Taking a grinder to Britain's motorcycling heritage.
This "Blog" represents the thoughts and actions of the author. It is created for academic interest and entertainment only. It is neither intended or implied that any person reading any article contained within, imitates or recreates any work described.



Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Triumph Freaks Get On It

Issue 25 flopped through the door today, as usual it features some great real world bikes and well crafted articles. Now Guy is a self confessed early H-D man, but he has got a good eye for a nice Brit and does that justice in this issue. Along with a couple of nice unit twins, there's a cracking 1952 Tiger 100 that's worth the entry fee on it's own. There's also a photo report on Yokohama 2011 that contains an intriguing pic of a pre unit Trumpet in the bottom corner of page 37, ya can see just enough to stir the desire but not enough to satisfy the craving, would love to see more of that bike. Want more? Gotta have more, then get yerself HERE and fulfill the yearning

Monday, 30 January 2012

1953 Triumph Blackbird

Produced in '53 for a US market that was getting a little tired with the "Any colour you like, as long as it's blue" policy from Triumph with regards to the 6T Thunderbird. Makes for a really classy looking ride.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Only the first bloody kick...........................

Had to drop the A7 down off of the ramp yesterday as the bloke who actually owned the ramp has got a use for it. Not such a big deal as it spurred us on to getting it finally sorted out, and it's the first time it's been on Terra Firma with the paint and pipes on.

Still got to throw a few wires at it, but that's pretty much it, reckon the pipes sit on there a treat as well. Definitely worth the money and the wait, all the lines follow the frame and the silencers welded to the pipe give an extra twist.

 Still not happy with the front brake though, it does pull up but with waaaaay too much travel at the lever. Not sure if the problem is in the caliper or the master cylinder, but it's definitely in there somewhere! And those bars ain't staying, going for something similar but not so high and wide.

So with it on the deck there was no real excuse not to put petrol in it and give it a go. Gave the exhaust a good wipe over with Brake Cleaner as instructed by Den up at Alldens when he made the system. Apparently if this isn't done on stainless exhausts all the hand prints that are on them get almost burnt into the surface of the metal the first time they get hot and then they're there for ever more! Checked the petrol unions and added the juice that the world goes to war over and tickled her up. Just started to stroke the kickstart through to get things ready, and I'll be damned, it started! Straight in on two 

There's a bit of an issue with the carb flooding when on the side stand, that will need to be sorted along with a few other minor issues, but all in all a great day.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

1954 Tiger 110, Jewel out of Africa

Came across Fouche's blog whilst trawling for stuff on the Ton Ten, it's got to be among the best sites out there covering the rebuilding of a Trumpet motor. The execution and documentation are top notch and it's detailed to the nth degree.
Check it out HERE

Friday, 27 January 2012

Period 1954 Tiger 110 Road Test Report

Found this on Paul's Show and go blog. Looks like the Trumpet should be a bit of fun to ride when it's up and running. "Effortlessly cruising at 90 plus, romping over ploughed fields and just plain putting around town" it says! Well call me an old skeptic if ya like, but it wasn't unheard of to supply the press with specially prepped test bikes back then, and it was considered bad form for the press to knock the product they'd been given to test.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Trojan's Trick Trumpet's a Treat

Pete from Trojan Classics down in Sydney Oz, sent over a few pics of  this pre-unit that he's recently finished for his mate Tim.

No offence to you fellahs out there running Unit motors, but the earlier incarnation of Turner's twin design really looks the Muttz Nuttz when it comes down to style.

If you want to see more of this bike and the build report take a look at Trojan's really well crafted blog HERE. Word of warning before you go, their blog contains class British bikes and not plates of food!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

1954 Triumph T110 Engine

This is the power plant destined to go into the rigid Triumph project, from the first year of the HOT 650 option, it's a '54 Tiggy Ton Ten. Stripped it yesterday for a clean and a look inside, no major shocks in there and a pleasant surprise that was a bonus. The crank and rods are all in good order as are the bores and pistons on +0.020", so all OK there, the result being that it is fitted with a E3134 cam on the inlet and "R" followers on both sides, all in fine fettle.
There is a snapped top fin on the barrels but luckily the broken off piece came with it, so it's over to Chip's this morning to have that brazed back into position.

Here is what the National Motorcycle Museum has to say about the '54 Ton Ten;

About the 1954 650cc Triumph Tiger 110
Ton-plus Tiger

When released for 1954, Triumph’s Tiger 110 was among an elite of a few 100mph-plus vehicles available to the general public. But although the 110 was truly a snarling tiger when the throttle was opened, it could also be a docile kitten when riding around town with the ignition lever set to retard.

While derived from the 1950 Triumph Thunderbird, the fast and sleek T110 incorporated significant advances over Triumph’s first 650cc twin. Engine tuning included a revised cylinder head, bigger carburettor and an inlet camshaft developed for racing. It resulted in a healthy 42 horsepower, dealt with by strengthening of the crankshaft and its main bearings. The T110’s frame is Triumph’s new swinging arm type and an up rated front brake featured an air cooling scoop to help prevent’ fadeif the drum was applied repeatedly, as it would be when travelling fast over challenging roads. An attractive Shell Blue Sheen colour scheme was shared with the 1954 500cc Tiger 100. Following a Triumph tradition begun with pre-war Tigers, the 110 model code hinted at top speed, which was not far short of 110mph in standard trim. A startling 117.2mph was recorded in 1954 by the weekly Motor Cycling, but that was with a press test machine, tweaked, by factory staff.


Engine 649cc (71 x 82mm) air-cooled overhead valve parallel twin, 8.5 :1 compression ratio, 1 1/8in Amal carburettor, magneto ignition

Transmission Chain primary drive, wet multi-plate clutch, four-speed gearbox, chain final drive.

Chassis Cradle frame, telescopic fork front suspension, swinging arm rear suspension, drum brakes.

Wheels: 19in.

Power 42bhp at 6,500rpm.

Dry weight 420lb (190kg).

Top speed 110mph.

420lb, this build should be a ways inside that, this bike may have some get up and go about it!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Making a rod for your own back........

Following the recent post about the availability of a broad range of stainless fasteners from Automotive Stainless  a small order was felt to be a good way to gauge both the quality and the service. The rear hub needed putting together prior to getting it away to the wheel builders, and that required three 1/4" CycleThread bolts and associated nuts and washers to fix the bearing cover, so, a good a thing as any to try them out with. The order took about 4 days to arrive and the parts are first rate, this picture doesn't show the nice shallow radius on the bolt heads but it does indicate the polished finish as supplied. In fact the overall appearance is very similar to the factory fixings used originally.
Whilst they are not particularly cheap, the price isn't bad compared to buying the right Mild Steel kit and then having those plated. The problem, and the reason for the post title, is that it is dangerously close to setting a precedent and the rest of the fittings on the bike. The overall direction of the build is to get a 1955 factory custom look, so in reality, to go down this route is a no brainer............................looks like the rod is made then.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

New Girder Forks

The guys over at Spitfire have recently released these custom Girders, and mighty damn fine they look  to us here! There's a lot of interest in girders at the moment and these will fit the bill for most people. Classic styling with modern materials and production techniques, why mess about with a 70 or 80 year old factory parts?

Monday, 16 January 2012

Just When Ya Thought Ya Knew 'Em

Left a copy of the latest Horse mag in the ol' crapperia the other day, nothin' unusual about that. 


A couple of hours later, the good lady comes out carryin' said magazine and I'm waiting for the old "clear up yer own crap" routine........

........ but NO! She says, I like this and opens the book up on Clay's sweet 1957 Thunderbird build.

This sort of thing just don't happen, she's got good taste of course, but it don't happen!

Thanks to Clay over at Atom Bomb Customs for letting me use the pics.

Images by David Bradley

Sunday, 15 January 2012

British Std Cycle Thread.......The Best Yet!

Always on the look out for suppliers of Cycle thread nuts and bolts. Came across these people earlier on, and they seem to cover pretty much everything as you can see. They even do Cycle thread Ny-Loc half nuts!! and you can't say that about many suppliers.


Saturday, 7 January 2012

Triumph 650 Rigid Pt 1

Been gathering together a few Triumph bits over the last 3 or 4 months, didn't really think a mock up was necessary as all the parts are Triumph or patterns thereof. But ..... well, you know how it is.

Gearbox supplied by The Baron slipped in without a fuss.......

as did Joe's Mk1 front engine plates.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Point Of Reference

Every now and again, Geoff's place gets mentioned on these pages. Always a source for information, the more obscure bits and a cup of tea (as long as you make it yourself), Geoff has a lifetime of messing with old Brits, primarily Triumph. This is his latest build, a 1951 ish Thunderbird, not catalogue correct by any means but a good, well built rigid 650 Trumpet.
It's always handy to have stuff like this available locally, just to check on what fits what and small assembly details that can confuse.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Changes to the British Vehicle MOT Situation

Readers from outside the UK may not be aware that here, all vehicles over 3 years old must be tested on a yearly basis to ascertain that vehicle's road worthiness.
The UK Government is proposing that vehicles manufactured before 1960 will no longer need this test. 
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs is currently surveying owners of such vehicles to gauge their reaction to these proposed changes. The following is their introduction to the proposal;

As part of the Reducing Regulations agenda and the desire to remove unnecessary burdens, the Government is proposing to exempt pre-1960 from statutory MOT test, as allowed under Article 4(2) of the EU Directive 2009/40/EC, and bring the age of vehicles requiring the statutory MOT test in line with The Goods Vehicles (Plating and Testing) Regulations 1988

The FBHVC is urging as many owners of vehicles that fall within this category to read the DfT consultation and take part in the survey.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Look what some Bastard sent us...........

Blind Melon from The Lucky Bastards MC sent this over. Snapped at the 2011 Chooper Fest in Ventura, sunny So-Cal earlier (least ways I hope it was earlier, and not in the depth of what passes as a winter over there) this year. A real nice take on the Unit Triumph theme.

There may be the hint of a nod to the old Exile style, but the stance, the proportions and the finish are bang on. The 16 rear and 21 front combo are timeless, and that looks mighty similar to a Cub front hub leading the way.

Thanks Melon, you may not be a Triumph kinda guy, but you'd have to be lacking a pulse not to like this.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

More Killer Kit From The US

This arrived the other day from Hal Hall in the States, a nicely made end cover for a Lucas E3L dynamo. Seems to be getting somewhat of a fin fest of late, may turn out to be overkill putting this alongside Joe's finned plates. Time will tell on that.

Don't know what it is about our brothers across the pond and nice stuff, is it that they have the eye to realise the potential in something, or is it that they see an opportunity and have the gojones to do something about it?

Monday, 2 January 2012

Springing Into The New Year

Popped over to see Chip the other day and found these lurking in one of his sheds. been toying with the idea of getting hold of a springer for the Triumph build for a while now, and these may well fit the bill.

It's been a toss up between a set of original H-D style repops or the Factory Metalworks narrow front end. Problem with the H-D option, is that they are a tad wide for the look that is required, although the sculpted back legs and cast spring bridge always looks the nuttz. Then again the FMW alternative looks too modern with all the CNC action going on, but no excess width to contend with.

Chip is still umming and aahing about the very fair offer that was made, so it is not a given that these are available, and  if they are, they will need extensive reworking to get them back to anything like their best. But then he is a very reasonable bloke and sure to see that parting with 'em is a good and honourable thing.

Chip................you know it makes sense!!!!!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year, New Shop, New Blog

Von Speed
Bit late with this, but better than never as they say.
Our old mate Shaun up in Barnsley Yorkshire has taken the plunge and opened up a new shop to cater for all your Custom & Cafe needs. He covers pretty much everything from a washer to a complete build, and if, by an odd chance, he can't help you out we guarantee that he'll know a bloke that can.

Check him out right here or ring 07774 386 423