This project started the day I bought my first motorcycle because this is my first motorcycle—a 2004 Triumph Bonneville that I bought used about six years ago. At the time, this bike was everything I ever wanted, and every time it started to feel otherwise, I knew it was time for a modification. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point over the years those changes began to add up to a coherent statement of style and performance. Today, we are unveiling that statement: “The Ghost.”
When the motorcycle came to me I barely knew how to turn a wrench, and every time I tried, things tended to go horribly wrong. Lots of nights going to bed with bloody knuckles, bloodshot eyes and parts still sprawled out on the garage floor. A few rides of shame to the local Triumph dealer to undo the damage.
But those failures were teaching me things. More than I knew. They made me realize that if a process feels uncomfortable, you’re probably about to learn something. Eventually I grew to embrace these sorts of moments and the feelings of frustration that came with them, because I knew that meant a new skill and a deeper understanding of my machine was likely around the next blind turn.
If you’re lucky, a custom build is a journey that never really ends. It changes with you, its final form always a bit hazy in your mind, elusive and uncertain, but worth searching for, like a ghost.
Model: 2004 Triumph Bonneville Black
Exhaust: Drag Pipe Exhaust System from British Customs
K&N air filters and airbox removal: Newbonneville.com
Bars: Tracker bars from Biltwell Inc.
Wheels: Canyon TT Wheels, with custom 18” rear wheel
Tires: Metzeler Karoo 3
Rear Suspension: Progressive Vintage “12 Series” Shocks
Luggage: Blood Brothers Inc. Vintage Military Bag
Tachometer: Motogadget Chronoclassic, mounting bracket from Revival Cycles
Steering damper: Norman Hyde
Rotors: EBC CX Extreme Vee
Auxiliary Light: Hella Rally 4000x LED light
Grips and pegs: Biltwell
Headlight: Scrambler-style headlight from Dime City Cycles
Crash bars: SW-Mototech
Mirrors: Joker Machine Viewtech-7
Paint: D1 California Cycles
Fabricated parts: bag mount, speed sensor mount, side shaping and screen installation, vintage leather pouch wired to charge cell phone, in-bar and in-rail LED turn signals, custom switches for aux light and tach operation