Bird, Advent of the
this world isn't so big these days, life is often serendipitous, the BritBike *community* is the pivot point for so much, and life is a circle.
That being said, getcherself a beer, a coffee, or whatever, and sit with me for a minute, while I tell you a tale.
I've been thinking- which in & of itself, admittedly, is dangerous business right there- but I digress. I've been thinking that A: I'd love to sell a couple bikes. B: I kinda miss having a Triumph around, AND C: IF the *right* bike came along, I'd probably buy it. C1: especially if I could combine offing a bike with getting a bike.
So, I've been keeping half an eye peeled, checking the BB.com sales adverts, perusing schmeeBay, sniffing the wind, thinking about Craig and his list, keeping an ear to the ground listening for sounds of distant thunder, you know... all that *stuff* one does when one wants -but not too badly, i mean without urgency- to um, well... make a move on something. This being not completely unlike buzzards waiting for something to die; only slightly more productive and WAY more entertaining. I basically wanted a killer 60s bike, not too old, and definitely not too new- no 70s stuff, fer instance. It had to be special in some way- not your typical bike, nothing that can be seen on every street corner.
Not sure why, but to this end, last night I climbed into bed with the ipad, opened BritBike-dot-com, and went straightaway to the sales pages. Down the list a ways was something about a 60s TR6c or some such, with a link, or item number. That sent me scrambling and scratching. I ended up scrolling Triumphs on the 'bay... and...
lo & behold,
there *it* was- a 1966 Triumph Thunderbird, nearly original, (but not too pristine)
VERY low miles. WITH a great *story* to go along with it:
"I'll tell you this bikes story as i know it..and as it is.....
bike bought new in 1966 by my friends(Tim) previous neighbor,"Big Mike",who i met once
in 1988 to possibly purchase the bike,but he backed out..i dont
know big mikes real name,he was one of those guys who you always would see at every
event involving anything with a motor and he always had something cool.,from a t-bucket hot rod
to a Norton Manx that was sold to Phila legend Ed Labelle who had a Triumph dealership in Philly
where "Big Mike" ordered this bike..people say he traded the manx that was in bad shape for this bike.
He rode it very little and mostly just pushed it out of his garage
on sunny days,polished and waxed it up,rode around the neighborhood,
then wipe it down and put it away..he didnt want to use up the new,it was the
first new motorcycle or car he ever bought new. i mostly remember him riding a KHK Harley
and always being at Orey Steele's Phila, Harley dealer.They would laugh,watching my 126lbs.
ass kick my magneto,iron head 101 times until it would start..
Then in 1973,i was 5 yr old.
he bought a new car for his wife who insisted on using the garage.
So his bike got pushed to the back of the garage,covered in sheets and blankets.
Until his wife pulled in too far and slightly dented the front fender.
"Big Mike" then asked his neighbor who's garage was empty ,if he could put his bike
in his garage so he could take then fenders off to get painted as his wife was too careless to
trust with his bike apart everywhere,, so "Big Mike" put his bike in his neighbors garage,
took off all the sheet metal ,got fenders painted and then wrapped everything in wax paper
and he never got back too it,, there it sat all boxed up in his neighbors garage,,out of sight,out
of mind.. Fast forward to the year 2000 and my friend bought a house in the philly suburbs
right next to "Big Mike",his new house had a great,finished, 2 car garage that contained
"Big Mikes" 1966 Triumph thunderbird 6ta,.. "Big Mike" explained the deal he had with my friends new homes
previous owner and asked if he could still use the garage to finish the bike.My friend said
of course and even built a work bench,,but nothing happened.."Big Mikes" wife passed away and
"Big Mike" soon after and the bike sat until my friend was selling his house in 2006, that had held
the bike since 1973..thats where i came in and got the bike,boxes of parts and all..intending that my friend Tim
and i would put it together..
I parked it next to my 30 other projects and forgot it until now..when the grapevine told me Tim had died
unexpectedly at the age of 46,, i just turned 46,,i knew it was time to put the bike together..so i did.
i rode it 30miles or so,,its everything i thought it would be,, im satisfied.
bought a new battery,bolted up all the new and newly(1973) painted parts and put the bike together
,,it obviously was a little more work then my description,
almost every nut,bolt,bracket,washer,tab was there and intact. the wire harness is original,uncut,
even the battery ends and fuse holder are orginal..the original alluminum wire ties are there.
it came with new exhaust,shocks,etc..
nacelle has damage where bolts go into forks
center stand spring broken,i have the side stand
gas tank caswell sealed
I never got a title from Tim or mike,,there are services that can easily register it for you.
The bike runs very well,no weird noises,easy to start
new exhaust,front springs,rear shocks.fluids"
Think I slept much last night? Yeah not so much. I had dreams of flying, dreams of strange birds, dreams of anything, dreams of nothing, dreams of everything- laying awake, night dreaming; these visions and others scrolling across the bedroom ceiling.
In the morning I *asked* the seller a question... one thing led to another...
And I am now down one and up one bike. :sigh
back @ El Ranchero...
back @ Le Rancho Grande...
back @ Bruce Wayne Manor...
my *vision* I have been trying (honestly, I keep thinking life would be easier, different, better, if only) to solidify; the one where I get down to *only* so many bikes in the stable?
Wha-? HUH, who me? HEY LOOK A SQUIRREL!
Maybe it just isn't *meant* to be. I mean, who am I to argue with THE UNIVERSE.
speaking of serendipity... the guy with the bike turns out to be somebody I [kinda] know- Adam, the classic Triumph/motorcycle Liberty VIntage guy from Fishtown, a neighborhood in Philly. I've bumped into him here & there, Mat Smith posted some stuff about him a few years ago here, and he's been involved with some of the TV "bike builder" shows here and there (with little or no positive result, as it turns out). BUT it's not some schlubb with a bogus listing in Bumafuque, Egypt or Timbuk 3, it's a guy RIGHT DOWN THE ROAD. Who I [kinda] KNOW.
After a few emails, and a couple conversations, we came to an agreement, and I think he & I both feel this is 100% copasetic all the way around. Some $$ has been deposited VIA pay pal, and I'm going to pick the bike up next week.
The "excitement plan" side note, oh-by-the-way bit being of course there's no title, so I'll have to jump thru the typical hoops to get one, no problema.
So. There it all is- serendipity, small world, community, and circles within circles, all rolled up into one big ol
Thunderbird. I think that's my new Spirit Animal.
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