Monday, August 3, 2009

JIM GRANT'S T120 PROJECT

Jim Grant is one of the most talented photographers in flat track. From the looks of it he is on his way to becoming a great builder as well. The man behind JGPhotowerx has been putting together a Trackmaster framed T120. When I heard about the project I got in touch and here is what Jim had to say...


I obtained the Trackmaster frame from a guy in Morgan Hill California back in probably 2003, I traded the guy a Kawasaki 125 Enduro for it.

Notice how back in the day they gusseted the swingarms to fit the larger rear tire in it.

I had a friend Andy Dodge who had an old stock Triumph T120 flattracker that had been sitting in his shed for years. I think according to the looks of it, it was a TT Special. I was told this was one of the bikes that did the Catalina Island Race back in the 60s-70 but I don’t have a clue - front fenders well built for sure.


Anyway, I removed the motor and even knowing it needed rebuilt I went ahead and used it and mocked up all the motor mounts and went on a mission locating all the parts I needed to complete it the way I wanted. I was adamant about the Bates solo seat and pillion pad look and I wasn’t going to have it any other way, period. I bought the Akront shoulder rimmed wheels off a guy in Indiana on Ebay. The forks came from Ray Abrams at A&A Racing (that took some bargaining) but Ray's a great guy and understood where I was coming from with the project and had to have 35mm Cerianis and again I wasn’t going to settle for anything less on that either.


My goal was to duplicate Gary Scott's TT bike from his Ascot days but I’m at a point that I don’t really care about duplicating anybody's bike because I like it just the way it's turning out. It just so happens to look a little like Gary's but its got me all over it.


I moved from California in 2004 and the bike was 95% completed but didn’t run because the motor needed gone through. I disassembled the entire bike in 2006 and was looking for someone to rebuild it. A friend suggested a guy in the Nashville area so I contacted him and dropped the engine off on my way to Daytona in 2007. Unfortunately the guy ended up being a total deadbeat and after two years he still didn’t have my engine completed. I paid him a little visit on my way to Daytona this year and picked everything up. Now the motor is in a thousand pieces but I do have enough parts to build a complete extra backup motor...with new cranks, rods and bearings.




I’m apprehensive about having anyone work on it now so I started looking for a complete runner motor which I found at Mid Ohio this year and couldn’t be happier. I got home and cleaned the engine up and found it to be in great condition and decided to go ahead and continue with the build. I pulled the frame and swingarm out of the rafters and gathered up all my parts and started assembling. It was going together so good I just kept at it until it was as far as I could take it. I worked on this thing endlessly for the next two days and got it to the point where I needed someone to help me with the tire irons because I tried several times to mount tires and poked every one.

Just before I left for Rich’s house, notice the flat LOL…

So it was off to my buddy Rich's in Massillon, Ohio for some help. Rich and I completed the deal and even installed two Pirelli MT53 vintage tires - they look so cool! The next day I went over to my other buddy, Jim Kostelic's raceshop and there we built a battery box, welded up the two holes in the intake flanges, and machined out some neoprene inserts for the frame back by the seat that Trackmasters are notorious for. Then we designed and welded up a brake lever and everything turned out great. It was then time to return to Rich’s house and drop the bike off at his tuner's house - “JONESY” is all I know but he does great work from watching Rich’s Triumph run. It needs a total loss ignition added, oils added, probably some points and condensor and hopefully it’ll run and Rich will surprise me with it at the Wapakonetta, Ohio half-mile this weekend. Other than that, all I’m waiting on is a throttle and cables from Motion Pro - “THANKS CHRISV” at MP.


My finishing plan is to disassemble it again and hopefully I will be able to find someone who can re-nickle it at an affordable price or maybe powder coat it grey but I really think it would look its best nickled. If anyone knows someone who can nickle it at a reasonable price please contact me. I’ll keep you all updated on the progress and hopefully I’ll have great news for you next week. Also, if anyone has information about a Buddy Robinson, his number, and any pictures of the bike I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,
Jim Grant
JGPhotowerx1@who.rr.com

3 comments:

  1. Awesome work - We build a lot of flattrackers & street trackers - triumph,Bsa,s & I gotta say YOU have retained that nice Vintage flavor with your build - Great JOB .... Bruce - Hollywood bobbers

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  2. Nice bike...I raced a 54 speed twin back in the 60's...nice to see someone still knows what a bike should look like...makes me want to build one again.

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