1972 Triumph Bonneville Custom
This is really one of the coolest motorcycles up for sale now. It’s not so much about the bike, which is very cool indeed, but it’s more about the owner and why it’s being sold.
Customized Bonneville’s are probably more common than stock versions on the road these days. Vintage Bonnie’s and new generation Bonneville’s are perfect platforms for a builders creativity. Cafe’ Racers, Bobbers, Choppers, Street Trackers and genuine racers…the Bonneville is perfect.
The particular Bonneville I found today on ebay belongs to skateboard industry mogul Tony Hawk. I met Tony back in the early 1980’s. I was running a major surf and skate shop in Southern California when skateboarding was huge and Powell Peralta was the hugest of the huge. We had planned a skateboard demo, ‘The Bones Brigade’ in the parking lot of the shopping center one our stores was in. The shopping center, nor we, had any idea how big this was going to be. Hours before the demo was scheduled to start the parking lot was filling up skateboarders, and truth be told, creating all kinds of havoc. You couldn’t get into the supermarket without having to dodge a crazed fifteen year old on a skateboard…or three of them or twenty of them, it was nuts.
When the team showed up…in a pretty stylin’ limo I might add, we had to hustle them into the shop, lock the door and order pizza, like I said this way beyond anything we had planned…it was nuts. Two hours later and a parking lot full of skateboarders surrounded by police, helicopters from local TV stations above and a shopping center manager none too happy with us, the demo became a none event. But it did make the 6 o’clock news! We had to get the guys out one way or another, so it was out the back door, over a wall and into an old, beat up VW van…mine. We all laughed but there was hell to pay later on from all sides.
So what has this got to do with motorcycles you ask, nothing really except for who is selling the bike and why. Tony Hawk is a legendary character in one world, skateboarding, and not really known in our world, motorcycles. But Tony is also known as a philanthropist. Tony has spent a lot of years working with ‘at risk’ kids through the Tony Hawk Foundation. He gets them involved in activities, like skateboarding, to keep them headed in a positive path. This particular Triumph Custom is being sold to continue the work of the foundation.
About the bike, I look at it as somewhere between ‘bobber’ and cafe, it’s minimalistic for sure and everything has been done right. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Mr. Hawk. On ebay, there isn’t a lot of information about the bike so you might want to ask a few questions. I don’t know if it’s a rider or just something you park in your living room, but if it were me…ride it…but, park it in the living room. Of course you would need your significant other’s approval and an oil drip pan…it is English.
Click on the pics below for more info and beautiful pictures of this stunning motorbike. This Triumph is beautifully built, the pictures show more than just art on two wheels, a true craftsman built this Bonneville. Take your time and truly appreciate all the details.
As a side note here, all too often skateboarders have gotten a bad rap and sometimes it is deserved, but I have spent the vast majority of my working life with surfers,skateboarders and motorcycle riders and 99.9% are really good people, Tony Hawk and all the work he does for disadvantaged kids is a great example of what good there is in sub cultures. And…to see great skateboarding, get the movie “the Search For Animal Chin” The Bones Brigade at their best.