Monday, December 29, 2008


We took my bike to Trent of Atomic Customs today to have the oil tank and seat mounted. He does awesome work and is really cool guy. He mentioned that the sweet Atomic Knucklehead I posted here previously is bound for a new owner in Japan.

Thanks to tons support from my brother Rob we've made a fair amount of progress this week. I'll get some more pics up as soon as I can.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beehive Bobber

Here's another photo of a bike running a Filcoolator beehive Rob found.

Fender Notch

I think I'm gonna need to notch my fender to clearance my chain. This photo (taken from Clay @ Atom Bombs 70 Triumph build) is pretty much what I had in mind. He rolled the edge which I think looks really nice. I'm not sure I could pull that off with 13 gauge steel...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Triumph Documentry

Hmm... the Triumph manufacturing process is even more elaborate and eclectic than I ever imagined. I can only imagine what it was like 40 years ago.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fork Update

I mentioned here previously that I really thought I needed to drop my forks about 2'" to get the right stance. I was hoping I find a way to do it without cutting the stock fork tubes. I posted a question about it on the Jockey Journal. Initially I only found others with the same problem and no solution. One of my fellow problemeers was kind enough to follow up after he tore his forks down and revive the thread.

I now have a little better understanding of how all the parts work. The bottom brass bushing is fixed. The top brass bushing and the black plastic damping spacer travel with the fork. The plastic piece is literally the mechanism Triumph used to control the amount of fork extension at full rebound. Lurkingclass mentioned in the JJ same post he has had good luck with just running two damping spacers on each side, resulting in a 2" drop. I like that idea and NOS damping spacers are only $6-$8 a piece.

Hopefully my fork tubes aren't as rough as the ones pictured or I may end up having to get Forking by Frank to make me a -2" set anyway at $200.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Triumph Manuals, Brochures, Ads

I stumbled across some interesting stuff at
1963-70 Triumph Unit 650 Shop Manual
1968 Triumph Sales Brochure
1968 Triumph 650 Owners Manual
1968 Triumph Cycle Magazine Test

I discovered my bike features the ever exotic "Hi-Fi Scarlet" paint, at least when viewed from the left side...

eBay Aert

I saw yesterday that the Atom Bomb '70 Triumph project I posted about earlier is now on eBay. Should be interesting to see what is goes for. The bike market seems kinda weird right now.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Vaughn's been going through a pretty brutal phase of constantly watching Jason Lee's Alvin & the Chipmunks movie. Hopefully it helped Jason pay for the Bullet Falcon (Triumph) Falcon Motorcycle's built for him.

Lurkingclass Pre-Unit

This is Lurkingclass from the Jockey Journal's latest mock-up. I really like his stuff and have posted other bikes of his here before. His parts cache must just be sick.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

45" Commuting

Stumbled across this photo of Rob riding to work. I wonder if Lynn's noticed he really swapped the 45 for a Knuck.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

1920 Daytona Board Track Racing

License Plate Brackets

Most people just run a simple axle mount similar to the first two. I kinda like look of the holes in the Fab Kevin one pictured below. Ultimately they look like an after thought, I think you're better off not to draw too much attention to them. The last one is a bracket made by Earl Kane for his personal bike. I saved this picture about 2 years ago because I thought it was a cool approach.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Battery Box and Strap Options

Here are some pictures showing the battery box so far, and the two options I can think of for the hold-down strap. Please let me know what you think so far...

If you like the belt better, we can get a nicer buckle; I just had that one laying around. We could also change the leather color. "Old school" would be that tan rawhide color I guess...

You can see that I also marked one potential location for the mounting holes, and also the battery that's in the photos is different than yours...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Hey Rob, I think I've figured out what what to do with that pre-unit you found in Portland. My back kinda rules out motocross but I bet I could still do vintage flat track...

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nothing To See Here... Move Along

Rob is being so gracious as to take a crack at building a battery box. I took some photos and measurements so he'd have a better idea what the options are for mounting. These pics are kinda huge for detail.

I slipped an old license plate in here to better illustrate the offset.

Morris Mag

Morris Magneto is releasing a Unit Triumph specific model in about a week. It uses the tach drive so there's no need to do the usual case machining required for a Joe Hunt. I like it. $899. I'm pretty confident Santa knows I haven't been that good.

Rollin 2

Not as cool as the last photo but still sorta cool.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


This is the all time coolest picture of a woman on a bike. In a drift at what appears to be a drag strip and she's making a matter-of-fact grab for the next gear...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Battery Box 2.0

Your mock up looks nice in my opinion.
It could be clearer but here's the only picture I have of the battery box on Joe Zito's Triumph. I like the holes in his.

Battery box mock-up

Here are a couple of pictures of the idea I had for the battery box. It would have a strap to secure the battery. I would make it out of 16 gauge sheet metal. This is plenty heavy. What do you think?


Here's another pic of a bike built by Mike Davis, the guy that built black Triumph bobber with a Harley springer that I just love. His stuff is just awesome. He has great taste but he's also got a huge cache of super cool NOS after market parts. Ironically he is now really into period correct 60's/70's choppers, which don't do much for me.

He is a really colorful guy... check out his blog some time to see what I mean [WARNING! - NSFW].

Friday, November 14, 2008



"This is the "urn" that my brother Tom Cerra, who died Monday, will go into after he is cremated. Paint by Bozi-photos can't do it justice. The paint is big-ass green and silver flake. The wood base is old-growth California Redwood."

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I'm prepared to get teased about sounding like "Joe Chopper" but something about the stance of my bike has been bothering me.

I came to the conclusion that the 2.5" drop in my hardtail makes my forks look overly long. I started crunching numbers a little and realized shortening the forks by 2" would put the steering geometry back to right about stock. I also think it makes a rather stunning improvement to the bike cosmetically.

This is a pretty common mod to make on Triumphs. For the later model Triumph/BSA forks you can fairly easily lower them by adding a spacer (really appealing because you don't have to cut them). I haven't been able to confirm that works on the earlier external spring forks though. There's also a company called Forking by Franks that's been cutting & re-threading them ($35 each tube) and making better than new replacement tubes in any length ($188 a set) for about 40 years.

The pictures above show the forks compressed 2". Compare them to some photos from a week ago.

I'm curious what everyone else thinks...

Saturday, November 8, 2008


This Norton is bitchin'.

Fender Mounts

I'm pondering fender mounts. Here's one approach. I really like this guys chain tensioner. Given the added chain length I think I'm gonna have to run one.


I finally got a chance (and a real photographer) to take some better pictures. I think I might like the fender about an shorter than what's shown here.