Showing posts from February, 2020

1961 Triumph Speed Twin, 5TA - Part 2 – Rebuilding the Wreckage

So the old Speed Twin was pretty rough by the time the number plate was eventually sold.   Since the short runs I had used it for couldn’t have added more than 100 miles to the bike, it was clear that the last owners claim to have rebuilt the engine was a lie.   Selling it in this condition back then would have eaten into the profit I had made on the number plate, and besides, despite its problems, I had grown to like it.   Well, parts of it anyway, but you will read more of that later on. Since the bike now cost me nothing, I decided to reinvest some of the number plate profits in fixing the engine.   At that time, I had a few big advantages when starting such a project.   Firstly, I worked for an engineering firm that had a very well equipped tool room.   Better yet, my boss, to whom I and many others will be eternally indebted, was bike mad, a damned fine engineer, and always willing to share both his knowledge and time.   His name is Bert Johnston, and at one stage in his care

1961 Triumph Speed Twin, 5TA - Part 1 - An introduction

First a few disclaimers.   This is about old bikes so my apologies are due to Thomas.   I know you don’t think old bikes are worth more than their weight in scrap steel.   Hard luck; this is one of the few things we disagree on. Sorry too to general readers.   This whole series of stories relates to a motorcycle that is approaching 60 years old.   If you have no knowledge of the bits and pieces that make infernal combustion engines work, you may need to use Google on some of this stuff.   In my mis-spent younger years, my brother in law told me of an old Triumph motorcycle which was for sale.   He reckoned that the number plate on it could be sold for more than the cost of the bike, which we could then sell as well, thus making a decent profit on the two transactions.   Never one to ignore the chance to pocket a few quid, I agreed to go and see the bike with him.   That was over 30 years ago now. It turned out to be a 1961 Triumph Speed Twin, and had not run for ye

Optimistic or what?

What is it about people that makes them think that their particular ownership of something actually adds to its value?   I mean, let’s face it, you buy something, then walk out of the shop with it either physically or metaphorically, and the item you bought is then second hand.   How can you having owned it, whether for a week or a couple of years add value? You want a few examples?   See below. __________ This optimistic seller obviously doesn’t believe in depreciation.   She is selling her two year old Benelli TRK500, a bike falling into the adventure touring category.   It hasn’t seen too much adventure since it has only covered 1246 miles in its two years on the road.   She is looking for £5600 for it.   So what is the problem? Brand new ones are currently on offer for £4499 plus on the road costs.   That is a whopping £1101 cheaper!   Ok, new ones may not incl