1970 TR6 Triumph

May 1 2010

The sassy little Triumph chopper that graces these pages proves that you don’t need to be a professional builder, you don’t have to have a ton of money invested and you don’t require an American V-Twin engine to produce an extremely clean, jaw-dropping head-turner.

This Triumph TR6 began its current life as a $500 rolling-chassis basket case with an engine, and that was about it. It was even missing its engine mounts, all the brackets and ancillary parts. Fortunately, the new owner, Albert Pepper, likes a challenge and dove in headfirst.

Over the years, Albert has rebuilt a few old Triumphs as a hobby, so he has no problem finding his way around all aspects of the 650-cc powered English classic. Wanting a more traditional chopper stance up front, Albert found a pair of 4-inch over fork tubes in the corner of his garage, and along with a couple of swap-meet fork lowers, they made a perfect combination with the exception of the fork internals. With the original front forks seized solid, he had to take a couple of pipe wrenches to them, ruining the exterior, but he was able to save the internal bits for his new set of extended legs out front.

Next was the engine. Albert rebuilt the engine himself with a quick bore-job and .040-over pistons. His next step was to replace the engine’s original TR6 single-carb head in favour of a better-breathing and more desirable Bonneville twin-carb head. A pair of Amal carburetors with velocity stacks would round out the fuel delivery to the reconditioned combustion chambers.

The wiring harnesses are handmade. This is a job that Albert enjoys and says that he excels at. I would have to concur: the main wire harness was neatly tucked away out of sight, allowing only the necessary wires to exit in order to reach their target.

Albert figures it took a good year to finish this project from the time he rolled the remnants of the once-proud Triumph into his garage until he set it back on its wheels and pulled it outside. He hand-stripped, sanded and prepared the engine cases and other parts for chroming, fabricated too many parts to list, including almost every single bracket and engine mount, and scoured swap meets for any remaining items he didn’t have in his own personal stock of Triumph parts to finish his new chopper. Albert even frenched the taillights into the rear fender, which is of unknown origin, although he’s sure it’s a front fender from something British.

It is not surprising to learn, as you look at this little beauty, that Albert is no stranger to quality control: his job demands perfection. He’s a flight line inspector: he scrutinizes and prepares airplanes for flight after they come off the assembly line at Diamond Aircraft. With a job like that, he can’t afford to make a mistake, and his perfectionism and attention to detail paid off in spades on this project.

Albert rolled this little beauty out of his garage just in time to enter it into the World of Motorcycles Expo in London, Ontario, this past February. Albert simply wanted to enter his bike to show off his skills and to hang around the bike show for the weekend. Without any preconceived notions going into the show, he was shocked when the awards announcer called him to the stage to collect his first-place trophy in the Custom Class. Albert also won a third-place trophy in the Asian class for his 1979 Yamaha XS1100 Special, his daily rider for the past ten years.

Owner Albert Pepper
Make: Triumph
Model: TR6
Builder: Owner
Time to Build: One Year
Name of Bike: Max

Engine
Year: 1970
Builder: Owner
Displacement: 650-.040-overbore
Cases: Stock
Heads: Twin Carb Bonneville
Lower End: Stock
Carburetors: Amal with Velocity Stacks
Ignition: Boyer Bransden
Exhaust: Aftermarket 1-3/4 Pipe

Transmission
Year: 1970 Unit Construction
Type: 4-speed

Frame
Year: 1970
Builder: Triumph/Owner
Type: Rigid (Bolt on tail section)

Front End
Year: 1970
Builder: Triumph/Owner
Triple Trees: Stock
Modifications: 4-inch over

Painting Al Blois
Chroming Midway Plating

Wheels
Front Size:
Builder/Manufacturer: Triumph NOS
Tire size: 3.25 x 19
Rear Size:
Builder/Manufacturer: Triumph
Tire size: 4 x 18

Essentials
Gas Tank: Swap meet
Oil Tank: Swap meet
Fenders: Swap meet
Seat: Swap Meet
Handlebars: Five-inch risers
Headlight: Euro Components
Taillight: Swap meet from an old Dodge?, frenched-in by owner
Wiring: Owner

 

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