With its sportbike-style frame and bodywork, massive cruiser engine and wheels that could
Roger Allmond, the best custom bike builder in Britain, approaches projects from a decidedly different point of view than the average chrome-and-candy chopper builder. This is to be expected, given his location and background. Allmond Cycle Design is based in Oxford, an hour outside of London and deep in the heart of Britain's Formula One country. Renault, Williams and Jaguar team headquarters are all within 20 miles of Allmond's shop. A former overworked engineering contractor, Allmond has since downshifted and turned his energy-and considerable engineering and fabricating talent-to building custom bikes full-time.
That high-performance background is expressed in all of Allmond's projects, as is his penchant for unusual motorcycles. His last chopper, dubbed the Techno-Bobber, began as a Ducati Monster S4R. That makes the donated Triumph Rocket III that forms the basis of this machine almost seem like a rational choice. Built as a promotional vehicle for the UK-based Bennett's insurance firm, Allmond's direction was to build a bike that would "attract attention and draw conversation"-something this bike clearly succeeds at.
Triumph's shaft drive mechanism is retained, and the rear brake has been relocated to the
Except for the 2.3-liter, three-cylinder engine and its associated shaft final drive, little remains of the donor Rocket III. Allmond fabricated the monocoque aluminum frame himself, as well as the tubular chrome-moly single-sided swingarm and matching single-sided fork, the latter a parallelogram design with the suspension unit mounted in front of the headstock. Allmond also machined the five-spoke wheel centers, which are bonded to one-off carbon-fiber rims built to Allmond's specifications by Dymag. Allmond made everything else, including the exhaust, rearsets and many other details. We especially admire his novel rear brake arrangement, which locates the rotor on the driveshaft instead of the rear wheel.
Allmond says he has six months of labor invested in the Bennett's promo machine, which will be on the show circuit for most of next year, drumming up attention. Despite lacking lights, it might even see a few just-for-fun road miles, too. Wild looks aside, Allmond's bikes aren't all show-each is carefully designed and engineered to work as well as it looks. With a background in Formula One, would you expect anything else?