking at the bike we think that there is a slight room of improvement with the seat. There are a few folds that should not be there and the smooth surface may make a rider slide back and forth when accelerating or braking.
Gabriel adds: “I’ve also gotten a lot of help from TEC Bike Parts in England. I love their line of products and their customer support is just amazing.”
Famous last words
“I must say I love the upswept 2-1 exhaust from TEC bike parts that I had ceramic coated black and to top everything off, the Kismo Motors logotype lasered in.
Just that more people should get into modifying their bikes. The feeling when you’re out ripping asphalt with a super cool, loud bike that you have modified with your own hands is just amazing!
Last but not least, the bike rides great!!
The engine is breathing so much more than it did before the performance upgrades and the suspension from TEC Bike Parts make such a difference.
When I’ve been around town with the bike for an hour and get back to the garage, it feels like I’ve been on a workout.
It’s just a rock ‘n roll bike and fit for the artist who now rides it around Spain!
You have to tame it.
• New brake discs from Braking.com.
• Gold chain from DID
• Front sprocket cover from British Customs
• Chain cover from squaredeals
• New rear and front sprockets
• New black aluminium engine cover bolts from Pro Bolt UK
• Front fender: from an old Japanese bike modified and new brackets
• Side covers, piggy back shocks, exhaust, progressive front springs, rectifier, horn relocation bracket and paddock stand bobbins from TEC Bike Parts
• Airbox intake cover from Triumph Twin Power
• K&N high flow airfilter Triumph Twin Power
• ECU remapped with higher perfomance tune from Triumph Twin Power
• Original air intake removed
• restriction plate inside the air box to maximize the power
• Subframe cut down, rear fender and seat base by JvB Moto
• Custom made registration plate holder
• Bar end indicators and gauges are from Motogadget
• Custom made registration plate holder