Archive for October, 2013

October 16, 2013

Obsession

A seemingly endless collection of classic Triumphs has just been revealed by US collector Robert Sullivan representing a near-perfect history of the British marque’s Meriden production.

The 98-strong fleet contains 26 variants of the TR6 Trophy, 43 different models of the T120 Bonneville; and covers models from every production year between 1936 and 1972.

Built up over the past 21 years it contains a bevy of both original and rare models, including the Tiger, Speed Twin, Trophy and Bonneville.

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The collection is recorded in the book: “Ultimate Triumph Collection: One Mans Obsession” Wolfgang Publications.

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I wouldn’t know where to start looking… ’57 Thunderbird, ’68 Bonnie….. Or which one to ride!

October 15, 2013

Watch for….

…motorcycles!

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A graphic going around shows this classic diamond warning to car drivers… However the original has a naff bike without rider. I updated it to give it life.

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A cafe’d Matchless CSR twin under speed with determined rider was necessary.

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October 14, 2013

A Hundred Years Ago

The Triumph moto of the day was a 500cc single with three speed belt drive 3 1/2 HP and simple bicycle based frame geometry.

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TT for Tourist Trophy as well as Trusty Triumph…

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October 13, 2013

Louis

He’s funny, bawdy, insightful, raw; he’s a salty New York comedian Louis C.K. In the first episode of his third series he takes up a motorcycle as transport in the Big Apple: in particular a Triumph Scrambler.

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He scratches around the streets of NY but a biker gang approaches him and leads to a wipe-out… he’s back on the saddle later on though..

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“So it’s actually smart to ride a motorcycle” he declares when realizes how efficient, affordable and parking friendly motorcycles are…

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October 12, 2013

Bert Greeves MBE

After the war Bert shoehorned a lawnmower engine into a wheelchair and invented motorized transport for the disabled. The Invacar was born. That’s where that story ends for us… But a two-wheeled one begins: Bert was a keen trials rider so branched into motorcycling. The most notable model being the Challenger. My first experience of it was a Britain’s toy scrambler.

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Here it is in the real world…

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A green and white dirtroad killer. A 350cc useful tool which when first competed in ’64 won the Terry Cups Trial under the deft handling by Garth Sheldon. They also met success at the ISDT supplying bikes for the ’63 British team in Czechoslovakia.

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Greeve’s are noted for their leading links forks; a simple design which when set up with the correct rubber dampers and trail angle seemed to do the trick. Seen here in trials form and balance over a rocky section.

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The main reason I’ve been looking at the Greeve’s is its color scheme: the green and white would be a nice one for the Cub project. Even Mini’s of the sixties had this mint and cream look. Nifty!

October 11, 2013

1,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

eBay is a good location for a spot of restoration research: the seller usually posts numerous detail photos of the motorcycle which can be utilized as excellent reference for assembly or ideas for component setup.

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Here’s a cute yellow Cub that is in fairly complete trim. This has been listed with a nice selection of the needed views…

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Nice dull gray cases; a patina of oily rag polish.

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Bolt patterns, spacers; mounting brackets and cable routing. When parts come loose in a box this is essential information.

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Also its good to see the little beating heart in slumbering pose.

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The top end showing the arterial oil lines feeding the ready to go moving parts. You can nearly hear the ticking of the valves for this diminutive but doughty motor.

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Amal: any British vintage bike owner worth their salt gets to know the needles, screws and orifices of the fuel and air blender. More mounting details are exposed. Gas hose routed from the fuel tank to the carb itself.

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Oil feed comes from the small tank, a little peep of the oil hoses and exhaust.

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Controls now; throttle, clutch lever and bracing to the nice wide bars. Lemondrop tank tarts up the deal.

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Triple tree, headlight ears and handlebar mount clamps.

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Front and rear for the laced hoops of the wheels. Knobbly rubber to offer grip over tarmac and gravel. One of my next tasks is relacing, so seeing the spoke pattern is handy.

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As we’ve said before: the whole is greater than the parts.

October 10, 2013

Josef K’s ride

Two-Wheeled tiptoes… A perfectly balanced Triumph Tiger Cub in trials form; simple, purposeful, awaiting orders from a deft hand and a stance in sweet equilibrium. Inspirational for the project.

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October 9, 2013

Gemini Man

By the late seventies, and with the success of Lee Majors in The Six Million Dollar Man, the networks were all jumping on the ‘ordinary superhero’ bandwagon. Some unassuming protagonist is dowsed in either a radioactive ‘elixir’ or rebuilt with means beyond his physical ken. Well NBC in ’76 came up with this gem. The titular character, one Sam Casey, had a handy condition that allowed him to be invisible (including his clothes!) For 15 minutes a day, with a wristwatch countdown controller. If he went over that though he was in danger of becoming permanently invisible. Tsk!

He was a good lookin’ denim wearin’ motorcycle ridin’ bloke, played by Ben Murphy, who got into a scrape or two… At least until the show was canceled nine episodes into its first season. I can just about remember it as a kid escaping into the few episodes that made it across the Pond.

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The actor was Ben Murphy and the bike? Why a Triumph of course!

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October 9, 2013

If you can remember it…

There are some people come and go with out so much as a blip on the public conscious; but their impact is felt way beyond their reach. One such character is Gram Parsons (born Cecil Ingram Connor III). Musician who influenced the “cross pollination” of two very different music genres: country and rock. He rolled in as the lead singer and guitarist of The Byrd’s in the late sixties just as the youth were learning to tune in and drop out. And, of course, motorcycles allowed the freedom of escape; Triumph being at the fore! Mick Jagger and Keith Richards saw his genius and used his melding of country rock to progress their music from their emergent sixties sound to a more mature tune of the seventies.

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“Look at him here, he’s wearing a cape! And a Triumph motorcycle T-shirt, smoking pot through a mug, and wearing my mother’s promise ring.” Polly Parsons (daughter)
Photography by Andee Nathanson

Gram went a little too far in ’73 however overdosing on morphine and alcohol in a room at the Joshua Tree Motel CA at the young age of 26.

October 8, 2013

Grrrrrowwwwl!

’52 T100 given a light bobber treatment complete with an appropriate feline grimace for the original Tiger…

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It’s for sale too. At $12,500 a hefty price but it is very well detailed to maintain a period appearance worthy of any street drag hound.

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The pre unit engine from the mind of Edward Turner looks balanced and purposeful. Sweet in any frame be it a Triumph rigid or Norton featherbed. Here it’s a mechanics jewel.

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October 8, 2013

Desert Shadows

Driving across the beautiful desert backdropped roads of the Southwest gives me the yearning to come back here and experience the countless miles, uncounted corners and lack of cars along the long stretches between towns.

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Though NOT in the summer months!

October 7, 2013

Bisbee AZ

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White Bonneville parked in this historical mining town of southern Arizona

October 6, 2013

Working Title

Eric Fellner’s production company, Working Title Films is currently one of the most successful in the industry. With movies such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Fargo in the nineties, to the more recent Rush it encompasses the lesser mainstream items and ones I’d prefer to see.

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A well framed portrait of him with prized vehicles: a Ferrari 458 Italia and a late 50’s Triumph Bonneville. Smartly attired he seems for attracted to the moto!
Photography by Neil Bridge.

October 5, 2013

Texas Tea?

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Granny Moses takes a Triumph for a cavort around a Beverly Mansion. Yup! It’s the adventures of Jed Clampett and his kin from their windfall of a bubbling crude from the ground on his swampland. Black gold.
“Y’all come back now, y’hear?”

October 4, 2013

Country Living

Different color than what is typically seen defining the lines of a motorcycle: jade. Frame, tank, fenders ‘n’ all. This is an elegantly fettled Bonneville with just the right level of detail to make one desire. A mint icing to a fruity cake. The worn brown leather single seat with the usual racy clip-ons and rear-sets set what looks like a comfortable streamlined pose for its rider.

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The rural farmyard setting gentrifies it and the complementary redhead quickens its heartbeat.