Friday, September 16, 2011

History Of My Triumph

I bought this bike back in 1990 (I think). I've been through a lot with it and I plan to keep it forever. Sometimes I think about selling it, but I've been through too much with it. Since I've posted so many pics of it recently I figured I'd give you the history of my 1970 Triumph TR6C Chopper/Bobber/whatever the hell we're calling them this week......

This is how it looked when I brought it home for the first time all those years ago. I paid $200 for it from a high school girlfriends ex-husband (yes, he was an addict!). The motor had never been started since it was rebuilt because the guy was too cheap to get a new carb. The tops of the pistons were even still shiny.  I fabbed a hinge pin for the float and fired it up, rode it down the road and back and parked it because of water in the oil blowing out the vent.

I sold it to J.D. Foster for $300, he added the hardtail and extended Triumph front end, but decided he REALLY wanted the old Ironhead Sportster I had out back with the blown motor so he traded me even. I added my kickass sissybar with a REAL WWI Trench Shotgun Bayonet welded to it  a solo seat and a set of Apehangers and was on my way. This bike was my only wheels for a few years.

I was on my way to school (I was an older college student on the V.A.'s dime) one day and was rear ended by a semi. His front bumper was right on the top of my tire. If I hadn't heard him coming, stood up and leaned over the tank I'd have a broken back at least. You can see how the seat is folded in half. I keep that seat on the wall to remind me how stupid some people are.

 I played with a few different configurations while I was rebuilding it.

Got it finished fired it up and took it down the road only to hear a nasty squealing noise so it got parked in 2000 because of a lack of funds. The insurance you say? Well, I was a newlywed and of course I had to take care of the wife and 2 kids I married into first. This pic is in the basement den of our house. Somehow I convinced the wife that it was an Art piece and I was able to keep it in the den until it was time to rebuild her right.

This is how it looked as of January 2, 2006 I still need to work on the gas tank, replace all the wheel bearings, reassemble the rear wheel, mount the rear fender and a bunch of other stuff.By this point I've had the motor completely rebuilt by Born Again Bikes in Texas and was well on my way to getting her back on the road.

Mar 5, 2006 She's almost done this time around. The rack on the back fender was made by my great friend Blaine before he died of a heart attack (way too young too). The rack is meant to look like a scaled down version of the old parcel grid that Triumphs had back in the 50's & 60's on the petrol tank. I scored the original Wassel fender at the Barber's Vintage swap meet back when the Wassel stuff wasn't well known and before they got expensive and copied by everyone for $20.

The springer turned out to be too short and the bike handled really bad. I added a Sportster front end and things got better. About this time I was hit by a truck while riding my Honda Shadow and broke my leg. This caused me to put the Triumph on the back burner while I recovered and then while I enjoyed my time on my '95 Bad Boy I bought with my settlement.

I got serious about getting her back on the road late last year and ended up getting her finished in time for the Dixie Round Up where the bike took the "Best British" award. By now I had changed the gas tank back to a stock Triumph tank and added forks off of a '67 or so Triumph.  Now to get some real miles put on her. Bikes are meant to be ridden, not looked at!


  1. KustomJeff,

    That bike has seen a hell of a lot. I thought I was attached to my old Honda, but that thing, lord, I don't know if you could sell it, maybe give up a kidney before that ever happened.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  2. Cool that you have all the pics of it's journey so far. I've been dragging around a Triumph I traded a Honda ninety for, back in about '74. Someday it'll go back together. Something about Triumphs. My first ride on a bike was on the back of a Triumph. The sight and sound of it has just stuck with me.