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Triton 1  

 

 

Derek Phipps Triton
Motorcycling first ambushed me at the tender age of 16 when Ayjays, Beezers, Trumpets, Bonnies, Nortons and Matchboxes were commonplace and the dream of all teenagers was a Norton Featherbed surrounding a Triumph T120 done up as a cafe racer. My first big bike was a late fifty's Triumph Tiger 110.
In those days if you were pulled for speeding by a speed cop he was always riding a Speed Twin and he always had a slightly flushed smile on his face and chances were you'd get off with a warning.
As it often did in those days marriage brought all this fun and immaturity to a premature end and the bike had to go. As things turned out, apart from two fine, strapping sons, the swap, bike for new wife was not a fair one and things came to a painful end in the divorce court. After several false starts I got lucky and found a lady who didn't mind motorbikes, in fact, was positively encouraging toward them. So I married her and bought a classic. A 1968 export Bonneville. An absolute beauty. I converted it to UK spec and I revelled in this for a massive three months and then, in the winter of last year I found the attached aluminium dream, a Triton.
I scurried south to Bristol to view it, try it and eventually buy it. There was no doubt in my mind before I trekked south that I would actually buy it, even if it was in tiny pieces. I arranged for someone to trail it to the frozen north and waited impatiently for it to arrive. It arrived late one wintry night in pouring semi-frozen rain. It was soaking wet, it had road salt all over it, which of course had to be cleaned off quickly before it started to corrode the aluminium.
I set to with a will and had it clean in short order. It's the heck of a good way to learn about your bike. Give it a good clean and there's not much you don't know once you're finished.
The bike is a 1959 pre-unit T120 650cc engine in a slim line featherbed with an 'orrible lumpy slick-shift gearbox. I fitted a new nine stud top end, had the magneto serviced, put on a new pair of concentric's and a new 5 gallon Manx tank. It's now got a power box. It's got a full flow oil filter and with its new Morgo rotary oil pump you put your fingers in the oil tank at your peril when the engine is running !! It has Akront wheels and the front stopper is just about the biggest I've seen. I've no idea what it is but it works extremely well. (do you have any idea what it is?).
There's a belt drive replacement for the primary chain. The guy I bought it from had owned it for some years and I think he actually built it. It's certainly been put together by someone who really knows what he's about.
It is an amazing ride. The bike is heavily over- tyred with Avon Roadrunners (AM20 100/90 H18 front, AM21 100/90 H18 rear ). This, the Roadholder forks and the featherbed make for a wonderful white-knuckle-free ride. I now take out the Bonnie and the Triton alternately, whichever suits my mood. This is pure bike country and the village in which I live is now used to the Triton's un-baffled exhaust note and that of the not much quieter Bonneville. Thankfully, when they remove their hands from their ears, the residents are still smiling dreamily.
     

 

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