Saturday, January 28, 2012

Road Trip

I made the drive up to Northern California the other day to pick up the 1955 Triumph T100.  It wasn't a bad trip as I divided it up into two days.  I stayed in Oroville and drove up to Magalia the next day.  It has never failed to impress me how beautiful it is in NORCAL.  I remember the first time I ever came into California in 1976, it was early spring and it had snowed almost the whole trip from Montana.  There was massive snow build up in the Sierra's but as we came down into the Sacramento valley the sun came out and I thought I was in heaven.  I have always loved California.
Anyway, when I saw the Triumph I was under-whelmed to say the least, so I started looking around for something else to add to the purchase so it wouldn't feel like a wasted trip.  Among all the BSA Goldstars and Velocettes there was a little Laverda single that just looked like a jewel.  We came up with a figure we could both live with and I brought it home.

My daughter Stephanie on the little Laverda

The Laverda is a 75 Sport which has a 75 cc four stroke overhead valve engine.  It is an amazing little bike which needs very little.  I got it started and the thing sounds like a fighter plane. Just awesome !
Believe it or not, these little Laverda's dominated Italian racing in their class for several years when they first came out.  Not because of their overall top speed but because they were very reliable.
If it doesn't sell right away I will rebuild the carb and go from there.  It is for sale and if you are interested you can call me @ 951-992-9839
I am trying not to buy anything I can't live with and enjoy for a while and both motorcycles fit that category.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Last Knuckle

1941 Knucklehead Engine
Santee stock rake frame
Sportster front end with built in stops
Radiused rear fender
Custom Frisco'd gas tank
Bates solo seat
Spun aluminum oil tank


Nick's Triumphs

This was a cool little Triumph from the 1940's.  It wasn't worth a lot but we should have rebuilt it,  Nick really liked this bike.
Another great little piece was the 66 VW beetle, it was a challenge keeping it running good because of all the hot rodding that took place.

This was a cool little TR-6 that I rebuilt for him.  It was a good running little scooter.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Vintage Scout Aged To Perfection

World's Fastest Motorcycle ?

Triumph Grand-Prix

Triumph square barrel Grand Prix, these things are as rare as hens teeth.  They only made them for a couple of years and when in their prime they were nearly unbeatable.  Finally Norton came out with the Featherbed frame and it was over.  They could not compete with a Manx set up to handle.
Photos courtesy of The Jockey Journal

Friday, January 20, 2012

Douglas Flat twin

The Douglas Engineering Company was formed in Bristol by brothers William and Edward in 1882 at first as a blacksmiths shop, but soon expanding to become an ironfounders. After the turn of the century and the advent of the motor vehicle they soon became involved in the development of engines.
The Douglas motorcycle began in 1905 as a prototype engine by Joseph Barter which by 1907 had evolved to become the Fairy Motorcycle. This was followed by a long line of horizontally opposed twin cylinder machines of 2.75 HP right through to the late twenties. 1914 saw production in large quantities for the war effort and also the start of the 3.5 HP models followed closely by the 4 HP machines. During the twenties many others followed such as the 350cc EW, 500cc and 600cc models and speedway machines. In the thirties a wide range of machines were produced including the S6/T6, Endeavour (the first transverse twin) and finally the pre-war Aero models. After the Second World War during which Douglas manufactured the horizontally opposed stationary engine, they restarted motorcycle production with the 350cc MK I, this being followed by the MK 3 and MK 4 models both with sports variants.
The start of the fifties saw the MK5 variant with the Competition and Plus series models. The final model, the Dragonfly, still a horizontally opposed twin was announced in 1954 with production finally ending in 1957. An overall marque life span of just 50 years.

Perfect !!

Cris Sommer Simmons...Cannonball Rider

Cris Sommer Simmons was the only American woman riding in the Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run that wrapped up September 26, 2010 in Santa Monica, Calif. Cris finished 20th overall.
I don't see where she is riding in this years Cannonball, just to do it one time would be great !
Go here to read an interview she did with Women Riders Now

1915 Indian

There is something about a racing motorcycle, whether it is an old Indian or an old Brit. 
I love 'em all !

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1920 Speedster

Circa 1920.  Herbert mcBride, who recently broke the world's record for amateurs on his Indian motorcycle.  His time was 105.24 mph

Ernie Lyons Winning The 1946 Manx Grand Prix

Triumph road racer Ernie Lyons persuaded Edward Turner to provide him with a really quick engine for road racing. The engine preparation was carried out by the brilliant Freddie Clarke who held two Brooklands speed records.

He built up a Tiger 100 with a generator top half and installed hot cams and pistons with as high of a compression ratio as fuel of the day would allow.

The result was history.  Lyons won the 1946 Manx Grand Prix in apalling weather and later went on to set the fastest time at the famous Shelsley Walsh hillclimb. This bike was the predecessor of the mighty Triumph Grand Prix.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuning The Triumph Tiger 100








Courtesy of Ton Up Classics
Go here for the complete brochure.....

Nicholas Ward

I really like these Nicholas Ward illustrations, he is a master of British dry humor.

Salt Flats

Brit Bike Event In NORCAL

Triumph Tigers

Tiger RS

T100 R


OK,OK......I have become seriously distracted lately with Triumphs.  I just bought the 1955 T100 and will be building a "race kit" road racer over the next year.  I found an original one gallon capacity oil tank that I am trying to buy but have not closed on yet.

These early Triumphs were really something, I love my Indians and everything else on two wheels (almost), but Triumphs have always held a special place for me.  I think I have owned more Triumphs than any other make.

When I get some 101 Scout bits back I am sure to get back with the Cannonball Journey so forgive my diversion.

All of the photos were taken from the Jockey Journal

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tales of Triumph Motorcycles by Hughie Hancox

Here is a link to an online book on Triumph motorcycles, it is a very good read.  Mr. Hancox worked for Triumph for many years, right up until the end.

Heart of the Machine

Edward Turner

1948 Edward Turner
once mentioned that he had riddeen a motorcycle at 110 mph. That occasion is captured here as he gets ready to ride Rod Coates Grand Prix model, complete with open megaphones.

Indian Racer

Tuffy Jacobs, seen here sitting on a factory 21.5ci Indian with Minard ‘Miny’ Waln at Ascot Speedway in 1925.

Board Track Racing

Check out the banking on those old tracks, 100 mph flat out was how they did it !

Photos courtesy of J. R. Eike Photographer from the Thomas Kempland Collection


Mike Hailwood on the real deal

King of the Clubmen
In the 1950s, Clubmen’s classes were the backbone of local road racing – a reflection of the Clubmen’s TT introduced at the Isle of Man in 1949. The rules prohibited pukka racing bikes like the Manx Norton, AJS 7R and Matchless G45 and called for catalogued road models, with virtually any modifications allowed. This gave great scope to the home tuner, and the result was some particularly innovative machinery, produced in home workshops with minimal resources. Favoured bikes were the B31 and B33 BSA, Ariel Red Hunter, Norton International, Matchless G80 (especially with the hard-to-get Shelsley parts) and the Triumph Tiger 100 twin.

The Tiger 100 was a formidable piece of equipment straight out of the box, but it became well nigh unbeatable with the addition of the factory-produced Racing Kit, which cost as much as the motorcycle itself. The kit comprised high-compression pistons, stronger valve springs, racing camshafts, twin carburettors with remote fuel bowls, megaphone exhausts, rear set footrests, rear brake and gear lever, and a close-ratio gear set. The kit turned the T100 into a virtual racer, but the cost was prohibitive to all but a few.