Friday, July 31, 2009

THEN AND NOW - RICHARD FOARD'S TRIUMPH 750

From Gary Foard -
"Here are a couple of pics of Stevie Hall's Triumph now owned by Richard Foard. Billy Eves used to race this bike (which was built by Larry Mohan). Here is a back in the day pic of the bike and a pic of how it looks now."


Thanks Gary!

FRIDAY PHOTOS FEEDBACK

Last Friday's photo post generated some feedback I thought I'd share. Thanks to all who responded...

From Dan Mahony (Legendary flat track Photographer) -
"Yes, that IS the 1966 Peoria TT, the #1 to winner Eddie Mulder's left is Bart Markel (second place) and the 22z is Romero on the Love Brothers' Triumph. #48 is Jim Corpe, who was pretty good at Santa Fe and other TT's, and who rode a factory Kawasaki 650 in 1969. #69 is Sonny Burres, taken at Peoria.......Nixon in the air is at Ascot, and I admire the bottom two pictures of Nixon and Palmgren together, and wish that I had taken them."

From Bill Edwards (Havana, IL) -
"Picture of Natl.#48 is of Jim Corpe of Washington,Illinois. Jim finished 4th at the 1968 Peoria TT National...You are correct, that is the '66 Peoria National. Jim Corpe #48 got 9th in '66 riding a BSA."

From Bob Neilson (formerly of Smitty's Triumph in Peoria, IL) -
"#48 is Jim Corpe originally from Washington, Illinois. Rode for Smittys' Triumph in Peoria, Ill. and Walter Brothers HD for a while. Then rode a BSA and Triumph for John Lund in Decatur, Ill. He also built and qualified a Kawasaki W650 ( BSA A10 copy ) at the Peoria TT national. Jim was also one of the Plant managers at Kawasaki in Lincoln, Nebraska. His son Kenny is quite an accomplished Vintage motocrosser and artist. He is also the stepson of Dick Mann. Oh, I am the kid behind Mulder in the Peoria winners circle photo. Gave his Trophy back to him 35 years later!!!"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

BONNEVILLE PERFORMANCE - HAGERSTOWN GNC RACE REPORT

#25 Brian Phillips taking the high line at the start of heat 3
(photo by Tim White)

This past Saturday, July 26 the guys from Bonneville Performance made their way to Hagerstown, Maryland for the Half-Mile GNC race. Off and on showers delayed the event and ultimately shortened the racing action. Brian finished 15th in heat 3 and due to the rain delays, there were no semis offering a second avenue into the main event.

From Bill Gately of Bonneville Performance:
"There were 3 rain delays at Hagerstown and it shortened everything--only 2 practice sessions to set up and the track changed every time. We did get a great start moving to the front from row three before the second turn (see the link below) --but a big hole in lap 5 broke off the left side peg and jammed the rear brake--this practically put us in reverse. But that is racing."

The team is testing a new ignition and carburetor kit and will skip the Sturgis races next week. You can see Brian Phillips and the Bonneville Performance Triumph next on Sunday, August 16 at the Grove City Mile being run at the Beulah Park horse track near Columbus, Ohio.

Thanks to Tim White for the photo. Check out more photos from Hagerstown and other races on his website. http://tswphoto.smugmug.com

For the full results from Hagerstown visit AMA Pro Flat Track

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GENE ROMERO PAINTING BY TOM FRITZ

"Knowin' What's What"

Californian Tom Fritz has become well known for his original automobile and motorcycle paintings. His artwork has been described as being "distinguished by an honest, uncontrived approach to reality that is tempered with the soft-edges of impressionism." Fritz has worked extensively with Harley-Davidson, completing paintings to commemorate their 100th anniversary, as well as turning out portraits of the company's top brass. His classic hot rod paintings can be found in the NHRA museum amongst others. Gene Romero and his legendary Triumph flat tracker are the subject of the 30"x 18" oil painting entitled "Knowin' What's What." While the original has been sold, limited edition prints are available through the artist's website. For more info visit http://www.fritzart.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TRIUMPH LEGEND - GARY SCOTT INTERVIEW FROM 1973

Came across a great interview with Hall of Famer Gary Scott on the Motorbike Archives site. The website has posted all kinds of articles and ads from long gone motorcycle magazines of the '60s and '70s. Bike reviews, race reports, product advertisements have all been preserved and are available for reading and download.

Gary Scott is most remembered for his tenure on the Harley Factory team which brought him the 1975 AMA GNC title. But like many from that time Scott started his career on a Triumph. In 1972 he put together one of the greatest debut seasons ever, recording two wins, finishing runner-up to Mark Brelsford in the GNC standings, and claiming Rookie of the Year honors. After moving to the Triumph Factory team in 1973, he avoided the sophomore slump and once again claimed the #2 spot, this time behind the great Kenny Roberts. Gary spent 1974 and '75 on board a Factory XR750 before returning to privateer status in 1976 - and returning to Triumphs on TT courses. In 1983 at the Peoria TT, Gary Scott along with Brad Hurst, put classic Triumphs in a GNC Main for the final time. It would be 24 years before another machine carrying the name would accomplish that feat.

In the article Scott revisits his now famous rookie season, his preference of half-miles over the down and dirty short tracks, and his ultimate goal: the AMA Championship.

Also discussed is his move, after his rookie year, from a privateer on a Triumph to factory rider:

"Gary signed a full contract with Triumph in early November. He, Romero and Mann will be that firm's only team riders. And the two-time National winner is now even more confident at his dirt track chances.

'Ever since Harley-Davidson got their alloy machines sorted out, they were the rage of the circuit. I was just about to sign with Harley, but Triumph came along so I went with them. I know that Triumph has been putting in a great deal of work on their own bikes to make them more competitive and I've been told that the new machines are putting out about five more horsepower. I don't think it's a flash reading, either.'"

Check out the rest of the article at The Motorbike Archives

[While the Motorbike Archives site and the articles posted on it are priceless, they do make it painfully clear just how far GNC Flat Track has fallen. To see how much coverage mainstream motorcycle magazines devoted to racing is all at once amazing and depressing. The Gary Scott interview mentions famed college football announcer Keith Jackson (thats him in the photo at the top) calling the action at the Ascot Half-mile for ABC's Wild World of Sports. GNC racing was as big as NASCAR, if not bigger, at that time. It's now run by it. This past needs to be remembered as a goal for the future. It happened before and with the right marketing and planning it can happen again.]

Monday, July 27, 2009

STREET TRACKERS FROM MULE MOTORCYCLES

Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles builds some of the finest custom street trackers around. Pollock uses Harleys, Yamaha XS650s, and, of course, modern Triumph Twins to create his one of a kind bikes. Here are some photos of Triumphs that have rolled out of his shop...





For more info and to find out how you can get a hold of one of these beasts...check out Mule Motorcycles.

Friday, July 24, 2009

FRIDAY PHOTOS

Found these photos on the Up-front Promotions website. These guys promote(d?) motorcycle related events in the Chicagoland area. Their website has a section devoted to the old Santa Fe Speedway near Chicago. Several great articles on racers, the track, past Santa Fe Nationals, decade summaries, and of course some great photos. Check them out here. Here are a few featuring Triumph legends Eddie Mulder, Gary Nixon, Chuck Palmgren, and a young Gene Romero (22z). Photos courtesy of Betzel Smith. If you can answer any of the questions...drop us an email: triumphflattrack@yahoo.com

(Is this the '66 Peoria TT?)

(Who is #48?)

(Is #69 the great Sonny Burres?)

(Nixon leading them through the turn)

(Nixon catching some air)

(Chuck Palmgren and Gary Nixon battling)

(Legends)

WANTED - TRIUMPH RACING MOTORCYCLES IN AMERICA BOOK


Been trying to hunt down a copy of this book for awhile now. If anyone out there has a copy they'd be willing to part with or know of anyone selling one please get in touch. Heck, if someone has an old worn version they'd just let me borrow to read I'd appreciate it. Get in touch at: triumphflattrack@yahoo.com

Thursday, July 23, 2009

VINTAGE RACING PHOTOS FROM JOHNNY ROBINSON

Opened up my email the other night and found this...
--------------------------------
Monday, July 20, 2009 9:53 PM
From: "Johnny Robinson"
To: triumphflattrack@yahoo.com
Subject: Old Flat track pics

HI, Here are pics of my dad in the late 50's. As far as he was concerned, if it didn't say Triumph on it, it wasn't a motorcycle. He had the Triumph dealership in the late 50's here in Huntsville, Al.

Pics of him in leathers, racing at the local fairgrounds, hillclimbs and him and mom at Daytona Beach.
I had the pleasure of riding a 70 Triumph Daytona in my late teens. Dad bought the bike for himself when he went to buy me my first bike. I learned on a Kawasaki 125, but took the Daytona out a couple times after truning 16.
If you need more info on anything, let me know. I'll have to work from the stories dad told, he passed away 20 years ago next week.

I found your site looking for flattrack racing in the Alabama area.

Thanks Johnny

--------------------------------

What a great collection of photographs. This is what it is all about. For every Gene Romero or Gary Nixon there were 100 Mickey Robinsons. Local racers who loved the brand and went as fast and far as they could on their Triumphs. Iron men who were at home on the street, beach, half mile or hillclimb. Weekend warriors who worked a regular job and made motorcycling a family affair.

I got in touch with Johnny and found out his dad ran a Triumph dealership out of a small garage in Huntsville, Alabama. He raced flat track at the Huntsville Fairgrounds - one of many tracks that have faded into memory, did hillclimbs outside Huntsville between Meridianville and Hazel Green, and was one of many who made the trek to Daytona to ride on the beach. Here are some of the highlights of the photos he sent...

(Posing in the new leathers)

(Mickey at Daytona)

(Mrs. Mickey Robinson)

(Huntsville Fairgrounds)

(Huntsville Fairgrounds)

(Huntsville Fairgrounds)

(On the hill)

(Like father, like son - Johnny outside his fathers shop)

I'd like to thank Johnny Robinson for sending these in. If you have a similar story to tell please get in touch at: triumphflattrack@yahoo.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Q&A WITH #50S BILLY WORTHINGTON



Received an email the other day telling of the exploits of Billy Worthington. Seems the 20 year old from Maryland made waves a few weeks back by nearly putting an old T140 Triumph Trackmaster on the podium in the Pro Twins final at the Barbara Fritchie Classic AMA Hot Shoe event. Billy finished 4th in the event...one place better than up and coming wonderkid Shayna Texter. Even more impressive than riding a bike nearly twice his age is that the kid has been flat track racing less than 3 years. We got in touch with Billy to find out more about his racing career and whether or not we'll get to see the old Triumph in a Pro Twins event anytime soon.

Q: How long you been racing?
A: I started racing in august of 2006.

Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born and raised in Rockville MD and that's where I think I am going to stay.

Q: Home track? Where do you typically race?
A: I like to think of the home tracks to be Frederick Fairgrounds or Hagerstown Speedway.
Q: Who owns the Triumph? How did you come to ride that at Frederick? Why did you decide to ride a "vintage" bike in what would seem to be a modern class?
A: Bill Blackwood owns the Triumph. I came to ride it at Frederick when I heard about the new pro twins class that is being run at all of the hot shoe events now. I decided to ride it because it was the fastest bike that I could get a hold of to go up against all the new XRs.
Q: Any info on the bike? What year is it? Past riders?
A: The bike is a route 750 T140 modified-Trackmaster Framed Triumph. It is out of the late 60's to mid 70's. My dad was put on the bike back in the 70's by sponsors as a semi pro but in the mid 70's he was almost killed on it at Dorsey speedway in MD. My father hit another bike coming out of a turn which sent him flipping down the straightaway causing the bike to land on him and other riders to run over him. when it was all done my father got up but was taking to a hospital with a broken back, broken hands, broken ribs, and his right leg broken in 3 places. The bike was then passed around where it eventually ended up in the hands of my dads good friend Billy Blackwood. Bill Blackwood has spent the last 25 to 30 years with the bike doing things to it to improve it. He is a smart man with an open mind which is why the bike is so fast.

Q: Any plans to race it in the future? Perhaps the upcoming WV Hot Shoe?
A: Absolutely I will race it in the future, unfortunately not at Elkins WV hot shoe.

Q: Anyone you'd like to thank?
A: I would have to start with thanking mom and dad for supporting me when I wanted to start racing when I was 17. Thanks to Billy Blackwood for giving me a chance to ride his awesome Triumph, Eddie Adkins, My dads brother Barry for making my steel shoe and His wife Sue for all her support, Richard Riley and the crew at Fredericktown Yamaha. with out these people none of this would be possible.

Q: Final Thoughts?
A: I feel that old Triumph has a lot of potential and that after a couple more races on it, I think that I can be competitive on it at the GNC level on the cushion tracks. I have so much to learn and I am still young and my ears are always open for advice from elders and veterans. I am a new rider also and have come a long way in the past 3 years very quickly. I don't see my self peaking or stopping anytime soon because I never stop learning and I have more fun each time. So I am looking for feedback or any advice because I am like you, I want to bring Triumph back into the mix of GNC FLATTRACK.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

KEN ALLAMAN'S VINTAGE RACER


Received an email from Ken Allaman of Roundtop, MT. Ken is a racer from way back when. He grew up in Illinois and began racing on an old Indian Sport Scout. During the 60's he rode Harleys for Bruce Walters and also did some racing with Smitty's Triumph out of Peoria, IL. He sent some great photos of an old Triumph flat tracker he has restored and raced in vintage events. Here's what he had to say about the bike...



"I bought this bike in 1998...It started life as a '68 Tr6R...I was told it had a rare Yetman frame-as in its day he didn't build many for dirt -the oil tank is an aluminum masterpiece. I bought the bike from Bob Neilson and it was not running and in pretty sad shape. He told me it was regular qualifier at Ascot and had won the AMA National in what was then called the Amateur class of Pro Racing at San Jose in '72...I believe a man named John Hoy had something to do with it but I don't know who rode it. Joel Wey-Denver and Randy Baxter-Baxter Cycle brought it back to race condition. It is one fast Triumph. I rode it to #2 in point standings in over 50 in 98 in VDTRA and 3rd in Masters Of the Mile AHRMA races in 98. I guess finding who won the San Jose race would be a great way to get history of the bike."


So if anyone out there can help Ken trace the history of this bike, get in touch at: triumphflattrack@yahoo.com


Monday, July 20, 2009

VINTAGE AD - JOHNSON MOTORS



Check out this old Johnson Motors Triumph ad found on the Flat Track Thunder website. It features legend Dick Dorresteyn getting some air time on his Bonneville. Johnson Motors used flat track racing and success at the Bonneville Salt Flats (as demonstrated in this ad) to move hundreds of thousands of Triumphs from post-WWII to the early '70s. It's too bad Triumph USA is still using those old exploits to market the new Bonneville line without investing in modern U.S. racing. Perhaps in the future.

For more vintage flat track images visit:
Flat Track Thunder

Thursday, July 16, 2009

VINTAGE RACING PHOTO - JOE LEONARD



Found this amazing photo on the Flat Track Thunder website. While Joe Leonard is most known for piloting his Harley Davidson to 3 GNC titles, he did ride a world famous Johnson Motors Triumph near the end of his motorcycle racing career. This photo is from the Sacramento Mile in 1962 when Leonard lost the lead due to a flat. Joe moved to full time automobile racing a short time later. One can't help but wonder if cars were on his mind when the photo was snapped. While his car racing career took off, he would not win another GNC race.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

PAUL COVERT'S T140 VINTAGE RACE BIKE



Received some great photos from Paul Covert of his T140 C&J Framed Flat Tracker. Paul and Jerry Kocinski of Jerry's Triumph in Little Rock, Arkansas built three of these bikes. While Paul and Jerry each kept one, the third has made its way to California and is owned by Rod Lake. You can find Paul at his own Crooked Creek Speedway in Little Rock promoting and racing flat track.

Monday, July 13, 2009

STREET TRACKER - PROJECT SWISS MISFORTUNE BY BELLACORSE



BellaCorse makes and distributes some fine parts for the new Bonnevilles but owner Michael Selman can also build a mean Street Tracker. Project Swiss Misfortune is an eyecatcher that started life as a 2002 790cc Bonnie...

From Michael:


"The engine has been bored-out to 904cc and has Keihin Racing FCR-39mm flat slide carbs and a BellaCorse Air Box Elimination kit installed. The 2-1 exhaust is from Zard of Italy and is a Titanium-alloy construction.

The rear shocks are top-of-the-line YSS piggybacks with separate rebound and compression damping. The forks have be worked over with YSS emulator valves, Hyperpro fork springs, low-stiction oil seals and a Norman Hyde fork brace. The neck bearing were replaced with tapered roller bearings.

The front brake is an EBC floating rotor with a Pretech 6 piston caliper. The rear uses an EBC solid rotor and Speigler SS hoses are used front and rear.

The alloy tank and seat were hand-made and are loosely patterned after the H-D XR750 units. The oval side cover/number plates and belly pan are too hand-made in aluminum. The chain guard is polished stainless steel and the front fender is fiberglass."





You can see more BellaCorse/SEL-MOTION bikes at:
BellaCorse


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

VINTAGE RACE BIKES FOUND ON THE WEB

Here are some old Triumph flat trackers I've come across at various sites on the web. Some hail from parts unknown. If anyone knows the owners or has info about these bikes please contact:
triumphflattrack@yahoo.com



(1967 Triumph 750cc with Trackmaster frame found "sold" on www.vintageracingmotorcycle.com)



(1966 Triumph 500 by Ron Atherton - info on the bike at: http://www.ahrma.org/Old_Site/machines/66tri-dt.htm)



(Triumph 750cc w/ Panther Frame by Jim Grant - from AHRMA site)



(1964 Triumph 650 Bonneville, owned & ridden by Dave Cheney.
Photographed by Steve Matz at Metrapark in Billings, Montana - from AHRMA site)




(1967 Triumph Cub owned by Ray Corlew - from AHRMA site)



(Trackmaster replica Sportsman Triumph 650 built by Clyde Dennen, owned by Dennis Kanegae - from AHRMA site)