Where form meets function
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Virginia shop Classified Moto was recently commissioned by Rebel Yell Bourbon to transform this 2007 Triumph Speed Triple 1050 into a badass custom creation. While specifications were fairly open, “Part of the enjoyment came from using what we had around the shop. And the Speed Triple is what we had,” says John Ryland of Classified. “We also didn’t have anything specific the bike needed to do, except look cool (to us), be reasonably comfortable for a 1,200-mile trip to Sturgis, and be capable of some antics along the way.”

At first glance, the new and improved Triumph, here dubbed “Frank,” seems completely redone, however, much of the motorcycle remains stock. The initial task at hand, though, was to build a swing arm that would fit the rather large rear tire.

“Danik [lead tech Danik Herashchanka] has gotten so good at welding and fabrication, we felt like we could tackle the swing arm in-house,” John insisted. “Even a couple of years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to do that.”

Ryland did go on to admit, “Just finding the material in the sizes we needed was super complicated. People don’t want to sell you that stuff unless you’re buying enough to build a bridge or something. We knew we wanted to use a big ATV tire in the rear, and we wanted to retain the single-sided look—so we had to make the swing arm from scratch. There was no way to mod a Street Triple swing arm and get everything centered.”

In the end, Classified chose to utilize parts from a Honda VFR800, “For several reasons, the key one being that it uses a 4×4 bolt pattern, common on ATV wheels. This gave us access to wheels with a range of offsets and the 14-inch diameter we wanted.”

In addition to a Progressive Suspension 465 Series shock, STI Black Diamond tire and aluminum alloy wheel, “Frank” boasts an ADV tire with a 60-percent street and 40-percent off-road blend up front. The tank, on the other hand, welcomes a finish the shop had not used previously.

“We had never stripped a Speed Triple tank, and to my dismay, this one was plastic. So we doctored it up with layers of fine ladies’ dress fabric and West System epoxy. Looks much better now!”

The bike’s seat and tail are then new, upholstered by Ryland’s leather expert, Roy Baird.

Classified Moto’s “Frank” build for Rebel Yell will be showcased at this year’s Sturgis rally, which kicks off August 3.

Not NYC, not LA.

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