Spirit of the 70s Scrambler
By James McCombe - 30 Mar 15
It's been a while since we've had a bike from Spirit of the Seventies on these pages. But with Norman Greenbaum back in the news today for unfortunate reasons, when this fettled Scrambler of theirs dropped into our inbox, it made us think about coincidences and the possibility of 'him up there' having a laugh at our expense. Far from thumb twiddling, Kev and Tim have simply been flat out working on some extremely exciting projects; news of which will reach these shores in good time. Glimpses of neo-retro Speed Triples and other delicious looking parts and paint jobs have surfaced on their social media outlets and our feet are tapping in anticipation. Yet between all the big scale builds, Spirit still work hard to take on jobs with slightly more restricted budgets. The trickle down effect of their experience with the Triumph Modern Classics range meaning they now have a number of bespoke parts which transform the familiar base bikes with relative ease and reduced expense. And once again, their attention was turned to an 865 Scrambler. Many folk are finding the heightened stance of the the wobbly-cranked version of the Bonneville range makes for a very tidy tool around town. As well as the perfect companion for a weekend blast past the city limits, the versatile unit has a little more innate character to it than the original's 360 degree rod thrower. Nuno, a London-based architect, had been flying around the capital on his 2008 Triumph Scrambler for a few years now. A rolling project, he'd been tinkering with the machine for a while, a few mods here and there, picking up items he liked as he went along. With the box of bits growing quicker than he could fit them, he asked Spirit to take over, combining the parts he'd sourced from around the globe, with some of their own bespoke pieces. Not wanting to strip the bike for powder coating, looping the rear end couldn't be the usual chop and weld; paint, never lasts very long in those situations. So Spirit devised a cunning bolt-on solution, executed so we'll you'd hardly notice unless pointed out. A broad, buffed alloy mudguard and miniature Bates light complete the smart rear end. The riding position has been tweaked with raised and braced tracker bars and some new alloy foot-pegs, letting the rider sit up and have a good view of the upcoming traffic slalom. Jelly grips and a low, bar mounted mirror give a very old-school feel to the cockpit, carried throughout the bike with items like the drilled MAS chain guard. The addition of Spirit's own Diamond Solo seat and Slash-Cut exhaust system add much to the bike's new look. Replacing the bulky original items brings the extremities of the bike in closer, centralising the visual and physical mass. The whole bike looks stumpier and much more capable, even sat on it's stand. To emphasize the rugged good looks, some desert tan wrap on the exhaust was added at Nuno's request, breaking up the black and alloy powerplant. The merely adequate braking system of the original bike received attention: an EBC disc, new Nissin caliper and braided lines give increased power and feel. The suspension had already received some attention from Nino, uprated sprung parts were an early addition to make the Capital's rough roads navigable. With the standard headlight removed, the ignition was relocated to the main downtube, easy to access and keeping the top yoke free from scratches. The Reg/Rec was also tucked up further out of the way for cleanliness. The ever talented Dennis at D*Lucks was called upon for the matt green paint, the simple military look works beautifully well on the rugged twin. A set of custom badges pick up the gold highlights across the bikes, as well as the amber-coated headlight with it's protective grill. Slightly smaller than the original unit, it's bottom mount leaves the forks upper clear and makes the bike look far simpler. Nuno's Scrambler is clear proof, were it needed, that a few carefully chosen mods can make a big visual and dynamic difference. With some classic block pattern Continental rubber, the essence of the bike has been exaggerated and brought to the fore, making you want to hop on and roost off down the track. There'll be more to come from Spirit of the Seventies soon so watch these pages and be sure to keep an eye on their Facebook page.