Triple Shot - Bad Ass Triumph Speed Triple


From street fighter to café racer. This Triumph Speed Triple is barely recognizable beneath its new, retro exterior. This wild transformation is the work of French motorcycle enthusiast and custom builder, Jean-Francois Thomas. After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease the 48 year old left his nine to five to refocus his life’s efforts on projects he loved. Opening the aptly named Bad Ass Factory workshop he built this bike as a personal project which now serves as his rather eye catching daily commuter.


The donor for the project was Jean-Francois’ own 2008 Triumph 1050 Speed Triple. Although his plan was to add bodywork to the naked streetfighter his goal was ultimately to improve the bikes performance so it would have to shed some weight. To do this he stripped the bike down to its frame, wheels, and engine and began planning which components of the stock bike could be removed or swapped out with lightweight alternatives. 


Lacking the skills to remodel the bike using CAD software Jean-Francois resorted to good old fashion pencil on paper to sketch out his vision. His design wrapped the Speed Triple in bodywork styled after the Rickman brothers Avon fairings with design tweaks to complement the stock Speed Triple fuel tank. Large vents in the side panels and front were incorporated to ensure cooling was optimal and the rear end was completely redesigned to accommodate a lone rider.


Happy with his sketches Jean-Francois proceeded to build the bodywork. Once again he resorted to using his hands to create the new bodywork using the lightest materials he could find. The front fairing, fender, and tail unit were constructed from carbon fiber while the fairings large, polished side panels have been shaped from aluminum sheet. With the removal of the original tail unit, the rear of the fuel tank sat awkwardly above the frame rails so Jean-Francois fashioned vented alloy panels to fill in the gaps. Aluminum was also utilized to fabricate a lightweight seat pan and heel guards for bikes rear set foot pegs.


Beneath the Triumphs carbon tail, Jean-Francois installed a handmade plexiglass taillight and the turn signals have been integrated into the clip-on handlebars. The original instruments sit on a specially made shelf beneath a replica Velocette windscreen and for a bit of extra grunt, he fit the bike with an aftermarket exhaust. The exhaust isn’t the only thing improving this Speed Triples performance though. Despite the addition of the fully faired bodywork, Jean-Francois' retro Speed Triple tips the scales at a whopping 14kg less than in its stock form.


For a look worthy of his workshops name the Speed Triple has been finished using a sinister color palette. The blacked out wheels, frame, and engine focus attention on Jean-Francois' carbon fiber and polished alloy bodywork. The fuel tank was stripped to raw metal, brushed and clear coated to a deep glossy finish and red accents complete the bikes Bad Ass appearance. The saddle (seen only in the riding shot below) is the only component Jean-Francois outsourced during the build. 

If Triumph is looking to add another Modern Classic to their model range we’d definitely suggest something along these lines.



Looking for Cafe Racer gear? Visit the...

100MPH STORE