Triumph Bonneville flat tracker

RRalph Avis's stunning Mule Motorcycles custom


Lean and mean looking Hinckley Bonneville

▲ White Power takes care of the rear shock absorbers. Forget about carrying a pillion. The fuel range is limited to about 60-65 miles.

Ace Cafe logo


Ralph Avis rides his Mule Triumph Bonneville

▲ Owner Ralph Avis puts his Mule Triumph Bonneville through its paces in North London by the Ace Cafe.


Bonnie flattracker at the Ace Cafe

▲ [Triumph Bonneville 865cc Cool street tracker, Mule Motorcycles style - click the link for a better view]

This Mule has one hell of a kick - we tried it. Ouch!

▲ Light, clean and uncluttered, this Mule Triumph puts
the Hinckley Bonnie into a totally new perspective. It feels eager and refined with good braking and slightly hard suspension.

Triumph Bonneville flat tracker detail from Mule Motorcycles

▲ The hand-built exhaust has a satisfyingly muted howl from the twin silencers. They won't suit everyone's taste, but they certainly give the Mule a very distinct profile that you'll recognise from a long way off.


▲ Check out: for more information on Richard Pollock and his custom bikes.



[Much more on Mule Motorcycles]

“Triumphs? I can't get enough of them.
I used to run a model car shop in Central London and daily rode a Hinckley Thruxton Bonnie to work. Before that I rode a standard Hinckley Bonnie, both as a commuter and for general travelling and fun. Both are great bikes—especially the Thruxton. But I was looking for something different. Something with a little more attitude. Something ... well, else.

"So I started trawling the web looking for inspiration, and it was so after that I came across Mule Motorcycles. I was instantly impressed with the quality and style of the designs. Richard Pollock is the man behind the company, incidentally. He’s been building and riding bikes for years, both on and off road. Initially I had the idea of commissioning a Harley flat tracker, but it was only a vague notion—and of course good Harley Davidson customs are usually very expensive. Richard does an amazing XR750 flat tracker lookalike with his own special spin on it. But somehow it just didn’t happen for me.



"Richard told me that it would take about three months to build, but it was more like three years by the time it was finished—but by God it was worth the wait!"



From the Ace Cafe to San Diego


"It might have ended there, except that some friends of mine had moved to Los Angeles to work. After they were settled, they wanted a holiday back in the UK and I wanted to visit LA. So we ended up swapping houses for a couple of weeks; they coming back to England, and me jetting off to the States. It was while I was there that I visited Richard at Mule.

"He operates out of San Diego and works from home; just an ordinary house in a residential neighbourhood. The bike Richard built for me was based upon a white Mule flat tracker that Triumph USA had commissioned. I’d seen that bike at the Ace Café in London and decided that I wanted one exactly like it, or very similar.

"When I visited Richard to discuss the project, I didn’t have a Triumph donor bike. But he had a friend at a local Triumph dealership who sourced a suitable bike for me. Then, after spending a long while discussing what I wanted, Richard set to work.


Wiseco Big Bore Kit, Kostman Hubs, and Nology ProFire coils


"The frame is more or less standard Triumph except for a chopped subframe and some extra brackets welded on for the fuel tank. The engine is an 865cc Hinckley Bonnie unit with a 904cc Wiseco big bore kit. That takes the power up from around 67bhp to around 80 or so—although I’ve not had it dyno tested. Webb cams were fitted, the valves were upgraded, and I had some head polishing work done. The ignition module was been re-mapped, and Nology ProFire coils and HT leads were installed.

"The fuel tank is handmade in aluminium; it holds a gallon and a half or so giving me a 60-65 mile range. The swinging arm was shortened by one inch, and Richard handmade the yokes—or triple trees as they call them in the States—from billet aluminium alloy.

"The forks are from a 955 Triumph Speed Triple; ditto the brake calipers. The front wheel hub is from Kostman. The rear hub is from a Harley Sportster. Both are 19-inch. Tyres are Maxxis, front and rear.

"The handlebars are ally. In the centre of them is a billet digital speedo and an air-box elimination kit. Hinckley Bonnies, note, have a big air-box made from plastic. But this replacement kit is made from ally and houses the battery. The air filters are now K&N with billet ally intakes.

"The carbs are standard Triumph with a Dynojet kit. I have had some trouble with the bike since I got it. Something to do with the carburettors that still haven’t been sorted properly. It’s fine when it’s running, mind, but it’s not a quick starter and needs a little coaxing.

"The clutch and gearbox are stock. The rear shocks are White Power and fully adjustable.

"The front number board and front lights I sorted out myself. The throttle is a standard Thruxton Bonnie. There’s a little ally master cylinder reservoir shaped like a piston. It came from Jack Lilley and I fitted that myself too. The exhaust is a handmade 2-into-1-into 2 and was made by Richard.

"Compared to my Thruxton Bonnie, the Mule is considerably lighter. It used to be a little slow on the steering, but I’ve since removed the damper and it handles better.


Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) test


"The whole thing cost a heap of money, and I had to take it through an SVA test before I could get a log book. It went through okay even though it didn’t have a front mudguard fitted. The tester checked his MOT requirement book and told me that there was nothing in it about not having one, so he passed it.

"Richard told me that it would take about three months to build, but it was more like three years by the time it was finished—but by God it was worth the wait!"

"I took it to Goodwood a few months ago, and it was tremendous fun scratching it around the country lanes. But with the small tank, you don’t want to stray too far from a petrol station. That's the price you pay for the looks.

"I’ve had it for about a year now and haven’t got any plans to sell it."


—Ralph Avis

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