Old bike meets modern technology. A Bonnie idea.
IT'S so easy for custom bike builders to fall into the trap of building endless variations on the traditional chopper/cruiser/cafe race theme that when one does something really different it's worth sitting up and taking note.
And this work-in-progress, from deepest Wales, shows just that sort of lateral thinking. It's a Bonneville, destined to be a cafe racer when completed, but the entire chassis is handmade from carbon fibre.
Taimoshan Cycle Works in Cardiff is responsible for the project, and from the look of their completed bikes the finished article should be impressive. Designed to be used with any T120 or T140 Bonneville engine – not the modern Hinckley-made machines – the chassis weighs just 3.5kg, saving 12.5kg compared to the steel original. Add in a single shock swingarm at just 1.5kg and, with aluminium used for the tank and seat, the finished bike is expected to come in at under 150kg.
The firm is also working on a hardtail bobber frame from the same material, weighing only 3kg, and once development is finished both versions are set to be offered as made-to-order parts for other people's Bonnie projects.
Posted: 25/01/2011 at 14:07
Posted: 25/01/2011 at 15:34
Michael, I agree with your comments regarding reliability. My first big bike was a pre-unit Triumph and it never failed to get me to my destination. Ditto with the other British bikes I owned, including a late Norton Commando. Like you say, it's down to preparation.
But I can see your point Frank. It strikes me as a bit weird to wrap all that lovely CF around a motor so ancirnt - but may be that's just the point.
Posted: 25/01/2011 at 16:15
Posted: 25/01/2011 at 17:27
Posted: 25/01/2011 at 18:40
Posted: 25/01/2011 at 19:39
Posted: 25/01/2011 at 19:40
Why no Hinckley engines?
I'll tell you why... weight... the Hinckley engine/gear box unit is a heavy, overbuilt lump... I have 1 and 1/2 (ones a torn down project bike) Hinckley Bonnies and I had one I wrecked... I love them for what they are... but they were not designed to be performance engines... they were designed to give a nod to the history and heritage while being ultra reliable and delivering excellent low to mid range power... Although a good amount of reliable power can be fairly easily liberated from them through some easy mods.... but you can't shed any of the approx. 225 lb. weight...
But if light weight and thus, a high power to weight ratio is what you're after... and from the use of the carbon fiber, I would think that that is the design brief... then a properly modified and built T120 or T140 engine would be a better choice...
Posted: 25/01/2011 at 23:53
Posted: 27/01/2011 at 19:13
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