Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thump thump thump! Tiger cub purrs after a long cat nap!

Of all my motorcycles, the one I will never part with is the '61 triumph cub my father built from spare parts a few years before his passing. All his cycles were sold when his cancer worsened except the cub - which he gave to me. If you're unfamiliar with the cub, it's a 200cc single cylinder (aka a thumper due to the single cylinders signature sound). This was the successor to the Terrier which was made up until the mid 50's. The cubs were produced from 1956 to 1968 and were available in several different versions, including scramblers and road bikes. The bike picture above is a scrambler, with it's high pipes and on/off road tires. While street legal, they were geared differently than the road bikes to provide better torque in off road conditions.

Long story longer, the cub was built out of parts my dad collected from swap meets. She's a loose replica of a tiger cub he owned while in college during the early 60's. It has pieces of this and that on it, so she's by no means original as the factory would have sold it, but all the wiring and pieces were carefully put together to make a tidy little bike.... but she's a bitch to start! I had her running earlier this summer but then she stalled and wouldn't restart.

Today I got at it again, but couldn't get her to fire up. I fiddled with the carb for a bit, sprayed some contact cleaner on the points, spent an hour trying to kick start it with no luck. Bump starting in first gear proved impossible since it's so light, the tire just skids when I pop the clutch. I finally realized it might be easier to bump start her in second gear. This was the ticket. After three attempts she sprang to life. After that I adjusted the carb some more and got her purring like I kitten (or cub if you will). I rode around the neighborhood and even turned her off and restarted several times. Turns out the cub just likes to be ridden and sitting for extended periods makes her cranky. I love this bike, and I look forward to taking her off road and doing some trials type riding. I promised my dad that I'd enjoy this bike and I plan on making good on my word.

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