Triumph are great at recalling the past via the design of their modern day classics. But there’s one element Hinckley hasn’t brought back: the infamous ‘bathtub’ fairing.
Edward Turner’s idea to enclose the rear wheel first appeared on the 1957 Triumph 3TA ‘Twenty One,’ and later the 1959 5TA ‘Speed Twin.’ It was a move to offer superior weatherproofing for British riders—but it was a total flop in the States.
American customers at the time wanted bikes that were more stripped down. In California particularly (where rain is less of a problem), dealers would regularly rip off the bathtubs as soon as the bikes were delivered. Unsurprisingly, Triumph eventually abandoned the design.
But, as with all things vintage, what was a misstep back then is quirky and chic now. Which is why we love this reinterpretation of the Triumph bathtub, from French custom shop, BAAK Motocyclettes.