The rusty Triumph from Kentucky looked really bad in the eBay ad. It looked really bad, but it also looked pretty complete and had potential to be a rebuildable bike. The motor had all the covers and carburetor and the frame had as much going for it as I could expect (at that price).
It was missing the seat, but no matter – would building a custom one anyway. There was no tank, but no matter – could pick up a tank that I’d like better than a stock one anyway. There was no front wheel, but no matter – I had bought one on eBay with intention of using on the 650 which has the preferred twin-leading-shoe-brakes and I was glad to put it to use.
The real risk was the fact that the eBay ad said the motor was frozen. This could be small potatoes – having the piston rings rusted to the cylinders – or it could be a major mess-up if something in the lower end or transmission had seized.
My frustration with the ‘mechanic up the road’ holding my 650 hostage and my sizable desire to have a motorcycle to tinker with after work made the risk worth taking.
I bought the rusty Triumph from Kentucky and when it arrived, the ‘gulp’ sound I made when seeing just how bad it was in-person, could be heard several doors down the street. <gulp>
Even though it was in really bad shape, I certainly had something to tinker with in the evenings. Let the fun begin!
In the next chapter we begin the process of making a working street-tracker out of the rusty Triumph from Kentucky.