Monday, February 27, 2012

More Old Bike Adventures

Later in the day on Saturday I had the pleasure of accompanying the Ironhead Sportster purchased from Thunderbird HD up to it's new owner's house. The bike sounds great and it was super cool to see it running down the road after several years of collecting dust and being forgotten. The contingent of accompanying bikes was pretty cool too, most of them where pictured in the previous CAD post. Here's another.

Once we got the Sporty back home we had a great time hanging around and chatting. Several members of the group were actively preparing for a vintage ride in California (I think even the Sporty is going along on that one). As such a fair amount of test riding was involved. Several rides on some really amazing bikes were offered. As a rule I generally never ride any bike I couldn't afford to replace. That said when I was offered a ride on a 100 point 1950 Triumph Thunderbird I absolutely could not resist the chance for an A/B comparison with my '51 Tiger.

HUGE freaking mistake! That bike is wonderful. In addition to being absolutely beautiful the bike is just amazingly well sorted. It runs great, stops great, shifts great, everything is just perfect. I'm confident my Tiger will get there someday but that bike is just so finished. The additional torque of the 650 is really nice too. Power wise it is very similar to my Bonneville. I really wanted to take it home. Honestly if I was offered free of charge the Vincent or the T-bird at that moment I would have taken the T-bird. Just freakish and unnatural obsession.

I did manage to get a picture of my Tiger and the T-bird together. Pretty nice pair if I do say so myself. If you look closely in that picture you can just make out the ornamental Bultaco hanging on the wall behind the red mesh. Too damn cool.

Apparently the '47 Chief pictured above hadn't been started for awhile and sorta set it's mind on not starting. I assume the carb just dried out and it took a good bit of effort to get it all flowing again. It's a pretty interesting bike after working on Flathead Rob's '48. 80 C.I. Chief with loads of modernizations (Cycle Electric generator, solid state regulator, CV carb, etc). Once we got it started it sounded wonderful and it's supposed to be a total mile eater. I really enjoyed worked on it with Doug et al on it having just done the all same things with Flathead Rob to get his Chief going. Rob's bike sat 25 years and started second kick... he wins. Incidentally kicking an 80 C.I. Chief repeatedly for half an hour != fun.

All in all it was an outstanding day and my Tiger survived the trip. Sorry Justin wasn't able to stay for the whole thing. Knucklehead Steven and I both have a little wrenching to do.

1 comment:

Vorhese said...

There was a survivor 50 Thunderbird at the Unfinished Show saturday. As soon as I finish these 2 other pre-units, that will be my next unicorn to chase.