Real Classic - - Concours Champs -

Once upon a time, some­one some­where took apart a 1938 Speed Twin and didn’t put it back to­gether again. So when John, its cur­rent owner, found it around a decade ago, the rigid / gird­ered Tri­umph was in a ‘very poor con­di­tion. It had been stored in an old garage for at least 50 years. It was dis­man­tled for some en­gine re­pairs which never got com­pleted.’

De­spite the decades of de­cay, at least John had the whole mo­tor­cy­cle to work with, so he set about grad­u­ally restor­ing it. ‘I cleaned up and pow­der­coated what I could,’ he ex­plains, ‘and had new mud­guards made us­ing the orig­i­nals as tem­plates. I painstak­ingly rubbed down all the frame and tin­ware ready for paint­ing, and had new rims and spokes put on the orig­i­nal hubs by Cen­tral Wheels.’

Then John reached the piv­otal point of any project. He ran out of steam and, as he freely ad­mits, he’d also reached the lim­its of his me­chan­i­cal know-how. So the Speed Twin went on hold for sev­eral years. Then John met Wes­ley Walls, who works at the Na­tional Mo­tor­cy­cle Mu­seum, and they struck a deal for Wes­ley to com­plete the work. Eigh­teen months later, John was able to col­lect the re­vi­talised bike; ‘he has done a re­mark­able job and we are very pleased with it.’

John and his part­ner Jackie were hap­pily show­ing off the Speed Twin at this year’s Clas­sic Mo­tor­cy­cle Day at Crich Tramway, and were de­lighted when it was voted the Best British Bike in the show. They went home with a Re­al­Clas­sic con­cours award – aboard an 80 year-old mo­tor­cy­cle that now looks as good as new!

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