Inspired by Dave Helrich's Triumph Streetfighter, 52 year old builder Chris Atkinson spent 3 months building his first motorcycle. Recently, Chris shared his project with Her Majesty's Thunder.
Chris tells about his build, "I saw Dave Helrich's, ( Helrich Custom Cycles ), Streetfighter and fell in love with it. Contacted Dave with the hope of him building me one, but the import regs over here in Australia don't allow modified bikes or cars to be imported. So I built one myself, with some help from Dave. I bought a stock 1971 Tiger and went from there. Got it on Ebay from a an old mate of mine I hadn't seen for around 15 years, blew us both away when Dave opened his door.
It has a rigid frame from Factory Metal Works, 4.5" longer and 2" lower, stock motor, stainless drag pipes, tri spark electronic ignition and rectifier, high voltage coils, hand made aluminium guards from 7 Metal West, original wheels powdercoated and stainless spokes, ceramic coated brake hubs/cover plates, aluminium coated tank with 2 days sanding and polishing, Mooneyes spinner cap to lock the tank down, brass inspection caps, MonsterCraftsmen chain tensioner, Biltwell seat mount, custom seat from Helrich Custom Cycles, original front end with progressive fork springs, Woodcraft clipons, lots of hand made brackets, battery box etc. All new wheel bearings, brake shoes, cables, guages, vintage cloth covered wiring, all stainless bolts/nuts. Lots of parts were sourced from Trojan Classic Cycles over here in Australia as well as Lowbrow Customs.
The build took me around 3 months, great fun. I am a beater and painter & usually muck around with cars, so this was a lot easier than doing a car. I have never ridden on the road before until I built her, still on my Learner license at 52 years of age. The coolest learner legal bike around. I love riding it, heaps of fun and a real blast.
The "before" photos of the 1971 Triumph Tiger: