Nov 29, 2009
As you may have noticed, 21 days have passed since the last chapter. The last chapter was about the excitement I was feeling, anticipating what my original Triumph was going to become.
Well, after 3 weeks of zero progress from the mechanic up the road, that excitement has somewhat fizzled. While I cannot control how much work is being done on the first Triumph I bought, I have another Triumph whose progress I have complete control over. I am very pleased to say that, regarding the rusty Triumph from Kentucky, while waiting for the mechanic up the road, a lot has been done.
The details will have to wait – just a day or two – but the remainder of this chapter will be about learning to weld, the power of JB Weld and turning a sewer pipe into art.
The rest of the story in a day or two…
Here it is, one day later – the Saints are killing the Patriots, I just won a good looking cylinder head with a pair of Mikuni carbs attached (for $2.50 above the starting bid) and fabricating my own bum-stop seat has been a success! What a day.
As mentioned in earlier chapters, a ‘bum-stop’ seat is a ‘must-have’ for me to have the track-bike I’m wanting. It’s called a bum-stop as it has a sharp rise at the end of the seating area to stop your ‘bum’ from sliding off the end of the bike.
The mechanic up the road has (partially) fabricated one for the original Triumph, but I think it’s less than perfect. The problem for me is the frame on the Triumph is about 10 inches wide and those bikes are pretty tall, and my feet might barely reach the ground. I wanted to make the frame narrower, so I borrowed a welder and I did.
Here’s a short photo essay beginning with the finished seat and the steps I took to make it. As a side note, the fiberglass fuel tank in the pictures has some powerful history behind it. More about that later.
The bum-stop seat has been coated with primer. It awaits an upholstered pad and a finish coat of paint.
The idea for the cowl hit me as I was looking at an empty toilet tissue tube. I saw that cutting the tube at just the right angle, I’d get the style I was after. The next step was finding the right material. I measured the distance between the rear shocks and it was just over 10″. I started looking for any kind of tube or pipe that I could fashion. I looked for AC duct, stove pipe and finally settled on PVC sewer pipe. Cutting that cowl is mentioned in Chapter 7.
Here’s the thinking for making the frame narrower.
And here’s the welding that worked! (I never successfully welded before – wire feed is pretty easy – I’m forever in Lucas’ debt – Thank you Lucas!).
Use the tools you have… I wish I had a jig saw…
JB Weld is the world’s best glue – I heart JB Weld.
Let me tell you about that tank… That’s a fiberglass tank that used to be on Bob Bailey’s 650 Triumph that he raced at Ascot Park in the late 60′s and early 70′s. His motorcycle has been restored and is in a museum. They decided the tank wouldn’t clean up well enough for the museum, so it ended up in the Vintage Flat Track classifieds (vft.org) and I got it (for a song). What do you think… Keep it with the original paint (it’s red on the other side) or come up with my own color scheme?