Monday, May 30, 2011

Study in Joseph Lucas

The first rule I made for myself (as former British car owner) when I bought Olivia was to get everything with the name "Lucas" off of it. The only remaining piece is the ammeter and eventually the needle flew off from perpetually flowndering wildly back-and-forth.

After heavy amounts of magneto and generator research I successfully tested my Lucas E3L generator tonight. Thankfully I have a BT-H rather than a Lucas magneto;) I'm gonna have to have a serious discussion with Flathead Rob about antiquated charging/ignition system theory.

I made a lot of progress this weekend for a guy with no parts $$$, I'll try to post some details later. My oldest son came in through the garage tonight and seriously asked where the new old bike went... He didn't even realize it was now in tidy piles.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vaughn Duke

As some may know V has gotten wind of me selling my Charger and is NOT backing it.

V & I were in Charger vicinity today and he spent 20-30 minutes assessing the vehicle. He did a few imaginary laps at the wheel in Daytona (you know he demanded the actual keys first), tried every seat/seat belt, made me pop the hood, delivered a guilt-trip about getting it running and closed it all out by surveying the contents of the trunk.

Years ago Flathead Rob rescued a lovely "Dukes of Hazard" lunchbox for me from an antique store. Somehow I think that gift has supposed to be a joke but it has done a fine job of storing various small parts like carb stuff etc in the trunk. V decided that lunchbox is exactly what he needs for 1st grade success next year. Something tells me his Mom won't exactly mirror his enthusiasm.


How do you like my new bike? Can't wait to rake the neck and put 12+" forks on it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


The second you're convinced you've seen everything...


The all obligatory workbench photo. Yeah, those perfectly prepared Knuckleheads, a Crocker and a Vincent Black Shadow motor just happened to be sitting there when all those photos where taken...

Around the same time I started tearing the Tiger down I stumbled across this guy building a '53 Triumph LSR bike. Cool stuff. I wish I had 1/4 his budget. I was admiring the idea of his build table a couple days ago. Flathead Rob came up with the same idea today reminding me that I was an old fart with a feeble back.

Friday, May 27, 2011


I was thumbing through some old pictures, and stumbled across these pics of a bike I saw at a show two or three years ago. I'm sure Bitmonkey will tell me what year it is, but looks pretty close to your new beauty...

The serial number indicates T100, but it has a dual carb (Thunderbird?) head... Is it a mish-mash of parts?

I think it's a '52 or '53 but they are very similar to mine. They added the the little pilot light under the headlight in '52. The '53 has a different taillight but I can't see the taillight in any of these pictures. This is an interesting bike. Triumph offered a "race kit" in the early 50's, they are pretty rare & very highly sought after. This bike has it.

'51 Update

I've sorted through all the boxes and am now starting to tear everything down so I can get a feel for where I'm at. As a first step I'm sorta thinking I'll strip everything down to the frame so I can start cleaning it up for powder coating. I'm actually a little farther along than this, these pictures are from yesterday.

Until I can pull together a little $$$ to make any real progress, I've been keeping myself occupied with loads of free labor. Incidentally, if you catch me rambling about how fetching polished aluminum parts are on vintage Brit bikes feel free to smack me around. I clearly hasn't been long enough since I slaved away on the Suzook cases. Perhaps I should have bought a WLA. It's not all that much fun and these 60 year old cases are chewed up enough that I've had to do loads of wet sanding. The primary cover is not quite finished but I'm getting there.

For comparison here's the primary cover at a similar starting point. That piece ought to be fun.


Thursday, May 26, 2011


Happiness is a squeaky clean Amal Monobloc. I could get used to working on a single carb bike.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Triumph WWII

I got a great book on the Triumph Tiger 100 & Daytona along with the '51. The first chapter is a brief Triumph company history with some fascinating photos I'd never seen before.

I never cease to be amazed by how shrewd a marketing guy Edward Turner was.

Monday, May 23, 2011


The headlight switch on the new/old Tiger is pretty hard to read. I was also wondering a little about what the original switch bezel was supposed to look like. Luckily I stumbled across this closeup that completely cleared it up.

Barn Find Poser

Interesting story. This Vincent Black Shadow featured on the cover of "The Vincent in the Barn" is another one of the bikes somewhat recently pruned from the flock by Tom, the former owner of my new Tiger. The present owner enlisted it for some model duty before beginning it's restoration. Tom mentioned the present owner also contributed some of the stories in the book. The sale of the Vincent helped to fund a pretty enviable shop space if it makes you feel any better.

Pretty entertaining book if you haven't already read it.

1947 Velocette

I got to talking with Dad this morning about the Velocette he owned in high school. I'm primarily posting this to remember the details.

He is confident it was a 1947. He does not remember the model but knows it was a 350. After doing a little research I suspect it may have been a KSS.

Dad thinks it had telescopic forks rather than the girder. Apparently it also came with the less than desirable factory optional death wobble. He mentioned walking back up a road after miraculously surviving a tank slapper to find crisscrossed black marks chalking his path. He also mentioned it was missing the wacky stock Velocette muffler setup. Properly loud & obnoxious like every high school kids bike should be. He only owned it for a few years and sold it to a local friend. I wish I had it...

Saturday, May 21, 2011


2009 with vintage tank, fenders, seat. I hope they didn't trash a super clean original to pull this off but kinda attention grabbing.