Sunday, June 29, 2014


The Seattle Cossacks did a show in Oceanshores this weekend, sadly I couldn't make it. Word is our boy Flathead Rob is driving some new stunts. Thankfully I have some spy photos.

When was the last time you did something this cool on your 75 year old motorcycle? Why to go Mr. Flathead.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

Triumph Books

In the unlikely event you have $30,000 burning a hole in your pocket.

 After almost 40-years, the surviving archives of the Triumph Corporation is being offered for sale.  When Triumph in Timonium, Maryland closed its doors in 1975, their parts inventory was purchased by Cycle Hub in Portland, Oregon but Tricor's records, official documents, factory & dealer memorandum, sales & technical literature, surplus advertising inventory, factory photographs, etc., etc. was not included.  Through the help of Tricor employees, I was able to keep this vast collection from going into their dumpsters.  The truck-loads of material that came from the warehouse took several years to assimilate and organize.  It eventually spawned two books (Triumph Motorcycles in America and The Triumph Motorcycle Restoration Guide) and there is enough unpublished material here for several more!  The collection includes a file drawer FULL of factory memos (some of which not even US dealers were meant to see); records and photos of the service schools held each year; every service bulletin generated by Tricor; many of the original factory service bulletins sent to Tricor (from Meriden) from 1950-1970; original sales brochures for practically every year of Triumph motorcycle manufacture from 1903; every owners, parts and shop manual from 1936 (and many from prior model-years); THOUSANDS of factory, press and period photographs from the 1930s to the time of Meriden's closure in 1983; original press kits; dealer merchandising manuals; Top Gear manuals & catalogs; there is even a good quantity of Johnson Motors technical literature.  Also included is the world's most complete library of Triumph motorcycle books - many RARE titles long out of print; practically every magazine road test (US & UK) from 1936 to 1983 and some earlier years; every aftermarket service manual from 1936-1983 (Haynes, Clymer, Chilton, Glenn's, Pitman, Pearson); every Triumph News newsletter/magazine issued since the TIOC club was formed in 1978; even a solid collection of Hinckley Triumph sales literature from each year since production began again in 1990; and much, much more... too much too describe in detail.  All the factory documents & memos, sales & technical literature and magazines are arranged chronologically - unlike other large collections, this is a functioning library, perhaps the largest independent archive of Triumph motorcycle documents and literature in the world!  I would prefer not to break this collection up.  I am offering it first in its entirety and I will make it available for inspection to those who qualify.  Only the Triumph library is being offered (the shelving and file cabinets also if wanted by the new owner) but the parts, signs and memorabilia shown in the photos are not included.  There is, of course, no shipping available - the buyer must collect in person or arrange pick-up (in Baltimore, Maryland).  A $500 deposit through Paypal is required within 48-hours of the listing's close, the balance to be paid by check, money order or draft within two weeks. 

Pretty cool story.

Ran When Parked

1929 Harley Davidson JD - Someone needs to get this bike running soundly and then not change a thing. It's not original paint but who cares.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Inside Story

As you may or may not noticed Keith Martin of Big D Cycle recently rrecommended a post to me. I couldn't help but ask for the back stories on the race kitted 1951 Triumph T100 and the 1955 T100R that I'd seen on Big D blog.

He replied with this. Very cool that he took the time to humor me and reply with the  answers.

The race kitted T100 was restored for a customer from Mexico.
The 1955 T100R is a matching numbers. It has a Jack Wilson built motor that has never been started. Jack did the motor in 1989 and the guy never finished the restoration. I would like to sell it to someone and then restore it for them. I just like to build them.

Jack Wilson founded Big D Cycles in 1963. Jack was an avid racer and LSR guy much of his life.  Keith worked for Jack and later took Big D over.

Brad & The VLD Rescue

Mental note. I need to add Brad Pitt to my Christmas card list...

Actor Brad Pitt spent $37,000 to replace his friend's beloved motorcycle, which was destroyed in a fire. The Fight Club star decided to help his stuntman pal out after hearing the rare 1936 Harley-Davidson VLD vehicle had been lost in a house fire. The actor hired a broker to search worldwide for an exact replacement before picking up the hefty bill.
A source tells the National Enquirer, "The guy had several bikes, but this was his baby and because it wasn't a street bike, he didn't have it insured. Brad sprang into action, hiring a broker to search the world for a duplicate. When one was finally located in Germany, Brad wrote a cheque and had the machine delivered with a note that simply said he knew how much his buddy loved that bike, and just wanted to help out."

I can't help but question the source. Pretty cool if it's true.  $37,000 sounds like serious money for a VLD to me.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Pretty impressive.


It's not every day I get a post suggestion from a Triumph motorcycle legend. I'm willing to roll with it.

Hey, I like your blog and thanks for giving us the thumbs up on our bikes.
I have been watching gas tanks on eBay. I thought you might like this.

I thought that these chopper tanks with airbrush and murals would get hot. Kinda 60's 70's folk art I guess.
Keep up the good work.
Keith Martin

Big D Cycle

Wow. Very cool and quite representative of a time when bikers and choppers still kinda scared Joe Public. Very reminiscent of Jeff Decker's collection of vintage club cuts.  

Thanks for chiming in, Keith. So what's the story on the T100R and the race kitted '51 T100

Big D Cycle is one of about a dozen places on my "must visit" bucket list. Keith, if you ever find yourself in the Pacific NW be sure to let me know.

Friday, June 20, 2014

1937 Merciers

I spotted this on the Hemmings blog

Why the French through they needed a front-wheel-drive tracked motorcycle for their military remains unanswered, but at least one of these 1937 Merciers still exists. A J.A.P. 350cc engine powers the contraption.

Why the French through they needed a front-wheel-drive tracked motorcycle for their military remains unanswered, but at least one of these 1937 Merciers still exists. A J.A.P. 350cc engine powers the contraption. - See more at:
Why the French through they needed a front-wheel-drive tracked motorcycle for their military remains unanswered, but at least one of these 1937 Merciers still exists. A J.A.P. 350cc engine powers the contraption. - See more at:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

CYCLE Magazine Binder

It goes with out saying that if you ever spot one of these at a swapmeet or something I want it. Same goes for the April 1950 issue of the magazine.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Branch Motorcycle Sales - Velocette

Update - Ed K, the preeminent local Velocette guru bought all parts inventory from Branch Motorcycle Sales when they closed. He reminded me this morning the same parts cache still lives. Too cool. I gotta make it out see him one of these days.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Born Free 6 - Trent

Spy photos I stole from Justin's FB page. The other pictures I've seen don't do Lucky's 7 justice.

Triumph T100R

Spotted this on Big D Cycle's site about a week ago but forgot to commit the post. I have no idea if it's the real deal or a replica but it's cool in either case. I'm primarily posting the pictures because they show angles of the header pipes you don't see very often.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Blown Velocette

1951 Triumph T100 Race Kit

Thanks to Flathead Rob I've known for some time there was 1951 Triumph T100 Tiger prowling around the Seattle area with a complete factory Race Kit.

I finally got a chance to see it in person this weekend at the Marymount show. I've never seen one first hand before so I took a lot of pictures. Sorry if I dive too deep here for most. I thought I might want the photos as a reference some day.

I spoke with the owner the day after the show. He bought the bike from a Victoria man that built and raced the bike in his 20's... over 40 years ago. The current owner hasn't fired the engine yet. We'll need to work on that. Sounds like he's pretty involved in vintage racing.

Stock T100
Race kitted T100

The manual that accompanied the Race Kit is available here. You see reprints occasionally but thanks to a very good friend I have an original. There's also a road test here. My buddy Brian has a ton more information on the Race Kit here.