Sunday, May 31, 2009

Joe Zito Story

I liked this story from JJ a lot:

now this last one is pretty special. not sure if anyone but ryan & me got to hear this guys stories but he was a really amazing old guy. dave was his name. he came over to me right as i was about to leave & he asked me if the triumph was mine. i told him yes & he told me he used to have a '48 speed twin 500. he said that was the bike to have back then, a triumph, the same bike brando rode in the wild one. he said it was cool back then to shift without the clutch & one time he shifted & the tranny cracked in half. he said, 'back then, we didnt have any mig welders, we just had a stick welder, but we got some aluminum sticks & i tore the transmission all apart, ground a groove in the crack & welded that thing right up. there used to be this big dirt hill from where they were cleaning out the riverbed & i figured if i can make it up that, the tranny is strong enough. sure enough i rode right to the top & it held. i rode it 3 more years and it held, then i sold it to a guy.' he also had a great one about the clutch plates. he said 'does that clutch have those plates with the little cork pieces on it?' i said - yep. he laughed & said 'we didnt have too much money for parts back then so i took my clutch apart & went to the store & bought some cork paper. i traced out each one of those little shapes & glued them onto the old plates. i got it all back together & it worked better than ever!' i couldnt get enough of the guys stories. he said he had a bunch of other bikes in his day & did some racing too but he hasnt ridden in a long time. i told him to have a seat on my bike & he turned me down first. i said, go ahead man, ill take your picture. he finally went ahead...

i said, im heading out, ill fire it up for you. mind you the new cocktail mufflers really give it a great sound now & definately reminds me of the sound of the triumph racers of the 60s now. he saw me hit the tickler & he remembered changing the needle setting in his old amals. we got a laugh out of how the tickler makes your finger always smell like gas. the bike fired in one kick & he smiled ear to ear. i hope some of you other guys got to see his face. i gave er a couple raps on the thottle & i swear the old guy got a bit misty. such a great old dude. he said 'you know, i would really like a copy of that picture you took. i want to put it on my wall.' i asked if he had a computer & he says 'no, i dont mess with those things. im up here a lot for walks around the park, next time i see you...'

right on dave. he was the perfect end to a great day.

Fender Fit

I finally got back to fitting my fender correctly. I didn't make much in the way of changes to the mounting holes, mainly just made certain the rubber mounting shims were absolutely identical. It's not perfectly centered but not so far off it's the first thing I notice every time I look at it.

I notched the fender to clearance the chain too. I thinking about taking the hardtail in for powder coating this week.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Something tells me the Seattle boys may have already figured this out... bobbed rear fenders and no front fender kinda suck in the rain.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Wow, it's hard to believe I've been at this a year now! This is what the Bonnie looked when I found it on Craigslist.

Flathead45's WLA started this mess. These are the two bikes that really got me interested in a Triumph.

And here we are today

Thanks to everyone that's helped out and taken interest in this. Thanks especially to Flathead45. Without his influence as a kid I probably never would have been interested in old bikes/cars. Without his help I never would have gotten that first trouble making Yamaha GTMX 80 at 10 years old. This project NEVER would have happened. As if that wasn't enough he (or we together) also made all of the really cool parts. Flathead45, I am really lucky to have such a cool and loving brother.

I hope it's done this time next year. I've been talking to Trent about having the paint professionally done (I owe him a big thanks too). Ironically one of the two painters he recommended is RYZART who painted the black & gold bike above. Trent has volunteered to roll it into work for another one of his projects to get me a deal. I need to organize a fund raising car wash or something...

The minute this thing is finished I'm throwing it in the truck and driving to the Great Northwest to go riding with Flathead45.


They seem like quite a bargain, I'll take one of each...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rumbler's Thunder '09

Found a couple of pix from the Rumbler's show...

Vaughn & I were standing there when this photo was taken. He took QUITE an interest in the girl in the black!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I worked on fitting my fender today. I made a thicker bushing for the bottom mount. I also adjusted the holes so I could fit the top bushings in. No picture cuz I think the camera went to Hawaii.

I'm a little frustrated. The top end of the fender is now about 1/4" off center. I also think the gap at the center mounts is now a little too close. I'll need to tear it all apart again to take some material off the top bushings and work on adjusting the fender.

Running good though.


I've been thinking a lot about paint schemes. This is the one I keep coming back to.

I'd like to run a '67 style two tone and keep the stock "eyebrow" badges.

Do the top color Toyota Nautical Blue Metallic. You really have to see this color in person. Looks almost black except under direct sunlight. It actually reminds me a lot of some of the stock late sixties Triumph colors.

And finally, do the bottom portion of the tank engine turned gold leaf sort of like this.

My second place idea is to paint the top Fender Teal Green Metallic

Do the bottom Silver or the "Mint Green" White 40 year old White Fender pickguards eventually turn and offset it with some subtle complementary pinstripping, sorta like this

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Flathead45, did you suddenly come into a load of money or something ? Doesn't this cover the top couple lines on your Christmas List?

E.W. Yount - 1916

Cool photo from the Blue Collar Moto blog.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Did I mention that Shorpy rules?

September 15, 1937. "First of fair sex to obtain motorcycle license in Capital. Although she weighs only 88 pounds -- one-third of the machine she rides, Mrs. Sally Halterman is the first woman to be granted a license to operate a motorcycle in the District of Columbia. She is 27 years old and 4 feet, 11 inches tall. Immediately after receiving her permit, Mrs. Halterman was initiated into the D.C. Motorcycle Club -- the only girl ever to be accorded this honor."


I'd like to finishing fitting the fender this weekend so I can powdercoat the hardtail. Having too damn much fun riding it to tear it apart again.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Took my bike out for a first jaunt in traffic since I initially tore it down. I decided it really needs a mirror. Decided opt for one of these as lots of supermoto guys run 'em and it's pretty subdued. I can't imagine I'll treat it any worse than they do.

Atomic Cover Story

The Knucklehead Trent just shipped to Japan is in Iron Horse this month.

Desert Sled

This is another one of Mike D's bikes. Some really cool vintage parts - Stelling & Hellings flat track bars, Pirelli mt 53, TT pipes, Cerriani Front end.