Justin Reid’s Tri­umph drag­ger

Street Chopper - - Contents -

“Well, it’s def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent…” Most of the time, that four-word combo plate is a po­lite way of say­ing, “Yeah, that’s just weird.” In the case of this Tri­umph drag racer built by Justin Reid of Long­wood Cus­toms, we’re talk­ing about the good kind of dif­fer­ent: a cus­tom mo­tor­cy­cle that snatches your at­ten­tion and holds it be­cause it’s not the same style ev­ery­one else is do­ing— it’s sen­si­ble and it’s cool.

Justin ac­quired a taste for Bri­tish steel thanks to his fa­ther’s Nor­ton Com­mando. Justin is a to­tal gear­head, but when he told his folks he wanted to get a bike as a youth, they weren’t hav­ing it. He liked him­self go­ing fast on the street too much. That’s why he went with a Tri­umph in­stead of a sport­bike. “A friend’s dad was sell­ing a vin­tage Tri­umph,” he says. “I bought that be­cause it gave me an ‘in’ with my dad.”

This was also around the time Justin met Den­nis Har­rold and Steve Blaufeder who were ex­perts in all things old Tri­umph mo­tor­cy­cle. Justin would go up to their shop for used parts for his own bike, but while he was there he soaked up knowl­edge like a sponge. He’s been work­ing with them ever since.

That was eight years ago. With the pass­ing of time, Justin pulled up stakes and moved Long­wood Cus­toms from New Jersey all the way down the East Coast to the land of hu­mid­ity, gi­ant cock­roaches, and Dis­ney­world: Florida. Specif­i­cally, Jack­sonville. As he goes through the process of re- es­tab­lish­ing him­self and his shop in the lo­cal rid­ing com­mu­nity, Justin is hard at work restor­ing and cus­tomiz­ing old Tri­umph iron into work­ing mo­tor­cy­cles. Many of these are, of course, your tra­di­tional bobber and resto jobs, but ev­ery so of­ten you need to do some­thing fun for your­self— or at least to make your shop stand out. That’s why he trans­formed this ’67 trum­pet into a pe­riod- cor­rect drag­ger.

Its unique­ness is the big draw here. He and his men­tors each put a lit­tle some­thing of them­selves into what can only be de­scribed as a cus­tomizer’s melt­ing pot but all with the goal of mak­ing a fun lit­tle drag­bike that looked like it stepped out of a strip in the late 1960s. “The pol­ished en­gine cases, the ni­trous, drag bars, and the racing slick on the back are al­ways cool in my opin­ion,” he elab­o­rates. “Tak­ing some­thing vin­tage and mak­ing it pe­riod cor­rect to its racing her­itage was the best part.” Ev­ery part of this bike has at­ten­tion to de­tail from the paint to the ma­chined alu­minum brack­ets for the ni­trous sys­tem.

But it’s not a mu­seum piece. Justin builds his Tri­umphs for rid­ing. His only re­gret, if you can call it that, is that he didn’t make this bike a street-le­gal drag racer. See­ing as how he plans on run­ning it at vin­tage drag races, I don’t think be­ing streetable is such a big deal to him. SC

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