Kevin off of the RealClassic Message Board ponders the origins of his 1961 Triumph 500 twin, originally registered as CSU 662. Maybe…
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Old bikes; different things to different people. At one end you have the fully restored as new type of bike, the sort that could grace any museum, then you have the “original” oily rag, un-restored, used regularly type of machine, like Daisy or Phoebe of Mr Ham’s stable, and then you have bikes like mine. Let me explain.
My bike left Meriden in 1961 or 1962 as a bathtub encased T100A, the fastest of the 500s at that time, with more horsepower, fitted with hotter cams as standard, and looking resplendent in her two-tone paint, offset with chrome fittings.
44 years later, things have changed. Not for the worse, but changed they have. As you can see, the bathtub has gone, common practice in the sixties I am told – well they rattled you see, and were never that cool for the young rockers of the time.
I am only the fifth owner in the bike’s life and, working backwards, she was in Newbury when I bought her in August 2005, Registration Number 293 BDU, and according to the MOT tickets she had been there since July 2002. Before that she was in Wooton-U-Edge from 2001, and Bristol from 1997 but. She was in Hayling Island in 1995 under a different number; it was CSU 662 and she was painted black.
Old and new T100 stuff on eBay.co.uk
Here she is, a picture taken on my first ride out on her, and as you can see there are a few non standard parts fitted….
The handlebars are Renthal braced bars, and if you look closely there is a “custom” alloy top yoke, the silencers look like bonnie items, and the guards have all been chopped. I have already put my mark on the bike at this stage, as the seat is a new item I picked up from the Netley Marsh jumble.
Next is a shot from the back showing the chopped rear guard and the 17″ tyre with scary square profile! You also get a better look at the Renthal bars from here.
While on the first run I noticed that I had an oil leak from the pressure relief valve, so I looked for a new one and found these as made by SRM. The quality is outstanding and this is one of the first batch made.
I made the decision that a 7″ sls front brake was not the best option when living in a busy town full of traffic, so I started searching for an 8″ tls front hub/brake, and then set about having the wheels built with 18″ alloy rims and stainless spokes, to replace the 17″ fitted as standard. Here is what she looks like now with the new wheels fitted.
So I wonder where she really came from and what her original issued registration was way back when? Maybe one of you reading this will remember her…