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The Petrolhead Corner

The Two-Wheeled Madness of Thornton Hundred Motorcycles

This UK-based bespoke bike builder turns Triumph motorcycles into genuine mean machines.

| By Robin Nooy | 5 min read |

For the majority of the time we have been running the Petrolhead Corner, we have been predominantly focussing on four-wheeled fun. That changed a while back when our contributor Erik, a knowledgeable and experienced rider, and I, a novice rider who bought his first bike less than a year ago, started to write about motorcycles every now and then. Similar to what often goes down when sourcing inspiration for car stories for our weekly column, I have stumbled upon multiple very cool things to share, including today’s topic; the bespoke madness of Thornton Hundred Motorcycles. Enjoy!

Thornton Hundred

The company Thornton Hundred Motorcycles was founded by Jody Millhouse and is based in Castlethorpe, Milton Keynes, in the United Kingdom, close to the Silverstone race track and the Formula 1 teams of Red Bull Racing and Mercedes-AMG. Jody was just 20 years old when he started with Thornton Hundred, a name that refers to the village where he lived and grew up (Thornton) and to the 100mph cafe racers reached during the era of Ton-up Boys (Hundred). The Ton-up Boys were one of the most influential subcultures in motorcycling and are considered the pioneers of the Cafe Racer style, where a standard bike is stripped down and modified to make it leaner and faster. A Cafe Racer back in the day had to be able to hit 100mph, also known as “a ton up”, hence the name of the group.

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Thornton Hundred Motorcycles founder Jody Millhouse.

This also hints at what Thornton Hundred is all about, although they build more than just cafe racers. Jody’s work started out after a decision not to go to University and invest in a mechanical engineering apprenticeship instead. Not happy with the way things went during that period, he declined an offer for a job and started turning his side hustle in modifying bikes into a business from his shed.

One of the first bikes he worked on was a wrecked Ducati, which he purchased for around GBP 7,000 and eventually sold for GBP 25,000 after he was done fixing it up. This caught the attention of Ducati UK and Ducati HQ, and from there, things went fast. Ducati introduced a bike range in a similar style shortly after, which urged Jody to venture out on his own even more as there was a genuine market for his work. Then COVID hit, and using a government COVID grant, he was able to expand Thornton Hundred even further, and now the company has built a little over 150 custom bikes.

The style of Thornton Hundred Motorcycles is quite different from anything else on the road, although they’re far from the only ones churning out highly bespoke bikes, of course. Using only bikes made by Triumph Motorcycles, the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the UK, Jody is involved hands-on with every build and designed part that comes out of the workshop. Every design is managed by him and he even does most of the work in assembling and detailing.

One of one

Each build is treated as a one-off, in which the client is involved from start to finish to determine all the options that go onto the bike. Everything is engineered in-house using only the best materials and, where needed, the best suppliers around. Things like bespoke carbon fibre wheels (manufactured by Rotobox but bespoke to TH), high-performance brakes, engine modifications, hand-welded exhaust pipes and so on are the result of Jody’s dedication to building the ultimate road bikes. The machines that come out of Thornton Hundred’s workshop have a unique presence and look mighty fast even parked on the side of the road.

From the 150+ bikes Thornton Hundred has built, no two are alike, as Jody doesn’t like building the same thing twice. Of course, some elements are carried over from build to build, but each client’s final result is unique. The clientele includes names like Welsh Rugby star George North, Gymshark founder Ben Francis, and Gas Monkey Garage madman Richard Rawlings.

Twisted metal

One of the most stand-out features on most of Thornton Hundred’s bespoke creations is the exhaust system. Even if you only take a glancing look at the bikes, they are impossible to miss. Especially the Twisted exhaust system is an absolute thing of beauty, which brings both pipes to the right side of the engine and twists them together like a double helix. The entire system is built in-house, with each segment welded and finished by hand and made to order. A set of these pipes will set you back a bit under GBP 2,500, but if you’re going for a TH build, you just have to go for this twisted bit of metal!

For an idea of what goes into a bike built by Thornton Hundred, and the way Jody Millhouse and his crew work, do check out the video below on his personal build that includes the Twisted exhaust kit. And be warned, it is loud!

Just as with custom cars, all this work doesn’t come cheap, even though base prices for motorcycles are quite a bit lower than cars to start with. For a fully bespoke Thornton Hundred built bike, you have to think in the region of GBP 30,000, depending on the selected options, of course. Factor in upgrades like a supercharger (yes, it’s possible, see below!) and nitrous injection (yes, that’s an option too!), and the price will likely be well north of that 30k mark.

Note the gold-coloured supercharger on this bespoke Thornton Hundred Bobber, just behind the Twisted pipes.

It’s also possible to do some of the work yourself as Thornton Hundred offers in-house engineered parts and kits to turn your own Triumph bike into something bad-ass in the TH style. So if you have the skill, time, space and budget to tinker on your own bike, I can imagine that will be extremely rewarding! Regardless of which route you take, you end up with a wickedly cool bike that will surely give you goosebumps every time you send it down some twisty road.

For more information on Thornton Hundred’s work, please visit

4 responses

  1. I thought some authors had a good sense of style.
    Maybe U-Boat will create a TH watch for these oh so bad-ass micro-bobberles.
    I love motorcycles, but this is proper barista-hipster-bean flavor of the day stuff.
    Nobody cares beyond that cafe and beyond 5 years.

  2. “High performance brakes”, I think not. The pictures show sliding 2-pot designs, which are just awful and a significant downgrade from the Brembo Stylemas Triumph fit as standard. And I’m guessing those “bespoke” Roblock wheels have a substantial markup. These people are taking their customers for fools.

  3. God this looks aweful.
    And who amputated the poor thing’s fenders?

  4. Awesome meeting and seeing Jody at the festival of Speed 2023. Showing the capabilities of his custom Triumph supercharged speed triple blasting up the hill. Great work and nice to see something different!!

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