Archive for July, 2013

July 31, 2013

My Moto Me

Triumph Bonneville 72, 73, 74, 75…..a hybrid 70’s workhorse! 650 frame and engine, latter day tank and seat and 750 front end. Well, it works for me!


…I just need time to ride!

July 30, 2013

Oil Drop Man and his Gal

ESSO not only had the tiger symbol but this cute couple each with a quiff shaped head of a golden oil drop.


Looks like they had fun on two wheels also!



“Happy Go Lively”

This company goes back to Rockefeller and his wealth machine Standard Oil (ess oh being the phonetic initials) Now known as Exxon in the US. They worked on future users with Playmobil toys, here  a gas station complete with pumps, canopy and vehicles…


I like to look at some older images, and here is a Triumph ready for a top-up.


Perhaps the Oil Drop mans gal is called Ethel.

July 29, 2013

International Tiger Day

Even though the tiger is revered as one of the most fabulous beasts it is also extremely endangered. A worldwide population of 100,000 wild tiger at the turn of the 20th Century saw it decimated to just over 3,000 today. Lost of habitat and poaching being the main reasons.




As petroleum giant Esso said “Put a Tiger in your tank!”


And here’s a French poster for two and four stroke oil: at turns of the track, protecting all makes of motorcycle ..


We now need to give back to the tiger.

July 28, 2013

“How fast ARE you gonna run?”

Here’s another go at speed records with a Cub. This time in ’59 when the wee Triumph was a fairly fresh model, a Triumph dealer in Burbank took the small moto, slipped it into a streamlined body and shit down the track at 139mph… What a missile-like body form can achieve.


Bill Martin stands proudly with his sons Dale and Lonnie. Promotion through press and advertising held the typical motorcycle tenet: ‘Race on Sunday – Sell on Monday”


“As fast as a Leopard!”
“Then let’s see you do it!”.    – from Gallipoli 1981

July 27, 2013

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Its not the biggest that go the fastest. On ‘The Salt’ some take smaller volume engines and see what velocity they can eke out of the lower horsepower motors. The team of Chuck Zeglin and Steve Moody’s steed of choice is the Triumph Cub. All 200cc’s worth… Their goal? To hit the Ton.


They began with a standard cam and carbed bike and managed 79mph; not to shabby at altitude and on salt! Chuck is pilot and builder, Steve backer and crew.


They currently run it in the APS-VBG (Special
Construction Partial Streamlining- Vintage Blown Fuel. Engine bore out to 250cc high compression from a 650 twin piston… That little Beastie must wail down the flats.


Great work on that engine too. A blower aiding respiration.


A stretched and lowered frame, skinny race tires, race cam. “the World’s Fastest Tiger Cub?” Nearly…


They even had a T-shirt to promote the bike and raise funds. I need to track on of those down.


July 26, 2013

Half Liter Solo

Here’s what Triumph should be working on next: an entry level moto for the masses. A modular engine that can be used in a commuter, roadster, cafe, trailie, racer and light tourer. It’s a type that has been around forever and in recent guise was developed by the ‘too smart for his own good’ Erik Buell with the beginner Blast.


Honda has a tasty thumper in the GB ‘Tourist Trophy’


Kawasaki’s KX is sublime in green…


And of course there is the highly desirable BSA Goldie… Just look at it! Perfection on two wheels…


So Triumph! We dare you! There’s even an old single from the ex wartime parts bin….


Thump away!

July 25, 2013

Triumph Tiger Cub: which to choose?

From: Classic Bikers Club – Aug ’13
“The Triumph Tiger Cub was a funny machine in many ways, chiefly in that it (in conjunction with its smaller but very similar sibling, the Terrier) was Triumph’s only plunger-framed motorcycle and only single cylinder, too…
The first 150cc Terrier was delivered in 1953, the Tiger Cub coming the next year. The first year ones had a high-level exhaust pipe, interestingly, though that was short lived. What wasn’t short lived though was an obvious and explicit link between the Triumph ‘babies’ and the bigger models in the range; the Terrier was amaranth red, a la the Speed twin, with the Cub finish echoing Tigers 100 and 110.
Over the years, there were a dizzying amount of Cub variants, with French Army and Bermudan among the stranger ones, alongside the more expected ‘competition’ jobs; trials and scrambles were both listed, while in the States many were converted to long, short and dirt track spec. They were used for road racing too, and even record breaking.
The Cub has remained a model that’s well loved, its ‘cheeky charm’ undimmed by the passing of time. For whatever reason, they were a ‘cute’ model which always raised a smile – and still do today.


Model description and production years follow.

1955 Triumph Tiger Cub T20
One year on from launch, the high-level pipe has been replaced though there were still 19in rims front and rear. Essentially, the Cub was just a bored (63 from 57mm) and stroked (64, up from 58.5mm) Terrier, with different mudguards and paint finish.

1958 Triumph Tiger Cub T20
The swinging arm actually debuted in 1957, with the most notable 1958 differences the mouth organ tank badges and the deeply valanced rear mudguard. The 16in rims had come in 1956 on the plunger framed version.

1962 TS20 Cub Scrambler
The competition potential of the Cub was examined early on, with many finding favour with trials riders in particular, though others were used on the dirt tracks in the US and there was the rarest of all Cubs, the Scramblers – less than 400 were built.

1962 Triumph Tiger Cub T20SH (Sports Home)
Based on the SL (Scrambler Lights) and SS (Street Scrambler) versions the SH bowed to British sensibilities with low handlebars, and fitted with a 9:1 compression ratio piston, R cam and close ratio gears. A large Monobloc carb’ was fitted too.

1963 Triumph Tiger Cub T20
The side-points engine made its bow in August 1962, with the partial rear enclosure having been implemented for 1959. This was essentially the standard ‘whole’ Triumph Tiger Cub’s final incarnation, running through to 1965.

1966 Triumph T20B Super Cub
The Bantam and Super Cubs were parts bin specials – the Bantam Cub using a BSA Bantam D7 rolling chassis, the Super Cub a D10 later D14. Most Bantam Cubs were made 1966, ‘Supers’ 1967, with a few trickling out as late as 1969.”

July 25, 2013

Car Repair

Motorcycle fiddling gives you confidence for inner engine bay repair. In my endeavor to sync a notchy gear shift an end connector clamp leg snapped off. So ordering a new part, two to be safe, I swapped out both connectors and adjusted them. One slides the great cluster across the neutral — and the other moves the gears into their respective cluster ratio |||


Gertie is back on the road…

July 23, 2013

The Gulf Bonnie comes home…

Whilst cruising the intraweb for images I came upon this piece of artwork. Great look but hey, I recognize that moto! It’s none other than my Bonnie version 1.0! Gulf colors ‘n’ all… It has received a good illustrative treatment and has been given an iconic Union Flag’d home. Love it!


I dug out the original for comparison. The wonky rubber tachometer mounting is even included…


Red headed motogirl go!

July 22, 2013

“This bike has a story”

A branding is the essence of a company’s presence in the publics psyche and how it is communicated. Triumph aren’t just about a motorcycle or a logo with swoosh, but it’s also the story behind its name, the history, the icons connected to it, its performance, its recognition. Here’s a promotional piece by  a great branding master Mike Salisbury of the British marque and one of the most recognizable riders who welcomed being seen and racing on a Triumph.



We’ve been watching Mad Men

July 21, 2013

Pretty in Pink: Gang Style!


A movie poster with a violent intent. However the color touched-up still have the Triumph riders in clean brown leather and pink. The bikes are rendered quite brightly too. Looks more like a jaunt into the countryside; I’m sure the biker gang must show up at some point and cause disruption to this bucolic Californian scene…

Here’s a studio shot of Anne Neyland and Steve Terrill who star as the main protagonists gang moll Terry and Randy.

They hare around the dusty Golden State on British iron like there’s no tomorrow, talk ‘sickle lingo, dodge the cops and drag-strip race for kicks. The studio riding shots with projected moving roadway are fun and the writing much to be desired but for a bit of B-Movie antics…
Watch it here:
Motorcycle Gang

July 20, 2013

Tin Machine


Another tin toy… I used to peel these apart like some metallic banana to expose the workings of the clockwork windings or inertia drive. And look where that lead me! Restoring motorcycles for a hobby…

July 19, 2013

Tin Toy Motorcycles


At a nearby Thai restaurant there is a wall of wind-up toys. Here is a selection of the two-wheeled variety. Colorful play fun…
“Start ’em young!”

July 18, 2013

North East connections


10 Tiger Cubs all wrapped up for an overseas flight aboard a BEA Vickers Vanguard to some foreign land. The aircraft was one of the last mid size turboprop passenger planes before the jets really took over. It eventually became a purely freight carrier well into the nineties. The engines are the powerful Rolls Royce 4000hp Tyne model. Apparently pilots could cruise at 10,000 ft with three engines feathered and a remaining outboard at max power – a feat unmatched by an  early contemporary Lockheed C130.

The Tyne is of course the river that flows through the heart of Geordieland!  And Vickers Armstrong was a major Tyneside engineering company in both shipbuilding and military manufacturing; with a workforce of Geordie’s all!

July 16, 2013

Air & Gas

For the chemist:

2C8H18 + 25O2 ~> 16CO2 + 18H2O

For the engineer:


Yup, a beat-up old Amal 376 Monobloc that will become the fuel air mixer for the Tiger Cub. It’ll have to be stripped, intricately cleaned, new jets, seals and hopefully get the appropriate giddy-up for the wee project.


Parts listed on the ubiquitous exploded diagram.