TALE OF THE TRI-FLY ..................................

You never know quite where the search for a pre­vi­ous­ly­owned mo­tor­cy­cle will take you. Alan Freke won­dered what hap­pened to his old Tri­umph twin, and un­cov­ered the cu­ri­ous af­fair of the dou­ble-en­gined Dou­glas…

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You never know quite where the search for a pre­vi­ously-owned mo­tor­cy­cle will take you. Alan Freke won­dered what hap­pened to his old Tri­umph twin, and un­cov­ered the cu­ri­ous af­fair of the dou­ble-en­gined Dou­glas…

Back in 1963 I was an engi­neer­ing apprentice liv­ing in Bris­tol. I’d owned a suc­ces­sion of bikes since I was six­teen. By 1963 I’d al­ready had three bikes on the road, as well as hav­ing a num­ber of ‘projects’ – vin­tage wrecks lib­er­ated from a lo­cal scrap­yard. In March I re­placed my ev­ery­day bike, a 1948 350 Royal En­field Bul­let, with a some­what run­down 1954 Tri­umph Tiger 110, reg­is­tra­tion num­ber NDF 457. I bought it from a chap for £12/10/0, all very of­fi­cial, with his sig­na­ture across a 2d stamp on the re­ceipt. He, or an­other pre­vi­ous owner, had crudely hand-painted it with a red frame and black tank, so it looked a bit sad but it went well. A friend took a pho­to­graph of me sat on the bike be­hind my fam­ily’s home, and wrote the date on the back.

Pho­tos by Alan Freke, Rob Bradley, Pete Hen­drick­sen, Mor­tons Archive

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