Getting myself and the Triumph on the track last season was an incredible experience. Starting to assemble the bike less than two weeks before racing was something I wanted to avoid the next time. If plans have gone, as planned, the bike would be done by now and already tested. As it stands, Roebling is about 4 weeks away and I am just starting to get to work on the bike.
There only thing I got done right away to the bike was putting proper exhaust spigots in. For some odd reason on the TR5T Triumph decided to use push in exhaust pipes unlike every other T100 engine. Last year at the track, I returned to the pit with a pipe dangling off the side. Many thanks to John Melniczuk for bailing me out that day and Tom Healy for getting the heads tapped for the spigots.
This engine was run as I got it. I have no clue what is really inside. My understanding is that it was raced on some local TT tracks. Having to remove the head to get the spigots in revealed some oddities. Stock valve guides were in the intake and some mismatched oversized guides were in the exhaust. Replacement guides and valves all around. For some reason I had been running lightened racing springs in my everyday T100 and those have been ‘borrowed’ permanently to complete the head. It also appears that whoever did the engine before me was using an earlier copper gasket that is thicker than the proper one (let’s hope there was not a good reason).
I should be buttoning up the top end today and then will get on the gearbox and clutch next week.
When you get a chance you need to dig into google books, it is one awesome way to waste an afternoon.
I have been busy trying to get the online store up and running and my main method of procrastinating has been google books…
My main British bike support while I was starting was George Parsons in Lambertville, NJ. George was an awesome guy, I would show up for something little and end up spending the afternoon talking to him. This is one thing I found in the AMA magazine(just scroll up a little). George was an interesting character who always had a story, when i can dig some more info about him up I will definitely post it here.
Down the road from me was Stan Myers. Well, Stan did not like me showing up on a BSA or Triumph, but his son Carl was very cool and helped me out a lot. Stan used to race for Harley (and I believe Indian). Getting Stan to talk about his racing past was difficult, but the pics on the wall and the old Indian Scout that was stripped down to nothing gave you a glimpse (and Jack would fill you in with some details). The only links I could find in the American Motorcyclist were when he was racing BMWs. Possibly my favorite result is where his name is in close proximity to an Ariel ad. He did not like British bikes, but from what I remember he particularly disliked Ariels. Hopefully next year I will get to tag along with the Delaware Valley BMW club on their fall ride up to the Poconos and try to pull some history out of him.