Friday, July 31, 2015

Dave Hardin - Empire Motorcycles

1953 Triumph Pre-Unit T100 Tiger 500cc National Champion - I'm posting this one primarily for the Pacific Northwest tie in. I hadn't even heard of Empire before. There's a lot of history to know up here.
"I was told... when I heard a Triumph scream like nothing I had ever heard before, that would be Dave Hardin." - Excerpt from Dale Richardson, letter included in memorabilia.

 This machine was built, ridden, and previously owned by National Champion Dave Hardin. Hardin is respected as one of the best Triumph motorcycle race engine builders of the era. In the 1950s and 60s, he owned Empire Motorcycles in Spokane, WA., a Triumph dealer. Dave Hardin and his bikes are legendary in the Pacific Northwest. He built serious competition bikes for hill climbing, quarter mile flat track and cross country racing. The pre-unit T100 seems to be set up for hill climb, but it could also be set up for other types of competition. This is a motorbike that Dave raced and put into storage over 50 years ago. This competition motorcycle has not been changed or modified from the way it was left by Dave.

The T100 sports the rare close-finned alloy head and barrel as well as many custom modifications by Hardin. The Tiger Cub has a very rare oil cooler, alloy front rim, removable swing arm extension and many other modifications. It has not been run since the 1960's but the engine and transmission moves freely. 

This sale also includes memorabilia - A copy of a poster made by Triumph motorcycles celebrating 1st & 2nd place wins on Hardin's machines; a photo of Dave Hardin and Dale Richardson with one of his Triumphs; a letter written by Dale Richardson, Dave's friend and Triumph racer; a 1966 news article about one of Hardin's many victories; a photo given to us by AMA National Champion Joe Kopp, of his father Bob Kopp, competing on one of Hardin's Triumphs; and additional information about him.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Disappering Engine

One of my coworkers pointed this out to me earlier this week. It was made as a promotional video for 3M abrasives.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Flaming Board Crash

Another photo supplied by Mike Budschat.

This photo was taken at the track in Woodinville, Washington in around 1962. One contributor believes the rider is "Smokey the Stunt Man." His Triumph was named the Old Grey Goat. Mike's Dad Bob brought "Smokey" in for the show.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bob Budschat

Mike Budschat was kind enough to allow me to post some of the family photos of his dad Bob Budschat. Bob was a very successful local racer sponsored and employed by Dewey's Cycle. The Budschat family later opened their own shop selling Ducati, Norton and Velocette. The retained Mike's photo comments as captions.
1957 moving into our new home. May as well take a picture of your trophy collection before you put them inside. This is my Dad, Bob, my Mom, Val and sister Val.
I like this picture. 1955 my Dad Bob on a 500 Matchless twin out front of all the Oregon boys in Salem Oregon. No dust when you're out front.
1957 or 1958. My dad Bob after winning Boise TT.
Not sure what year or which track but a good shot of Bob Budschat on a Triumph
You won't see a race today run with a wood bridge. This the famous Death Head Derby race in Olympia Was. He won it later in 1955.
To the victor go the spoils. Dad pretty much cleaned up with his Ducati in short tracks in the Northwest.

My Dad raced Catalina in 56. He was the first out-of-state rider. I got to go along too. I think my mom supplied the caption.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why Vintage?

There's an interesting article over on Petrolicious discussing why people still like vintage cars (or motorcycles). Over time I've grown to hating being asked this question by people that don't get. It's effectively impossible to explain in my case. Based on experience engaging the question is a completely fruitless proposition. The article however does a pretty good job.

I suppose this is the conversation going on in their head:

In most cases, classic cars are rubbish. As James May once said, if they were any good, they’d still be made. Modern cars are faster, better handling, more reliable, more comfortable, cleaner, safer, more economical, and mostly cheaper to purchase, too. Basically, they’re better in just about every way. Yet despite this, the clearly inferior classic car not only still exists, but is positively thriving these days. Why?

Perhaps the answers are here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

NOS Hang Tags

I recently spotted these on eBay. Pretty cool historically. I didn't realize you could still optionally buy rigid bikes after the Sprung Hub was released.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ran When Parked

1958 Triumph  - I'll be honest, I looked at this beast for several minutes trying to figure out why there was a timing cover on both sides before I counted the pipes. This is the first parallel twin engine I've ever seen.

Monday, July 6, 2015

SE Racing - Scot Breithaupt

As a very young BMX racer I remember being pretty damn excited when I got my first real racing jersey. I chose an SE Racing jersey on the sheer virtue of liking both the color combination and graphical design. I recall having to look "Innovations" up in the dictionary because I had never seen the word before. I thought that was so sophisticated at the time. To this day I still think of it every single time I encounter the word. They typically didn't make BMX clothing in kids sizes in the early days. I had an adult small that I absolutely swam in. I didn't care, I absolutely loved that jersey.
SE's owner Scot Breithaupt (SE = Scot Enterprises) was one of the first people to build a real business around BMX. Most would agree he played a huge role in legitimizing BMX. SE also sponsored one of my favorite riders as a kid. I've respected and admired Scot my whole life. 

I was quite saddened to learn of his passing today:
A body found Saturday in a vacant lot in Indio has been identified as Scot Alexander Breithaupt, a founder of bicycle motocross and a National BMX Hall of Fame member. Indio police Sgt. Dan Marshall confirmed Breithaupt's identity and affiliation with the sport Sunday night. "We believe that is the same person — that he is a founder of BMX. ... That is the same guy," Marshall added.
Breithaupt, 57 of La Quinta, was found in a tent in the lot at the southwest corner of LasPalmas Road and Monroe Street around 9:15 p.m. Saturday. Marshall said in a news release that Breithaupt had been dead for an unknown amount of time before someone noticed his body and called police.

The cause of his death is under investigation by the county coroner. Police say there were no obvious signs of foul play. The National BMX Hall of Fame described Breithaupt, in a Facebook post Sunday, as "The Godfather of BMX." "As one of the sport's first track operators and founder of SE Bikes — and so many other contributions to the sport of BMX, this is a huge loss for the BMX World. He was a founding track operator, a star racer since he was a teenager in Long Beach, a creator of a major bicycling company and major BMX promoter," the association said in its post. Breithaupt was passionate about the sport, said Craig Barrette, chief communications officer for USA BMX/The American Bicycle Association.

Barrette said Breithaupt had had legal trouble and struggled with addiction, but he always returned to riding BMX. Barrette described Breithaupt as an energetic guy and a go-getter.

"He was always going about 100 miles an hour," Barrette said, adding that Breithaupt had lived in the Coachella Valley since the 1990s.

Dukes Too

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Evel Knievel Biography

Like him or hate him Evel Knievel made a huge impression on guys my age. Johnny Knoxville is apparently one of them and is producing a movie about the man. Given Johnny Knoxville's involvement with the Mat Hoffman biography "The Birth of Big Air" it's not too surprising. The segment in "The Birth of Big Air" documenting Mat Hoffman's meeting Evel and their clear admiration of one another is pretty damn moving.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Triumph Bonneville Review

I generally don't care too much about stock Hinckley Triumphs but somehow caught myself watching this review. Thing is, once I started I couldn't stop. This guy and his video editing style is genius.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ran When Parked

1977 Triumph Bonneville Tracker Project - Someone motivated with a shallower project queue than me should take this home. Cool parts and it seems like a fairly good deal.  This bike could be a real screamer. Seller is from Flathead Rob's birth place so I'm sure he could get the local's discount.

1977 Triumph T140v street tracker project. I started this project with fiberglass from Grand Prix glass and it is a XR750 seat and a Schell tank. I bought the tank with the inner and outer not yet assembled and modified the inner to fit the OIF frame and then sent it all back to Grand Prix to be assembled so it is a perfect fit to this frame. After taking a year to finally get my very expensive fiberglass back, I had lost interest in the project and it has just been sitting.

Brand new Marzocchi forks and billet triples from Captain Dirt in Spokane, I had sleeves machined to fit the triples to the Triumph frame. Vintage Grimeca brakes. Engine has about 9000 miles and is a good runner. I had robbed the clutch hub from it for another bike and have since got another hub but it need reassembled. I just set it together real quick for the picture, seat pad doesn't stick up like in the pic. All the engine parts are there including the Amal carbs. Includes a wrecked T140, minus engine, with a that is mostly complete for parts. Boxes of other parts. Pretty much everything is there to put it together. The last pic is of a bike with the same tank, seat and frame, This was my goal. Has a title. $2100 Will trade up or down for a BMW GS, Tiger XC or KTM Adv