Monday, November 30, 2009

Triumph Street Metisse

Neat one for the guy that could afford it. Built by Bud Ekins.
1966 Cycle World

The Triumph Grifo 500 & 650

Not the prettiest motorcycle, but seemingly well engineered. I wonder if any survive?

1966 Cycle World

Saturday, November 28, 2009

British Triumph Powered Dragsters

Tiny front wheels, spindly frames and supercharged engines.

Square job



1970 type Hagon frame complete with Hagon forks.

And lastly a couple of modern day Hagon dragbikes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Alf Hagon Dragbike Parts

First sold in America in 1966, By the time the 1970 Hagon catalog was made the Hagon Dragster chassis had lost the separate fuel tank as shown on this early pre-unit Triumph type.

The tank was still listed in the 1970 catalog as it was originally designed for British Grass Track, Speedway style racing.

At the top of this page is the 1970 frame that holds both gas and oil and set up for unit construction Triumph engine. Listed for BSA A65 and Triumph unit construction only. You never really see the "rubber band" type forks in America. Mostly forks from small Japanese motorcycles were used with Hagon frames in the U.S. Below it is the far more rare twin top tube Hagon JAP Replica frame. This design was favored by the top dragbike builders in the early to mid 1970's.
You'll see reversed cylinder heads quite a bit on English built Triumph drag bikes, done to accommodate the fitment of Shorrock superchargers. The Brit's were far more successful than Americans at making blowers work on their two wheeled dragsters. The "Mirage" above is a classic example of the British built dragbike, super light weight, low to the ground and supercharged.

The lucky Hagon Dragsters made it to a happy retirement on the show circuit. This BSA engined Hagon dragbike clip comes from a 1976 Street Chopper article on a custom show in Detroit. The front wheel size and lack of brake would have kept this machine from competing under the current rules of the time. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of a A65 chassis like the one above for sale or trade email:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hagon - Triumph Dragster Project

So a few months ago I'm doing some late night web searching and decide to punch in BSA dragbike into the Google bar. A Craigs list ad from Texas pops up listing a lot sale of a BSA A65 chopper chassis, a unit Triumph chopper chassis, some random parts and this little pic of a Triumph Hagon Dragster. This picture is the actual size that was in the listing. No details, but I can see what it is and because I know how rare these things are I don't need to see anymore. I call the guy first thing in the morning and start trying to work a long distance deal. Typical of these situations he's stuck on selling everything together making it impossible for me to get what I want. After some persuasion and counseling on how to really sell bike stuff, I make an offer and he accepts.

A few weeks later and all the parts get here in multiple boxes. He had told me that the bike was stored partially outside having been stashed under a deck for all these years so I knew there would be some corrosion issues. Luckily the frame and mounting brackets are almost all there with the exception of a couple pieces and this stuff looks to be mostly in very good condition. The frame appears straight and there are no nasty welds, bad rust or other B.S. and that beautiful Hagon fuel tank is undented or damaged in any way. Relief! I can say that 98% of it is there and it is a genuine Kosman supplied kit just like the Cycle World article from 1966. A box full of parts not pictured making up the rest of it.

Borrani Record rim as supplied from Kosman in good restorable condition with two slotted head, rim lock screws as done by Kosman. I have a pristine NOS Avon Drag Slick for this wheel when done.

The front end got the worst of the weathering. The Yamaha 60 front forks and wheel are shot! Unfortunatley the super neat Kosman made tripple trees are shot as well.

The alloy on these trees has come undone from corrosion, flaking off in layers like old particle board! I'm kinda torn right now on what to do for forks. I would use the same type of Yamaha 60 forks if I could find a good set, but I don't know what model they are from or where the hell to find them. Help appreciated! Or I could go early 1970's with the project and use baby Ceriani legs or 30mm Red Wings with a mini disc front brake, but Ceriani's are expensive and Red Wings a little late for this chassis. Right now I'm leaning towards using Triumph Terrier / early Cub fork legs and having replica Kosman tripple trees made to fit. I'm thinking of asking Kosman to make these trees for me to keep things in the family. Using Triumph Terrier legs would be period correct and fit the project well. If anyone has a good set for sale or trade please let me know.

Right out of the mid 1960's Hagon / Kosman playbook a WM-0 18" Borrani spool wheel with an extremely rare 2.00 - 18 Avon racing tire that I picked up at the San Jose Clubman's swap meet some years ago for $20.oo. The tire is in great shape and a better front hoop for this project does not exist...

A very HTF Avon racing tire. From what the Hagon Dragster article in Cycle World says these and all other racing tires with the exception of the slicks were discontinued by Avon in 1966.

2.00 - 18

I'm missing one of these lower mounts. I'd like to just have two new parts made to match this original. I can make them myself eventually, BUT I'd really like to have these made for me if anyone has the equipment to do them and could bust a couple out for the project. I would gladly pay cash or trade for them. Made of alloy plate. Also need a alloy push in fuel tank plug made. Anyone that would like to take this on for me please email:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hagon - Triumph Drag Bike

The original Hagon Dragster chassis kit made for Triumph pre-unit and unit construction engines as well as unit BSA's and Honda 450's. This style of frame only lasted for a few years before being modified to hold both fuel and oil in the frame tubes, and getting rid of the seperate grass track type fuel tank. Sold excusively in the U.S. by Kosman M/C Specialties in Daly City California. This kit was the beginning of a long line of motorcycle drag racing components either made or distributed by Kosman and the shop is still making parts for modern dragbikes today. Kosman was one of the first outfits to provide disc brake kits using parts from Barnes, Hurst Airheart and their own components. They also made remote oil filters, custom alloy oil tanks and lots of other neat stuff. Kosman parts are rarely marked with the name so be carefull before you toss that old funky disc brake setup that no one has a clue as to what it is. Send my a picture first!
1966 Cycle World

Friday, November 20, 2009

Max Kelley's Double Engine Triumph Dragbike

The bike mentioned by Borris Murray in the Drag Safari quote from the Two-Timer post.
"Perry & Scotts bike was built by a Max Kelly,and had a blower, ran it on gasoline. When Scott acquired it he threw away the blower in favor of running a 'normally aspirated' fueler. A beautiful alloy frame, the likes of Clems' Barn-Job, he just needed better motors and- tuning!"

This has to be one of the best engineered double engine Triumph's ever built. Engineering does not break records though, expert tuning does. Americans didn't have much luck with superchargers in the early days. The British on the other hand mastered the use of them on their dragbikes in the UK.

Bud Hare

For those of you that haven't seen these already:

The coolest early Triumph customs wore Mustang gas tanks! Check the chromed stock rear fender bottom with ribbed Wassell on top.

Early Days

Found another neat quote from Borris Murray on that I thought would go good with this photo of Rich Richards riding Pam Too.

"Don McAvoy was also one that was out every weekend, racing Rich Richards and his "lil Pam" at Colton and the "Dale". It was always nip&tuck 'tween the two. They are the two that got me hooked on racing my Triumph. It didn't take me very long to get up to their speeds. Eventually I got ahead of both, which earned me the trip to England in the first "Drag Safari" from the States. Perry & Scotts' double and Dick Rios' "Two-Timer" were also there, a lot of attention,. as soon as I got home I built my first Double. Put em both away the first summer in match-races. I was proud to be the victor, but sorry they 'hung it up' after that. They both had super neat bikes, but couldn't turn 160, and quit trying! I'm sorry 'bout that. Don McAvoy also built a double Triumph, - McAvoy was the man that taught me all I knew back then about using nitro, with benzol yet. We finally heard about P.O. ~ Boy, did things change ! I even tried hydrozine before that,-- a big mistake ! Don even tried mixing black gun-powder with his nitro,.. didn't work.-- During those early days Rich was the man to beat, on his "Lil Pam" Triumph. God Bless him. One time I rode Dons' Triumph at Santa Ana, there were no E.T. lights, just MPH. On a single run Don told me to slowly cross over into the other lane at half-track and go thru' the traps in the other lane. This gave more footage for the 1320 quarter, I went a few MPH faster of course,. a longer quarter ! Don would show Richie his time slips, gee!- musta been the lower altitude, huh ? One was always trying to out-do the other. ~ Of course, that's drag-racing!"

~~~ Boris

Dubble Trubble

Motorcyclist magazine article from 1953. I believe Bud Hare's Dubble Trubble was the very first dual engine Triumph motorcycle. Kinda rough in this first build. Reversing the Triumph cylinder head has never proved worth doing unless it's for show or there is a supercharger connected to it. Still has Rosamond Dry Lake dust on it!
Heres additional info sent via email:
"Hi Paul - Just came across your web page with my Dads bike Double Trouble.
It was the first twin engine drag bike.They ran it at the first drag strip in the US. My dad Herk Currie owened the front engine and Bud Hare owned the rear engine and the rolling chassie. When Bud built it they turned the head backwards on my dads engine. The pictures with both engines in the conventional way was of the bike after Bud sold the chassie. My Dad is 86 alive and well. He still remembers a lot about the bike and his drag racing days. I remember hanging around Bud Hare's shop as a kid and marveling at the work Van Dutch had done on the walls and doors just for fun."
Earl Minkler

The next version is much cleaner. Both heads mounted in the right direction. Mustang gas tank & a new seat. Smiths tachometer. Triumph gearbox swapped for a Harley transmission. Avon Supreme rear tire.

Southern California Dry Lakes Scene

Dual Thunderbird engines with BTH magnetos

Later it lost the tach and gained some chrome fork covers and a big bad 16" Inglewood Drag Slick.

New owners by 1955 from a Motorcyclist magazine clip

Different owners again in 1956 and if Borris Murray's memory serves correctly, eventually being sold to Dick Rios at some later time and becoming THE TWO-TIMER.