Taking a grinder to Britain's motorcycling heritage.
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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

You Want Salt On That?

Think salt and you either think of Fish 'n' Chips or the great white wasteland that is Bonneville Utah USA. Well it ain't always the case, John sent over these pics of his rigid Thunderbird at Lake Gairdner in Oz, Those boys down there in The Great Southern Land have got their own horizon to shoot for.

I'll take the lazy option here and let John tell y'all what's been done.

As you can see its a rigid based bike and I call it a 54 as that was the last year of the rigid frame and first year of the big bearing alt cases for the Thunderbird. I've tried to use as many pre unit bits as possible, though there is certainly a mixture with the frame being a 49, rear wheel, oil tank, guard, gearbox and triple clamps being early fifties, fork sliders are 57, front wheel is duplex type 8" hub. Tank is mid 60's T100? and the tacho bracket is 70's. All other bits are aftermarket or home made.
Engine has big bearing alt cases with a unit crank fitted balanced to 85%. Ball timing side and roller drive side main bearings. R&R billet conrods, 3134 cams with R cam followers. 9.8:1 comp pistons. Standard 5 fin Thunderbird head (58-60 type) with standard thunderbird valves. Lightened and polished rocker gear. Single 30mm Mk1 Concentric, K2FC maggy with manual advance and 1 1/2" pipes with reverse cone meggas.
Managed a best speed of 108 mph at Lake Gairdner earlier this year which I was really pleased with for a first time out on the salt.

Well over the ton on a single carb 650 iron Trumpet, outstanding achievement John, can't wait for further reports on what the twin carb head does for the top end performance.

Nice pic this one.

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