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, 6 July 2014

Special Hot Rod Bonnie From Japan

With good unmolested rigid frames becoming harder and harder to find, it looks like there may be an alternative, and it's been hiding in plain sight.
This is a 1942 Triumph 3HW that belonged to Jun over in Japan, a quick look at the frame reveals a few similarities to the later twin chassis that we know and love.

Pretty similar as you can see, although some of the tubing maybe of a slightly smaller diameter and gauge to later types. Interesting to see that it has the larger top steering bearing and possibly extra gusseting on the lower bearing, this is a feature seen on the rare post '54 rigid twin frames.

B type 6T cases set up in the 3HW frame, using only new engine plates, no cutting or modifying of the frame involved here. The gearbox is the same set-up as the later rigids so no drama there either.

It all makes for a sweet looking roller, and in this shot the tubes definitely look slimmer. 
The girders look right, which of course they are, and to my eye the stance is perfect.

Sweet as a nut! A big thank you to Jun for sending the pix and making my day!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Harleys? We Don't Need No Steenkin' Harleys!

This was published in this week's Harley dealer newspaper and as a poster to honour the work put in by the H-D fellahs at the sharp end of the business. Maybe they should have gone to a more bike orientated ad agency, or need to sack the proof reader.

That there is Gary Scott on a T120!!!!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Reproduction Girder Forks You Can Trust

Fashion is indeed a fickle thing, and no more so than in the custom bike game. I t seems that the Seventies long fork revival has run it's course, people are realising, that what didn't handle in 1974  still doesn't go 'round corners 40 years later. 
Keeping an eye on the blogs and forums shows a definite swing towards girders of manageable length. Up until a couple of years ago the options were severely limited, either use an original pair that were made prior to WWII , with all the risks with internal corrosion that comes with them, or try to get a set of period custom forks which would inevitably be too long.
Then in the last two or three years reproduction forks have started to appear from the sub-continent. They are cheap and certainly look the part, but what of the metallurgy behind them?, who actually made them? We'll never know, but I do know that a well respected bike builder from the Midlands had a set and found several discrepancies in the dimensions side to side.

Now, like a knight on a white charger, help is at hand.
Jake Robbins, a highly regarded restorer of both original girders and complete pre war bikes has started to make complete sets of forks for the discerning builder.

The type shown above and below are exact reproductions of the heavyweight forks fitted to the 5T and Tiger 100s immediately prior to the war. They feature the correct form of tapered tubing and cast lugs as per the originals. Initially these may appear expensive, but if you ever have six months to spare, try and find a set of genuine forks that are for sale and see what they are going for, on top of that price factor in the rebuilding expenses involved, and if you don't get them re-tubed by Jake you'll never know what effects internal corrosion of the tubes has had. All of a sudden the price is not that bad, and peace of mind is priceless.

The forks featured below are what is known as the custom fork and are substantially less money, although they feature the same tapered tube and geometry of the Triumph fork they do not mimic any original design. 

They are a great looking set of forks and have an authentic looking air about them that was never obtained by custom fork manufacturers in the States. Priced the same as a decent pair of custom springers they will light up any custom built around a British bike.

To see more of Jake's great work check out his web site HERE 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Indonesian Curves and Sensuality, Darizt Design

It's not often this blog wanders far from the British side of bikes but there's gotta be an exception every now and again, especially when it's as exceptional as this. There is, currently, some great work coming out of Indonesia where guys are turning their traditional skills to bike building, and coming up with results like the bike shown here.
Check out the blog HERE

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Pedalling To A Standstill

For anywhere between 80 and 100 pounds you may be lucky enough to find a standard rigid Triumph brake pedal on the Bay Of Fools, chances are it won't be straight and it's almost guaranteed the foot pad will be worn down.
BIW tip of the week, buy a 350/500 Enfield Bullet pedal and pivot bolt for about twenty quid and massage it with the gas axe for a good close fit.

OK I know the return spring ain't the prettiest in the worls but it works oh so well and finding a regular coil type torsion spring to fit the rear brake plate has proved difficult up to now.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Get Ya Nuts Out........................

Don't know if I've posted this before but the pleasure of selecting new, clean Cycle Thread nuts and bolts out of a drawer when putting stuff together is a joy. After trying various suppliers, I now only use these people for plated stuff, their quality, speed of delivery and price can't be beaten.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Triumph Of Mystery Lost To History

Scored this great little book from Franz and Grubb a week or so ago, it's full of really useful information that is as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1968.

This picture appears on page 72 with no more information than that seen in this scan. Searching Google reveals nothing other than one other picture that is shown below.

It seems amazing that such a major piece of modification and ingenuity has somehow been lost to the mists of time, unless anybody out there knows any more.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A Nice Pair............

A brace of new 626 Concentrics, jetted to what they call a "standard build" which is pretty close to the sizes given for the race kit carbs, and ya gotta start somewhere! Standard they said, still took nigh on 5 weeks to come! Too busy shipping 'em o'er The Pond I guess.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

In from the cold

Thought I'd best report in, lest anybody's getting worried, gotta 'fess up, I've been slutting on Facebook, a thing I swore, on many more than one occasion never to get involved with.

Well, here's how The Skankweasel is sitting at the moment, although the back brake set-up is now on and working. 

Happy with the pipes I must admit.

Tucked in nice and snug there.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Got a bit carried away gushing about that magazine yesterday. Too busy salivating over the pictures to fully read the article. There's a paragraph describing the 57 T100RR towards the end, the author staes that it was almost the same bike as the RS but with a bolt on hardtail. That is not the case at all, this is a genuine 57 RR frame, pretty much the same as any stock rigid Triumph frame. It's got the late Tiger 100 rear section with the rear set footrest mounts, the front section is interesting, it has the 6T type keyhole in the back post but check out the bigger top bearing and the lower stiffening on the headstock. 
I have sent a "Dear Sir, unaccustomed as I am in writing to motorcycling publications...........blah, blah" So we'll see what they say.