Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dave Kirkland Show Dragbike


"Hi Paul,
First off, thanks for the generous post on your blog about the drag bike. I dropped the bike off over at my dad's about a week ago (he is an incredible machinist-tool & dye maker). Since then, he has completely torn the bike down, fixed the issues with the forks, and sorted out everything for plating and polishing. We tore the motor down last weekend and it's definitely more show than go.

The first thing that I found surprising was, there were no rings. Part of the case around the push rod area is gone and the rods are trashed! The previous owner told me they had it running at one time. The original stickers on the MCM pipes lead me to believe that it's never been fired.

I purchased the bike from Engle Motors of Kansas City which has been a Triumph dealership since the 1950's. Norman Jones, the owner, purchased the bike in 1968. There are a ton of stories that surround this bike and I am still researching the details of.

I noticed your post on 57' TR5's, and it just so happens that I was at a BSA friends' this weekend and purchased a 57' TR6 along with a lot of aftermarket speed equipment. This looks like it could be a great candidate for a Frosted Pearl recreation. I've included some pictures. Thanks for the words of encouragement on the drag bike, I will keep you posted on it's progress. More pictures to come."


Ahh, the joys of Brit bike rebuilds. You never know what your going to find in there. Not too long ago I took apart a pre-unit engine for a friend of mine that was full of vintage speed components, and they were all in perfect condition. I rarely find anything exciting inside the engines that are mine and most of the time they are close to what Dave found here. Well the mystery is uncovered, she was all show and no go. That firms up Dave's decision to restore it in my book and I'm looking forward to seeing this old show go'er get prettied up and finally finished right after all those years.


  1. you need a 650 crank and rods from a unit bike in that bottom end to eliminate the compensator sproket and get away from the bolt together crank. I have the bearing that allows you to do that without having to machine down the crank to one inch. wes

  2. sorry I recently bought a 1952 sprint triunph. It have a strange crank, Is lightened, somebody keep of all the outher ring only let the center with the counterweights. I would like to know if it is ok for a street bike. Regards