League of nations


Following on from my email, published on p16 of the April 2018 edition, I thought I’d share my latest endeavour.

To recap: readers may remember my heap of Triumph parts, just like Tim Britton’s ongoing Triumph project.

Well, I am pleased to say my pile of junk has now been transformed into a complete motorcycle that starts, runs and is ready for road test, when it gets a bit warmer…

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The project turned out to be a lot more daunting than expected as I found someone had hacked off all of the frame brackets.

All of these had to be remanufactured and welded/brazed back on. The new rear footrest brackets include an extension forward so that they can be used to support the home brewed rear sets, gear linkage and rear brake pedal.

The kick-start lever had to be heated and bent forward to give more knee room then replated on the home plater. Rear chainguard (not in photo) is home brewed as are all of the mudguard brackets, centrestand, sidestand, folding right footrest, etc.

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I call the machine my ‘Multi-national cafe racer’ as many of the parts required were sourced from abroad.

The racing style seat which hinges from the front to give access to the battery and oil filler is from China; tacho and speedo are Smiths replicas from India; chrome (Lucas?) headlight shell from India; headlight alloy/chromed brackets, bullet type flashers, control box and handlebar switch system from China; and the Siamese exhaust came from a very nice gentleman in Portsmouth.

Megga-type silencer (that sounds great and has super chrome) came from China; front TLS modified Enfield front brake was purchased from India many years ago (always knew I would need one…); modified used Piranha electronic ignition system was bought from Germany many years ago for a BMW.

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Twin 12v coils came off one of my old racers and were found not to be faulty after all; side panel ignition switch and headlight switch from China; display/speedo/tacho panel uses alloy sheet from a discarded road sign and the Triumph has indicators, high beam and neutral LED warning lights purchased from Italy.

John Senior’s ‘Multi-national café racer’ with all work undertaken at home, with plenty of blood, sweat and tears shed along the way…

Drive side crankcase has been machined to take a Massey Ferguson tractor right angle tacho drive driven off the T90 exhaust cam, the inlet cam is also T90. Good used standard size pistons with new rings are used, but I had to purchase new valve springs and a set of valves.

The wiring system is home brewed but I tried to keep to the original Triumph wire colours except where non standard extras are used.

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An original Lucas AC alternator is used but wired to achieve a full 12v with the voltage controlled via a very neat Chinese rectifier.

And so the story goes on and on and on…

Thanks to Richard Wheadon from the Triumph Owners’ Club, we have found that my engine and frame left the Triumph factory as a complete Twenty-One and was supplied to G.B.R. Motors Ltd of Colchester on August 31, 1961, and not only that but Richard, through the DVLA, managed to recover the original 1961 registration number and I have a new log.

The pictures show the nearly finished Triumph special, but not the blood, sweat and tears shed while searching for missing parts.

All work was undertaken at home, including derusting and replating 80 spokes, with nothing sent out at all.

John Senior, via email.

Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Features in the February 2020 issue of The Classic Motorcycle – on sale now!

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