In February 2021, I got a message request on Instagram. Anyone on the popular photo-sharing platform will know that’s not too out of the ordinary. What made this message stand out was that it wasn’t from a porn-bot or a spam account (shock horror, I know!). It wasn’t even from an overseas business trying to get me to promote blatantly plagiarised motorcycle jacket designs. It was from a normal guy in Perth who wanted to talk about bikes and photography.
After I had recovered from my disbelief that this was a genuine human being, I replied to the message and everything kicked off from there. That’s basically the story of how I met Shannon Fedden, founder of the Flow Motion Project.
Flow Motion What Now?
Flow Motion Project is something Shannon has been working on for a few years now. The main goal of FMP is to foster a community of motorcyclists, motorcycle brands, and motorcycle businesses.
Shannon got started riding in his teenage years, and after a break from the sport, he’s back in a big way. To kick off the Project, something special was in the cards. With COVID-19 restrictions in full swing, a design that took months to plan was finally underway.
With the retro cafe racer style taking over the motorcycling world in recent years, there was only one style that Shannon was after. A quick trip to Triumph Sydney saw the keys to a 2021 Triumph Thruxton R handed over, and the project began.
Blue Diablo: A Triumph Thruxton R Like You’ve Never Seen Before
So, you’re an Aussie guy with a Triumph in Sydney and you want a custom bike that is guaranteed to turn heads. You can probably guess who Shannon called, right? Yes, it was Wenley Andrews of Wenley Moto Design.
After a scenic ride north of the Sydney CBD, up the Pacific Hwy to Mount Kuring-Gai, the Thruxton was rolled into Wenley’s workshop. With the bike on the lift, it was promptly (but respectfully) stripped down and hacked to pieces.
The angle grinder made short work of the passenger pegs, and while it was out, the rest of the frame was liberated of all superfluous bracketry. The Thruxton R is a slim machine but this bike was destined to become even more streamlined than the factory intended.
Adding lightness is a surefire way to make anything faster, and unsprung weight is the enemy of speed. To counter this, a set of BST Diamond Tek 5 carbon wheels were bolted on. The front wheel is the stock size, but a 180 section wheel in the back adds some serious aggression out back. Pirelli tyres (Diablo Corsa II in the rear and an Angel GT in the front) keep things glued to the road.
With the chassis rolling, the focus turned to the bodywork. The front fender, bikini faring, chain guard, and sprocket cover were all designed by Wenley using some trick rapid prototyping and 3D printing. With the design dialled in, they were fabricated in steel and fibreglass and bolted up.
Nestled inside the new fairing is a Highsider Bates-style 5 ¾ inch LED headlight on a custom mount. Triumph nerds will notice that the Motogadget MST Speedster speedometer is snugged in where the key used to be after Wenley modified the top clamp.
The whole front end of the bike was rewired to accept the Motogadget parts, with a black box wired in to keep the ABS and traction control happy. The key and brake fluid reservoir have been relocated to sit on either side of the speedometer. This is just one example of Wenley’s brilliance when it comes to small details that pack a punch.
The switchgear and grips are factory items, but the clip-ons are aftermarket. New mo.blaze tens1 and tens3 indicators (again from Motogadget) adorn the front and rear of the bike, respectively. They are microscopic but pack such a punch that my retinas needed a break after taking photos of them. Motogadget mo.view mirrors round out the cockpit.
Moving towards the middle of the bike, the tank (along with the other bodywork) got a fresh coat of paint. If it looks familiar, that is because it is a Porsche colour—Riviera Blue—taken from the 911 GT3. It looks good from all angles, in any light, and this is where the bike gets the “Blue Diablo” name from.
The alloy tank strap was drilled out with a few speed holes for some real old school cafe racer vibes. Under the tank, the engine was given a pair of custom stainless steel exhausts and S&F waterproof pod filters. To take advantage of the properly unleashed 1200cc, water-cooled masterpiece, the bike was dyno tuned by Wenley and now runs through a Tuneboy Electronic Control Module.
With the airbox deleted (and everything else under the seat) the new electronics are housed in a tray under the seat. Again, this was all made by Wenley, and if you know anything about new bikes, it’s that they have a lot of wiring. This necessitated a complete overhaul of the rear wiring to simplify it and make it easy to hide. There is also a new Motocell lithium battery mounted under the seat.
Speaking of the seat, the pan is a WMD fibreglass unit, and it has been upholstered in black Alcantara with blue diamond stitching. To go with the seat, other items on the bike were given a fresh coat of Henry Ford’s finest. This includes the subframe, swingarm, finned engine caps, kickstand, heel guards, engine covers, brake pedal and gear lever.
Again, it’s the little things that can make an already good-looking bike truly great. Sharp eyes will spot the rear brake fluid reservoir tucked neatly away behind the heel guard—another WMD easter egg.
Yet another subtle addition is the coolant reservoir. Triumph did a great job making the radiator slim and unobtrusive, and Wenley has done the same with the new tank. Mounted on the left of the radiator and painted the same shade of black, the design and colour encourage the eye to slide over it.
At the end of the WMD seat lies the number plate and lighting setup, again all designed by Wenley. The large number 5 is Shannon’s way of paying homage to Jack Marshall, winner of the 1908 Isle of Mann TT. Jack, wearing the number 5, rode a 3 ½ horsepower Triumph to victory, winning the first prize trophy and a whopping £25 (which in today’s money is about $3000USD).
That doesn’t sound like a lot of winnings for what was, and still is, one of the most dangerous motorcycle races in history. However, if you like winning things but aren’t necessarily prepared to risk your life, I have some good news: you can win this motorcycle.
Yes, you read that correctly. Shannon and Flow Motion Project are giving this beautiful, unique machine to one lucky winner. All you have to do is purchase one of the Flow Motion Project membership options and your name will go in the draw. It’s that easy.
The draw takes place on February 8th so get your entries in! If you are in Australia and would like to see this bike in your garage, good luck.
It’s one of the nicest motorcycles I’ve had the pleasure of photographing and it’s worth a lot more than £25. Sorry, Jack.
Story and photography by Ben Pilatti of Regular Moto.