Blimey, I need to clean the house. And do some washing. And those weeds are really getting out of hand. It only needs time, but with summer come the shows, the meets, the festivals and the race meetings. And with the glorious weather that most of us have been blessed with, it makes it even easier to justify another day out on the bikes. At this time of year there seems to be something to do every weekend and most evenings.
In no particular order, I’ve been to Wales for the Beezumph rally, London for the Malle Mile, Kent for the Café Racer Cup, Bexhill Bikefest, Llangollen for the Llan Bikefest, Mallory and Snetterton; not to mention the excellent weekly Old Buckenham Two Wheel Tuesday and Whitwell Station meets in my area. Everywhere I go I never cease to be amazed by the bikes I see, the enthusiasm for a marque, the broad spread of different characters and the people, all of whom love bikes.
Four people I was fascinated to meet were at the Beezumph rally at Anglesey circuit, celebrating 50 years of the Rocket 3 and Trident triples. Darryl Pendlebury, Skip Peacock and Kate and Bill Fannon all worked in or around the Triumph factory and the tales they told could have kept me entertained for hours; the highs, with fellow Triumph stalwarts Percy and Di Tait, and the lows, with the workers and union issues. “It was a lovely place to work, like a great big family,” explains Skip, whose main job was to fit the brake shoes and paint the badges, while her late husband was chief production tester and Bill’s boss for years. Darryl ran the production tests, while Bill worked in the experimental department. “Bill used to help me out with my racing,” smiles Darryl. It was a wonderful insight into a time I’ve only been able to read about.
The story of the triples is as interesting as the questions it raises: if the bikes had been released for sale years earlier when Doug Hele had actually designed the engine, would they have helped the British bike scene? You can read more about the triples with our guide to the Rocket 3, a closer look at the Beezumph rally, the story of Hailwood and the racing triples at Daytona and a rare interview with the man himself who now resides in the USA – Rob North. I hope you enjoy it.
Elsewhere we’ve been in the workshop, recommissioning a Matchless G3L that has been sitting for years. We’ve ridden the new Indian Bobber and also been looking at the MZ 250ES, a bike that you may love, you may dislike, but they keep on going and I for one love the quirky nature and inherent ease of maintenance that Eastern-Bloc machines offer. And Suzuki’s RE5 has an interesting story to tell; what could have been but never was. Yet it’s a great bike now for good distances. It makes for an interesting bike though and a great read.
We’ve covered a lot this month, with a couple of event reviews and even how to photograph your bike and get it in this here magazine. With so many great bikes out there and such good weather, it would be a shame not to share some fantastic photos.
Right; all this talk of triples has tickled my fancy for a winter project. Anyone know of a Trident for sale that needs some tender love and care?