Common Tread

Video: Closed course. Unhuman rider. Do not attempt.

Apr 08, 2015

With ICON’s penchant for utilizing customized Triumphs, most notably with "Raiden Files: Portland to Dakar," it was no surprise to see them finally join forces with British Customs for their new "Salt of the Earth" video.

California-based British Customs is known for manufacturing high-end aftermarket parts for Hinkley-era Triumphs, as well as building one-off custom bikes to display their parts. In their most recent video, ICON decided to forgo building a bike themselves and instead abuse one of the ones built by the fine gentlemen over at British Customs.

In the hands of Ernie Vigil, the 500-plus pound Triumph Scrambler in this video is transformed into a nimble dirt monster — which, I can promise you, it is not.

My personal '05 Triumph set up for "mild" off-road use. Photo by Spurgeon Dunbar.
I know this because I have spent the last year transforming my personal Triumph Bonneville T-100 into a dual-sport machine, and while I am having a ton of fun, it is heavy and unwieldy in the dirt. That is what makes me love this video so much more. I can truly respect the skill it takes to throw that bike around off road. Ernie makes it look easy. Too easy.

The first time I met Ernie was back in 2013. I was working for a Triumph dealer at the time, and the annual dealer show was scheduled at Barber Motorsports Park down in Alabama, to coincide with the Barber Vintage Festival the same weekend. It was shaping up to be a party of epic proportions.

Both ICON and British Customs were on hand for the event. British Customs had brought a fleet of their bikes to showcase to Triumph’s dealer network. They were hosting rides both on and off the track and filming reactions from riders when they returned. One of my favorite memories of the weekend was wrapping up a track session with a British Customs Thruxton while Ernie went screaming down the straight, riding a wheelie at 100 mph on a brand-new Speed Triple R. This guy is no average rider.

That being said, you don’t have to take my word for it. Buy yourself a Triumph Scrambler, throw some TKC 80s on the rims, upgrade the suspension, and have at the closest farmer's field.* If you’re as good as I am, you’ll end up with some new dents in your tank, bruises on your butt, and a keener appreciation for the skills demonstrated in this video.

*RevZilla is in no way responsible for you pissing off a farmer. Ask first.