Thursday, June 30, 2011

Born Free 3 - Classic Cycles Inc.

Unquestionably well built.

Those Classic Cycles boys always bring it.

Dick Mann Trophy

A one-of-a-kind 1948 Trophy built by Dick Mann. Not the kinda bike that screams "own me" to me but I sure would like to ride it. Good thing too because the buy it now price is $45,000.

If I spent $45,000 on a dirt bike it would almost have to be Bob Hannah's 1979 OW40.

38 UL

From the bay. Cool bike. Best year.

Somewhat unceremonious but I noticed this is post number 1000 for me. I need a life.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I rode Flathead Rob's HD 45 down to Enumclaw to watch the Cossack's performance at the Children's Ride. Beautiful ride with ideal weather... couldn't ask for more. My pictures are pretty lame but it was too cool to be there.

Rookie/Pledge/Slave hard at work.

Most the Knuckleheads I run around with are treated with "kid gloves" as there is a LOT of money invested. The kind of bikes that run pristine $1000+ period license plates complete with the original '47 registration sticker. Cossack Knuckleheads have the same coolness and mystic but something is different. I can quite put my foot on what it is...

Pre-show lies. Clearly Nater is winning. I hope he isn't telling everyone I thought an intermittently dragging kickstand was an imploding primary. JK

Making an entrance

Trespass this bitch!

Fun day.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Flathead Rob Report

I finally made down to Flathead Rob's today. We celebrated by taking his old girls out for a stroll. Great time as always. Nate and Dennis were in-tow for a good part of the day and were great sports considering my overall lack of tank shifting Kung Fu ability.

Nate was riding his lovely Panhead. A bike all self-respecting vintage guitar geeks are immediately required to love. The Burgundy Mist Panhead! Word is Nate actually has three Burgundy Mist Panheads...

I'm fairly confident Nate's paint color is an exact match. He mentioned the source being a 50's Cadillac shade. Nearly all the original Fender custom color shades where lifted directly from 50's GM/Chevrolet paint books. Compare the Jazzmaster below.

Countless times over the past few years I've contemplated painting bikes in one Fender custom color shade or another. Now that I've actually seen it done I'm convinced someone needs to amass a Panhead collection representing every available shade. Nate is 1/18 of the way there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

1951 T100

I know I've posted some of these before but in lower resolution. The detail on this thing is unreal. I'm guessing it never gets ridden. I'm shocked someone would restore a bike to this level and put an Amal Concentric on it. Maybe it's because I've never owned a bike with a pre-Concentric carb. I love the painted rims. Check out all the crazy natural rubber trim parts that would rot away after 15 minutes in the New Mexico sun...


If you aren't already reading the LowTech blog, go add it now. This blog just makes my day or a regular basis. Where the hell are all the cars like this?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

C@D Report

Slow day a C@D today. There were a couple of Sheriffs roaming the patrolling the parking lot checking registrations, lot's of the vintage guys do legitimately register their old bikes. I'm not condoning the behavior but chasing away the bikes that are the whole reason I go just sucks.

This Suzuki was there. Everyone knows I'm a sucker for two strokes but this thing was pretty darn cool.

Every once a while a vehicle shows up that proves everyone at C@D really is just a simple gearhead. This bike pulled up and I honestly thought it had a serious rod knock. It drew a SERIOUS crowd... more than the guy that road up on a Ducati Diavel the first morning they were available.

This lovely Royal Enfield chassised diesel is owned by the proprietor of the Santa Fe Royal Enfield dealership. 325cc's, 6.5 HP, 18-1 compression, 176 MPH. The owner said it was on it's second tank of gas in 10 years. The perfect bike for Justin if you only added turbos, intercoolers and 1000 ft-lbs of torque.

Like most Royal Enfields this thing just screamed Harbor Freight type shoddiness. Whatever the price, the complete horror/disdain for the black smoke billowing out of it upon kick start seen in the eyes of the lady standing next to me was well worth the $.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Close Pitch Fin Big Bore Kit

Stumbled across this interesting post over at Show & Go. Cool ad too.


Once upon a time racers didn't have 15 sponsors. I bet on occasion these guys didn't even have dinner. I'm sure they were still perfectly willing to hand you your ass on the track though.

Buff Buff Buff

I'm not feeling too hot today so I thought I'd post a progress sneak. Transmission cover. I had to scrap the least scarred and mangled transmission cover (foreground) because the kicker hole has too over-sized to press fit a new kicker bushing. Crazy to think it was in a fair bit better condition than the others.

This piece was a PITA. I had to dress down and reshape all the deep scars and gashes with files, do a couple of days worth of hand wet sanding and finally buff. Not perfect but probably OK for a rider.

If I did restorations for a living I'd make like 5¢ an hour...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More Tiger Stuff

I'm still doing tons of cleaning, polishing, etc. to get the engine ready. Kinda tedious to do it so manually but I'm getting there.

I spent some time this week trying to reverse engineer the story on my rods. The '51 T100 rods originally had babbitt big end bearings. The rods in Emma have shell bearings. I wasn't sure if the original rods were converted to use shells or if later rods where substituted. Part numbers seemed to be getting me nowhere.

I found a nice post from Trojan Classic Motorcycles discussing a very similar rebuild in which they converted rods with the same E.1450 part number. Damn, their engine is sanitary! They told me they use Suzuki bearings. I've heard others say original Mini Copper shells are a close match too. Clearly the shells are relieved to clear the rod bolts. I probably need help from a good machinist but I figured that was coming.

Here is a snap of one of my rods. The other bearing looks worse but it isn't trashed or anything.

Another guy posted that he had E.1450's in a '49-'50 some I'm assuming they are original. I'm only posting a picture because he has the original babbitt bearings.

El Mirage

Nice set of photos over at LOWTECH

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Part Number Convertion

Who doesn't enjoy sitting down and reading through a captivating Triumph Parts Book? Unfortunately Triumph part number convention changed somewhere along the way so the part numbers aren't always one-to-one. I found following conversion table is pretty handy:

Alpha-numeric converts to Numeric Example

converts to 60-xxxx

to 60-4250
Exxxx converts to 70-xxxx E4576 to 70-4576
Exxxxx converts to 71-xxxx E12599 to 71-2599
Fxxxx converts to 82-xxxx F9356 to 82-9356
Fxxxxx converts to 83-xxxx F13245 to 83-3245
Hxxxx converts to 97-xxxx H2091 to 97-2091
Sxxxx converts to 21-xxxx S413 to 21-0413
Txxxx converts to 57-xxxx T1435 to 57-1435
Wxxxx converts to 37-xxxx W354 to 37-0354

I use the Moore's Cycles inventory search all the time. It does a pretty good job cross referencing as well.

The pre-unit parts seem to be remarkably well marked with numbers on the part. All I need now is a killer stash of used parts sitting a few blocks away like Flathead Rob has. Who cares if it means getting mounted by the occasional Rhodesian Ridgeback, right?

1951 Tiger 100 Barn Find

This one sold on eBay UK back in May, $7130. Runs. Remarkably original, Monobloc instead of the original Amal 276 and the wrong taillight. I sorta figured some of these pics might come in handy later.