From the first paper sketches to the final road tests, almost 2 years passed. Two years during which ones BAAK’s team dedicated a part of its time to achieve this ambitious “bathtub” redesign project without falling into the trap of the vintage copycat cliché. Introduced for the first time during the late 50’s, the bathtub rear fairing, result of Edward Turner’s design skills, wasn’t really enjoyed by everyone. In the USA, first export market for Triumph back in those days, the local dealers even removed the rear fairing so they can sell the motorcycles well. Only the British gentlemen enjoyed the charm of this piece that offered protection against the grease and rear wheel projections. This ambivalence motivated us to acquire a 1964 Triumph Thunderbird and use it as an inspiration, with a close difference as BAAK’s Bathtub is a unique piece that will never be mass produced.
Learn more about the main steps of this project thanks to the photographs shown below. Click on the images to view it in full size.
Last motorcycle entirely built in our former workshops in Tassin-La-Demi-Lune, this Triumph Bonneville T120 Bathtub is the first one to be shot under the lights of our new showroom based in Lyon.
This is Victor, BAAK’s sheet metal tradesman, who has been in charge of the manufacturing of the typical body parts of the project : the headlight bucket integrating the speedometer, the enveloping front fender, and the rear fairing of course. This aspect of the project required 25 days of work using aluminium sheets.
Cutting, english-wheel shaping, hammering, sanding… Each step of the manufacturing is important to reach a shape that is as close as possible to the original sketches. Every aspect of the metal sheet shaping is done by hand according to traditional techniques. Day after day, the volumes come to life and enable Victor adjust his work according to his feeling.
The upholstery work, one of Baak iconic trade, brings the final touch to the whole project. We chose a red leather as an hommage to one of the best Porsche 356 color combination : pearl grey / red leather. From its iconic elder the 1964 Thunderbird, the 2019 Bathtub seat gets the passenger strap, the smooth seating piece and the piping all around. The seat also has a key-lock system. Matching red leather fork gaiters complete the mix.
This build seduced the Cafe Racer Magazine team who chose to put it on the cover of its 99th issue. A truly touching move that rewards long months of hard work for our whole team.