Archive for March, 2012

March 31, 2012

Rocket Red Thunderbird

The Thunderbird’s name comes from the common belief that the beating of its enormous wings causes thunder and stirs the wind.  When Triumph was reborn in the 90’s their model range based around the muscular triple engine created this brute of a classic bike. The name seemed appropriate both historically in salute to earlier models as well as the legend above. As a choice I belive it is a close run between this and the modern Thruxton.


March 30, 2012

Oranges are Not the only Fruit!

Our Scottish pal Ewan McGregor looks on at some vintage racing Triumph at Brooklands. Look at the angle of those bars, a speed set-up this surely is! Meanwhile the Teutuls look on in somewhat due respect; it ain’t a chopper boys, but it’s go like a hare bein’ chased by a hound!  More about Ewan in future posts, being a bike nut ‘n’ all.


The Brooklands Museum, was the very first banked track course. Designed purely for the attainment of speed on the burgeoning car and bikes being built and adapted to go fast at the turn of the 20th Century. It’s crumbling slopes now host gatherings of vintage transport as well as a great collection of aircraft; including one of the retired BOAC Concorde ` indeed Brooklands can be considered a major part of the Concorde story.

March 29, 2012

Three ain’t a Crowd

When you’re on a Triumph Trident T160 that is! A delightful triple cylindered moto which took the British bike industry a step further into the seventies. However Honda and Kawasaki were waiting in the wings with their impeccable ‘superbike’ fours, the CB750 and 900cc  Z1. Nevertheless the T160, here a ’75 model, was a suitable ride for distance and twisty road work. Electric starter, disc brakes and plush ride, what more could ya want? This bike begat Slippery Sam as well as The Hurricane: both examples for the waning Meriden years to be proud of (to some degree…)


March 28, 2012

Don Draper rides…

… A Norton Dominator. So smooth the lunchtime martini won’t spill a drop. In honor of the new series of Mad Men here’s a perfect ad from the late fifties with the slick suit wearing frock flowing denizens of the ‘golden’ post-war years looking on admirably.



Dick Whitman is waiting for the Bonnie about to appear on the scene in ’59…

March 27, 2012

“Short, back and sides Sir!”

Fabulous image of Paul Newman lounging lazily atop a Triumph getting a trim from the studio barber. Even reading the New York Times he looks cool.

The date can be confirmed by the cover photo of Lyndon Johnson confirming Thurgood Marshall to Supreme Court. This was July 13th 1966. A few days before “Harper” was released in which he starred.


March 26, 2012

Greater Than…

…the Sum of its Parts. An advert for a late sixties Bonneville; some believe to be the epitome of the T120. Here promoted as the essential components to create this machine. Slice of cherry pie anyone?

March 25, 2012

Eighty Two

That’s how old Steve McQueen would have been yesterday; and he probably would have looked like Henri Charriere who he was cast as in Papillon, when he came out of isolation for the second time. However his youthful craggy face and blue-eyed twinkle as well as laid back demeanor is how he’ll always be remembered. Here’s a hand drawn card for him.


March 24, 2012

Moto part Deux

Half Litre Gee Pee Zee: With some miles under my belt with the 125 I traded in for this outstanding Kwak. The twin cylinder sporty bike was a LOT of fun for zooming around the Big Smoke, home counties, as well as trips farther afield. The parallel engine had a great sound and nipping through the traffic was a doddle. Late night flights over the Thames bridges as well as my daily commute over Tower Bridge was truly memorable. Sadly I had to sell it for my move to the ‘States in ’98.


March 23, 2012

Número Uno

Back in the mid-nineties soon after I got my motorbike license; I picked up this fun ride to gain experience toting around London. The fates must have known I would one day own an old British classic as this Italian Cagiva 125cc had it’s fair share on mechanical and electrical foibles. It was a screaming two-stroke with low plump seat, hefty back wheel and a somewhat smile inducing ride. On the open road it had a speed of its own measured by the calendar. It could manage single digit A roads but no more.I tried the M4 for 50 miles but even with feet back on the passenger pegs, a prone riding position and thrashing it on the downhills the traffic cruising along at eighty sped ahead with ease. A city-bred roadster this was, and ideal for learning the craft of basic road sense too!


March 22, 2012

Monkey Business

Little Drummer Boy: Micky Dolenz of The Monkees enjoying a caper aboard a Triumph. That recognizable squinty face with floppy quiff streaming behind the BritIron speed.

March 21, 2012


Stroboscopic Disco Inferno time! A smidgen adjustment had to be achieved on the Boyer pick-up points. With the aid of a strobing time gun, with it’s pick-up lead attached to cylinder #1’s plug lead and the engine revved to 3000 rpm, the timing mark on the rotor could then be lined up with the timing pin at 6 o’clock in the inspection opening. Twiddle pick-ups a wee bit and Bob’s yer uncle! She then revved up like a good un when the throttle was twisted with attitude. Just need to take ‘er out on the road to see what the pick-up is like and power as the speed increases…


March 20, 2012

“Makes you think all the worlds a sunny day”

The light of days past: here is an evocative snapshot of a Triumph owner from sometime when the Bonnie was the Latest and Greatest. Here a ’66. The clarity of those old Kodachrome photographs is sublime. A ’63 Mercury Comet sits in the shade behind. Apparently this is Thompsonville CT. The colour scheme for that year was white with a triple orange pinstripe throught the tank; complete with chrome fenders, grey topped seat and a sorted 650 engine: about as good as it gets.


March 19, 2012


Milla Jovovich (илица Йовович) – action gal of The Fifth Element as well as Resident Evil, here tops off a vintage Triumph in fine modelling style. ATGATT? Not Likely Mate!

March 18, 2012

Confectionaire de l’orange

Le Bon-Bon. The Triumph looked decidedly delicious in the spring sunlight yesterday. A photograph was taken for the album!


March 17, 2012

Sunny Skies

An early spring warm-up as well as the bike ready to take out sees me hitting the blacktop today. A perfect temperature under blue skies.