As well as being a Creative Director in the design industry, expat Frenchman Benoit (Ben) Barras is co-owner of Hong Kong’s only custom garage, Angry Lane, and this is Ben’s 1973 500cc Daytona Triumph which he’s called ‘The Black Needle’.
Angry Lane includes Ben’s brother, Guillaume (G) Barras, as they had worked together as parts distributers for a Japanese brand. The third member of Angry Lane is James Dixon who they met while he was looking for parts. Meanwhile G owned a chopped Harley 883 and he was the one who found the donor for this build, a rare US import in HK.
Ben knew he wanted a rigid bobber, and as a professional creative and detail freak (his own words) he had a very clear idea of the lines and details he wanted, so sourcing the parts alone took him six months.
G had already worked with Hong Kong-based British mechanic and fabricator Geoff Giles, and after a few meetings he agreed to work on Ben’s bike too.
After the parts had been sorted it took the guys 10 months to build the whole bike, with parts coming in from all over the world. The hardtail came from David Bird in the US, the dry clutch came from Bob Newby Racing in UK with tanks and various other parts coming in from the US and Japan.
Ben’s inspiration came from three directions; the Daytona build by Max Schaff (ex skater and bike builder), the Falcon bikes, for a few selected details, and the Japanese motorcycle scene for their super- narrow bikes built for overcrowded cities.
Angry Lane are now a fully operating shop and workshop. A couple of months ago they finished an SR500, have also modified a few bikes and are now finishing a full build on a mono-shock 1993 CB750. We look forward to seeing that.
Photos are by Jason Bonello from Velocity Images
Ben has a few more thank-yous:
Guillaume Barras, my bro, for buying me the bike, Geoff Giles our fabricator and partner, Jason Bonello form , Tosh at Easyriders Japan. Dean & Dan from Dice (lets party in Yokohama this year), Cole Foster for answering my questions and being so cool, Max Schaaf for the Sarah’s bike inspiration, the Japan scene etc.
Year & make: 1973 Triumph
Model: Daytona 500cc
Design: Angry Lane – Benoit Barras
Fabrication: Angry Lane – Geoff Giles
Assembly: Angry Lane – Geoff Giles
Time: 6 months for parts / 10 months on and off
Ignition: Boyer Electronic
Engine: Stock but dismantled and all washers and gasket changed
Primary/clutch: Bob Newby England Dry belt
Carb: Single AMAL 626
Air Cleaner: Ebay found no brand
Pipes: Angry Lane – Geoff Giles
Modifications: Dry belt Bob Newby
Year: Brand new
Shifting: 4 speed, right side
Front part: Original 1973
Hardtail: Builder David Bird (through Lowbrow US)
Style: Straight end
Stretch: 4″ Drop: 1″
Forks: Original 1973
Top riser: Rusty metal work / Ebay
Risers: Yamaha YZ refurbished
Front: 18″, respoked and chromed, new drum brake
Rear: 18″, respoked and chromed, drum brake
Tires: Dunlop TT100
Bars: Easyriders Japan 7/8″ straight Zbar 1″ up, shorten by 2″
Risers: Yamaha YZ refurbished
Levers: MX bike
Switches: Go through levers mount and bar (Posh Japan)
Throttle: Amal 364 Replica Aluminum
Grips: Renthal MX
Fenders: Rear ribbed fender and aluminum front by Easyriders Japan
Headlight: Original Bates 369
Indicator: From Triumph headlight, in brass, 5.3/4″ with cateyes
Taillight: Round aluminum by Easyriders, modified with LED
Speedo: Mini speedo Easyrider / brass plate mounting and cable conversion
Gas Tank: Motorrock Japan Wassell / peanut
Gas Cap: Vintage style high repro
Petcock: Pingel Guzzler mounted on carburetor base
Oil Tank: Aluminum Oil tank Cali Choppers
Battery box: Custom
Battery belt: Black Needle buckle and Custom embossed leather belt
Seat: West Eagle mono modified, Black Needle covered
Pegs: Angry Lane – Geoff Giles
Brass: Angry Lane – Geoff Giles custom, lot of them..
Frame: Chrome with cast parts in black
Color: Black, Pinstriping by Ben