Like the term "bobber," the term "period correct" has been so overused and abused that when spoken around here it's usually a joke directed at some self-righteous chopper snob. Once in a while a bike that lives up to the adjective comes along, and that's what today's feature is. This is the bike Ricky's grandfather built in the early '60s. Now recently rebuilt with help from the crew at Classic Cycles, this bike looks exactly as it did when Grandpa parked it decades ago. We'll let Ricky tell the story…
My grandfather bought the Triumph new in '56. In the early '60s it was customized to it's current look, including all aftermarket parts and the paint scheme. My dad Rick used to ride it to high school in the early '70s. Soon after, it was just stored in the garage and more or less forgotten about. My grandfather gave it to me in the '80s, where it sat in our garage for another 26 years. In late 2010 my dad and I decided it was time to drag it out and restore it. We agreed that this was going to be a project that we would both work on and would both ride when complete.
We found Classic Cycles in Orange to rebuild the motor and do the electricals. We brought it to Classic to remove the motor. Tony and his son Andy were very excited when they first saw it. Tony explained what the parts really were, how rare/bitchin'/valuable they were, and how he would gladly "take any parts that we didn't want", with a shit-eating grin on his face. This new information made my dad and I even more excited about the restoration. We thought about changing the paint scheme to something new, but realized that the original '60s paint was perfect for this bike, and we are glad we decided to go this route. We restored the rest of the bike while Classic was rebuilding and polishing the motor. Nothing was overlooked or skimped on. Every part down to the last bolt was replaced, fixed, painted or chromed as needed. Our main focus was to keep it as original as possible. We even had Bates reupholster the original Bates seat.
It took a couple more months than planned to complete but was done in time for Born Free. It was entered as the Builder Bike for Classic Cycles. Though some cringe when they hear this, no more shows or photo shoots for our bike. Now it's time to ride and enjoy it.
Owner: Rick and Ricky Leigh
Location: Murrieta, CA
Engine year and make, model, modifications: 1956 Triumph T110 Thunderbird 650cc
Fork: stock with MCM fork covers
Tire/wheel size and style: Front: Borrani 21" with Buchanan spokes, Avon Speedmaster MKII; Rear: Borrani 18" with Buchanan spokes, Avon Safety Mileage MKII
Favorite thing about this bike: That it is truly period correct, with virtually no new parts on the bike
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Wassel rear fender and gas tank, Webco oil tank and oil cooler, Biltwell grips, Bates headlight, Bates narrow competition seat (reupholstered by Bates), Lucas competition magneto
Thanks: Classic Cycles; Pete from San Diego for the old Triumph bottle cap to cover the dampener hole (it blew off on the freeway, but another one's on the way); no thanks to chromers, all of them