Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Big Strong Muscles

Can you tell I sometimes get a little lonely for adult interactions during the day?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Ordered something I've wanted for years, finally plopped $60 down on.

Hey It's Max!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Courtesy of Nostalgia on Wheels

I want those Flanders risers for the '55, and those pipes for the '62

Tear Down

For the umpteenth time the pre-unit is torn down. I've got a little metal finishing left, which needs to be done during a time when Max isn't asleep. Then I'm sending a bunch of parts to chrome, and will be color matching some spray paint to match the gas tank color on the frame. I never made a license plate bracket, oops. Magneto, head, and barrels are mostly in process, I just need to fix the crank and am having a hard time locally. I've got a few replacement bolts I need. Otherwise, nothing holding me back from putting the brass cam bushings in the cases... except fear of screwing it up.

This is the wiring diagram I came up with. Look correct? The Tympanium really makes it this easy?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Old pre-unit

Guy posted this online, dug him for a little more info...

"The picture was taken by one of his neighbors in his neighborhood in Iowa Park, Texas which is a little west of Wichita Falls. He said he tried his best tough guy pose haha. My dad must have been 18 when he found the bike leaned up against the outside of the garage of a full service gas station where his friend worked as a mechanic at. He says it was the summer of 1966. He asked the owner of the gas station if it was for sale. Apparently the guy bought it from an ex navy pilot. The bike was definitely not stock, with long handlebars, and megaphone style pipes which were really loud. I think he said he bought it for 400 bucks, not sure on that. Like a lot of Triumphs of that time it leaked oil like no body's business. Dad said he'd have to fill it up with oil every weekend. Since his friend worked at that gas station he'd just come by and fill up on the left over oil. Old oil cans were metal and you'd shove a metal spout in the lid, then after the oil change the mechanics would leave those cans upside down over a jug and catch all the leftovers. One time he forgot to fill up and actually threw a rod. He needed a ride to work the next day so fixed it that night. He took a date for a ride once and got the back of her dress drenched with motor oil that slung off the back tire hahaha! He says by the end of the summer he sold it for exactly what he paid for it. I think he bought a BSA after that."

When I sold my KLR

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ink Quicky

Just a quicky trying some different white inks, no really a fan of either of them. The gouache I used has had the best results.

Bits n Pieces

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Made my yearly trek down to San Jose today to go to Rabers. I go in feeling like a dummy, and usually leave the same way.

For the '62:
Tap & die set, 2 clutch plates, front motor mount bolts, rear loop motor mount bolt, the correct spacers for the clutch, replacement clutch operating arm housing, and a new high gear bush pressed in. The only thing we couldn't find was another bottom engine mount bolt. I'll just substitute something.

My crank's journals are borderline being in standard shell bearing spec. Which makes me nervous to use those, maybe I should just get it ground down and balanced for the next size up. Also, something I had no idea about, the timing side needs more than just a brass bushing in the timing cover, they actually press in a seal to use unit cranks on pre-units. That's another $70 in labor and parts which I'll have to do at some point. But otherwise, I think I'm ready to rock.

For the '55:
Front axle and spacers, top yoke handlebar clamps

I knew it wasn't going to be easy to find parts for the '55 front end. And I got some bad news. The top yoke is correct, a little bent, but salvageable. But the bottom yoke is definitely incorrect, and pretty bent up. Live and learn when buying basket cases. The lowers are pretty good, but also will require some work. They have a storage locker full of parts they need to empty out so they are going to look for a damper, bottom yoke, and internals.

Bouncey Bounce

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Final Push

Tomorrow I'm going to Rabers to get the last few small bits for the '62 pre-unit. It's been a long long road. I've gone through the parts list so many times I'm cross-eyed. It wouldn't be SO bad if it didn't have a '58 gearbox, and a unit head, crank, alternator, and clutch. Cross-referencing multiple parts books is a pain. Some things fit on some things, and some don't. Some things are on backorder, some are wrong, some were broke and I didn't notice... it's been a bit of a challenge. But by all that is holy with the Flying Spaghetti Monster... this Triumph will run.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lil Inker

Last night I decided I wanted to try my hand at inking with a brush, just like the ol timer cartoonists, comic book artists, and people like Daniel Clowes do. It's not easy, but it definitely has some characteristics and advantages over other tools like Micron pens or dip pens. I dig it. I'm going to keep at it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Just a few more minutes

Got on the chain, cover again, shifter, footpeg, and exhaust on. This is a nice aftermarket exhaust, high quality metal and chrome, excellent custom bracketry. Got a custom battery box comin...

Max is 5 Months

He wears 9-12 month old clothes. He likes to crawl all over us and attack our arms like a zombie. Luka and Sheena now come to him, lay down, and want him to pet them. He sits up great. Still frustrated about crawling. Prefers to be in a standing position. He loves Pancake Manor and Yo Gabba Gabba. Loves to watch the traffic go by or go out back and look at the trees and flowers. He is easy during the day, falls asleep easily and without rocking. His nights are getting better. He's a big boy, a definite bruiser. Love love love.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sold The KLR650

My 2nd trusty KLR650 is now out of my life. One less bike, one less registration, one less insurance payment. And best of all, now I can use a little of the money and finish my bikes. This will pay for all the '62 Triumph work I have left. I also want to get a functioning front end for the '55 so it can be a roller.

I need someone out there in Triumph land to tell me if what I have currently looks correct for a '55 Thunderbird.

This is the correct wheel for the Tbird. I just can't get the brake plate off. It will need new bearings and an axle at the minimum.

These are the yokes I have, no numbers, but it uses the u-bolts, so they might be right.

The damper assembly, I think I have most of the pieces, the knob is some crappy aftermarket p.o.s., but those are easy to find for $15.

These are the fork lowers I have. I'm pretty sure these may be for a factory rigid, but I'm not sure, again no numbers. I'd of course needs the fork tubes and all the internals. It may be easier to wait for an entire front end to show up on ebay, but if anyone has a lead, contact me!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Triumph Parts... at long last

20 months later I have my head back, with one valve guide installed. And a ton of odds and end parts, including my new Amal Premier carbs. Decided not to use my old 930's, and got a brand new pair, and shelled out a little more for the Premiers. Got new main bearings (roller for drive side) and new bearings for gearbox. I need to find someone else to do valves on the head. The only other big expenses I have left is boring the barrels and getting the magneto rebuilt. There's a few smalls odds and ends I gotta find before I start reassembling the motor. Slowly but surely.

mmm that new carb smell

Monday, August 6, 2012

Desoto and KLR For Sale / Trade

Looking to sell or for an old truck or something Triumph.

Desoto Ad

KLR650 Ad

Me Time

I was bequeathed 2 hours of shop time yesterday. To stay focused I made a to-do list for the XS. I only made it a few items down the list as everything always takes longer than you think it will.

I put new shrink wrap on the alternator and brush wires, and made a new bracket to keep the wires away from the chain. I spent about a half hour looking for the chain, eventually finding it on the Triumph table. Oops.

I got the new clutch cable on. I've noticed these universal cheap-o levers do not seem to have the right size circular hole for the cable nub, it's too big. It takes a bit of finagling to get things to sit right. Anyway, it doesn't seem like I accomplished that much, but at least I'm that much further down the road.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cafe Racer Chic

Drew this for a project, not going to use it. Lori was my model.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Face Place

My agent made me a Facebook page, so I'm now legit. It's better than a Geocities "Under Construction" gif. It's better than a Myspace girl's duck face picture. It's better than... just go add it and buy some art!