Bud Ekins … James Sherwin "Bud" Ekins. An essential name for some; to discover for others. Let’s introduce him in a moment before getting back to him in a few signs. Multiple cross and enduro champions, almost legendary motorcycle stuntman, desert pilot, friend of Steve Mc Queen, he is also the author of one of the most famous motorcycle scenes in the film industry.. Bud, you’ve all seen it. And you didn’t know it. It is he who makes the jump in the final of "The great Escape".
So, when it comes to motorcycles and MC Queen, Triumph is never far away. Its Modern Classics range features two bikes paying homage to James Ekins, the Bonneville 900 T100 and 1200 T120. A delicate attention, referring to the sighs of California while the scent of the 60s spreads.
Sharing the same hues, the 900 and 1200 were careful not to merge, each inverting the position of the colors on the tank relative to the other. A skillful game of mimicry through a mirror. Simple, authentic, nostalgic; even more with the vintage Triumph logo, the one used from 1936 to 1990.
It is on the details that this special edition of 900 Bonneville plays its collector’s card. First seen by the pilot with a Monza fuel cap and a California-related emblem embellished with the Bud Ekins name – The "winged globe" also arises on the front fender. The engine housings receive decorative badges. The turn signals want to be part of the reception by opting for LEDs. On the driving side, the handlebars gain specific handles and move the mirrors at their ends.
Let’s talk about Ekins again!?! Name that can be found on the side covers of the air box, and more closely with the certificate of authenticity that accompanies the motorcycle as well as a booklet retracing the history of the character. For collectors, these items take on their full value with the signatures of Nick Bloor, the boss of Triumph, and the daughters of Bud, Susan and Donna Ekins.
Not yet. Let’s put the bike back, wanting to be the walker of small roads, daughter of the 800/865 Bonneville from a 21st century renaissance and descendant of the 1959 Bonnie. Driving is meant to be simple and relaxed with its 55 horsepower parallel twin. Modernism is cleverly hidden, under the action of injection, ABS, traction control and an assisted clutch. We wander around, we smile. And if the urge to have more engine response, Triumph offers the strength of a 1200 and homage to Bud Ekins on the T120.
The budget extension requested compared to the production Bonneville is very correct.
Finally, let’s come back to man, history, passion. Bud Ekins was a true off-road star, America’s biggest Triumph dealer of the 1960s and a talented stuntman.
Born in Los Angeles in 1930, Bud Ekins learned to pilot in the nearby Hollywood Hills and worked on his off-road piloting skills long before he was of legal age to walk the roads. Luckily California is home to a thriving network of off-road circuits, and by his late teens Ekins was already known as one of Southern California’s best motocross and desert racers..
In 1956, in California, Ekins completed the 246 km of "Big Bear Hare and Hound" in 2nd place; he won the same race the following year, where Triumph won the majority of the best places.
Subsequently, Ekins opened a Triumph dealership in North Hollywood. He quickly attracted many promising young actors, including Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood. Despite the involvement of running a thriving Triumph dealership, Ekins continued to compete and found success in several off-road races, including the "Hare and Hound", the "Mint 400" and the "Baja 1000" (which he helped create). McQueen often joins him.
Ekins being a very esteemed rider, who has already represented the United States in the highly publicized competition that is the ISDT, the motorcycle Olympics, he brings McQueen into the American team for his famous participation in ISDT of 1964 in East Germany. Ekins will end up winning no less than four ISDT gold medals in seven years.
Ekins’ success in competition and friendships opened up a new career for him. While his exceptional leap in "The great Escape" becomes the most famous motorcycle stunt in cinema, his stunt skills are always in greater demand. He will be considered one of the best in Hollywood and will continue for almost 30 years.
M.B – manufacturer pictures
Historical credits: Triumph
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865 BONNEVILLE T 100 Steve Mc Queen 2012
Model marketed in
medium: 3.83 l
about 160 km / h
The technical aspect
Triumph 900 Bonneville T 100 Bud Ekins Special Edition 2020
- Tank: 14.5 liters
- Width: 715 mm
- Height: 1,100 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,450 mm
- Dry weight: 213 kg
- Train before
- Secondary chain transmission
- Rear axle
(84.6 x 80 mm)
at 5,900 rpm
at 3,230 rpm