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.



Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Norton Featherbed, only nicer!

Bit of a road trip up t'north today to see a good mate and to pick up a project pre unit Trumpet with Cliff, of which there's more posts to come I reckon.
This was in the workshop!
If you've seen Cafe Racer on the idiots lantern then this is from the Welsh bloke on there who's name I can't remember.
Save this pic and open it up, have a proper look, it's a frame by which all other custom frames should be judged! 
......................................................and had a great breakfast in a bun!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Filter News Pt III

The day after the last post about filters, Toddy got in touch and said that he had one similar to the unit shown in Steve's pic. A phone call the next day soon had it hot footin' it's way south. Made by The British Filter Company it should fill the bill nicely, and the filter element looks very similar to those retro fitted to T140s which will be a result if they do fit.

Paul also got in touch around the same time and gave me a link to this, being produced today in England. Well worth investigating, if not for the Ton Ten then for the future, check it out in more detail HERE

Monday, 27 February 2012

RARE Triumph Rigid Frame On The Bay

This has come up on the Bay of Fools, advertised as a Duplex Rigid frame, it's a lot rarer than that!  Although it shares a lot in common with the later single down tube frame, especially in the rear section the font half is somewhat different to say the least.

Trawling around the only thing it can be is the frame for a 1934 - 6, Model 6-1, Triumph's very first 650 parallel twin designed by Val Page.

Lovely Bobber Ammo If You Have The Gojones!

There's not much on the web about these but here's the gist of what was found;

In July 1933 a brand new, modern Triumph made its bow in the shape of two prototype machines. This exciting machine, coded 6/1, was to enter limited production for the 1934 season but was only to be listed for two seasons. Not only did it have an advanced specification but it only sold in extremely small numbers, a few hundred only ever being built and today extremely rare. Designed by Val Page, the 647cc vertical twin cylinder engine bore no relationship to the Edward Turner Speed-Twin which debuted in 1937 and was subsequently mass produced in many guises and capacities. The 6/1’s valves are operated by a single gear driven camshaft mounted at the rear of the crankcases. The Mag-Dyno is gear driven from the camshaft with the dry sump lubrication featuring an oil container in the crankcase. A flywheel is carried on the nearside of the 360 degree crankshaft and, outboard of it, is the primary drive which is by double helical gears, an expensive feature and, because of this, the engine has to run backwards! To celebrate the arrival of the 6/1 an example was hitched to a sidecar and, after circling Brooklands for 500 miles at 60mph, was put through the gruelling ISDT winning the coveted Maudes Trophy.

If you want a real challenge, and have got the rest of your life to spare finding the rest of it, then it's HERE

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Triumph Valve Timing...................Covered

Got the timing cover back from the polisher, tried a different guy to the regular bloke who normally does it. The Triumph case needs a more sympathetic approach than a BSA cover,  there's the seating area for the pressure relief valve on the front face and the pressure outlet just to the right in the picture. These surface must not be subjected to the mops as they need to remain flat, if they are to have any hope of keeping the oil in. He also stayed away from the original 1954 brass patent plate, the lettering is still crisp on it so there was absolutely no point in chiselling it off just to replace it with a modern repop in black and silver.

Geoff has also removed the crank end bush from behind the pressure relief valve and fitted an "O" ring and circlip. This forms a tighter seal around the crank nose ensuring that more of the vital black gold gets to the big ends instead of leaking away as the bush wears. Note the figures 54 cast in just above the E3218 part number, showing this to be a 1954 casting and therefore most likely to be the original cover for the motor.

Photo from Biker Metric
After finally getting to grips with the idea of hunting teeth and non-aligning timing marks it may have been an idea to whittle a timing cover out of Perspex or Lucite as Mark Drews has done on the primary of his killer rigid. That way countless hours could have been spent at shows and events boring the asses off of people demonstrating the effect!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Tank and Seat ........ Further Along

Found four 3/8" UNF bolts and got the tank fixed down on the new brackets, the rear one still needs that little bit of alteration to allow the option of sliding the tank back by 1/2". Although it had to happen, because both brackets are equal, really pleased that the bottom of the tank faithfully tracks the lower frame rail. An unexpected bonus is the similarity of the curve of the tank front to the web of the frame casting, like to say I thought of it, but it ain't the case.

This is the start of the seat pivot, all done with smoke, mirrors and ty-wraps at the moment, but the foundations are laid.  Using the original pivot boss was a no brainer, no way in the world was that gonna get cut off to be replaced by something else doing the same job, a little wider than I'd like but it's workable. What was definitely not going to happen was adopting the original Meriden idea of the seat nose going above the bracket with vertical pivot links facing downwards from the seat frame.

Thinking of all kinds of stuff for the pivoting mount, 1/8" flat, round bar, whatever it had to be set in to come inside the nose of the seat. Then the idea of a coupla ring spanners, pre-set and forged when made, they've got a built in  factory look already. They're a pair of 1/2" AF spanners with hexagon sleeved huts brazed in and tapped 5/16 cycle.
Weld a bridge across the seat end and it should be good to go. 
Another look at the top pic shows that the springs are gonna take some thinking about, longer than you'd like, to say the least.

Friday, 24 February 2012

The French Connection

A few days ago I asked Roland  over at Outta Control in Brittany, if it would be possible to make a couple of support brackets to mount the tank, without having to drill the frame. A sketch was sent outlining the idea, a few mails back and forth ironed out a coupla snags, and today, here they are. I've said it on here before, and I'm bound to say it again, but I love the feeling of holding something in the hand that is the reality of an image in the mind. Thanks mate, just what I had been thinking of.

Just a slight mod needed on this rear one to allow it to push further back, the tank fits on fine as it is, but the option of getting it slightly rearward will be a benefit.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Triumph T100 Off Road Warrior

Steve, who kindly provided the pics of the filter yesterday, sent over some photos of his Tiger 100 Green Laner  (Trail Bike) that is still getting regularly used and abused on the tracks and trails across the Pennines in the north of England. Having been up that way on off road excursions quite a few times I can promise you it's an unforgiving place for any bike.

If you're having problems identifying the running gear, it's hardly surprising. The front section is rigid Triumph with an after market McCandless swinging arm conversion grafted on! New to me as well, obviously not just Featherbed frames that they kept themselves busy with then.

Steve reckons it's an old shitter that he doesn't like cleaning.................looks great from here!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Information filtering through.

A couple of people have been in contact regarding the search for a small remote filter unit. Steve sent these two pics of, what he believes to be a late 250 Triumph/BSA unit.

This gives a far better idea of what is being sought, probably half the size of the far more common Commando unit and the universal ones that are on offer, thanks Steve, hope it helps.

Craig from Birmingham also mailed to say that the unit fitted to the LE Velocette is another compact option, that he has successfully used in the past. Cheers Craig, that will broaden the search and may turn up results.

Another lead came through The Jockey Journal regarding a Daytona Project back in 2003 where a guy at Vokes actually re manufactured 3 units. Whether or not that is possible any more, will have to be found out.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Hunting Teeth

It's one of those mysteries that has bugged me and others I know, when the valve timing is set the marks are, as you'd expect , in line. Yet when the motor's turned over once the marks are not in line any more, and won't be until it's been turned over 42 times!  Knew it was called Hunting, but never quite grasped the ins and outs of it, time to Google her on up! It is, by all accounts, known as a Hunting Tooth Gear Train, and is done to even out the wear across all of the gear teeth on the circumference. 
Because the number of teeth on the Crankshaft Pinion and the Idler Gear cannot be divided by the same number, they are running out of synch with each other to an extent, so a tooth on the pinion must contact every tooth on the gear before it returns to contact the original tooth it started on. This has the benefit of distributing the hard work of lifting the valves off of their seats evenly around the idler, rather than continually hammering away at the same few teeth as it would if there was a common ratio, that is, if the idler was 50 teeth the same as the cam gears. Although all of the marks do not line up again for something like 90 odd revolutions, the crank and cam marks will be in the same relative position every two turns of the motor, due to their inherent 2:1 ratio, which is good. The idler and it's marks are spinning away "hunting" the start position and it doesn't matter where the marks are on that as it's position is not critical once the timing has been set once.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Triumph GP500 Oil Filter

Looking for an oil filter set up for the Ton Ten, that looks similar to this unit fitted to the late 40's GP500. You can just see it nestling between the back of the timing cover and the gearbox. Don't expect to find one of these as they were pretty rare at the time, but........ The Baron tells me that the War Department GB40 had a very similar set up fitted, known as a Vokes E37, seems that the later  250 Triumph T25 had something similar, so by that, the small Beezers  at that time would have had 'em as well.
If you have one that you will part with, or know a man that has a comment or a mail would be greatly appreciated.

Pic from 

Sunday, 19 February 2012

1951 Custom Thunderbird?

Geoff's 6T Thunderbird build has taken a bit of a turn, almost leaning towards a Happy Days stylee (Heyyyyy!!) He was short of one side of the nacelle for the original restoration path he was going down. Although they look the same when fitted to the 50's thru early 60's Triumphs there are, or so I'm told, loads of changes and subtle differences between 'em. The cost of a new complete set to guarantee a match is ridiculous, even the stuff coming out of India, which may or may not fit, ain't cheap. So he scored a set of early Trophy top covers off of Ace Classics  and fitted a separate 6" headlight and hi-rise bars, which I reckon are what we used to call Western Roll Bars.  The cocktail shakers look sweet on there as well although the line of the pipes could do with looking at again, reckon the Ton Ten may well end up similarly "silenced".  

He's already offered a small 3T tank up on it, but that makes the seat look even bigger than it is, so a different seat and about 10 inches off of that rear muddie and it might be getting somewhere.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

T110 Bottom End...........

............................ coming back together. Got a few hours in up at Geoff's today and got the bottom end "buttoned up", the crank journals were good but it's had new shells and mains anyway. Kinda takes the guess work out of it, plus there's no-one else to blame if there's a problem later on. Had to smile when Geoff introduced his con rod protectors, apparently an idea he saw in a 1958 copy of Motorcycle Mechanics, just a couple of toilet roll tubes dropped over! Most of the best ideas are the simple solution.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Joe Lucas.......Prince of Darkness

This came through earlier today, again not the greatest of pics but you get the idea, it's a tie pin, lapel badge type of deal but it's gonna end up on the dynamo end cover!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

In The Comfort Zone

Received this from Toddy today, I don't know how he does it but he knocks these out by hand and they almost look pressed out. The advantage being, that he makes it to fit the bike, which is always a better bet than making the bike fit the seat. That ain't as stupid as it sounds as when there's fixed dimensions to work to on a pre-made seat, the frame or bracketry gotta be adjusted to suit something that ain't part of the deal in the first place. Got a killer front pivot set up in mind, if it works out it will be worth the wait................watch this space!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Ariel Square 4, with Reversed Head!!!!

 Larry from The Lucky Bastards sent these shots of  Homer Knapp's Featherbed framed Square 4, with a reversed head already !!!!!!!!!
Homer is a well known and respected racer from Southern California who still gets out there and kicks ass on his special breed of motorcycles, including this amazing long distance desert racer.

This pic lifted from Paul's Show & Go blog

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Looking For That Period Twist

The underlying theme for the Ton Ten build is to try and create something that looks like a Factory Custom that Triumph could have built in 1955, if such things had existed back then of course. So rather than rely on the usual transfers/decals to spell it out, some original cast badges were sourced to go on the tank sides. A tank scored from Guy of GKM fame by the way.

Barry took the tank and badges and made some small bosses to weld into the tank sides to fix the Triumph logos. Drilled and tapped M3, suppose it should have been 1/8" Cycle Thread really, just to keep the authenticity train a'rollin'.

All mounted and looking mighty fine, he also made and fitted the bosses on the bottom to mount the tank, it will save having to drill or weld the frame rail.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

All The Stopping Power Of A '57 Cub!

Not the best of pics, but it shows the '57 Cub front hub that was originally scored from Steve up in the wilds of Scotland. Just back from powder coating and with the bearings pressed in, it's ready to go to the wheel builders to have a 21" rim wrapped 'round it. It's going on the front of the Ton Ten, probably not Mr Turner's finest hour in the retardation stakes, but it looks the nuttz and I've never had a bike with decent brakes anyway!