Alessia's Skinny Bobber
By James McCombe - 11 Sep 14
The upstart punks at Dagger Cycles are at it again, taking the Hinckley Bonnie and making bare bones music with it. This time Sid has brought along Nancy… “Diamonds are a girl's best friend, so Marilyn sang. True or not, blinking rocks are in good company on a girl’s wish list, along with Italian dresses, those not-so-cheap French shoes with the red soles and heels, violently price bags and other nefarious stuff. But I don’t think anybody has ever named "british bobbers" in such a list; but please don’t tell it to Alessia, a girl from Turin.” Cool as… Alessia Fontano approached Roberto at Dagger Cycles to fulfill the item at the top of her list, a custom bike. A big fan of old school Californian Bobbers based on old pre-unit and later unit Triumphs, she knew what she wanted. However, as many of us know, the practicalities of using a classic daily, with kickstart-skinned shins and oil dashed trousers, can sometimes not live up to the dream. Also, with donor bikes becoming tricky to find in Italy and city road surfaces little better than the pockmarked rubble we have in the UK, a different approach was required. A venerable 865cc Hinckley Bonneville was sourced, to be transformed into the ‘Skinny Bobber’. A late carbed model, to keep it old school, the plan was to avoid cutting the main frame. Instead the bike has been slimmed through the use of new custom parts, modified original ones and a lot of slimming black powder coat. A key to the bobbed look was replacing the chunky original seat with the in house solo seat, everything Alessia needs to ride and nothing more. Lighting is taken care of by the original bike headlight at the front but an old tractor trailer light at the rear; perfectly representing the build process. But this had to be a practical build, a daily ride. So the bike needed sensible rubber, in this case a Dunlop F24 up front and a Metzler Lazertec out back. And these tyres needed to be shrouded by mudguards. It’s really not a great look to turn up to a meet with a badger stripe and a faceful of grit; a real consideration for Alessia as the weather is decidedly un-Italian in her part of the country. Vintage rubber grips, mini indicators and speedo and a shallow rise bar all strip the Bonnie back to a more basic look. The Dagger Cycles gold carb tops give just the smallest hint of bling. Progressive rear shocks lift the rear of the bike while the standard forks up front have been dropped through the yokes and given some gaiters to complement the classic style. Wheels have been completely rebuilt receiving powdercoated rims and hubs with contrasting stainless spokes. Black dominates the body of the bike, making the Cherry Red tank really pop. The soundtrack from the Megaton exhausts add the necessary aural excitement and have been blacked; this Bonnie rides low and dark. Keep your eye on Roberto and The Bike Shed's Dagger Cycles Page, or their Facebook page.