Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Triumph TT De Luxe Motorcycle inspired Time Machine

I suppose this bike started about a year ago when I saw one of the scramblers on eBay. There was just something that drew me to that bike like a cop to a doughnut. I called a buddy of mine who has a salvage business (I do his paint) and told him to be on the look out for a new Triumph, I didn't care what just something affordable. About two weeks later he called and said he found an '06 Bonneville black on an auction that had smoke damage. We wound up winning it for $300.00!

As winter drew near and "new project" time got closer I decided to use this for a donor bike – something a little different from the norm, while being modern and reliable, and yet still cool. So I had a power plant, and no idea what to build around it. I did some research on 1900's to 1930's European bikes of all types and tried to make a mental note of what was cool. I suppose that the main things that stuck out were the tank style (loosely after a 1910 Triumph), the druid style front end, the knobbies, center stand, and friction steering dampener.

For the frame, I went with a lugged design for some extra detail, and made the cradle removable to help stick with that European style. I did the jackshafted drive to clean up the right side of the wheel, and really to just try something different. Once I got that figured out is when I decided to try a drum rear brake mounted to the jackshaft. I tried several old drums of different makes but nothing was quite right so I had to hunker down and make one. I wound up using aluminum, which I heat-shrunk a sleeve into. The real pain in the arse on this was making it all fit together without too much runout.

Early one Saturday morning I mounted a sort of traditional rear fender and bicycle seat. It was pretty cool but it just didn't do it. Later that night I sat down with a print-out of the bike up on the table and started drawing. I loosely sketched the café boat tail thing, and SHIZAAM – it was awesome. I went to the shop the next morning and got started bending up some rod! I suppose this is where the whole project shifted gears from classy antique custom to 1900-ish café racer sort of thing. Race bike in mind, the 2-into-1 lakester pipes and drop bars fit naturally. Another thing I really wanted was inverted levers. Not wanting to copy what Dave Cook is famous for, I called him up and wound up getting away with the very first set of stainless levers he has ever made.

For paint I wanted to stay sort of scalloped style (Triumph thing). The logos on the tank are copper leaf versions of the 1910-1914 triumph logo. The "3" has nothing to do with NASCAR, this is my third complete bike build, and yes, the other two are numbered as well. My wife, Lindsay, and I spent evenings at the kitchen table doing the leather work. The wiring on this bike was probably the biggest challenge. A modern engine with all the emissions and safety crap has a wiring diagram that looks like a bowl of spaghetti noodles. At first I went through a lot of trouble to find someone who'd tackled the task luck. It seems everyone who's ever done one of these simply stuffs the entire factory harness and all of its "mystery boxes" into a fake oil tank, which was not the route I wanted to take. I sat down with a factory diagram, the original harness, and a volt-ohm meter, around 30 or so hours later I had myself what is apparently the first ever chopper-style wiring schematic for a modern Triumph in existence. A lot of headaches, but I now have some pretty clean wiring that only uses what I need – no horn, no dimmer, no emissions, no safety crap, just good old spark, charging, and lights.

Tech Sheet

Year and Make: 2008 Special Construction
Model: TT Deluxe
Assembly by: LC Fabrications
Time: 6 months
Chroming: none

Year: 2006
Model: Triumph
Rebuilder: Jeremy Cupp
Ignition: nology
Displacement: 865cc
Carb: Keihin CR
Air cleaner: Strom 97
Pipes: 2 into 1 by LC Fabrications

Modifications: Jackshafted final drive

Molding: LC Fabrications
Painter: LC Fabrications
Color: Black/Tan
Type: Chromabase

Year: 08
Builder: LC Fabrications
Rake: 28 or so
Stretch: lots in backbone
Other: removable cradle

Bars: LC Fabrications
Headlight: eBay
Taillight: LC Fabrications
Front Pegs: LC Fabrications
Electrics: LC Fabrications
Gas Tank: LC Fabrications
Seat: Jeremy and Lindsay Cupp

Type: Druid
Builder: LC Fabrications
Special Features: Friction dampers

Size: 19
Hub: conical mini drum
Rim: cheap
Size: 19
Hub: H-D
Rim: cheap
Tires: Firestone military bias
Brakes: drum on jackshaft



Victor Horsman with his Triumph TTracer

600 cc 1925 at Brooklands

Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing




Motoring George Spauwen

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Guestwriter Gaston Vanzet

Can You All manage this summer...?
Here on the news they told that it is 40 degrees Celsius
and You may not make a fire in the bush because of fire-alarm.
So I hope You can manage it...
Than last but not least:
The links on your blog works fine now...
Keep it Cool ...Than I will keep it warm!
Here it is still winter freezing cold and a bit snowy....

Hi George,
Last weekend I went to the Philip Island Classic races. This is a Australia vs. Briton, New Zealand, South Africa event. It is a great weekend...lots of classic and vintage bikes, a very casual event which means it is OK for the spectators to walk around the pits and the riders are happy to talk to everyone. We can get up close to the machines and some of the hero riders from many years ago. However this year there where not so many vintage bikes. I was thinking of you and trying to get some photos of motorcycles that the DVMA enthusiasts would like to see.

Here are as few that I found that might interest you.

Also the Batbike for your movie motorcycle set, we can't forget that one...

I want to draw that one one day.
Our summer is not as hot as last year when we had the fires but it was 49 degrees Celsius
at a place near us the other day. Man alive we could cook an egg on the car roof.
I hope all that you DVMA members are well and happy.
I check your website nearly every day.

Kind Regards - Gaston

Here is another one showing the track a little bit ..
i should have taken more photos of the track..a very sunny day...
the ocean is in the background.

Philip Island has a beautiful race track but the very strong winds off the ocean blows down the front straight and sometimes the older bikes struggle against this wind. The track is also too long for the old bikes. Many old machines suffer mechanical problems over the four days of racing. One racer told me that they only practice on the Friday because they do not want to wear out their machine before the race days.

Hope this is interesting - Gaston

Text & Photo's:
Guestwriter Gaston Vanzet, Australia

For Sure it is...





Motoring George Spauwen

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Kawasaki Ninja 250r

New Kawasaki Ninja 250r..............


Triumph pre-unit - a real classic ride
Retro-John What's in a name ?

Voor prachtige pre-unit Triumph T-shirts...

enkele voorbeelden:
Met Retro-John logo...

In Black...
and in White




Motoring George Spauwen

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hollywood Stars | Motorcycle Movie History

Stars Motorcycle Movie History

Hollywood Motorcycles of Hollywood

The cycle's celluloid history dates back to the silent era.
From Edgar Dearing's familiar role as a motorcycle cop/
foil in Laurel and Hardy shorts to
Gael Garcia Bernal as a road-tripping Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Dairies and beyond, screen bikes are as iconic as the characters who ride them. During a discussion of classic cycle movie moments over a beer after a long weekend ride a while back, one bike kept reappearing in the conversation with disproportionate frequency. Of course, Harley-Davidson, right? Nope. It is Triumph by a large margin. No less an authority than the Internet Movie Cars Database catalogs seven pages of entries for the British marque in films, while Harley rates a modest two pages.
Memorably, there was the quintessence of two-wheeled cool Steve McQueen


(doubled by Bud Ekins),
racing from a German POW camp in


The Great Escape on a '61 Triumph TR6 Trophy Bird
disguised as a wartime BMW.

There was Clint Eastwood atop another

Triumph TR6 in Coogan's Bluff.

Richard Gere

An Officer and a Gentleman starred

a Bonneville 750 T140E and, um, Richard Gere.

All fine examples, but chiefly there is the hellfire leather paradigm,

the alpha and omega of two-wheeled rebellion,

Marlon Brando and his Triumph Thunderbird 650 in The Wild One. This legendary pairing is more than mere Hollywood verisimilitude; Brando rode his own personal Triumph in the film and likewise, most of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club rode Triumphs as well.

Marlon Brando in a screenshot from The Wild One

The Wild One sits atop many best biker-film lists like the trophy strapped to Brando's handlebars in the movie.

Oscar-winner Walton Goggins, who has a role alongside Anthony Hopkins in The World's Fastest Indian, remembered the impact the film had on him, “When I saw Marlon Brando on that Triumph it made me think of one word: freedom. That is what we all desire, freedom. It is the person that takes the time to be quiet, alone with his thoughts, that has the most to give back to the world. He gave me the impression of doing that on the back of a Triumph. We should all be that bold.” Certainly, those sentiments have been echoed thousands of times and spurred countless new riders over the years.

The ladies aren't left out of the clubhouse either.
As you are sure to remember,

Pam Anderson straddled, among other things,

a Triumph Thunderbird in Barb Wire.

An eye-popping Ann-Margret perched herself atop

a Triumph Tiger T100 in The Swinger and

Kate Hudson had something to do with an '03 Bonneville and Matthew McConaughey in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Off screen, McConaughey is a confirmed motorcycle enthusiast and regularly fires up his Triumph Thunderbird Sport.

Of the modern Hollywood breed, Tom Cruise is perhaps the highest wattage megastar closely associated with motorcycles in general and with Triumph specifically. While he flirted with a Kawasaki Ninja 900 in Top Gun,

Cruise rode a Triumph Speed Triple in Mission: Impossible II.

In M:i:III he reprises the Ethan Hunt role, this time co-starring with a McQueen-esque riff on the new Triumph Scrambler 900. The movie Scrambler drips with retro-groove from its knobby-tired spoke wheels and front fender license plate frame to its upswept peashooter exhausts. It's a fence jumping Nazi-dodger to be sure.

Cruise is no dilettante when it comes to bikes. The actor studied with the renowned Keith Code at the racer's wheelie school. Code himself rates Cruise as a near-pro level motorcycle stuntman and states, “He's a learning machine. You rarely have to tell him twice, in fact, he got to balance point and gear changes on the Speed Triples at our On One Wheel school sooner than anyone I've ever seen, and stand-up wheelies weren't long after that. On top of that, he really likes to ride.” Cruise is a devoted student of the action-hero disciplines. Always loathe to use a stunt double, he has said that he seeks competence at rock-climbing and flying in addition to his evident auto and cycle skills. Still, no amount of expertise will prevent the occasional mishap, even if you're an action hero.

A few years ago, Cruise was tooling through Beverly Hills on his turbocharged Ducati when he skidded on a patch of oil and dumped his bike. No matter, Cruise got off the pavement, righted his bike, signed a few autographs and took off without assistance.
Perhaps most famously, Cruise arrived at the War of the Worlds premiere with bride-to-be Katie Holmes on the back of his Honda Rune cruiser. The duo was decked out in matching biker-chic: jeans, black T-shirts, black boots, leather jackets, and shades.

Perhaps the most ironic arrow in Triumph's screen

quiver comes courtesy of the small box.

Dean of '50s cool for the '70s generation, Happy Days' “Fonzie” got around his home turf of Milwaukee on a Triumph 500 Twin in the show's later years. While the good folks down the road at Harley-Davidson would be quick to point out that Fonzie became a Triumph man after he jumped the shark, the Fonz did make the switch to Triumph from his custom Harley.

According to Christopher Wagner, President of Royal Promotions and Placement, a leading motion picture and television product placement agency, Hollywood has followed in Arthur Fonzarelli's boot steps. He notes that Triumph is the “motorcycle of choice” in Tinsel Town.
MuseumBonnie.jpg image by YoungDuc
With the pending release of Mission: Impossible III, pairing Tom Cruise with the retro-cool Scrambler 900, Triumph looks to add another iconic screen image to its glittering Hollywood résumé.

Hinckley Triumphs

America's Sweethearts (Tiger - John Cusack)
Barb Wire (Thunderbird - Pamela Anderson))
Dare Devil (America - Colin Farrell)
The English Patient (Bonneville - Ralph Fiennes )
Femme Fatale (Bonneville - Antonio Banderas)
Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone (Bonneville - Robbie Coltrane) Heaven's Burning (America - Kenji Isomura)
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Bonneville - Matthew McConnaughey)

Johnny English (Speed Triple - Natalie Imbruglia)
The Matrix (Speed Triple - Carrie Ann Moss)
Maybe Baby (Bonneville - Hugh Laurie)
Mission Impossible 2 (Daytona 955i & Speed Triple)
Pushing Tim (Thunderbird - Billy Bob Thornton)
Romeo Must Die (Tiger)
Torque (Daytona 955i - Ice Cube)
Tuck Everlasting (Bonneville)
Laurel Canyon (Anthony Nivola)
Terminator 3 (Bonneville - Nick Stahl)
MI:3 (Scrambler - Tom Cruise)

Meriden Triumphs

The Mini Skirt Mob (Bonneville)
The Great Escape (Bonneville - Steve McQueen)
Bullitt Nowhere to Run (Bonneville - Jean Claude Van Damme)
An Officer and a Gentleman (Bonneville - Richard Gere)
Rebel Without A Cause (Tiger T110 - James Dean)
Shampoo (Bonneville)
The Wild One (Tiger T110 - Marlon Brando)
Coogans Bluff (Clint Eastwood)

RPM (Daytona - Anthony Quinn)
The Swinger (Ann Margret)
The Dammed (Tiger T110 & Bonneville)
The Leather Boys Stay Away Joe (Elvis Presley)
On Any Sunday (Steve McQueen)
Wallace & Grommit - A Close Shave (Tiger Cub)
The Blob (Steve McQueen)

Mike Schulte

This picture shows Hollywood celeb and motorcycle enthusiast Angelina Jolie starring as Evelyn Salt and riding this beautiful Triumph Street Triple R. The character in cause is a CIA officer accused of being a Russian spy and who goes on the run to clear her name. We hope that the stylish British motorcycle helps and we won’t see it crashed in the movie.

The Batbike


Motoring George Spauwen

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