Bad Winners 018 'Wasp Waist'
By Ross Sharp - 21 Jul 16
Triumph's Bonneville is fast becoming one of the most customised bikes of recent times with many builders and workshops choosing the dependable donor as a base for their breakthrough projects. Bad Winners from Paris was 17 builds deep before having a dabble with a Hinckley twin. And despite there being nothing new when it comes to custom trumpets, founder and owner Walid has managed to produce a seriously good looking steed. Being French Walid had a sensuous design concept, telling us "My thoughts were revolving around the thin waist of a wasp and how this could be portrayed through the line of the tank and the seat. I wanted to create a bike that was aggressive but hidden within, a touch of elegance." Elegance has definitely been achieved whilst maintaining a mean stance. Rather than totally flatten-out the subframe Walid has continued the line of the original rails, looping them together neatly. Leaving enough room for wheel travel and a hand-rolled rear mudguard, complete with integrated LED tail light. The squat attitude comes courtesy of lowered suspension, 33mm at the rear and 50mm up front. Upgraded shocks bring the swingarm closer to the subframe while the forks have been properly lowered internally, rather than simply dropped in the yokes. The real visual punch though is delivered by the change in wheel size. Yup, if you hadn't spotted why the 'Wasp Waist' looked so purposeful it's thanks to it riding on 17s. Wider LSL rims on stock hubs allow for a beefier tyre choice, Pirelli's tried and tested MT60 Corsa RS not only offer bags of grip but also have one of the most handsome tread patterns of any dual sport tyre. The interface between seat and tank is where Walid invested a chunk of effort, ensuring the a seamless transition from hand-stiched leather to the lustrous deep blue of the tank. All too often a beautiful bike is ruined by an uncomfortable dig-in-the-thighs seat. This looks like just the weapon for weaving through Parisienne traffic in both style and comfort. The carbs have been fitted with a Dynojet Stage 3 kit to match the open K&N filters and free-flowing TEC stainless exhaust headers. A stubby Spark muffler abates a few of the decibels but leaves most of them for everyone to enjoy and puts a sting in the Bonnie's tail. Rather than follow the herd down the tracker number board and headlight setup Walid had a more boldly proportioned housing lasercut from steel. It houses a powerful LED headlight that'll actually works, a Motoscope Tiny speedo and regulator/rectifier. Beneath the slim seat is a an equally subtle battery box. A lithium battery powers and fresh loom to feed the Motogadget system. Walid is a neat-freak with his builds and relies on Motogadget's space saving products to ensure a bike looks great whilst remaining everyday-practical. The M-Switch keyless ignition was a real game changer when it was released a few years back, prompting Walid to fit the system to most of his bikes. It's easy to hide and makes for a much neater dash. Bad Winners have quickly become a workshop to watch, and not just the other side of the water. After showing-off his skills with some gorgeous customs at our London and Paris shows Walid has made a name for himself here in London. 'Racing Rose' was bought by one of our readers and we're glad to see it parked outside our Shoreditch HQ. He's an ambitious chap too with grand plans for the future. Backed up by tenacity and a work ethic that'd have most grafters calling for a time-out, Walid has already made a success of Bad Winners and we look forward to seeing what he comes up with next. Follow Bad Winners' progress here Bike Shed Archive | Web | Instagram | Facebook Images by Guillaume Petranto