Archive for ‘Racing’

March 11, 2018

Forty Two

Six by Nine? Being the birthday of author Douglas Adams it’s the day to celebrate International Towel Day. We also need to consider what the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is. If it’s 42 then you must then ask yourself ” Well, what’s the Question?”

February 27, 2018

The man who put the MPH in Triumph

Tuning Maestro – On this day in 2007 saw the passing of one of the great Triumph engine mechanics of the sixties. Jack Shemans cut his engineering teeth on Daimler cars and Armstrong-Whitworth aircraft before joining the Meriden factory of Triumph Motorcycles. In the thick of engine development he took the 500cc Tiger engined bike’s to racetrack victories such as Percy Tait’s Works 500GP seen in the posts image. Incidentally this months edition of Motorcycle Classics has a detailed article about this bike. Jack also helped beef up the horsepower of the Triples to get their Daytona successes. From the people who knew him he was a kind, generous and knowledgeable man.

February 18, 2018

Racing Tiger

The Beach – like the 650 Bonneville was named after a speedy run on the famous salt flats the smaller 500 Tiger was used to winning effect by Buddy Elmore in 1966 at the 3.81 mile course at Daytona. Lapping an average 96.6mph aboard a works special it inspired Doug Hele to rename the following years Tiger T100T with its twin carburetor setup after the Florida circuit. Gary Nixon took a fettled Daytona Triumph T100R to a subsequent win in ’67 firmly placing the 500cc in the annals of racing heritage. Indeed current Triumph models continue the Daytona name in true worthy machines.

February 16, 2018


The Comets Tale: ex-RAF strip at Church Lawford near Rugby saw speed events such as this drag racing in ‘65. A half liter Vincent is the perfect vehicle upon which swiss-miss Margret Reiser has a snappy launch along the quarter mile runway. Apparently she rode the Comet all the way from Switzerland.

February 13, 2018

Custard Speed

Yellow Peril – Privateer racer John Parker built this Trident in the late seventies successfully competing in over 100 races.

Fettling includes: a Norman Hyde big bore kit; a Rob North frame; a stroked crankshaft; works cams; works steel-billet con-rods; lightened timing gears; triple Amal 30mm carburettors; works specification valves; Lucas RITA electronic ignition; a Quaife 5-speed close-ratio gear box; Ceriani forks; Essex wheel hubs; Borrani alloy wheel rims; Twin Lockheed front brake calipers; and a 3-into-1 exhaust system.

Fast? You betcha!

February 10, 2018

Eranu or Uvavu

Shooting Stars – Funnyman Vic Reeves recently told the story of racing legend and hero Barry Sheene’s life of speed and triumph on a BBC documentary. As Jim Moir, his real name, he gets to ride the early mount, a 125cc Suzuki, which our Baz cut his teeth on around the GP circuits of the early seventies. The other machine on show is the world beating XR14 it’s red, yellow, black and white livery the very thing of boyhood dreams. The screaming demonic 500cc Suzuki was the ideal foil to Kenny Roberts Yamaha.

February 9, 2018

Put the kettle on Sid!

Steam Punk Rocker – Nicely sorted custom, built from a Triumph Scrambler, for racer, and former boxer, Sarah Lahalih. Created by the capable mechanic-artisan shop Garage Company owned by Los Angelean Yoshinobu Kosaka. Using a flat-track theme its low lines a reflected in the smooth grain of a wooden seat and crescent swept back handlebars. A leather clad tank, tanned to a warm complexion, with stitched “Triumph” logo emphasize the boardtrack chassis vision, supplemented with a springer fork front end. The leather strapped Pendleton wool blanket completes the look. All she needs is a South West weave covered water canteen and an adventure road from the nineteen twenties beckons. Westward Ho!

February 5, 2018

The British are coming!

Twenty – Maestro rider Mike ‘The Bike’ Hailwood took the bulbous faired lines of a Rocket 3 through its paces on the banked track of Daytona in ’70 & ’71. His machine broke down but other riders took the triples to sweeping victories.

February 1, 2018

The Gordon Clan

Homage to Loewy- further examples of Alastair Laurie’s ballistic bikes. Sleek machines which practically need a pilots license for sub-orbital flight.

January 31, 2018

a dhà

Special Three – polished to a high speed. Isle of Man custom racer with blown engine from 1981 built by scot Alistair Laurie. Hailing from Dalbeattie, Dumfries in The Borders he took great pains to ensure integrity with lightness and style.

January 25, 2018

Phil the Hitman

The Driver – today is primo stunt driver Bill Hickman’s Birthday. Born in 1921 he is most known as the assassins getaway driver in Bullitt. Driving a ’68 Dodge Charger 440 Magnum R/T through the streets of San Francisco whilst being chased by Steve McQueen in his Highland Green ’68 Ford Mustang 390 GT . Here is Bill keeping an eye in the rearview mirror for Frank Bullitt. Considered one of the greatest car chases in moviedom it could never be achieved in this day and age as modern action scenes are created with unreal CGI tomfoolery. The second greatest chase is in William Friedkin’s 1971 The French Connection which was also helmed by Hickman.

Hickman was friend and driving master to James Dean. Being was first on the scene to Deans fateful crash in his 550 Spyder, and sadly the one who was at his side when he died.

January 18, 2018

Bike British

NVT – as the motorcycle industry’s last gasping breaths rattled across 70’s Britain the offerings from the combined Norton Villiers Triumph were what held the meager company together. Commando’s, Trident, & John Player Racer. Classic stuff. Powerstuff!

January 11, 2018

Weekend Bound

Throwback Thursday- what better way to enjoy the ‘back-end’ of the week than leap o’er the bumps that can populate the weekdays and head in breakneck fashion towards the weekend. A ’56 Triumph TR5 would be the ideal vehicle…

January 10, 2018

Trois Dents

Three Teeth – finding burly success in road racing during the early seventies these Triumph (& BSA) triples proved to be Stout hearted winners from the likes of Dick Mann, Gene Romero, Don Emde and Paul Smart among others. The Rob North framed machines were a turning point of pre-sixties GP racers and the post seventies two-stroke screamers of the Japanese bikes.

December 26, 2017

fusée trois

ROCKET 3 – what a beaut this cafe racer build is! Eye-catching with a speed driven poise, and a homage to the BSA Daytona conquering triples of the early seventies ridden by Dick Mann and Don Emde (Gene Romero ran the triple engined Triumph). Builder is the extremely talented Frenchman Pepo Rosell of XTR Pepo using a 2000 Triumph Legend 900 as the starting point. Original 750/3 engine designer Doug Hele and frame guru Rob North would be proud.