So-Cal Miler – Hot Rod Street Trackers and Cafe Racers from Streetmaster

So-Cal Miler - Hot Rod Triumph Street Tracker

So-Cal Miler - Hot Rod Triumph Street Tracker

These new Triumphs just unveiled got me all curious, so I asked Richard Pollock, or "Mule," how they came about. Here's what he had to say:

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The story starts with 2 people and one bike. A Streettracker, Richard Varner and myself. The bike was the 100ci Streettracker featured in the Cycle World video. The bike was at the Long Beach show and Richard Varner approached me about the prospect of producing a series of new Bonneville based streettrackers in a lightweight chassis. A limited production run. The blue/white lightweight bike was prototype number one. Shortly after that was unveiled at the Quail last year, we joined forces with the So-Cal speed shop. They were keen to enter the bike market with their vast experience in building fast, beautiful things.

So-Cal Miler - Hot Rod Triumph Street Tracker

So-Cal Miler - Hot Rod Triumph Street Tracker

We provided what was called the Streetmaster prototype lightweight rolling chassis and over a period of months designed a bodywork package. Tank, seat and side panels were first drawn, then worked up in clay, then digitized to produce wooden bucks and finally art-like aluminum body work. Meanwhile as So-Cal was doing the finish work and beauty treatment to the So-Cal Prototype number one, I was building up from an identical chassis kit, a Café Racer built to requirements and finish treatments as determined by Richard Varner. Upon completition, both bikes were unveiled at the Quail on May 14th to a very enthusiastic reception.

So-Cal Miler - Hot Rod Triumph Street Tracker from Streetmaster

So-Cal Miler - Hot Rod Triumph Street Tracker from Streetmaster

The plan? There will be a build of twenty So-Cal editions in identical layout with some minor tweaks, one paint scheme and each bike will have a number on the panels relating its position in the build sequence. The Café Racers will be built in a limited number to order (Yes, with disc brakes available), and an extensive array of bolt-on parts for stock street models as well as limited custom builds. The parts available will fill a huge void in the aftermarket that exists between British flag stick-ons at one end and extreme race motor build-ups at the other. The Bonneville and Thruxton models have an enormous following and an ever increasing market share. They are very receptive to motor and chassis improvements and an all round fun bike. Why not?

Streetmaster Triumph Cafe Racer

Streetmaster Triumph Brighton Cafe Racer

Further, in the Hot Rod world there are traditions as far what cars to modify and ways to do it that produce the best style and performance results. For some reason, in the motorcycle world, choppers became the motorcycle version of the custom or Hot Rod. Generally speaking, they have developed into less than optimum handling showcases for chrome and paintjobs and run very light on true engineering. There are exceptions, but we believe that a Hot Rod motorcycle should be more about lightweight, power and performance with a dash of the “Retro” Hot Rod car flavor. This is the So-Cal domain.

Hot Rod builders/owners who purchase a ticket to the custom motorcycle world are quickly disappointed with the ride quality of the chopper experience. Enter the true Hot Rod motorcycle.

Link: Streetmaster
Link: Mule Motorcycles
Link: So-Cal MotoSport
Link: So-Cal Speedshop

So-Cal Triumph Cafe Racer

Streetmaster Triumph Cafe Racer

Comments

  1. DWolvin says

    Not exactly my style, but those are beautiful in their own right. I hope some of htem get to go on weekend runs to a fun place (Julian, anyone?) and not just sit. I really like the look of the un-numbered Triumph!

  2. sfan says

    Great project, very good execution.

    http://www.streetmaster.net/vision.html
    “Mule Motorcycles in conjunction with Streetmaster conceived and constructed a bike with the goal of 300 lbs, or less as a maximum dry weight, and real wheel horsepower approaching 70. Classic styling with modern equipment was also a priority. We are proud to say that the weight goals were reached, the horsepower goals were exceeded, and it’s a damn fine looking bike! We anticipate that there will be interest in frames and turnkey bikes so stayed tuned as we develop this program.”

  3. B50 Jim says

    The Streetmaster is a gorgeous bike! Edward Turner would approve — it looks like he designed it from his drafting table in Limey-Bike Heaven.

    One nit — sacrifice a pound of aluminum and put a guard on the primary drive sprocket. The hot-rod ethic can be taken too far. Riding is no fun when you’re trying to disentangle your leg from the chain. Leave open drivelines to the rat-rod crowd.

  4. Sick Cylinder says

    Agreed with B50 – and since seeing a racer lose his toes in a chain drive can we have a chain guard – a lightweight one would improve the look of the bike as well as the safety.

    My usual bugbear – front mudguard!

  5. Greybeard says

    Best of luck on the endeavor!

    Wish I could be alive 30-50 years from now to see Bonham’s flogging these for obscene amounts of money.

    Uh…is the high boy part of the deal too?
    Trade you a Guzzi for all 3. ;o)

  6. Stu says

    Do those Hi-Boys handle well? If not, the message is mixed. The Hi-boy would be akin to the chopper in the bike world – only Fast in a straight line. Nonetheless, good to see So-Cal involved and an emphasis on well-rounded performance in the custom bike scene. The bikes look great. Very cool, Mule

    • HoughMade says

      The Hi-Boy would have been a decent handler in it’s day compared to the new cars of the late ’40s and ’50s. It’s a matter of context.

  7. oldtimer says

    Mark your calenders. Sometime shortly after todays date is when we will look back and remember starting to say “Yeah, I used to know that Mule guy, back before he became famous and fabulously wealthy!”

    Beautiful, just beautiful. Really like the high pipes.

  8. B50 Jim says

    Stu —
    Those highboys could be made to handle fairly well, considering they had straight axles front and rear. With a heavy Ford flathead V-8 nestled low between the rails they had a reasonably low center of gravity. This one has a nice set of Offenhauser magnesium wheels as run on Indy cars of the day. Lots of them were turned into race cars (mostly dirt track and speedway) and they did quite well. Match one against a good European sports car and they didn’t fare so well, although they could stomp most anything in a straight line.

  9. Scotduke says

    Hmm, pretty nice I reckon and the street tracker particularly so. But I’ve had a chain snap on me (low quality Taiwanese copy parts) and seen what happens to a chain case so I’d tend to agree with the other posts about some kind of cover. The Ford hot rod is very nice too.

  10. B50 Jim says

    mule — sorry; Halibrands. You’re right. It’s been a while. Knockoffs for sure; originals are worth nearly their weight in gold.

  11. Tin Man says

    Just a side note the famous car “Ole Yellow” did real well against the Europeons back in the day. It did so well that it was about banned in the SoCal road races back in the day.

  12. Dawg says

    Really having a tough job choosing a favourite between these two now. Both Beautiful machines.

  13. B50 Jim says

    sfan —
    Thanks for the links to Pollock’s XS650 projects. I think the XS650 was one of the nicest-looking motorcycle engines ever made. It’s the perfect base for any middle-weight machine, be it a street-tracker, adventure bike, 70’s-era road racer, even a lightweight tourer. Tuners can coax plenty of reliable power from it, and it runs forever. My ’75 was pure stock, yet it easily carried me, a passenger and our gear across country. I swapped the horrible stock seat for a Corbin-Gentry double-bucket seat and off we went. The engine never missed a beat throughout thousands of miles.

    • sfan says

      I completely agree with you Jim about the XS650 engine. I must say that is nice to see the engine esthetic Pollock is achieving with the Bonnie. Perhaps a couple of decades from now it will also be seen as a classic.

  14. says

    Truly wonderful to see these two machines, and with support from Pete Chapouris and the lads at the legendary SoCal Speed Shop helping to make this program an Anglo American nuclear bomb that the world hasn’t seen since the days of Carroll Shelby’s iconic Cobras in the middle 1960s.

    As a former manager at a Triumph Motorcycle dealer, I really hope that Triumph Motorcycles of Hinckley, England embraces this effort and goes forward to work with the team that has put these bikes together to offer a line of accessories and apparel to the wide range of Triumph enthusiasts out there today.

    Great job, and hats off to all involved in the program.

  15. Les says

    The So-Cal Miler is a lovely bike for sure.

    It needs a few more things to move it from garage queen to usable as mentioned (including real lights, mirrors, splash guards, sprocket cover, heat shield on the pipe… the things chopper builders tend to leave out).

    What has my attention are the 3 things that look like toggle switches under the right side seat. Anyone have any insight on that? For now I will dream that one flips the license plate, one jams radar and the final one engages the rocket boosters :)

    • says

      The Three switches are for the lights, ignition on/off, and a momentary switch for the starter. The original websit pricing on the roller anticipated a large titanium content (ceramic rotors, titanium spokes, tubeless rims, special threaded hubs etc.) plus many special one off or low number production parts. But it was very complete As such there was high price associated with it. In response to inquiries and what has proven to be more popular, we will be offering a complete roller at a much reduced level that will be more affordable and easier to work with for an individual looking to produce one of these on their own. Stay tuned for more information in this regard.

    • BigHank53 says

      Those are hand-welded 4130 frames. The material costs 5-10 times as much as the mild steel the stock frames are made of, and it’s a dog to work with. Putting a single one of these frames together killed a couple hole saws, files, a roll of emery cloth and a tank of argon.

    • mule says

      Not sure where you got the $20K for a roller price as an exact price is still evolving, but I’m confident it will be well below $10K.

      The cro-mo 4130 is not too tough to work with, but for sure it’s not buttery soft like mild steel. It does eat up tooling as do many high carbon and nickle alloys.

      • BigHank53 says

        I build bicycle frames with heat-treated 4130, which is really hard on the tooling. Annealed 4130 is not so bad.

        I did some mods on a CB350 frame a few years ago, and I was just laughing–that frame was so soft it might as well have been made out of cheese.

  16. Jasper says

    I like them,but those downdraft Keihin FCR’s fitted horizontally destroy the lines of the bike.
    One of the reasons i opted for Mikuni HSRs and not Keihin on my bike was exactly that.
    Imho a better option would be to re jet a set of MX FCR kehins,

    But apart from that they look stunning.

    • mule says

      Look at a picture of the downdraft type. The DD’s have a totally different float bowl location. M

      • Jasper says

        Okay agreed lets rephrase, the rearward stance of the slide on this particular type of Keihins is interfering with the lines of the bike.
        Keihin sells this type of carb kit too for guzzi’s and for that reason alone i opted for mikunis.
        MX keihins are vertical and should look better imho.

        I just bought a set of DD 41 FCR’s for my next project a 1000cc 72 degrees Vtwin.

        • mule says

          Since we’re talking to the appearance factors, I prefer the Dellorto to anything else. Those darned Italians can make anything that is actually a functional component (such as a carb), look very appealing to the eye. Well they can if they want to. They also have the ability to make bizzarro looking components/bikes too!

  17. zipidachimp says

    anyone wonder if the poobahs at honda, yam, triumph etc, ever scan sites like this, bikeexif, pipeburn etc ? if everyone loves these gorgeous aftermarket/private creations, why aren’t they showing up on showroom floors? do you really need another sportbike or cruiser?

    • BigHank53 says

      Sure, they look at these sites. They also look at something much, much more important: their sales numbers. Cruisers and sport bikes sell in the US because most motorcycles in the US are toys, not daily transportation. The only standards that have sold well here in the last two decades are the SV650 and the Nighthawk 750.

      If they can’t sell thousands and thousands of a bike, they’re not going to bother making it. Making a Thruxton 100 lbs lighter would cost Triumph, say $5k–we’ll give them some economies of scale. How many sales would they gain, and how many would they lose?

  18. Tin Man says

    These are special custom bikes,DUH. Triumph already sells the Thruxton, it is pretty much one of these bikes put into mass production, with legal lights, signals, mirrors chain guard and all the other things a production bike must have. These two bikes are the idealized versions of a Thruxton. What makes them desireable is the fit and finish and top quality(Big Buck) components. I will add that the Thruxton does not sell very well here in the U.S.

    • mule says

      TM- Different models of different brands have different sales strength depending where you live. Here in southern California, the Triumph twins sell very well including the Thruxton. I remember a thread here ayear os so ago where the discussion was about the Honda Fury. A mid-west dealer couldn’t get enough to meet demand and the local dealer here couldn’t give one away. Just depends on the local market.

      So assuming you don’t work in the corporate offices of Triumph of America, I would say maybe they just aren’t popular where you live.

      As far as “The Thruxton is pretty much one of these bikes”, that’s not even close. Both these bikes started as a motor sitting on a cold cement floor. Every single part was dreamed up, fabricated, given a surface finish, hand fitted through trial and error and then assembled into a complete functioning bike. Each of the three prototypes were hand made and are very different from each other. All started with a similar frame structure that isn’t even related to a Thruxton other than it utilizes the same powerplant stuck into the middle of it.

      Actually the thought that they are basically a Thruxton is a compliment as the goal is to make them as seamless and smooth and production like as possible. If you can’t tell the difference….mission accomplished.

    • todd says

      I see tons of Thruxtons here in Northern California too. Not too many cruisers. I was originally considering a Thruxton until I saw them everywhere. I don’t like to ride the same thing as everyone else. These bikes don’t remind me of a Thruxton at all.

      Maybe I should get a Guzzi V7.

      -todd

  19. mick says

    Mmmm,..Mmmm!,..but then again i am biased,.owning a tricked’ T160 ’75 trident’ will do that.