If at first you don’t succeed, love again

Thirty years ago I bought a Tribsa complete with sidecar. I did this because I thought it would be great fun taking my mates out and about in the sunshine.

I tried it out on the farm where I lived at the time and soon discovered that talking it out on the road would result in my death. I removed the chair and used it a handful of times, but decided it was too slow, handled like a gate and the brakes were just ornaments.

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Fast forward 30 years and here I am riding it again. It’s a case of the opposite of rose-tinted goggles.

It has plenty of speed, goes where you point it and the brakes are good.

Looking at the pictures, you will see why this change of heart has come about.

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It now has a Morgo 750 kit fitted, all bearings inside and outside of the engine replaced, polished and now matching con rods.

The crankshaft has been lightened and balanced. I’ve also fitted a Bob Newby clutch and belt drive. Obviously I had to open up the primary case to allow the beauty to be seen.

Some lovely, flanged alloy rims are fitted. I’ve also binned the distributor and replaced it with an electric ignition kit from Electex World Ltd. Thanks to Bob for sorting that out.

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Your keen eye will have spotted the front disc, not around in 1961. This is the result of a change of front end.

The forks and hub are from a 90s Thunderbird and with some clever work from a fella I know called BJ, they now hold up the steering end of the bike.

This then allowed me to have a brake to stop with.

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Now it seems the 30-year rest has changed my mind about riding a classic bike and not just owning one.

They can be great fun after all, and start, run and so far can be reliable. It makes plenty of noise, which is almost as important as the attention it gets when I park it.

I’ve really enjoyed the build, from the head steady made from an old bedsted, to chopping the seat down.

Yes, it belongs to me, but a massive part of it will always belong to my great mate Mack.

Without his help and time I could not have done it. If you know an aircraft engineer who knows Triumph engines as well as him you are halfway there.

That 70-year-old brain is still sound! The only problem I have now is, do I repaint it or not.?

Mack says yes, but another friend, Neville, says no. I could go on with much more but would hate to bore you.

Thanks, Ashley.

Matt: Dear Ashley, thanks for letting us all see your bike – and no, none of us were bored! It looks great and I hope to see it soon. Keep enjoying it!

Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Features online at www.classicbikeguide.com and in the October 2020 issue of Classic Bike Guide – on sale now!

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