A chance meeting with the owner of a neighbouring shop led to a search for parts and a new build
Story by Greg Williams
Photos by Kurtis Kristianson, Spindrift Photography
Welder and fabricator Corrie Brewster was living life in the fast lane. His busy shop, Brewster West Industries in Turner Valley, Alta., was seeing a fair amount of traffic through its doors. But, because his house was on the property, Brewster would end up working long hours and would never really leave the shop behind, even when he did go home.
So he decided to separate work from home, and bought a property in nearby Okotoks.
“It was time to slow down a bit, and simply change gears,” Brewster says, adding, “That meant moving away from the shop.” Although a passionate off-road motorcyclist with a racing background, Brewster has also owned a small number of street bikes. “With my move to Okotoks, though, it crossed my mind that I now have a bit of a commute, and I thought a little Triumph bobber would be fun to ride back and forth.”
But what made Brewster think a classic Triumph would be a good basis for a custom build? It turns out, Brewster West Industries is just across the street from Motorrad Performance, a specialty motorcycle shop owned by Paul Shore. Motorrad had relocated from Calgary to Turner Valley, and because Brewster’s is a metal fabrication shop, Shore began popping in.
“Paul was coming around to get some help with a few pieces for a Triumph bobber he was building, and then he brought the project over,” Brewster says. “When I saw it, I thought the Triumph was really cool, and mentioned to Paul that I thought I needed to build one of my own.”
Bits and Pieces
With that simple comment, Brewster began accumulating parts for his inaugural full-out custom build. The first item he got was a 1967 Triumph frame found on eBay, and when it arrived in Turner Valley, he also bought a David Bird hardtail section from Lowbrow Customs. The project waited for a couple of months, and then Brewster got serious about finding running gear for the bobber.
“I found a guy in Calgary who had abandoned his 1969 Triumph Bonneville build, but the bike had a rebuilt motor with a 750 big-bore kit,” Brewster explains. “He’d given up on the bike, and he wouldn’t sell the motor separately from the rest of the parts he had.” No problem. Brewster simply bought the bike, kept the engine and many other pieces, including the distinctive Triumph “eyebrow” tank badges and Lucas electrical components, and sold the rest.
With the frame and engine in the shop, Brewster got down to business. He sourced an oil-in-frame Triumph front fork, and because he was after a low and chubby look, he managed to squeeze a 4.50-18-inch Dunlop K70 between the legs. Both front and rear wheels are 18 inches in diameter, and Triumph aficionado Bob Klassen of Calgary built them up around vintage Triumph spool hubs. Components for the wheels were sourced from Buchanan’s Spoke & Rim of Azusa, California.
The lower fork legs were modified by removing the stock fender mounting bosses, and the area around the upper oil seal was machined down to accept rubber gaiters. Because of his penchant for off-road motorcycles, Brewster mounted a set of Pro Taper motocross handlebars in a set of Yamaha YZ450 rubber-mounted clamps. To measure both speed and kilometres travelled, an aftermarket Emgo speedometer tops off the front end, together with a reproduction Lucas headlight bucket that incorporates an amp gauge and lighting switch – all on custom-made brackets.
“I don’t like to see exposed springs, and I didn’t want a sissy bar or any rear fender struts,” Brewster says of his Triumph design. To make this happen, he suspended the solo seat on a shock absorber system originally intended to fit a mountain bike. The components sit under the top frame rail, and between the twin-Mikuni carburetors. The ribbed rear fender is thick 14-gauge sheet metal, and Brewster mounted it to the frame on the custom brackets.
The slim gas tank is meant to fit a 1963 Triumph, and it’s been rubber-mounted and modified to sit about…