We owe the Australian company Deus a lot of credit for kick starting the current custom boom. When Dare Jennings and his partners opened the doors of their converted Sydney warehouse, it was all about Yamaha SR conversions and Kawasaki W650s.
These days, you’re just as likely to see a Harley Sportster or a Suzuki DR650 parked inside the cavernous store. And if you’re lucky, you might spot a vintage machine that’s been given the fastidious Deus custom treatment, like this 1969 Triumph TR6 hardtail called ‘C-Seven.’
It’s a style we never tire of, and will never go out of fashion. This machine took around five years to build, and we’re betting it’ll still look cool in 15 years’ time.
Head tech Jeremy Tagand is normally all over Deus builds like a rash, but on this occasion, the build was started by Warren Dawson, a skilled mechanic and fabricator. Dawson has built many racing cars, hot rods and custom bikes during his lifetime, and was even a rally team mechanic for a while.
When work began on the TR6, it was a basket case. The first thing to go was the back end of the frame, replaced by a classic hardtail from the British Cycle Supply Company of Canada that Warren modified a little. This particular TR6 left the factory just before the oil-in-frame days, so that made the job easier.
Next up was the motor. “The engine has been rebuilt to standard specs, and runs like a dream,” says Deus’ Faidon Christodoulou. “No bullshit, it’s the nicest Triumph I have ridden.”
The tuning and top-end rebuild was done by Norm Mifsud of Sovereign Classic Motorcycles, a renowned shop in Sydney’s West. Norm has been working on old British iron for most of his life, and he’s made sure that the parallel twin runs as sweet as the day it left Meriden.
“Tuning pretty much any British motorcycle is an art,” says Faidon. “They weren’t made for Sydney’s warm weather, or our stop-start city traffic. When we dropped it off to Norm the jets were okay but needed some fine tuning—which he does so easily.”
There’s a new Hunt magneto for a stronger spark, and shorty pipes for plenty of bark. The rims were sent to Ash’s Spoked Wheelz in Brisbane, and returned even better than new—stripped, blasted, painted and polished.
The real tricky part was the sheet metal. C-Seven is running new fenders and fork shrouds, plus new tanks for the oil and fuel. The peanut-style fuel tank is the perfect shape for a vintage bobber of this ilk, but took a little while to get right.
“That tank was something we had lying around,” says Faidon, “but it ended up being heavily modified to fit the bike. So it’s pretty much a custom tank. It would have been easier to start from scratch…”
The effort was worth it, because there’s an effortless vibe to this bobber. The styling is spare and minimal, and shows off the classic motor to great effect. Nothing draws the eye too much or detracts from the overall impression, but the detail thinking is all there.
Custom trends come and go—and we’ve certainly seen enough over the past ten years or so—but true style always endures. And it’s good to see one of the biggest names in the alt.moto scene drawing a perfect line that connects the custom Triumphs of 50 years ago with the contemporary factory Bobber.
There is one nagging question, though: where did the name ‘C-Seven’ come from?
“C7 is one of the cervical vertebrae,” says Faidon, “and goes with the fact that it’s a hardtail … or back breaker.” Ouch.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Australia, can handle a bit of a bumpy ride and love vintage bobbers, give the lads at Deus a call.