You can see in the picture above, David Beckham on location in the Amazon with one of the Triumph motorcycles he and his group rode through the Amazon for his recent 2015 British BBC television documentary show. The bike was essentially a stripped down stock Triumph 850 Street Scrambler, right down to the stock suspension and passenger peg foot mounts. Needless to say with the bad roads and tumbles to the ground, the original Triumph bikes ridden in the TV documentary were well pretty battered by the time the film was completed.With David Beckham an official spokesperson for Triumph Motorcycles, and living in Beverly Hills, California with his family, Triumph America wanted to put together something special for Beckham as a ‘Thank You’ for participating the TV program, and to ride about town for a little extra publicity. They came up with the fantastic idea to hire legendary FastDates Calendar Bike builder Richard Pollock build a replica Triumph Amazon Scrambler Bike for Beckham, but this time using the best possible components.
The 865cc engine was left stock, except for the beautiful Flat Black Arrow Exhaust System with heat wrap cloth tape applied to the header pipes. The stock highly padded stock seat was also trimmed down a bit by JVB like a race seat for better bike feel and control and reupholstered in brown leather by Abe Ramos. But what really makes the bike look special is the army flat olive satin black paint used throughout the bike on the fuel tank, bodywork and side covers, then skotch-brited to dull the finish further. The engine cases and cam covers are the standard Triumph Black.
David Beckham has admitted that he loved the anonymity of riding through Brazil’s Amazon rainforest on a motorbike, but his journey wasn’t without its challenges. The football star, who explored the world’s largest rainforest on two wheels earlier this year for a BBC documentary, said he was thrilled by the sense of freedom he felt on the trip, but struggled with sleeping in a hammock and not being able to wash as often as he liked.
Speaking to comedian and adventurer Michael Palin in a special interview, the former England player said he wanted to mark his retirement from professional football by embarking on the Brazilian odyssey. ‘I retired 12 months ago and my whole life, my whole career has been about having a particular schedule that I’ve always kept to, so we just wanted to be able to jump on the bikes and do what we wanted, wherever we wanted’, he explained.
The star decided to travel with three of his closest friends, Anthony Mandler (a world-renowned photographer and video director), Derek White (an experienced motorbike rider), and best friend Dave Gardner who he has known since they were 14.
‘I wanted to do something that we would all enjoy – I’m a big motorbike rider and so are two of my three friends that came with me on this trip. It was the kind of journey that had no schedule.’ ‘It was important to also find somewhere where I was unrecognizable, and we found that.’
The trip was organized and filmed by Anthony, who didn’t exactly give his fellow travelers a full briefing about what they would be up to: ‘Derek came with a suitcase of ‘going out’ shirts! He wasn’t expecting to camp, he wasn’t expecting to go into the jungle, so it was a whole surprise for him. Dave and I were better prepared but Anthony still didn’t tell us much which is actually what I wanted.’
Beckham admitted that the anonymity riding the bike afforded him was liberating. ‘When I have the helmet on nobody knows it’s me. When I’m on a bike it’s one of the few times that I feel free – so bikes were a big part of it for me.’
But while David looked forward to his adventure, it seems his family were worried about how he would cope. Footage form the documentary shows Brooklyn predicting his dad will struggle with spiders in the jungle, while wife Victoria jokes that he will need to wear a hat ‘the whole time’ to cover his messy hair.
The program first aired on BBC1 on June 9, 2015, the program saw the group fly in to the rainforest city of Manaus, and racking up the miles as they head into the wilderness, bed down in hammocks and even catch and fillet their own fish, before cooking them on the open fire. As Brooklyn predicted, the group discovered a tarantula just three meters into their trek into the jungle. Later, they encountered six-foot long anacondas as they traveled along the Amazon in ‘leaky’ canoes.
Another of the tribesmen asked: ‘What do you do? What do you hunt?’ When David explained he was a professional footballer, the man asked ‘What is football?’ ‘I didn’t explain it very well’, says Beckham, ‘the only time I’ve ever had to explain football before is probably to my wife.’
David said the team took quite a difficult route through the rainforest, admitting there were a few ‘dodgy roads along the way’.
But the star said the trip was ‘exhilarating’, and didn’t regret anything about the experience, even when he nearly fell off his bike after hitting some ridges on a steep hill, following two solid days of rain. ‘That was probably the worst that we came up against, but it was fun,’ he told Palin. ‘It made me feel like a 17-year-old and I’d do it all over again.’
While some of the roads were dangerous, Beckham said he never felt that the situation was life-threatening, but said he wouldn’t want his boys doing it. ‘Not that I could stop them!’ he jokes. And the thing he is most proud of is that he came out of the jungle alive, along with the fact that he got to see more of his friends than he’d ever seen before: ‘Seeing Dave really, really struggle – that was a pleasurable part of the trip!’
Bike builder Richard Pollock works building his trademark Street Tracker custom bikes from his home garage on evenings and weekends, when he’s not at his regular job as a precision machinist for the aerospace industry. So if you might be thinking Richard could build you a replica Beckham Triumph Scrambler of your own, he can, but just be aware he is back ordered many months in advance for his popular Street Tracker customs.