The Cafe Racer Transformation Saga

After having the new Bonneville for several months, I realized I didn’t really like the factory seating and handlebar position. And, when I bought the Bonnie, I had a long-haul windscreen installed. The windscreen was nice for getting my highway riding confidence back after not riding for 30 years, but after a while I noticed that the wind was hitting me square in the face shield causing a buffeting effect – I felt like my helmet was being pushed side to side in very small wind bursts.  I also noticed a Thruxton and realized I liked that look and position. I had heard about cafe racing from somewhere, so I started to do some research. The more I read, the more I liked. So, I decided I would transform the Bonnie into a cafe racer style bike.  The first order of business was removing the large windscreen and replacing it with a Dart Flyscreen. I liked the new look immediately. Next was replacing the handlebars. I didn’t want the bars to be so low that I laid on the gas tank, so after researching, I found (on JC Whitney of all places) a black drag style handlebar that fit the bill nicely. I had my local Triumph mechanic swap the handlebars (which required a new, shorter front brake cable).  I also swapped the “bug antenna” mirrors with some CRG bar-end mirrors from While only 3″ in diameter, they provide a nearly vibration free superb view of traffic right up until it gets into my peripheral vision. So that’s where my progress paused.

I’m working on updating a few more items including changing the stock seat for a contemporary seat from, changing the stock turn signals (front and back) with a running light assembly from, and adding rearsets to move my feet position more in line with the cafe racer styling.  I’ve ordered the running light assembly and waiting for delivery. I’ll be ordering the rest as the budget allows.

Here are some pictures of the stock bike and where I am now with it:

Stock in Showroom:2011 Triumph Bonneville - 3 miles on odometer

NOW (working towards the cafe racer styling):Triumph Bonneville - cafe racer transformation

I can’t believe how much fun it is to ride this bike. Stay tuned, and come back to see how the Bonnie continues its transformation. I’m interested in what you think.


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