My Triumph started life as a bathtub T100A from 1961, polychromatic blue. I know the colour as I chipped a bit of paint off the other day and the original colour is still under there.
I bought it in 1988 as I wanted to do a Pre-65 trial. Reg May had lent me his AJS to ride a couple of trials but good as his Ajay was, as an ex-enduro man, a 500 Triumph was the way to go for me.
Also, John May had one, we rode quite a lot together – well, we rode in the same field. He looked good – me, not so much! Reg had the bike to sort out and it reappeared with many mods such as a narrow subframe, an oil tank under the petrol tank – frame is a swan neck, same as yours, where the petrol tank forms part of the structure, Reg made an oil tank to do the same.
There was a tucked in exhaust with a silencer under the gearbox which meant running oil pipes up and over the gearbox. Suzuki RL damping rods replaced originals inside Triumph forks, although I have now replaced the forks with some later BSA/Triumph ones, much better as the wheel now goes the same way the handlebars are pointing.
Reg also put a chain roller over swinging arm so the chain pulls from there rather than compressing suspension and moved the footrests back. Inside the engine mods included changing valve timing to soften down T100, geared down on primary by fashioning duplex engine sprocket from Triumph centre and Mini/Land Rover timing sprocket. He also altered the clutch leverage so it is a two finger operation.
I rode it in a Pre-65 for a few years, then picked up a 250 Bultaco, model 91 and still have it. So the Triumph went out of use and I decided to turn it into a greenlaner. I geared it back up a bit, bigger seat, lights, electronic ignition, MX shockers, I’ve been improving it ever since.
Along with a mate, we rebuilt the engine last year, it was actually in good nick. In answer to something you mentioned in your article, one part that didn’t need changing was the timing side main bearing bush.
Colin Beasley – Email
Hmmm seems my Triumph is causing interest, thanks for the extra inspiration Colin, your bike looks good too and even better as it’s used. Tim
Read more in the Winter issue (No.49) of Classic Dirt Bike – out now!