Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1958 Triumph Line

Last year of the pre-unit long rod 500 engine.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Der Grab


Triumph Wins 1957 National Endurance Championship

TR6 is tops. Gotta love WWII combat pilot Ralph Adam's comment on his Trophy 650 being a smoother ride than his P-51 Mustang!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

1957 Triumph Twin-Carb Delta Head

Here's an interesting example from my collection. I believe it to be a 1957 Cliff Guild special from TriCor. As explained in this quote from the Triumph Racing Motorcycles in America book "The twin carb Delta head caused a sensation in the U.S. when it first appeared in 1957 as a dealer retrofit for 500cc models only. Through its dealers, TriCor offered a specially modified version of the splayed-port head featuring oversize (1.5 inch) inlet valves and welded on intake stubs. TriCor's chief tuner, Cliff Guild, disliked the threaded in inlet spigots and lock nuts of the standard Delta head. He also wanted longer inlet tracts and a wider angle between the carbs. So he sent batches of stock heads to a Baltimore area welder who attatched the lighter and more trouble free alloy stubs. The heads then when back to Guild for porting and polishing".
That in itself would make this a very rare peice but there is more. This head has had the combustion chambers opened up around the outside edge for use on 650cc cylinders and the intake tracts have been ported to 1-1/4", a popular size for 650 race bikes using the spigot mount AMAL GP carburetors. The head bolt pattern is the same on pre-unit 500 and 650 engines so no modification was needed there. The exhaust pipe spigot size is 1-1/2" and some T100 Race Kit 1-1/2" exhaust pipes would work very well with 650cc's. Seems like this would have been an early modification as the Delta Dual-Carb head was offered purpose built for the 650's in 1958 with the correct size combustion chambers and exhaust ports for 650 cc.
What makes it really interesting is that I have two of these cylinder heads that have been modified exactly the same and they came from completely different parts of the Country. I would love to know the story behind these. Any one that has any information or opinions please comment below or email.

A neat set of breather tubes added to the rocker boxes that came with one of the 1957 Delta Dual-Carb cylinder heads.

Here is a 650cc Power Max piston that I used to test combustion chamber fitment.

You can see the taper on the outside of the combustion chamber where there originally was the flange relief for the 500 cylinders. The powermax piston fits inside, but a clay test needs to be done with the engine assembled to see what's really going on. The piston does look to match around the outside, possibly giving a good squish band?

Imagine this head on top of a 650 sleeved, close pitch fin, alloy cylinder as described in the previous post. That would be WILD!

I am in need of a matched pair of 1-1/4" AMAL GP, stub mount carbs if anyone has some for sale or trade.

Friday, June 26, 2009

1957 T100RS

The only pictures I could find from 1957 for the T100RS are these two articles from CYCLE magazine. It was a updated version of the 1956 TR5R and was sold from 1957-59. I don't know if there were any other pics or info published in the Motorcyclist or other motorcycle mags from '57.

Winner Ed Kretz Jr. on what appears to be a box stock T100RS. If you have any info or parts for one of these rare machines contact Wes at Four Aces Cycle as he has one that he is collecting parts for.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

T100 / TR5 Alloy Close Pitch Fin 650 Motor ???

A few years back I was talking to lifelong Triumph Drag Bike racer K.C. Spillers over the phone from CA to his hometown in the state of Indiana and he mentioned that his brother had bored out a 1957 Triumph alloy 500 to 650cc's in the late 1950's. The thought was intriguing but no further info was offered except that the late 1950's 500 pre-unit motors are nearly identical to the 650's with the same crankshafts / main bearings, rods and camshafts. If you could fit 650 pistons in those beautiful alloy jugs everything else was pretty well matched up so it seemed possible? Then I got my hands on an old late 1950's Beck Motorcycle Parts and Accessories catalog and laid eyes on the Wellworthy Cylinder Liner listing. Take a look at part # SLU-1600/F. There it is in all its glory. The Triumph pre-unit 500 big bore kit. I wonder how many of these cheated their way onto the track? Could they be used to cheat today? I need a alloy 500 cylinder at max overbore to put up for sacrifice to this forgotten speed trick. This is the type of thing that will keep a guy awake at night. Looks like theses sleeves were not thick enough for even one over bore so it is a one shot deal. I'm sure it would be kinda pricey with all costs considered and then you have to get it right the first time. STD. to .040" over bore cylinders are not good candidates strictly for the sake of not ruining good parts. I contacted a sleeve supplier in the UK - http://www.westwoodtrading.co.uk/ - that had some NOS Wellworthy cylinder sleeves and they replied that they did not have any of the SLU-1600/F sleeves but they could make them. If any one wants to order some count me in.

Wellworthy ALFIN Cylinders for Triumph

For the 1960's era 9-bolt Triumph 650 engines their is a variety of aftermarket specialty cylinders to increase the bore size, reduce weight or both. Some of these would be the Routt 750, 800 and 850 jugs, the 750 alloy Zip Kit, the Morgo and MAP delta shaped cylinders and my favorite the alloy Chantland 750 and 800 kits. But for the old pre-1963 8-bolt cylinders there never was a big bore kit due to the bolt pattern being too close to the cylinder bores.
The one and only specialty cylinders I know of that were made for the old 8-bolt engines is the Wellworthy Alfin Cylinder Barrel. These were a finely made peice that was based on a steel center that included the head bolt mounting area and cylinders as one peice with the alloy fins and base flange being cast directly to the steel center part. All the other later alloy cylinders had pressed in steel sleeves that could come loose and also making for weak head bolt threads. The ALFIN cylinders have slightly larger fins than a stock cylinder and the cylinders on the example pictured below had a larger outside diameter cylinder spigots making these useable to a .080" or .100" overbore making them something of a big bore kit as well. If anyone has one of these that is not broken I would very much be interested in buying.

The cylinder I used to own pictured here had a broken spigot on one side of the bottom and had been sleeved, greatly reducing the overbore potential and killing my dreams of building up a .080" overbore pre-unit screamer.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Radical 1970's era Triumph Pre-unit Chopper ************* SOLD *************

I spent Father's Day in the Garage and this is the result. A dream to some and a nightmare to others, I keep going back and forth on whether to sell it or build it as my next chopper. When you sit in it, arms reaching straight forward to the narrow broomstick bars, you can feel the potential power it has to blow minds and confound the straight citizens. The springer and front wheel are a matched set with the wheel having a very nicely done arrangement of built in spacers coming out of the spool hub. The front rim is a skinny British 19 incher. The Springer is the type with Harley style rocker bushings and spring rods that are replaceable (and ready to be replaced). I believe the springs, rods and bushings are all Harley parts making for easy parts sourcing. The forks are 14" over and the frame is raked a bit but not enough to ruin things by making the frame level. The frame is up in the air in the front as it should be on a chopper of this type, with the open area underneath just needing a set of TT pipes to fill the void. The rake and extension actually feel good from a handling standpoint as it does not have the heavy side to side flop that some long chops from the 70's have. The kickstand has a raised boss on the side that has CUSTOM CYCLE DELIGHT stamped in it. The kickstand fits this bike like a glove and is testament that things are as they should be. The frame has the best molding and paneling job I have ever seen on a Triumph or any other chopper. I believe it spent the early years of its life in a shop window or someones living room as it was never actually put together after the unreal bondo work was completed. The proof is that they molded over the lower gearbox pivot bolt holes! There are no cracks or parts where the molding is coming loose, but there are nicks and chips from it being moved around over the years. As you can see the tank is molded to the frame with a hairline separation making the tank removable. The bolts for the tank are a little tweaked and there will be small amounts of detailing needed here and there. The rear axle plates of the frame are the long type that can be slotted to shorten the rear frame by a couple inches if you wanted. The oil tank is one of the hard to find narrow octagon's with rounded ends. The engine cases are 1961 TR6R that have been polished and look to be mechanically sound. The gearbox is complete, but the internal condition is unknown. The rear wheel hub is the early pre-unit type and is in good condition, but does not have the brake components and the drum has grooves. I will not part it out and am not desperate to sell it. Right now it's available for about what I have into it which I figure to be $1000. The thought of taking it back apart and boxing everthing for shipping is not very appealing to me so pick up would be best or some kind of trucking arrangement. If you can dig it send me a email. I'll probably give it a go on ebay in a week if no one grabs it.
I also have a Twisted stock sissy bar that came with the springer, some NOS Colony Pike axle nuts and a NOS Avon 2.75 X 19 Speedmaster tire available at a small extra cost.

Don Zumbrunnen's Custom 1961 Triumph Trophy Show Bike "The Sunsetter"

This month's #89 July 2009 issue of The Horse magazine has a feature on Don Zumbrunnen's beautiful custom TR6 originally customized in the early 1960's. The bike is still in amazing original condition or possibly recently restored with the only change being some buckhorn handlebars that I would swap back to the original drag type shown in this 1967 Motorcycle Sport Book feature. This is the type of bike that could have easily fallen into the hands of a "Triumph Bobber" builder and subjected to the bolt on hardtail, no paint or flat black treatment, little or no rear fender etc. etc. Surviving custom bikes like this one need to be preserved and credit goes to the current owner for taking care of it. The neat thing about the Horse article is that they run pictures of an original Cycle magazine feature on the bike from 1965 as well as the modern photos. The angles chosen for the modern shoot do not do the bike justice in my opinion though and I would have liked to hear more about the bikes history over the past 40 years. From the profile shot above you can appreciate how the kicked back front fender mounting with flared front matches so well with the curved side mount headlight bracket. I have other complaints about the feature I could whine about but give it a read yourself and let's hear what you think.
If you find an original custom bike from decades past think hard and long before you put wrench and hacksaw to it! Of course there were many custom choppers built back in the day that are begging to be put out of their misery and rebuilt into something better but just because the style doesn't suit you does not mean It's a good idea to destroy a bike with history. I believe that nicely done surviving customs will pull the same prices as unrestored stock bikes some day soon. Send pictures to me and I'll trade you bolt on hardtail's for original custom swing arm bikes any day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

1957 Triumph T100RR

Dalio Shop boys from Texas breaking more speed records in 1957. The 500 pictured looks to be a mostly stock 1957 T100RR.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Amal 76 Type Speed Kit Carbs

ebay seller swapspot13 has the rare speed kit carbs, remote float, manifold and a close pitch fin head for pre-unit 500's listed now. Check it out.

Dual Carburetor Manifolds for Triumph 650's Old and New

The original dual carburetor manifold as offered from TriCor that will fit all 650 single carb cylinder heads from 1950 up. 1-1/16" intake bores.

I just recently aquired this kit complete with hardware and these neat formica insulating spacer blocks that include a balance tube provision. The original kits as offered in 1957 did not have this type of block with the balance fittings and I'm not sure when this feature was added. Not very pretty, but I was thinking about making some type of fabbed and chromed hard line for a cleaner, custom look.

The new manifold sold by ebay seller zanewillcameille . He makes some neat parts that are designed to work and look good. He's also a life long Triumph guy that drag raced back in the day and currently has a land speed pre-unit that he completely built from the ground up. His 650 manifold is cut to take ground down allen mounting bolts allowing for a larger intake bore diameter of 1-3/16".

With his alloy spacer blocks you could port it out to 1-1/4" or bigger. A really nice looking set up and if you can't deal with the billet look (I know, I'm f*cked in the head that way too) a lite sanding and repolishing to take off edges and machine marks should have these looking just right on the polished TR6 cylinder head.

There's been a bunch of other dual carb manifolds made over the years for Triumph twins. Some good, some not so. For neat looks and all around coolness you can't beat the Webco manifolds. Not the greatest from a high performance standpoint because the intake tracts are not straight, but they were actually designed to fit in the tight space of the factory rigid pre-unit's to clear the battery and oil tank and be able to run velocity stacks. Running this setup on my chopper now and loving it. Gotta go now my carbs are out of synch again!

1957 TriCor Accessory Catalog

1957 Cycle magazine ad

The real thing

New for 1957, the Splayed Port two carburetor cylinder head that became standard on the Bonnevile in 1959. The Triumph T100RS was the only 1957 model equipped with this head but it was available as an option for other 500 models.
Not yet available for 650cc engines.

650 owners were still stuck with the old parrallel port dual carb manifold. Not a bad setup though. Borris Murray used these manifolds with Chantland big bore cylinders on his dual engine drag bike through the 1960's up until the early 70's on what was one of the fastest motorcycles in the world.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mike D's Bad Ass Rigid Triumph

This bike has gone through multiple changes and just keeps getting better and better.

The 1959 Splayed Port Head with dual Amal's was just added recently. The polished alloy head really accentuates the finned timing cover, and the polished MCM caps that came from my stash through trade are the cherry on top.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Daytona 1957 Highlights

Some neat clips here worth taking a look at. Click pictures for larger version.

Triumph Wins 1957 Catalina

Bud Ekins had it on a TR5 until he lunched the rear wheel.