Triumph Legend TT900 cafe racer

Palatina T15 Triumph Cafe Racer

The world’s biggest Triumph motorcycle focused event ‘Tridays’ celebrated its tenth anniversary this year. Spanning 3 days the Austrian based event attracted thousands of visitors who travelled from throughout Europe and the rest of the world to profess their love for the British Marque. Along with an action-packed schedule of events and activities each year an invited builder unveils a customised Triumph created especially for Tridays. This year, however, to properly celebrate the milestone 10th anniversary, we saw the unveiling of two incredible machines, the Fuel Motorcycles ‘Triten’ and this, the Palatina Dream Bikes ‘T15’ Cafe Racer.

The T15 started out life as a Triumph Legend TT900, the liquid-cooled ‘modern classic’ which Triumph produced between 1998 and 2001. In its standard guise, the TT900 is akin to the more recent Speedmaster roadster with the exception of its 3 cylinder engine. The Legend’s 900cc engine is good for around 70bhp, but its weight, seating and suspension configuration made it a more relaxed ride. Palantina’s concept for the T15 was to turn the TT into a powerful, modern Cafe Racer that tipped the scales at less than 200kg, featured modern handling and made use of carbon fibre and aluminium.

To achieve their goal the project began by discarding a large proportion of the stock bike leaving only the engine and frame, from which the rear subframe was removed. Improvements to handling were paramount to the build and came in the form of a complete front end USD fork conversion and the fitment of a Ducati single-sided swingarm with an Ohlins, adjustable single shock in the rear. Lightweight OZ racing wheels and radial brakes were then fit to get the bike rolling again.

Drawing inspiration from Triumph’s classic emblem and the TT’s 3 cylinder engine configuration the Palatina team decided to apply a triangle theme to the T15. This is most apparent in the design of the LED filled headlight surround and at the tip of the bike’s exhaust. The 3-into-1 exhaust system is a completely redesigned, stainless unit inspired by Italian racing bikes. It snakes its way under the engine before converging into one pipe that heads up between the chassis and rear-wheel then into the tail. Inside the carbon fibre tail end, you’ll find a muffler that’s been insulated to reduce radiant temperatures and LED lighting for the brake and indicators.

The tail section sits atop a triangular rear subframe that’s also been constructed from carbon fibre using a monocoque design with additional tubular struts for strength. The TT900’s standard dials have been removed to make way for a single dial displaying revs, speed and trip info which sits snugly behind a small carbon visor.

To unleash some of the engine’s hidden horses a trio of Keihin flat slide carbs has been mounted to the engine and tuned to complement the custom exhaust for optimum performance. With such a dramatic custom build it was only fitting that it was unveiled with something more spectacular than the lifting of a sheet so during the main event on the Triday’s stage the T15 was lowered into place by a helicopter where it received a roaring response from the Triumph enthusiast audience.


Photos by Moppetphoto