Name: Neale Bayly
Home: Charlotte, NC
Occupation: Freelance moto-journalist
"With the mad passion of youth, we chased our motorcycle dreams like Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise barreling across America. We lived to ride and rode to live.
"At the zenith of our insanity, I was welded to the seat of a battle-weary Laverda 1200 Mirage, hot-rodded with Jota cams, bars and pegs. Shattering the peace and quiet of rural England's small South Devon towns, we weren't winning friends or influencing people.
"A one-way ticket to America, a 10,000-mile ride from Florida to Alaska on a badly beaten Honda 550, accompanied by the woman who would become my bride, slowed me down and straightened me out. But it never erased the memories.
"When my trusty 1997 Triumph Daytona T595 ended up with the usual family four-door modifications a few years ago, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to build a streetfighter. I had already started to modify the bright-yellow beast with an aftermarket shock and re-valved fork, so with cracked and broken bodywork everywhere, it was time to get busy.
"Stripping the bike revealed no serious damage, so I put a call in to Triumph to work out a trade. Two phone calls later, a complete Speed Triple conversion was on its way. An AP master cylinder from GP Tech radically changed the braking performance overnight, despite leaving no place for a mirror. A call to CRG fixed this with a set of small bar-end units finished in black. While I was on the race theme, I replaced the stock clutch lever with a GP Tech folding race unit.
"Rearsets and passenger pegs went on next, and a Corbin seat replaced the stocker for more comfort and a better look. With a Two Brothers pipe, a factory re-map and a few extra teeth on the rear sprocket, the old girl still packs a fun punch when you twist her nipples just right.
"My Daytona isn't about what you can do when you throw ludicrous amounts of money at a motorcycle. It's about what a little imagination and some good old-fashioned horse-trading can make happen. With a Sprint ST belly pan modified to fit and some electrical gremlins sorted out by my local shop, the next step was to apply paint. Here I got lucky again, finding a friend of a friend who certainly overachieved on the quality of the job.
"After two years and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, my T595 has been transformed, and I couldn't be happier. Blasting out onto the highway, with the howl from the three-into-one exhaust mixing with the guttural intake roar from under the tank, I am transported back to those halcyon days of motorcycle madness on an aggressive, naked, three-cylinder Triumph streetfighter, built with this one purpose in mind."