Marnitz and I were fortunate to be able to attend the very successful Traditional Triumph Christmas party in Edenvale. Mike Davidson, together with family and staff were great hosts to a diverse, happy group of Triumph owners. Most of the Triumph model range was on display but our featured motorcycle was the centre of attraction. This is a Bonneville SE customised by Britalmoto in Switzerland. On Retro Write Up we usually only feature South African built custom motorcycles, but we thought you might find this incredibly high end Bonnie inspiring and seeing as its Swiss owner is doing two years of contract work in South Africa before returning to Switzerland, we have done the only proper African thing to do and have nationalised the motorcycle for our blog’s purposes.


Britalmoto was started in 1997 by Fritz Tschumi in a small village in Switzerland. He specialised in the tuning and building of classic racing motorcycles. His son, Ivo, joined the business in 2011 and they have started concentrating on building very high specification custom motorcycles. They pride themselves in involving the customer throughout the building process, to ensure complete satisfaction with what is invariably a very costly project.


The standard Bonneville’s 865cc parallel twin DOHC motor remains unmodified but by modifying the exhaust, polishing the intakes, installing a Power Commander V and dynotuning, the horsepower has been increased from 60hp to 65 hp at the rear wheel.


The owner specified that he did not want to compromise the Bonneville’s long distance comfort and so the original seat and handlebar position have been retained. For our taste, a set of clubmans would compliment the Thruxton tailpiece perfectly, but this does cause discomfort on a longer ride. The majority of the modifications were made to improve handling and braking. Only the best components are used by Britalmoto. Up front Ducati 996 yokes are matched to Showa upside down forks from an Aprilia RSV Mille. Twin front discs have four piston Brembo calipers and a radial brake pump from a Triumph Daytona 675 installed. A pair of Wilbers shocks replace the rear originals. A pair of magnificent 17″ PVM billet rims have been installed. This means that superbike type tyres can be fitted. The rear tyre is now 180mm wide. A PVM 45 tooth rear sprocket has been installed. Marnitz’s photos capture some of the stunning detailing work, like the sidecovers and gauge cluster.


This Triumph may be too modern in specification for our drum brake and kickstart lovers but we know that some of you enjoy new technology complementing older styling. When you convert the Euro price of this motorcycle to Rands, this is probably the most expensive Bonneville you will ever see on our roads. Please go and visit to see more of their fine Bonneville and Thruxton customs. I personally find the motorcycles in their racer section unbelievable! They also do a logic defying modern Triton, using a new Bonneville engine in a new Norton frame. I can only imagine the price! When you are out and about and you happen to bump into our Swiss visitor, do not allow your jealousy to show through. Give him a big South African motorcyclist’s welcome. Who knows, perhaps he and his Britalmoto Bonneville will apply for residence here.