When two icons ride: Beckham’s Brazilian Bonneville.
Triumph Bonnevilles have been ridden by some of the world’s greatest icons, from Hollywood legends like Elvis, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando and Clint Eastwood through to modern day stars such as Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney and P!nk. This week has seen the first airing of “Beckham into the Unknown” – a 90 minute BBC documentary showing one of sport’s most iconic figures David Beckham riding deep into the Amazon rainforest on a custom Bonneville as he faces real life dangers and hundreds of miles of hard-core riding.
Designed to cope with the rigours of a ride few have ever completed, this Bonneville really pushed the limits. With the brief to be equally at home on Rio’s chaotic streets as it is in the depths of the Amazon jungle, loaded on and off canoes and on occasion subjected to terrain that would challenge the most hardened adventure bike, this is a tool for a very specific ride. The high level pipe, lack of mudguards and chunky tyres instantly mark the bike out as a Scrambler derivative. But looking a little deeper gives clues to the model’s true identity. Starting out as a Bonneville T100, resplendent in two tone paint and chrome the bike was created as a collaborative effort between the riders and Triumph – with work done both in the UK and in Manaus, Brazil. The custom tank paint and hand-tooled leather seat covers were delivered by one of Sao Paulo’s leading custom shops, whilst even the iconic badges received a makeover. The wide Bonneville bars, high pipe, relaxed seating position and stripped back nature all combine to deliver a bike that is part desert sled, part Scrambler, part classic Bonneville and completely suited to the job at hand.
The finished machine, fresh from its Amazon adventure, definitely has a story or two to tell. From late night, mid jungle clutch lever replacement to manhandling on and off tiny native canoes, this is a bike that has seen more action than most. Ridden by an icon, on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, Beckham’s Brazilian Bonneville is definitely one of our all-time favourites.