The lure of the salt at Bonneville Speedweek is strong, and two years ago, the bug bit Vincent Prat of the French Southsiders MC collective. This year, he’s returning with his own motorcycle to ride, the extraordinary Triton you see here.
The story of this machine begins 25 years ago, when Vincent bought a
Rickman frame and started searching for parts to build a road racer. In
those pre-internet days, it proved to be a difficult task. And then
Vincent was offered an exchange: his Rickman project for a collection of
Triton bits, including a “wideline” frame, a Triumph T120 unit engine,
and Norton Roadholder forks.
Vincent finished building the Triton in 1992, and it became his regular
ride. In 2000 he mothballed the machine and moved on to other projects.
But standing on the salt two years ago, he imagined the Triton
resurrected—into this sleek machine.
He dismantled the Triton and conferred with two of France’s leading motorcycle builders: the metalwork specialist Momo,
and engine guru Henri Lao Martinez. Momo fashioned the beautiful
dustbin fairing, modified the frame to suit a seat made by Claude
Carrière, and created the sinuous exhaust system.
Martinez rebuilt the engine with a lighter crank, stronger T140 rods and
a trick Dresda top end. The spark is now provided by a Pazon electronic
ignition system, and the primary drive is a Tony Hayward belt system.
Amal 30mm concentric carbs take care of fueling.
Vincent reassembled the Triton and fettled it into shape. It’s now
safely packed up in a crate, and on its way to the USA. (Unfortunately,
eligibility rules mean that the dustbin fairing will be left in France.)
At Bonneville, the bike will become part of “The Impossible Team”, with Spaniards Juan Ramón Ortega and El Solitario on the baking hot salt.