Ricky Leigh's 1956 Triumph T110


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

Frame: Stock

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

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Commented on 10-3-2011 At 04:37 am

Gorgeous! This bike looks just right, I am glad it was restored this way.

Commented on 10-3-2011 At 07:53 am

i love a clean swingarm trump! very nice (borate voice)

Commented on 10-3-2011 At 09:27 am

super clean bike. it looks fucking great!

Commented on 10-3-2011 At 10:39 am

Gorgeous Pre Unit! One miniscule critique: Sprung rear end and a sprung seat is a bit of a faux pas as it is redundant, but is easily remedied. Just my snobby opinion though...

Commented on 10-3-2011 At 10:41 am

...and if that's the way Gramps built it then you might as well keep it that way!

Commented on 10-3-2011 At 11:02 am

I've seen it in person, pix do it NO justice. Great guys too.

Commented on 10-3-2011 At 01:06 pm


Commented on 10-3-2011 At 04:27 pm

Hell to the yeahhhh....

Commented on 10-3-2011 At 05:37 pm

A timeless classic. This true old school is what the new school is attempting to reproduce.

Commented on 10-3-2011 At 06:29 pm

wow. gorgeous bike. wouldn't change a thing.

Commented on 10-3-2011 At 06:39 pm

Father n Son brought it to the Beer Booter in Corona and I almost had a heart attack when I saw it.
Its literally one of the nicest ride-able bikes that I have ever seen owned by a couple of really good dudes.

Commented on 10-3-2011 At 09:30 pm

I can attest this thing runs as good as it looks.. for some reason I thought Sr.'s name was Mike? oh well, cool story and great job on getting it back to its past glory.. grandpa would be stoked!

Commented on 10-3-2011 At 09:52 pm

We get to work on and ride a lot of cool bikes at the shop and Ricky's bike is on the top of my favorites list.
Truly a " Family jewel".

Commented on 10-4-2011 At 06:18 am

I saw this bike in person, its flawless

Commented on 10-4-2011 At 02:50 pm

Beautifull !!

Commented on 10-4-2011 At 06:27 pm

Super nice bike! Wish i had one of my grandpas bikes to restore.

Commented on 10-4-2011 At 08:41 pm

Very often do you have to replace the tailight/tag mount??? It looks a bit more question, can I have it?? pleeeease

Commented on 10-4-2011 At 11:23 pm

Super cool bike and even cooler guys to deal with! Many of you out there should take notes, not all bikes have to be hardtailed to be rad!

Commented on 10-13-2011 At 10:37 pm

Dead on perfect!

Commented on 10-13-2011 At 10:37 pm

Dead on perfect!

Commented on 10-8-2013 At 12:32 pm

Getting ready to do my '55 T110, and I had to find this and copy all the pics to a folder for inspiration. This thing is truly beautiful.

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