Vince's Speed Triple Cafe
By Anthony van Someren - 25 Sep 13
It usually takes the likes of Spirit of the Seventies or Roland Sands to get our attention when it comes to customising a modern machine like the Triumph Speed Triple. While they're lovely bikes, their very modern design cues and that dominating perimeter frame usually means adding a fairing to create a more timeless look, or spending a fortune remaking various key components so you can hide away all the strange boxes, cooling parts, electrical components and fluid lines. However, the Speed Triple is destined to become a modern classic, and sometimes you can achieve a lot just by making the right tasteful mods, and this is what Vince Power from Nantes has achieved with his pride and joy. Vince is 37 years old and works in digital printing, and has loved motorcycles since he was 18. Like the rest of us, he's become drawn into the current custom scene, but coming from a sportsbike background he opted to enter our world via a 2013 Speed Triple, rather than picking up a '74 CB500, and when you compare the spec, it's hard to argue. The mission was to give this modern steed a cafe/brat edge - not an easy task. Has he succeeded? ...well, that's for you to say. We think he's made a pretty good fist of it. For Vince, painting plays a key role on making his property his own, from bikes to helmets, so he started his plans to add a vintage vibe to the bike with a paint job. For the rest of the cosmetics he swapped the OEM rims for spoked Kineo wheels - which retain tubeless tyres - and old-school Brookes leather grips were complemented by a new retro-styled seat and leather tank cover. A simple yoke-mounted Bates styled headlamp probably makes the biggest difference to the silhouette of the bike, as it's the modern, over-designed lighting clusters that seem to blight most modern bike's efforts to capture any degree of a timeless vibe, plus, any change from the Speed Triple's signature twin lamps makes a big difference. The engine has been given more bite and with the aid of this beautiful HP Corse exhaust, but as you can imagine, performance was never the issue. So, what we have here is a shed-tweaked modern bike with strong retro-vintage influences, but the sum of the parts work surprisingly well as an overall package, and it shows how much you can do to turn a modern machine with a smidgen of soul into something with infinitely more character - and who wouldn't say no to any machine that's powered by that class-leading Triumph powerplant. Vince has every right to look so pleased with himself. Thanks to Michael Meniane for the tasteful photos.