Triumph Desert Sled


Our dear friend and Triumph authority, Jonnie Green, called last week to confirm that our restored 1957 Triumph TR6 Trophy was ready for final inspection prior to delivery. So, we headed down to Los Angeles to give the nod of approval, and took the opportunity to review our next project.

Jonnie is a wealth of information when it comes to Triumph Motorcycles, and has ingested, collected and traded more period literature than he dares to remember. His attention to detail is second to none, and aligns with our preference that a restoration should be performed using not only the correct year of manufacture factory parts wherever possible, but that those parts are sympathetically refinished to oem specifications. Needless to say, our Triumph TR6 Trophy is a visual feast, and was awarded 1st place in the European category at the 2011 Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

Jonnie originally discovered our TR6 when the walls of the shed that it had been parked in since 1959 collapsed. The original owner was a gentleman by the name of Bob Rickard who raced a Triumph 650 at Scrambles and Desert events in Southern California during the late 1950’s. In 1960, Bob won a contract to ride for the Honda Factory Race Team, and consequently parked his old British iron in the shed, and along with our TR6 was his competition prepared Triumph T110 Desert Sled. Jonnie purchased both bikes and Bob’s ’59 Tiger Cub Scrambler from his surviving family. Our intention was always to restore both motorcycles, with Bob’s Desert Sled slated to be re-commissioned in full competition spec., just as it was last raced.

Bob Rickard’s Desert Sled is as authentic as they come, with an abundance of period factory racing, or aftermarket items making this a reference quality example of the machines that competed at events like the Catalina Grand Prix.

Street equipment such as lighting, fenders, center and side stands, and the twin seat were discarded in the build of these bikes. Bob’s bike has a factory supplied serial number delete frame, indicating a purpose build. Features include superb period accessories such as slash-cut MCM high pipes, a Bates racing seat, Q air cleaner, Webco quick-action throttle, an alloy rear guard, and oversize rear Sprocket and folding foot pegs. The bike is also fitted with a very rare high-capacity oil tank usually reserved for the TR5 and T100 factory race bikes. It was common practice for racers to cover home made folding foot-pegs with garden hose, and it’s details like this that normally get lost during restoration. Still fitted with its Dunlop Trials Universal tires, this pukka racer is destined to roar in anger once again.

Stay tuned for the final restoration photographs early next year, and our modern-day tribute, the Triumph Catalina, based on a new Triumph Scrambler.

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