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.



Sunday, 28 April 2013

1955 Triumph Rigid Frame Details

Triumph went to the swinging arm frame in 1954, putting and end to production road going rigid bikes. Not so for competition stuff in the US, Dave's 1955 T100R shows a later headstock casting with a larger top bearing and a larger bottom gusset between the frame tube and the bottom bearing cup.

Also the extra foot rest lugs for the rear set pegs, this is common to the T100R and T100C and possibly the GP500 frames. Not sure how pukkah the extra brake pedal forging just in front of the rear brake stay is though, more research needed on that. 
If somebody offers you a frame with these features, don't think it's been messed around with, just buy it!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

1952 Triumph Tiger 100C

Picture courtesy of BigD Cycle

Keith from Big D Cycle in Dallas has just finished this oh so sweet Tiger 100C. 

Picture courtesy of BigD Cycle

A sensitive and subtle reworking of standard parts rather than a full custom/Bobber approach makes for a lovely looking ride.

Picture courtesy of BigD Cycle

Check out the factory rearsets , later rev counter drive timing case and of course the all alloy motor sporting twin concentrics.

Picture courtesy of BigD Cycle

I'm hoping the '53 will capture some of this style when it's done.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

BSA Gold Star

Bet this'd make ya grin.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

At Bloody Last................ 56 T100 Cases

Finally got some cases, easy you'd think, set of everyday pre-unit Tiger 100 cases, not the case at all. Martin dropped these off yesterday. 1956 Big Bearing, everything a fellah needs.

Ya can just see the bearing bulge hangin' it's bottom lip out in this pic, makes all the difference an eighth of an inch sometimes.

They all do that sir................................
A milling cutter will clean up what's left of that, shame but it really is a case of"Beggars can't be choosers" here. A few spots of weld on the inside where a couple of screws have broken through, and one or two heli-coils may well come in handy, but certainly a hell of good foundation to build from. Time to get the scrubbing brushes out first though.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Jeez.................and they still turn up!!!!!!!!

Matching numbers 1955 T100R/R  just been posted on the JJ! Recently acquired project, 
number 90 in the run of 108 or something like that.

Monday, 22 April 2013

E3677 Tacho Timing Cover


Managed to get hold of this timing cover from Todd at Small City Cycles , it's a genuine piece and came off of a running bike so all should be cool with it. Have to change the patent plate but as this one has recently been fitted, the rivets should come out pretty easy.

Have to get Geoff to do the oil seal conversion to get rid of the crank end bush, but otherwise all good.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

New List Of Bits With Cliff's Trophy.

Cliff has mailed with a list of the new unused parts that go with the TR6 project he is offering for sale

frame, clutch center , drum, springs, engine and gearbox sprockets, 12v alternator and rotor,gear lever, kickstart lever, engine wiring loom, engine and primary gasket set, milled alloy engine plates, clutch cable, oil feed pipes,high level exhaust and clamps, stainless rear brake rod, plug leads, stainless engine to frame bolts and cover screws,fuel cap, rear avon 5x16 tyre
also there is with it the mag ,amal ,carb ,finned oil feed to rockers

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Pre Unit 650 Project Up For Grabs

 1961 TR6 Bobber Project For Sale

My good mate Cliff has just mailed and says his Trumpet has gotta go!
Sad news to me as it's destined to be a great bike, but unfortunately in this shitty ol' world we live in some things just have to be dealt with.

The details are all you could ask for to start a build;

  • Fully rebuilt 1961 650 Trophy motor
  • Brand new unstamped TFMW Duplex frame
  • Rebuilt swinging arm gearbox
  • Sportster front end, shortened by 2"
  • 21" Front wheel
  • Ribbed rear muddie
and a rake of small bits, 85 - 90% complete I'd say, minor work to complete as the adverts say.

It's got to be worth 4 Grand to somebody who's looking for a good start on a genuine pre unit.

Collection from Luton.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Possibly The Nicest Unit 500 Ever?

I'm not the world's greatest fan of unit 500 Triumphs, sorry if that offends but there ya go, the early pre-66 examples that have been hardtailed always look like a standard bike but with no back suspension. An inherent problem with that dumb idea of taking out the top tube and replacing it with a stiffening bar.............why ????

Then along comes Cush with the exception that breaks the rule.
This is a 67 with the benefit of a normal front section with a real top tube. 
This is a bike where the whole is more than a sum of the parts, it all fits together and just looks so right.

Great detail work and a daring choice of colour that makes it sweat class, certainly a credit to Cush for both his taste and talent.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Triumph Trophy TR5R

This motorcycle is the reason I bought the book below ............ bought yasself a copy yet? ..........
Last time we were up Toddy's a mate of his came in and said " I've got my TR5R in the back of the van, if you want a look" TR5...WHAT!!!! never heard of 'em at the time, and of course had to have a look, sure enough in the back of the van sat yer man's bike, had to find out more after that.
A search on the all seeing Google revealed very little, Paul at Show £ Go had posted a write up and then there was Jonnie Green's unrestored '56.

That's the way to find 'em.

It's no wonder that few people here in the UK had heard of them, certainly in the dark days before the interweb. Originally produced as a response to a request from the US distributors for a bike that was ready to race at Daytona straight out of the crate. Up until then a road going Tiger 100 or 500 Trophy had to be prepared using the fabled "T100 Race Kit" which was a fair bit of work.
The Gospel according to Harry states that 112 were built in 1956, (some sources say it was 104 complete bikes and 8 spare motors,) 17 in '57 and a further 49 the next year. That's a total of 170 or 178 bikes built in the space of 3 years, so a rare bird nowadays, even in the US.
Generally in appearance and running gear it was the same as a regular 500 Trophy, but as can be imagined the motor was where it counted. Each engine was hand built and these were known as Red Seal Engines, each one supplied with a test report giving the power figures and build details.The general motor spec was as follows;

  • Compression Ratio.............................................. 9:1
  • Cam Followers..................................................... 1 1/8" radius "R" Type
  • Valve Guides ........................................................ Bronze
  • Camshafts.............................................................. E3134
  • Valve Springs........................................................ White Spot interference type
  • Magneto................................................................. Lucas K2FC Racing Type
  • Magneto Pinion.................................................... Steel
  • Carburettors.......................................................... 2 off Amal type 276 with remote float
  • Approximate BHP............................................... 40
A hot twin carb roadgoing Triumph a couple of years before the introduction of the Bonnie. No doubt this would have been a TR6R had it not been for the AMA's xenophobic rules that limited o.h.v. engine (foreign) bikes to 500 to give the old 750 home built flatties a chance,

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Bible Bashin'

Birthday coming up? No? Then you should really treat yourself to this book if nobody else will. Harry Woolridge worked at Meriden fom 1953 until they turned the lights out for the last time. Big Ted Turner is well known for not allowing factory support of a British or European racing effort, not so in the States where the Trophy received continual development and improvement throughout the fifties and early sixties . Linked to names like Bud Ekins and the King of Cool Steve McQueen, the TR6 absolutely dominated the US desert racing scene for close on a decade.
The information and changes given about Trophies and pre-unit twins in general is immense and as it's first hand information, from memory and unrivalled access to factory records can be taken as gospel.

Available on the Bay between 22 and 35 pounds new it's a must have.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A Beginners Guide To Relacing A Wheel

First saw this on The Brit Bike forum.
Wheelbuilding has always been a black art to me, people I know who do their own all say it's easy, and on the face of it, it probably is.
Marc put a tutorial up on the forum and it's about the clearest explanation I've ever seen. Rather than allow it to get lost as it sinks down the post list, it's got it's own page HERE or access it anytime from the page bar beneath the header logo.

Thanks Marc.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Boneshakin' Benny's Bonnie Blowout

It's a TR6 really, but that didn't sound so good as a header.
Benny has put this ex Phil Piper project up for grabs on the Bay of Doom.
The motor has been recently rebuilt and reported to run strong, sittin' on Sportster forks and 21" shod hubs it's got all the makings of a sweet ride. 
Although not a great fan of custom frames, they do offer a blank canvas to allow the creative juices to flow upon and the constraints of standard architecture are removed.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Making A Mockery Of It (Part III)

Got a back tyre on yesterday, couldn't wait to get it on two feet to have a proper look. As mentioned before the forks will definitely need 1.5 - 2 inches taken out to get away from the jaunty head up stance it sitting at. On these later forks it can be done internally by putting a spacer beneath the rebound spring, so it is an easy job to fine tune the ride height.

All in all though, I reckon it looks like it might turn out OK.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Fifty Three

Just to clear things up, and so you know where the exotica is going. This is the pride of the fleet, a mint uncut '53 frame, downside, it's got a keyhole back post, upside, it's never been molested in the slightest way.

So, the '54 Pie Crust wheel, the Delta Head, the nice bits and all the NOS knick knacks that are in hand and still to be sought out will be going on here. There will be occasional mentions as more bits are scored or fitted. 

Friday, 12 April 2013


It don't get much rarer than this in the world of pre-unit Trumpets, well possibly a TR5R but that's debatable. This Ladies and Gentlemen is a gen - u - wine '57 T100R  motor, supplied as a factory built flat tracker in that year. 

Big D Cycle in Dallas has just committed it to the Bay of Doom
Fully rebuilt and pretty much good to go.
No idea what it will fetch, just know I would love to have it, although it should go into a racer of some description to justify it's pedigree.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

53 Thunderbird, Finnish Stylee

Magnus from across The North Sea in Finland, sent a couple of shots of his '53 T'bird in front of the log pile. 
He says this is the fifth incarnation in the eight years he's had it. Still running the original barrels, albeit at + 0.060, the iron head sports  twin 928 Concentrics through a manifold conversion. E3134s and a Lucas K2FC take care of getting the bangs in the right place.

The front end is Husqvarna with inverted Tomaselli clip-ons, and a '71 - '72  Conical front wheel.
Gotta love those flanged rims.  as well.

Nice One Magnus

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Pre Unit Triumph - Must Have Accessory

Never seen or heard of one of these, which ain't unusual, but neither had Geoff and that is. First spotted in the '57 Tri-Cor catalogue, it's an obvious improvement...........once you've seen it of course..........and good any any pre-unit. Anyways up, about a week later I'm sifting through the US Bay of Doom and lo and behold, there they are! Repro of course but really nicely made and polished, a satisfying thing to have in ya hand, so to speak.
The guy does not sell into England through the Bay, but it's OK through his web shop so get over there, but keep it on the QT and you'll be the envy of all your chums in the Summer.
Oh, ignore the buck 85 , that don't count any more!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Triumph Tiger 100 Or Not?

More like a Tiger 5T 

Scored this a few months ago, Tiger 100 on a set of alternator 5T cases, the numbers have been massaged so the crank cases are no good even if they are good. 

On the upside it's a big bearing motor, hence the ask for a set of mid/late fifties Tiger 100 cases a few posts ago. Externally the head and barrels look workable, but it may be on +0.060 and -0.040 won't know that 'til we have her to bits, but that's not until a new set o' cases are to hand

Looks like it's seen a bit of action in it's life.
Odd to see the distributor set up on there.

Big Bearing Tiger 100 cases still required folks.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Making A Mockery Of It (Part II)

Couldn't help but put the empty cases and gearbox in. Looking damn fine even if I do say so myself, and Micky looks happy in the back there. The frame was initially sprayed with a zinc galvanising treatment, the candy red was an afterthought and a bit of an experiment, it's growing on me, and will probably be along these lines at the finish.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Making A Mockery Of It (Pt I)

I scored the front legs from Steve at The Strathbran Speed Shop a couple of weeks ago. Although the sliders are correct for a '71 - '73 Conical Hub twin, the stanchions had been changed at some time to suit disc brake type yokes, the earlier type still retain a taper for the top yoke whereas the later ones are parallel. These were swapped out yesterday afternoon, so just had to be offered up to see what effect the non-raked yokes would have. They look OK to me, the front wheel is a 19" and is not the one that will be used but the size is right and there doesn't seem to be a clearance issue. There was some concern that without the in built 10 degrees of rake given by the standard rigid yokes the front end may sit too close to the frame down tube, that's not the case and the steering will be quicker as a result of this change. 

The wheel dropouts had been butchered at some point in time, using a hacksaw and file, not a pretty site. A local retired engineer managed to set the frame up on his mill and opened the slots up to 7/8" to bring them back to square and even, he also turned up two "top hat" collars to accommodate the 17mm rear spindle. The spindle itself is a modified XL500 Honda item, figuring the make up of the steel would be right to make a spindle out of. A bit of a Homer Simpson moment "They say it was made from a larger spindle"
At the moment I am thinking of making a plate up to pick up the two holes on the silencer/rear footrest lug with a slot to take the brake anchor bolt, above the bottom rail. That will set the brake arm in about the right position and not look overly shite.

Staying with the standard headlight mounting method, the holes are there already and it's rubber mounted. Only used by Triumph for about three years at the start of the seventies it's gotta be the most stripped down look for a side mount you're going to get, and it makes a change from the ubiquitous Batesalike bottom mount set up.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Hacking In Some Sort Of Style

Craig sent a picture of his "Hack" down from The Black Country (if that's OK to call it that nowadays). Unfortunately no details on this daily driver, it's obviously a Panther, late '20s early '30s at a guess, pretty damn cool all the same.

Update, Craig has been in contact says it's a '34

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Birth Of Rock 'n' Roll

Johnny Guitar Watson 1954, Ike Turner's band 1951 don't talk to me about Bill Hailey!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Austrian Lightweight Joins The Campaign

Got hold of this KTM rear hub to hold up the arse end on Skankweasel. The hub and brake plate are made of magnesium, the rim is a WM3 x 18" Akront "Green Label" the whole wheel as seen here minus the spindle comes in at 7.05 kg, or 
15 1/2  lbs in old money.

The brake anchor position may take some thinking about to get the operating pivot 'round to a more conventional position, but that ain't a show stopper.