Back Street Heroes
HINCKLEY TRIUMPH CHOP – SCRAMBLER BY NAME, SCRAMBLER BY NATURE
TWO DECADES AFTER HAVING HUNG HIS HELMET UP AT THE END OF SEVERAL YEARS’ RIDING A SELECTION OF VERY RAPID SPORTS BIKES, DOUG MCCARTHY DECIDED IT WAS TIME HE GOT BACK ON TWO WHEELS, ALBEIT WITH SOMETHING A LITTLE LESS RISKY TO HIS LICENCE…
A mate, Markie, suggested he have a look at a Triumph Scrambler and, with the discovery that it was a really good fit for Doug’s ergonomics, an almost new 2016 Scrambler was purchased, but it wasn’t long before the tools came out and he started cutting bits off his new bike.
Being a resident of Sheffield, he was aware of Down & Out Motorcycles (or, as they were then, Down & Out Café Racers), over in nearby Rotherham, and he paid a visit to their event, the Revival Show. He instantly loved the work that they were (and still are) doing on Triumphs, and initially commissioned them to build a bespoke high-level exhaust, followed by a rear subframe seat loop and seat, headlight, etc., resulting in a very cool little café racer.
However, by then he’d started reading BSH, and had his heart set on owning a chopper. In order to finance such, he tried selling the Scrambler but soon realised he’d lose out financially. The answer was obvious – modify the bike he had. Fortuitously, this plan came just when he’d discovered Fenland Choppers, and so Joe there hardtailed the Scrambler. The bike looked great, but didn’t have quite the level of comfort he’d hoped for, given that it retained the clip-on ’bars, and standard ’pegs, on the new rigid rear.
The first step in resolving this situation was to fit a set of forward controls from a Triumph Speedmaster, with the necessary brackets welded in place by Carl at D&O, but as this resulted in a riding position “like a half open penknife” (copyright Clink, 1992), the clipons were replaced with the desert sled ’bars that’re currently fitted. Doug’s interest in the Race of Gentlemen (held on an eighth-mile of beach in New Jersey that harks back to a time over a century ago when beach racing was at the peak of motorsport) influenced his thoughts for the style of bike he was building – he wanted something that’d look as thought it’d pass as suitable flat-track/beach racer, even though it wasn’t a pre-war Harley with a jockey shift. The wide road rubber was swapped for a pair of Continental TKC tyres, a grille was added to the headlight, the front mudguard was lifted to just below the bottom yoke, and numberboards were added at the front and at the sides for the essential competition vibe.
The mudguards, fuel tank and fake oil tank/electrics box (and even the sump guard!) had already been painted in a metalflake red by 8-Ball, and looked great, but he wanted a little more, so enlisted his mate Tom Scott to add some incredible airbrush work in a style that, when it came to the day of the photos, somewhat dictated the photo shoot location! The printed images may not show the detail and delicacy of the artwork, but they should show that it’s truly extensive, with skulls, scrolling ivy, and smoke spreading over each and every painted surface!
While Doug’s now really happy with the look of the bike, despite not knowing how to refer to it (flattracker? Beach racer? Chop? Bobber? Scrambler?), there’re still a few more changes he’d like to undertake, such as getting the sprocket cover, cam cover and crank end covers engraved and polished in a style that echoes the paint (he already has a spare set of covers vapour-blasted and ready for the engraver’s delicate touch, as and when the finances become available). He just needs to save some money instead of spending it on other bikes… which brings a point – watch out for another of Doug’s bikes in a forthcoming issue. It’s another Hinckley Triumph, but very different from this one!