GOT AWAY

Real Classic - - Bmw Boxers -

All of us have owned one. You know, the bike that you should never have sold. The one you wish you still had. Mike Estall re­calls his Best Bike Ever…

Back in early 1983 I saw a 1956 Tiger 100 in Clive Humphries’ Coven­try shop. I had al­ways thought of those mid-1950s Tri­umph twins as some of the finest look­ing bikes ever made, par­tic­u­larly the Tiger 100 with its close-pitched fin, all-al­loy en­gine, so I went back sev­eral times just to gaze upon this thing of beauty. The more I looked at it the more I re­alised that it was to­tally orig­i­nal, noth­ing miss­ing, noth­ing al­tered. The story was that it had been found in a shed in Bed­ford where the owner had slung it twenty years ear­lier, af­ter com­ing off. The seat was a bit torn, there was a lit­tle dam­age to the na­celle and a bent footrest but ba­si­cally it was com­pletely sound. So I parted with £475!

The Tiger’s re­build was com­pleted in early June 1983. A gal­lon of petrol went into the tank and road test­ing com­menced. Now, this is where the stupid bit comes in. En­thu­si­asm is a dan­ger­ous thing, some­times gen­er­at­ing hasty or ill-con­sid­ered ac­tions, mak­ing a chap do things with­out think­ing too much about the con­se­quences. My wood­work mas­ter at school al­ways said, ‘ Think twice and cut once’. Sound ad­vice. Not to be ig­nored.

For some rea­son, the petrol tank had been re­moved and so it needed to be bolted back on again. As in all Tri­umph twins of the era, there were four bolts plus mount­ing rub­bers and wash­ers for the pur­pose. The bolts were of two lengths, a long pair and a short pair. If you have been pay­ing at­ten­tion I have no doubt that you can prob­a­bly see where this is go­ing?

The first pair of bolts and rub­bers were fit­ted, closely fol­lowed by the sec­ond pair. It was only as I made the fi­nal turn with the

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