Archive for December, 2013

December 16, 2013

A Pillar

Peter O’Toole (1932-2013) – the last of the original pot war actor rebels who knew how to drink and regale like the best of ’em (and that includes Button, Harris, Reed and other imbibous gents of the theater) . he made his name as The Only True TE Lawrence in one of the most magnificent cinematic outings: Lawrence of Arabia.
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As we all know Larry met his end one of the bucolic country lanes near his countryside escape at Clouds Hill near Wareham Dorset. The film opens with this scene the retreats to his middle eastern endeavors during the Great War.
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The motorcycle was the Brought Superior SS100, ride of voice by TEL.
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Here’s our Bristol Old Vic pal Peter cutting a dashing figure as always on one for some movie promotion.
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Here’s Larry on (one of) his bikes…
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Smashing film about a situation that we’re still seeing the heavy ripples from that time. O’Toole is outstanding in this most perfect of roles. A giant until the end.

December 15, 2013

Fifty Thousand…

…motorcycle units manufactured per year by Hinckley Triumph. That’s as they enter their third decade or reemergence from the seventies implosion. Here’s a well written article from the Leicester Mercury from 12th December:

“Triumph Motorcycles has sold more than 50,000 bikes in a year for the first time since the brand’s rebirth three decades ago. The Hinckley company, bought out of liquidation in 1983 by builder John Bloor, shifted 52,089 bikes in its last financial year, up from 48,957 in the previous 12 months. The 111-year-old marque also made a record turnover of £368 million for the year to June 30, up 7.6 per cent on the previous 12 months.

However, Triumph made a £95,000 operating loss in the same period, down from a £15 million operating profit. Bosses blamed the deficit on foreign currency changes and the cost of setting up major operations in India and Brazil.

They said sales from the firm’s three Thailand factories totaled £225.5 million, accounting for 61 per cent of Triumph’s overall turnover. It was previously 54 per cent. The proportion of bikes sold outside the UK rose from 84.9 per cent to 85.8 per cent.

The company retained its title as the UK’s leading big bike manufacturer. The marque sells 24 models, including the Bonneville and Street Triple.

A Triumph spokesman said the operating loss was in line with expectations.

“Triumph Motorcycles has achieved a record turnover, reflecting a rise in unit sales,” he said. “During the 12 months to November, the company’s global share of the 500cc and above market has increased to 6 per cent from 5.7 per cent.

“In the UK, Triumph has continued to maintain its market position as the UK’s top seller of motorcycles in the 500cc and above market in 2013, retaining a 20 per cent market share.

“The marque has also captured a 3.4 per cent share in Brazil in its first year trading in the 500cc and above market.”

Triumph’s latest financial figures were revealed in documents filed with Companies’ House by Bloor Holdings, of Measham, which owns both Triumph and house-builder Bloor Homes. The house-building business made an operating profit of £38 million for the year to June 30, up 19 per cent. Turnover was £378 million, up from £373 million. A 5 per cent rise in house prices helped offset a 5.1 per cent fall in the number of houses built, which totaled 1,908.

Triumph opened an assembly plant in Brazil this year and has just opened a plant in Manesar, in the north Indian state of Haryana. The motorcycle maker, founded in Coventry in the late 19th century, plans to enter more emerging markets, including China and Indonesia.”

Onwards and Upwards:
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December 14, 2013

Terrier Cutaway

The 150cc Triumph Terrier T15 was the smaller precursor to the Tiger Cub, a very similar layout and details with the odd crossover part. Here’s an aged cutaway demonstration engine with innards exposed to see how parts mesh into a machine for go. It take a mechanical understanding of the machine at hand to chop it into an assembled whole with holes…
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This is fairly handy for my ensuing needs while reassembling the Cub. This grubby, ‘shelved’ display sure could use a good restoration. Itcsold on the UK eBay for £1,000.

December 13, 2013

Trafic

I’ve been revisiting the movies of French filmmaker Jaques Tati. His inventive visual comedic pieces all hold revered places in the doyens of cinematography. The last one he made was Traffic; where our intrepid pip’d protagonist Monsieur Hulot take a camping car to a car show in Amsterdam.
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The posters are very evocative of the film style of the period.
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His perched stance with exposed stripey socks, hat, brolly and the aforementioned pipe is classic.
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One scene saw a young dutch lad roar up to his parents house on a super clean Triumph.
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Hulot is trying to fix the ivy on the house by climbing up it and ending trapped upside down whilst our young bloke Paul makes a leery pass at Marie another traveler on the road trip.
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The dutch fella looks kind of like a creepy Van Gogh close up; and Marie thinks likewise…
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Hulot is seen behind hanging quietly. His only disturbance to the stymied scene is the occasional ‘franc ou  clé’ from his pockets…

December 12, 2013

Bonnie Baby Blue

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An old airbrushed promo shot of a Tiger Cub looking light and speedy with a streamlined form akin to its big brother 650 twin Bonneville. Black and silver with the grey-blue background look timeless fifties.

December 11, 2013

Here kitty…

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Another view of the Kit Cat Cub. The timing side this time and some more details in evidence. Open frame with the oil taken by the main down tube. Nice skinny big hoop on the front and doughty shoe out back with plenty of travel on those rear shocks. No seat? Of course trials are carried out standing up. I’m ticking my way through the factory parts manual and the list of parts still to acquire seems to be growing! Yes it’s a pocket watch of a moto but the inner workings are still complex…

December 10, 2013

Blue Trial

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The Top Cat Cub as built by Charles who otherwise specializes in BSA “Otters” a special oil in framed B40 lightened and set up for pre 65 observed trials. www.bsaotter.com
A great resource for other off road shenanigans.
Like this blue frame article though. It uses an Electrex ignition which is probably the way I’ll go with my Cubby.

December 9, 2013

Leicestershire Trials

During research for a suitable ignition system for the Cub restoration I navigate the Boyer Bransden website. They’re known for a broad range of electronic ignitions for vintage points and distributor motorcycles and cars. In their gallery I spied a nice trials Cub owned by Julie from Leicestershire.
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There are some good details I can hopefully use on my restoration. It’s a nifty looking machine.
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December 8, 2013

Mr Mojo Risin’

” There are things known
and there are things unknown
and in between are the doors.”

Jim Morrison 1943-1971

The Lizard King would have been 70 today; His poetical lyrics from the late sixties gave voice to a generation of disillusioned youth.
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However a downward spiral of booze and drugs ended in a small apartment down by the Seine.
He did own a motorcycle though: a CL77 305cc Honda Scrambler.
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It was appropriately painted amphibian green with Californian pin striping like some Con Dutch special.
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The Scrambler model really is a nice looking moto still today. The high pipes give it an urban adventurer appearance.
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December 7, 2013

“Honey! Let’s go for a spin!”

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Wall of Death! Pillion here sits across the handle bars with no hands as the captain of the near vertical centrifugal escapade takes his steed up to the perimeter advertising banner. Round and round she goes! This is a Two-Wheeled skill that requires years of practice including setting up and breaking down the wooden walls. Confidence inspiring pairing here!

December 6, 2013

Fit for a prince

We had Prince Wills recently seated ably aboard a Daytona at the Motorcycle Live show a few days ago… Here’s more in the British fold with him trying a Metisse special.
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Looks like he needs one for the Royal Estate.
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Here’s a classic shot of our man McQueen showing how to handle one of these machines. Air below you and dirt below that.
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One item presented to The Duke of Cambridge was a sit-on motorbike for wee Prince Geordie for when he gains a few more pounds and finds his feet. This is all good for the promotion of two wheeled mobility in Blighty!

December 5, 2013

Freedom

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the Triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela (1918 -2013)

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December 4, 2013

Oh Yes!

British bulldog fronted UK insurance company Churchill has jug-eared actor Martin Clunes haring around the English countryside with the company’s titular mascot as passenger in a sky blue Triumph combination.
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Clues we know as Doc Martin as well as one ‘arf of Men Behaving Badly. 

December 3, 2013

The Color of Munny

Actress, model and animal fur activist is a Triumph owner and rider. She fits her leathers very well and looks quite smart on this black Bonneville. It’s Olivia Munn.
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This is post 1,000….

December 2, 2013

Kate can go pillion!

Last weekend had the Motorcycle Live show in Birmingham. A two wheeled extravaganza where all the makes were on show with the latest and greatest models. There was also an attendance from VIP HRH Wills Cambridge.
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He took time to visit the Best of British Triumph stand seeing if the current Daytona moto. “Suits you sir?”