Motorcycling history is filled with tales of old models getting a new lease of life thanks to a slight change or a new development which prolongs the life of the machine in some way. Look back to the Thirties when Triumph designer Edward Turner created the Speed Twin and slipped this engine into the existing frame and forks used by the singles which were suddenly outclassed. Move further forward to the Forties when Bill Nicholson felt BSA’s chassis was past its best and created an all-welded – albeit rigid – frame which propelled the Goldie engine forward, or Norton’s race effort rejuvenated by the introduction of the Featherbed frame in 1950.
Come a little further forward to the Sixties when BSA were almost forced to combine the group’s Triumph twin motor and their Victor frame to provide ISDT machines, which resulted in the TR5T/Trophy Trail/Adventurer in the Seventies. In each example there were developments which allowed existing machines to reach new heights, when by rights they should have been consigned to the exhibition in the company foyer.
Read more in the Autumn issue (No.48) of CDB – out now!