The call of the wild
We have been spoiled with pictures of magnificent bikes in great locations.
But when we laid our eyes upon David Bogusch’s 1971 Triumph T120 in the snow way up in the Swiss Alps, our jaws collectively dropped!
We are sure that all you readers will understand looking at these shots.
At Bikebrewers, we are suckers for English bikes especially the ones prior to the injection system. We’re also suckers for flat tackers… so imagine our surprise when we discovered this beautiful build performed by David Bogusch on top of a mountain in Central Europe.
Oil in the veins
This clean and elegant Triumph Bonneville carries the oil in the frame. Yes, you’ve heard right, a system invented by aeronautical engineers which did not work perfectly at that time and was not received well by the public. However, what was accomplished on this new Triumph launched in 1971 was still very comprehensive and, because of that, innovator. A completely new oil-bearing frame, new front forks & yokes, new wheels & brakes front & rear, new exhaust, and for better or worse, a new look.
Now let’s go back to the build!
30-year old David is passionate about restoring and rebuilding motorbikes. After finishing work on a 1968 Norton Commando at the end of 2018, he needed a new fix.
While meandering around a motorbike meeting one day, our friend discovered this still unpolished gem. The engine had already been tuned by a specialist 20 years ago with an improved camshaft, balanced crankshaft, valves and intakes machined, a more powerful oil pump and a dry clutch. He decided to take over the project and finish it.
With such a powerful and sporty engine, his vision was a street legal flat tracker. And ‘warum nicht?’ must have been his his first thought.
Making a deal with the owner was a matter of minutes. This guy had too many projects waiting to be finished and he liked what David had in mind for the Triumph.
We asked David to give us more specifics on his vision. His response: “I wanted to give the bike the visual character to match the “Gasser” motocross engine. An aesthetically beautiful motorbike, which not only captivates through its elegance and shapes – but also through its driving performance. In addition, it was important to me that this motorbike could be used on the road and that I could use it for everyday rides. Okay, short rides – because the tank is limited to about 100km.”
The hard way
The project was quite demanding because David had to learn to do most of it on his own. He holds a degree in Business Administration and wealth management and spends his days making his clients happy at a Management Trust company.
However at night this Dr. Jekyll turns Mister Hyde and disappears in his shed in the hills somewhere near St. Gallen.
Completely excluded from the outside world he performed set off performing his magic.
Making magic happen proved not to be a cinch.
Is there a problem officer?
In David’s own words on our question about the number of challenges he encountered: “Yes many – every day in the workshop was a challenge.
If you didn’t learn this profession – but acquired everything yourself – there are often things you don’t do often and then spend many hours doing them. For example, lacing and balancing the wheels was a very challenging job – to make sure that I didn’t scratch anything.”
He slightly modified the frame, laced and balanced his own wheels. He rewired all the electronics and designed some parts on his own thanks to CAD (self taught): the dual front light unit which looks sick; the gaskets and distance washers out of aluminum as well as the frame for the speedometer.
Have a seat.
He got some help to create the saddle which is 100% hand made and took many hours … check out the needle work on this one stitch by stitch!
The amazing paint job was completely done by hand as well with the help of Ersin. We love the look and feel of that gas tank with the old school Triumph logo and its golden touch!
Brakes and shocks were untouched keeping the feel of the original model from 1971.
Frame has been slightly modified (but only visually).
Tank: Redmax Speedsop
Saddle: Götz Manufaktur
Paint: ET’s Lackierwerkstatt
Mikuni carburetor from a Yamaha XS650 (suitable flanges were welded onto the cylinder head).
Exhaust: Own combination of different parts
Dry clutch (Bob Newby)
Front and rear lighting, construction self-made
Many self-made CAD parts (David is am also willing to sell them)
We love the feel and look of this modified T120. It’s clean. It’s simple. It’s an improved Triumph. It looks great. With the enticing pictures in the snow we bet many of you are wondering how this Triumph handles on tarmac?!?
We haven’t tried it (yet), but David says (and we believe him): “Haha you have to experience that, you can’t describe it. It has really nice power – that’s really striking – you would never, ever give that to this moped. But it really sprints sportily!!! The twin sound echoing in the mountains is just exhilirating! The handling is very dynamic and because of the wide handlebars you have full control. The seating position is perfect – super comfortable. With this bike you are simply the boss on the road – I have never received so many “thumbs up” and “looks”.” he grins.
Famous last words
“So David, anything you want to share with us?” we asked him. His reaction: “I learned so much about Triumph, Bonnevilles and the engine. I have developed my skills on the lathe, on the CAD programme, spoking the wheels and upholstering. I think the constant new learning and problem solving – are the beautiful things about this hobby – which I want to share with everyone. If you have fun – build your own bike! And what I learned in particular: At the end of the rebuild – to take professional photos. That gives the project the honourable finish.
I would particularly like to thank Fabio for the unbelievable shots in the snow.
David, thanks for sharing your passion with us and please keep us posted on your next build!