By Gareth Charlton - 06 Feb 14
Vertigo70, five bike building friends based out of Milan, are fast developing their unfamiliar name into something of a stalwart here on the Bike Shed, this their third build in three months to grace these pages. December featured their BMW R65 TNT, and in January followed the story of their CB500 McQueen, in which they tantalisingly hinted at an upcoming Hinckley Bonneville build. Well the short wait is over, here for February is their most original and exciting build yet. The new Triumph Bonneville is a great platform for an owner to apply simple custom characterisations too with a wealth of bolt-on products available, it also soars when heavily modified and developed by the Pro builders. But being a great looking bike straight from the crate, there is a worry that they can all start to look subtly alike. The Vertigo70 boys certainly thought so and decided that if they were to put their own stamp on the bike, major removals and refits were required. The tank, seat, lighting, airbox and battery were all jettisoned leaving the guys with a frame, engine and running gear and plenty of room to let their combined imaginings become reality. The tank is the centre of this build, completely redefining the bikes silhouette and attitude. They "decided to risk totally upsetting the lines of this wonderful bike" by combining aggressive lines and flat plains in their new lightweight aluminium tank. The surfaces and welds were deliberately left raw to reflect the new character of the bike with the Vertigo70 logo revealed through simply reversing the brushing in the finish. The lines of the tank are completed in the seat, which was inspired by the lines of the old Manx Norton perch, and sits on a shortened, modified frame. The flow of these new lines are given full value by the spaces carved around them. The battery was replaced with a small lithium unit that was mounted in the space vacated by the centre stand and the airbox was replaced with twin pod filters. The side panels and rear fender were confined to ebay. The electrical system was rethought, an old fog lamp was recessed to provide forward lighting and the instrumentation was minimised and mated to flat bars. They eliminated all superfluous colour allowing the natural hues of the iron, steel and aluminium to compliment the matt black engine and gloss black wheels. The drastic stylistic adjustments have resulted in crash weight loss and a ride that is "simple, fast, and as agile as a Gazelle" Form improving function. The bike is a truly original interpretation of the Hinckley Bonneville with an attitude all of its own - "edgy yet harmonious in form". Charting the development and ambition of the Vertigo70 project through their ever improving and eye catching builds is a real pleasure for the Bike Shed. See more from Vertigo70 here on the Bike Shed. So, ...what are you going to have for us in March gentlemen?