When people say ‘the devil’s in the detail’ what they actually mean is ‘detail is hell’. Resurrected from the earthly remains of a 2007 Triumph Thruxton 900, ‘Up Yours Copper’ is all about details, materials and one bloody thing after another.
For Hunter. 18 July 1937 – 20 February 2005
Let’s be clear: UYC was a bastard to build. Newly finished tanks got dropped, drill bits snapped, lathes broke, blood got spilt and always just when we really could’ve done without it. But no pain no gain right?
And so we present to you ‘Up Yours Copper’ in the hope you feel our pain, but in a good way. Before we get into the machine, lots of DMOL love to Mr. David Clerihew for the photography. You Sir, are a steely-eyed angle man.
We’ll start with the frame: finished in a deep coat of Beluga Black, it’s been de-lugged, weld cleaned and extensively modified with an entirely new rear. Engine work comprised of a gas flowed cylinder head and remapped fuelling to suit the custom exhaust system. The fuel pump and injection system have been remodelled and uprated with the oil cooler being removed as a weight reduction measure. Our velocity stacks, designed to assist the remapped fuelling programme, feature a brushed outer and mirror polished interior surface with etched brass grills and DMOL logo inlays. The sprocket is protected by our Sprocket Cage Type 1, which also features solid brass grills and an engraved name plate. Custom designed and copper coated injection caps together with powder coated engine covers and a copper plated cam cover complete the reconditioned 900.
Exhausts aren’t meant to look like this.
They get hot. They get grimey. And they get both of those things really quickly. So why bother making something that looks like it should be on the mantle piece rather than at the business end of a bike? For the same reason the worlds most exacting cabinet makers go to extraordinary lengths to ensure something that will never be seen is finished as if it were the most visible element: because it’s the right thing to do.
The bespoke system features ceramic coated pipes and a carbon fibre muffler terminating through the rear light cluster in our purpose-designed copper-plated nozzle. There is method in this madness: the ceramic pipes expel as much heat as possible before entering the muffler. The nozzle itself then features further heat-shielding and is designed so no parts touch the light cluster. At the point of ejection, sufficient heat has been discarded to be (just) within the heat tolerance levels of the light units plastic housing. It took eleven light units to figure that out.
For the wheels, both of which carry Avon Trail Rider tyres, a front 100/90x19inch was used on a 2.15 mild steel rim, with a 160/60x17inch on a 3.5 mild steel Harley style rim for the rear. Both were electroplated in copper, then laced using black anodised spokes and nipples. The front brakes were then stripped and modified with a custom Fontana four leading shoe assembly. The front to the Fontana brake assembly, and the rear of the original hub, along with the sprocket carrier and sprocket, were powder coated black. On the forks, the front lowers underwent remodelling with re-valved internals uprated with progressive springs. The rear shock absorbers are remodelled, 20mm over stock, Hagon units.
The sweeping bars, which were bent by hand using a custom form, are welded from underneath to a slotted top clamp ensuring they don’t go anywhere. Because, as a rule, bars are best when they don’t fall off.
The clamp continues down through the yoke into copper spacers which hold the light cowl assembly in place. On the bars, the right grip conceals an internal throttle assembly, while the left features finger-tip controls for the lighting and horn. Both feature machined grips with in-house levers in brushed aluminium. The grips, as well as the foot pegs and copper washers, feature our signature single-spiral knurl pattern, which is then finished smooth. All the cables are also custom made.
For electrics, an in-house designed loom feeds to the main switch, which in this case is a 1940 Supermarine Spitfire Mk1 magneto. Why not? The first magneto sets the bike live, while toggling the second engages the starter motor. The magneto switch is the only item on the entire machine that has been left in its original condition, simply because of the story they tell and to emphasize the astonishing mechanical and fabrication skills of the Spitfire engineers. The battery is held in a custom case situated between the foot pegs.
Solid brass was precision-etched using photolithography, a process more often used in micro-fabrication than in bike building.
The brushed aluminum light cowl houses a 7” military-specification LED headlamp (civilian-specs are so last year), as well as the custom-made speedometer which is created using the aforementioned photolithographed brass. The fuel tank is fitted with an aero style filler which is itself covered with a brass plate engraved with the Hunter S. Thompson quote: “Faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” – just for a bit of reassurance at the petrol station that you are in fact: ‘awesome’. The hand-stitched and tanned leather tank strap is made from the finest saddle hide and is completed with an in-house brushed aluminium strap clamp.
On to that seat. Hand-carved from American Walnut by Ben Heeney at Ian Dunn Woodwork and Design in London, it’s been meticulously constructed out of seventeen parts in order to maintain a consistent grain pattern within the highly complex compound curves of the riders form. It is, despite what you might think, exceptionally comfortable. As the aggressive stance of the machine carries the majority of the weight distribution through the pegs, tank and bars, the seat itself is primarily there to aid balance. The wood is finished with several coats of Danish Oil.
Finally, the paintwork was kept as simple as possible to highlight the beauty of the materials used in the build. The engine is finished in satin and matt black, with our logo polished out of the fins. The tank carries a satin black finish with gloss hairline delineating it from the hand-brushed aluminium.
So there you have it: Up Yours Copper. Build DM02. Honestly, it was no trouble.
Report by dmolcustoms.com