Clutch Custom MC T100
By James McCombe - 28 Aug 14
As I understand, in the world of fashion a clutch is a miniature handbag of sorts. A jazzed up miniature carrier reduced to its key function of holding the assorted bric-a-brac a lady requires on a night out, without the extraneous pockets, tassels and whojamaflops of a daily bag. Tenuously, this parallels the stripped down, classed up builds of Clutch customs. Simply, if I could, I’d tuck this Bonneville under my arm and take it with me wherever I’d go. Fabulous! Clutch founder Willie Knoll’s previous life as a fashion photographer clearly shows his aesthetic sensibilities, but it’s the quality and finish of this build that make you looks twice. The make-over treatment this Bonnie has received has not only shed the pounds physically, but visually too; and it’s not just skin deep. There’s some serious surgery undertaken for this Cinderella transformation. The front of the frame, rear wheel hub, and swingarm were the only parts left after the stripdown of the 2007 T100, but each received a nip and tuck throughout the build. The engine was stripped and checked over before being rebuilt with the Speed Merchant covers refinished by Clutch to add some visual interest. Breathing in through K&Ns and out through an in-house stainless system, the headers curve and follow the lines of the frame, a slight kick to the Spark silencers lifting the rear. A one off hand beaten tank perches atop the engine, looking like a classic British tank but somehow tauter. It provides a far more purposeful stance over the somewhat bulbous original. Combined with the reworked rear frame, it creates the lines that Willie was looking for; a subtle horizontal flow through the body of the bike, missing from the standard one. Clutch’s ability to do ‘everything but the paint’ has maintained design and fabrication consistency throughout the bike. A carefully selected shade of British racing Green with a heavier blue hue for the tank, is matched to a light tan bench seat; updating the traditional English Motorsport colour palette. With chassis and cycle parts kept in black and metallic shades there’s a real understated elegance to the bike. Forks from a T300 series Trophy are held in a custom top yoke and modified lower, whilst having been shortened 45mm. Combined with 20mm shorter shocks out back the stance of the bike is improved whilst keeping the bouncy bits in check. A front XS650 hub joins the Triumph rear and the bike rolls on oversize Coker Diamond tyres. This setup also allows for double discs up front, the Triumph marked callipers holding custom discs; practically the only parts not machined in house, to Willie’s dismay! So often, it’s only when something’s gone that you realise you never missed it. Utilising the downtube as the oil cooler is not a new idea, but it’s been executed beautifully and is a nice nod to the oil-in-frame Triumphs of yore. Additionally, relocating the Reg/Rec seriously declutters the front of the engine, making the bike look far older than its years A full brace of Motogadget’s finest gets the electrons flowing and keeps the unsightly wires down to a minimum. If you’ve never used the brilliant M-unit it’s hard to explain how simple and clean it makes wiring a bike, the results here making you question where everything might be! Dozens of small touches and machined parts like the footpegs and tank cap finish finish the bike. Everything has it’s place. The four pillars that Willie founded Clutch Custom Motorcycles on are ‘Lines, Fabrication, Exclusivity and Detail’. It’s hard to argue that this build hasn’t skittled those pillars triumphantly. For more waxing lyrically about Clutch Customs click here and check out their Facebook page.