Archive for ‘Restoration’

March 15, 2018

Et tu Brute?

Beware the Ides of March- located at 7922 State St Midvale Utah lies the overburdened establishment known as Caesar’s Motorcycle Empire. Local character Caesar Boswell was connected with Draper Widowmaker Hillclimb and was a source of parts and information on many makes of bike. It’s like an Aladdin’s Cave for two-wheeled aficionados.

February 8, 2018


Skeletal Remains – like some machine archaeology the bare bones of a Trident frame and accessory components hint at a fully assembled and running motorcycle. Fossil remnants of a T-Rex giant lizard displayed through the interior spaces of a museum are only a cursory attempt at the frightening might they must have been. Likewise this assemblage of rolling chassis need fleshed-out to achieve brutal speed along a roadway.

February 6, 2018

Slight rust, found in hedge

Ran when parked – however if it was parked in a damp chicken coop then it’s probably too far gone to fulfill the dream, and empty the coffers, of a restorer. Better just wipe ’em down with an oily rag and prop ’em against the wall as a warning to those who set their sights too high…

January 13, 2018

The Best Thing since Sliced Bread

Use your Loaf – here is what I would call a “nippin’ clean” example of a Triumph Trident. Immaculate from head to toe with what I believe is a well proportioned look complete with the idiosyncratic “bread bin” tank.

Historical note: the first commercially produced sliced bread was July 7th 1928.

January 7, 2018

Of Steam & Spire

D’ya like that? – Fred Dibnah, steeplejack: after a BBC documentary in the late 70’s he became the face and voice of a fading British hands-on industrial past. A lofty career starting in the repair of, and later felling, the chimneys of the Lancashire cotton mills. His interests broadened to the technology of Victorian steam power, both for machining and traction. It would come to no surprise then that one of his first modes of transport was a 1927 350cc AJS motorcycle that he purchased for 21 guineas. One of his first major jobs was to gild the weather vanes on Bolton parish church. He later claimed that he only got it because he turned up to give an estimate on this motorcycle, to which the vicar took a shine. Behind him is his beloved steamroller ‘Betsy’ named after his mother. He received an MBE from The Queen in 2003 just before he died.

January 6, 2018

1:1 Model Kit

Assembly Required- an object is the sum of its parts. This Knolled Project is laid out on a blue tarpaulin ready for a component check. Looks to be fairly complete with some items requiring finishing or cleaned up. One of my favorite kinds of jigsaw!

December 17, 2017

Cyclone Cycle

X75 Variant- typically the orange and yellow blaze tanked three cylinder Hurricane sits under a Triumph badge. Developed by bodywork guru Craig Vetter they have become much sought after Motorcycles. Here’s something a little more different and in some ways even better looking. A BSA Rocket Three ‘gin shoehorned into a Norton Featherbed frame… NorBSA X75s is the sublime creation. One-Two pipes, alloy rimmed wheels and decent front stoppers say this bike means business.

December 16, 2017

A plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel.

Recuperation Plans – when you’re idle unable to get much done other than rest, read and recover; it’s a perfect time to devise schemes for future projects… this mostly complete ’74 Trident is sitting on Ed Zender’s showroom floor waiting for some unsuspecting soul who needs to tinker…

December 14, 2017

Newton’s Inspiration

Green Goddess- one of my favorite colors is apple green (well, Kawasaki Green to some…) so I particularly like that hue perfectly used on this late 60’s Trident. The black accent swoops on the tank balance perfectly with the eyebrow tank badges.

December 6, 2017


Insomnia Mechanics – a wide-eyed and wakeful Robert Crumb -like character has a fitful nocturne wondering about the engine reassembly. A three dimensional jigsaw that must come to life upon completion. A cup of Horlicks on the bedside table is needed, with a workshop manual on hand, and a cat on the bed to keep you company.

October 30, 2017

A colourfully colorful language

English and American: same language different vocabulary. The rear page of a Triumph Haynes manual includes this handy-dandy translation key for motorcycle mechanics. 

October 21, 2017

Autumn Day

All Fall in – we’re still experiencing unseasonably mild weather for late October day. A good ride out was planned, undertaken and enjoyed.

We stopped off at Morries Place in Ringwood McHenry County before a 40 mike sojourn into Wisconsin. I always enjoy peering at the old stuff Ed Zender has in his ‘showroom’ . A sample of vintage ‘cycles from the 30’s to the 70’s. The signs on the walls a suitable backdrop too. His workshop is lined up with many projects, maintenance jobs and carefully catalogued and shelved parts. 

October 10, 2017

Leaf Compost

Autumn – once the temperatures wane and drizzly overcast day become more common then we’re heading into my favorite time of the year. Nature’s fireworks abound in leaf color; fresh skies; and earthy smells. A bit like this worn out ‘79 T140 Triumph Bonneville. Oil encrusted engine and rusty pipes adorn a barn worn patina where a family of mice may live under the side covers.

October 7, 2017

1973 Muscle

Closing In – some decent complete Trident examples are being unearthed for a potential project. Merely (?!) needing some tuning, some elbow grease to polish-up the chrome, and gas in the tank. … the sixties superbike.

October 3, 2017

39-016 WIS plate

Swap Shop – there were a few folding tables and tarpaulin with various items for any restorer looking for that all essential original part. Amal carburetors by the shoeboxful, Smith’s instruments displayed three by three, and a drawer of Lucas fun ‘n’ games for the mystical art of classic bike electrics.