Triumph is no stranger to building special edition, one-off bikes. No more was that evident than last week’s MCM London Comic Con when the British motorcycle brand unveiled the Venom. Based on the Bonneville, the Venom is a military-styled bike that owes its inspiration from the latest video game instalment of the Metal Gear franchise, Metal Gar Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

The partnership between Triumph and the Metal Gear franchise extends all the way back to the latter’s inception. In fact, Triumph has made numerous cameos in previous versions of the game, which partly explains why the one-off Venom owes a lot of its styling to the video game franchise.

One of the biggest inspirations in the bike’s design is the saddle of the Bonneville T100. Instead of its standard configuration, the saddle was actually cut down and refinished in Sneaking Suit neoprene and carbon Kevlar leather, two materials traditionally used by Solid Snake himself in the video game. At the back of the saddle, Triumph installed heavy duty ammo rack loops and a cut-down guard, presumably for functional reasons to help Solid Snake accomplish his missions.

An odd feature of the bike, or lack thereof, are the notable absences of mirrors, speedo, or rev counter. I’m not exactly sure what the reason for that is, but if this is what Solid Snake wants for his bike, I’m in no position to argue against him. Moving to the front,
Triumph added a yellowed-out JVB Rumbler headlight and external heavy-duty fork springs to provide a more aggressive look to the dynamic face of the bike. It’s a fitting nod to its one-off characteristic, as is the stencilled matte black Diamond Dogs livery that brings out that supremely confident look and the aggressive go-anywhere Continental TKC80 tires.

These final touches are all in line with the vision of turning the Bonneville into a ride that Solid Snake would be part of.

Continue reading to read more about Triumph’s custom Venom Bonneville.

Why it matters

I’ve been an avid fan of the Metal Gear Solid video game franchise since the first instalment was released for the Sony PlayStation back in 1998. I haven’t played as much as I used to, but I’m confident that if Solid Snake was a real person, he’d be ecstatic to ride the Triumph Venom in whatever mission he finds himself in.

It’s also fitting that Triumph would be the company to work on a Metal Gear Solid-inspired one-off custom bike. As I said, the British motorcycle company has been prominently featured in previous iterations of the video game so this isn’t exactly new hat for Triumph.

The Venom itself is a sight to behold, even though it comes with a few design quirks of its own. The lack of any rearview mirrors wouldn’t make it past the first stage of quality control in the real world, but in the anything goes virtual world of Metal Gear, Solid Snake would probably find a way to make it work.

I’m not sure exactly what Triumph plans to do with the Venom, but I do know that once its appearance at the London Comic Con is done, it’s scheduled to tour a number of other events for the remainder of the year. As far as a decision on mass-producing the bike goes, Triumph isn’t likely to give a thumbs-up on that end.

That said, it’s not a crime to at least hope for the company to change its mind, right?

What do you think?
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