They keep you young..

If you click on the photo of any bike it may link to it's history..

My eldest brother Donald was a typical first born - always finding new adventures, and always testing the envelope. He inspired us all, and gave me an appreciation of bikes when I was really young.

Donald Roy on Royal Enfield Constellation 700cc, Malaya, 1960.

Photos like this arrived by mail from exotic places, and it seemed that this guy led an amazing life. No wonder I was impressed..

In due course I ended up with my own bike, and it was the same as one Donald had owned in NZ - an AJS 650. I rebuilt it immediately I got it, as it was in poor shape. I then learnt to both ride it and maintain it. After that, I began to modify it..

1963 AJS 650 Model 31

Moved to Australia in 1977, and found a brand new T160 Trident sitting in a Suzuki shop in Queensland. Fell in love with it, and it followed me home a few days before xmas that year. So began a long career in 'triples'. I still have it today. We have covered many miles the pair of us.

1975 Triumph Trident T160

From Australia to the UK in 1980. Bought a Norton to rebuild and ride to the Isle of Man for TT 1981. It was an amazing adventure, and one I would very much wish to repeat. Maybe on a triple.

Bought this pretty much as it looks for 325 quid. I guess you could say - "Them were the days..".

1974 Norton Commando 850 MkIIa Interstate

Returned to NZ and sold the Norton locally. Used the money to purchase another Norton in the UK courtesy of a friend who was still over there. He found it, and shipped it back for me. I did a cosmetic rebuild on it and after a brief period of ownership, sold it to fund the next bike.

1974 Norton Commando 850 MkIIa Roadster

The next bike was purchased in Sydney, during a brief trip to do just that. I was looking for any Ducati, and this one fitted the frame. I replaced a valve and got intimate with desmodromic valve operation. Beautifully made. Too fast and cumbersome for NZ roads. Sold it before becoming too attached.

1979 Ducati Darmah SS900 rebuilt as a Mike Hailwood Replica

Next was a smaller Duke - a Pantah. Did the mail order thing and got a friend in Sydney to send it over. Did not set eyes on it until it showed up at the airport. Was very impressed. Raced it at the 'Bears' Sound of Thunder meet. Great fun, but stripped a pair of tyres. Loved this bike, but had to sell it after a matrimonial dust-up.

1981 Ducati Pantah 500SL

In a random event, an opportunity presented itself to buy a pair of brand new old stock Triumph twins. It seemed like a brilliant chance to make some money for just hanging on to them for a while. Didn't work out that way, but you don't know that on the way in..

1979 Triumph Bonneville 750 T140E

Beautiful bikes, and a rare opportunity to own brand new Bonnevilles many years after they stopped production. Problem was, they had never been run, and could not be in order to preserve their 'new' status. After turning the motors over and cleaning them for a number of years, it became necessary to sell them.

1981 Triumph Bonneville 750 T140ES Royal Wedding Special

The market was not too buoyant at the time, so I did a part exchange to help make the sale. The two pristine Bonnevilles were sold and I accepted a basket-case T160 that had been imported from the USA as part of the transaction. It was low mileage, but would need a lot of work to make it a runner. I stripped it for rebuilding.

1975 Triumph Trident T160

2014. I hatched a plan to ride America with friends. The Bikes I thought would be the best choice were Triumph Sprints. 955cc's of fuel injected mayhem. We found some and used them to great result. Mine was called "Mr Green". It performed beyond all expectation. So I brought it home.

2001 Triumph Sprint 955 ST

This is the total of all the bikes I have owned to date.

Bikes that have been in my care of late..

This Mk2 Rocket 3 had stripped pillar studs on the cylinder head. Oversize studs were fitted then a few thousand earthquakes intervened. All its disassembled parts were unceremoniously chucked into boxes and hastily stored in someone's garage. 6 months later I got all the bits back and reassembled it - including some new oil rings as it had a slight smokey signature.

The oil burning ceased with the 3 piece oil rings, after which a Boyer ignition and 4 volt coils were added to the plot. Looks plenty sweet and still a happy runner.

Dove gray.

This beautiful T150 once belonged to a chap I knew way back in the 90's. He sold it and advised the new owner to get in touch with me. First I knew was that a large cloud of smoke arrived followed by a Trident. We cured its oil habit, then much later I fitted some lower UK bars and adjusted various bits.

This bike rode like it was brand new, and would still be my first choice as the best T150 I have had experience of. Lurvly mate...

Solid gold T150V.

A friend bought this restored T160 at a pretty premium price. As it would not start on the electric start, which then extended to the kickstart, he brought it to me for diagnosis. He also supplied a new Trispark ignition - which I use on my bike and rate very highly. I discovered that the wiring loom had been attacked by people with short attention spans, and which were responsible for a number of problems. I then found it had a badly buckled rear wheel that could not be aligned. Then there were problems with the front forks. Blah blah blah. I am always astounded that so many things can be wrong with a bike that has already been "restored", but the fact is - restoring is one thing, while preparing a bike for regular service is another.

After a prolonged period of attention I delivered it back to the owner in Blenheim - a fabulous ride on a bike I would now be most proud to own. The pleasure of returning a bike I am now happy with to an owner who can hardly fail to notice the difference is the major reward.

Top example of a T160.

Another megabuck rebuild. Sat in a guy's lounge for 14 years. Prettiest T150 you ever saw. A friend bought it and put it on the road - without considering that nobody had ever actually prepared it for service. Initial checks revealed stripped head studs, clutch problems and some dubious engineering in the primary drive. Not what you want to find on your new premium purchase. Bits fell off it. The clutch pullrod broke. The primary drive began rattling loudly. I attended to all of that and attempted to improve things without running up major bills - which it seemed may be inevitable in due course.

While it continued to look like the T150 that everyone would want to own, it began to smoke vigorously then seized up during a major run. My friend sold it as it was.

However - another of my friends bought it...

If looks could kill..

This beautiful BSA Lightning lived with me for some years. It was a nice example and had received much attention, but once again, had not really been put into service seriously. Many bikes seem to get put on the shelf after rebuilding - so have never been "shaken down" to the point that any potential - or real - problems have been sorted.

Whilst it was pretty well behaved, an occasional problem was a carb slide that kept jamming in the body, plus throttle cables that were not behaving as they should.

Perseverance paid off and the end result is a very nice example of a great bike.

Lightning on a stick.

Our "Ride America" bikes that came home from California. The red one belongs to a friend who lives in Perth, where import duties are so severe that it was decided to leave the bike in New Zealand. I removed the front forks to clean and replace fluids, plus replace a worn steering head bearing. Flushed cooling system, repaired a broken wire inside the wiring loom which had prevented the starter operating while we were on the road in America. We bypassed it at the time, but that meant the bike could have been accidentally started whilst in gear. He didn't. There was a factory join within the loom which had broken. I have subsequently had another Sprint suffer exactly the same fault.

Obviously a weak point but the symptoms are fortunately very obvious.

Serious Sport/Tourers.

A very original and unrestored 1970 Bonneville. These things are quite rare as 1970 was a low production volume year, but the bikes were very well assembled. Now highly sought after. Mostly why my friend bought it. Seems I only work for friends.

I rebuilt the front forks. Replaced the bars. Supplied a pair of new 30mm Amal carbs that had been in my possession for 20 years. Made various adjustments that I now forget. I work on these bikes as if they were my own. I love them. I guess that is why my standard of work seems to suit others.

This is a very authentic example of a lovely and honest bike. I applaud the decision to leave it looking used.

The best of T120's.

Something very special indeed - and for a number of reasons.

A long term Triple aficionado and friend built this bike over many years. It was truly a labour of love and the recipient of very high standards of engineering which was his forte. I was lucky enough to ride it soon after it was put on the road. A real blast. 970 odd cc's of high performance in a lightweight and impeccable handling frame added up to a warp factor experience. Unfortunately, some limitations to his physical abilities meant that he had to either sell it or adapt it to a totally different riding position, but being a purist he decided to leave it just as it was.

I mentioned it being available to an offshore friend and put the two of them in touch. It changed hands almost immediately, and soon after came to live with me for a time. I rectified a few small problems, after which it was placed in a bike show. It deservedly got a lot of attention.

The new owner returned for an extended holiday and we enjoyed some extensive touring of the North Island together. It was a total blast and a holiday I shall dine out on forever. The bike disgraced itself in several ways just as my friend was going back to work in Europe. The kickstart return spring broke, and the kickstart lever was in danger of breaking loose - the result of a large capacity high compression engine.

I repaired all of that, but then it became obvious that the oil tank had sprung a leak. Said tank was a custom made alloy job sited in the middle of the rear frame - so I now need to remove it in order to have it repaired. As I am currently doing a major rebuild on another of his bikes the Harrier will have to wait until the current space is vacated.

Hyde Harrier T160.

Another excellent example of a T160 Trident. While this bike has always looked pristine, it has had a career of annoying problems. Mostly to do with head gasket failures. It finally came to my workshop after I had made several attempts at repairing it at the owner's place while visiting another town - which always means a lack of the tools one would normally have available. A top end strip revealed many pillar bolts that had decided to let go of the barrels due it seemed to having been seriously overtightened in the past.

The reason for that soon became obvious - all three cylinder liners had dropped below the surface of the barrels, leaving a gap where the head gasket would normally seal.

The barrels were surfaced and no less than 8 oversize pillar bolts fitted. A new annealed copper head gasket was then fitted with copper gasket spray applied both sides. Very careful attention was paid to retightening the head on several occasions as mileage increased. End result has been a happy unit with no recurrance thus far of any annoying compression leaks.

Long may that continue.

Yet another superb T160.

A friend bought a BSA in boxes. It was a very early example of an A65 designated a "Rocket". This was a single carb 650 with siamese pipes. He did an excellent job of restoring the paintwork and chroming, whilst another well trained ex-BSA mechanic rebuilt the engine and transmission. These were all married up when the bike came to me for all the electrics to be invented. It transpired that the bike had been originally built as a 6 volt system, but during its former life been converted to 12 volt. My friend wished it to look original, which meant using all the 6 volt switchgear, but he wanted it 12 volt in order to be more user-friendly. This caused some issues as I kept having to purchase more bits than expected to make it all work, but the end result was well worth the effort.

There were other problems with brakes and exhaust which then fell into my camp for resolving, but at all times during the process you only had to look at the bike to know that you would do whatever it took.!

Probably the prettiest twin I have had the pleasure of being acquainted with. It finally came together and looked a million bucks.

As I put it on the mainstand for this photo, the foot lever broke off the stand. Well made China..

BSA A65 Rocket - what a charmer.

One of my closest friends has owned a T140 Bonneville for all the time I have known him. It has been a reliable runner albeit with some occasional sounds of distress from the primary chaincase. He brought it to me to sort that, plus give it an oil change. I found the primary chain tensioner broken, but also some previous owner had made some odd modifications to the adjustment mechanism, such that it did not work properly.

However, as I drained the crankcases, various bits fell out indicating that all was not well within. The engine was removed and completely rebuilt, after which I refitted it and attended to some brake problems as well as exhaust issues. It ran extremely well and great care was taken to retighten the head and set the valve clearances frequently, whilst also treating it to numerous oil changes.

Unfortunately the engine rebuilder did not deem to rectify the primary chain tensioner mods, and the original problem returned. I have since replaced the modified parts with new original items, and all is sweet again.

Seems there is always going to be another bike in the queue...

T140 Bonneville with brand new engine.

The T150 that seized up proved to have broken a conrod. I stripped it and rebuilt the engine completely, with much input from the current owner. Besides virtually blueprinting the engine there were modifications to intake and exhaust systems. It finally ran late July 2017 and looks like being everything it was hoped it might be.

Stunning beast - a "TR7C".

A new friend's Trident arrived on the scene. It had some serious problems with its valve gear, and also proved to have a rather intriguing racing history. Much of that is still rather obscure, but it had some serious porting work done, and a later 5-speed engine/transmission in its 1972 4-speed frame.

Some careful rebuilding of head and carbs elicited a very sweet engine that had loads of grunt throughout the rev range. You never know what you've got..

Wolf in wolf's clothing...

Something rather special.

Built by a good friend of meticulous engineering standards, this T160 based Bol D'or replica proved to be every inch an endurance racer. On my first ride - the delivery trip from Napier to Christchurch - I was ready to get off it after 50 miles, as my hands were frozen, but a few quiet miles and my circulation was restored, and I stayed aboard for another 3 hours.

It certainly does well what it was designed to do - put away miles at high speed.!

Barry the Bol D'or..