Celebrity juice: Ryan Reynolds' retro Triumph by Kott Motorcycles

Published: 10 August 2016

LA-based Dustin Kott quietly earned a reputation for turning out meticulous 1970s Honda café racers. But Dustin’s latest build of a Triumph Thruxton for Hollywood superstar Ryan Reynolds has thrown him firmly into the spotlight.

Ryan Reynolds’ Triumph was all over YouTube. No surprise given the award-winning actor’s current profile following the success of Deadpool. But when brand new retro customs mag Built spotted the Kott Motorcycles decal on the tank they quickly got in contact with Dustin for his story of the build. It turns out the project was a wily piece of marketing by Triumph USA who gave the bike to the A-lister. But the real smart thinking was done by Dustin in turning a new (but pre-2016 model) Thruxton into this sleek café racer. 

After several previous encounters with celebrities, the most memorable being with Ewan McGregor and Katy Perry, Dustin received a phone call from Triumph saying they wanted to give Ryan a motorcycle, but they were looking to get it customised. Ryan asked for the bike to be sent to Kott Motorcycles as he felt Dustin would be able to accomplish the desired outcome for the Thruxton.

Ryan had great input with this build concerning his height and desired riding position, but let Dustin loose with the creative and aesthetics of the build. Whilst Dustin advocates creative input from customers, he has concluded that ultimately they are appointing him to have the final say in a project.

Dustin made a decision early in the build process to transform the linear qualities of the Thruxton into something a little more aggressive including using a hard-lined Yamaha XS1100 fuel tank, allowing for a different genre of motorcycle to emerge from the classic Triumph look.

Other notable modifications to the Thruxton included a downsized lithium ion battery, repositioning of the ECU unit underneath the custom-made seat pan, which along with the cowling was formed from round bar steel, allowing a fluid design process where Dustin could make critical changes and alterations during the design process. The look was completed with Hagon Nitro series rear shocks, Avon Venom tyres and a set of custom-built rear sets.

The deep red paint with pewter trim was a joint decision between Dustin and Triumph of North America, designed to promote elegance and timeless classiness. It turns out the paint scheme was similar to the colours of Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool character, so this decision put the motorcycle in front of an audience who would probably never have been introduced to the bike. 

Unlike some builders, Dustin likes to ride a machine before the tear down and rebuild process whenever possible, allowing him to figure out where the machine is lacking in either performance or excitement. Whilst generally he was a fan of the Thruxton, he felt he could improve it adding the timeless quality of cool.

For the full story, read the latest issue of Built magazine, on sale now in all good newsagents, or buy online direct from the publisher here.