It's a car, it's a bike, it's a call to the past.
The iconic Citroën 2CV just turned 70 years old; so what do you think the company did to celebrate? If you guessed “commissioned Italian custom bike builder South Garage Moto Co. to build a tribute motorcycle,” you’re correct. The base bike chosen for the job: a Triumph Bonneville. France and England are only separated by the English Channel, after all.
South Garage even made a short video series about the process. It’s all in Italian, so you’ll have the best experience if you understand the language.That said, you can turn on auto-translated subtitles if you don’t, as well. Results will obviously vary, but you’ll at least be able to follow some of what is going on in front of you.
Gallery: South Garage Charleston 2CV Bonneville
First, the team visited a Citroën 2CV meet to get inspiration. It’s there that they decided on the color scheme of black and rouge delage. Citroën double-chevron logos are tastefully positioned throughout the bike. I’m particularly fond of the one on the grille that covers the triple clamps on the front of the forks, where many would mount a headlight (more on that in a bit). The double-chevron luggage rack is also a nice touch.
Where’s the headlight, if not in the usual place? It’s a yellow unit, positioned on the right fork leg—just like the original 2CV both in location and color. Back in the day, 2CVs only came with one headlight—which is common enough on motorcycles, but not usually what we think of on cars.
You can view many more glamorous shots of the Charleston 2CV-inspired Triumph Bonneville built by South Garage over at Return of the Cafe Racers. If you’re interested in seeing a glimpse of the build process, and you have about 25 minutes to spare, you can check out South Garage’s whole four-episode YouTube video series on the build here.