Custom 1964 Triumph Hardtail

words by Christopher Campbell; photos by Julius Goboly

I’VE owned the Triumph for probably a bit over two years. When I got it it was in milk crates with empty engine cases that were cracked. I was approached by a couple of mates to actually pull my finger out and build it, and I started, but it just sat together loosely, and then on Australia Day I got really into it — I was like, shit, we’ve got seven weeks to have it finished for The Machine Show in Braidwood. 

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I finished it the morning of the show. I rode it down to the end of the street and back once and then put it on the trailer and took it to the show.

It’s got ’64, 66C competition cases. They were pretty badly damaged so we welded and polished them. 

It’s a ’69 triple frame. I think it’s a ’71 front-end. The hardtail is an off-the-shelf unit from America. 

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Everything’s done by me, in a shed, by myself and my wife and a couple of close mates. The oil tank is fabricated by myself. All the guard struts, everything that looks fabricated, has been done by myself.

I got the majority of the bits and pieces from Dave, a mate of mine locally in Canberra. Also known as Numbers, he is a Triumph nut. He helped me assemble the engine and sourced a lot of the hard-to-get bits for me. 

Some stuff came out of the States; bits and pieces, the charging system and things like that. I also bought stuff from swap meets. The headlight was $5 at a swap meet; the tail light was $10. You know, just bits and pieces here and there. I’d collected a lot of stuff and then started building the bike.

I laced the wheels myself. That’s the first time I’ve ever laced a rim. My dad and another mate, Dan, they showed me the ropes on how to do it.

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Daniel Huff did the seat on the bike.

The paint on the tins was done by me and then flow-coated by friends of mine, David and Eric. It’s a Honda midnight blue. The cream was just an off-the-shelf cream. 

The gold-leaf, 23 carat gold, pin striping I got from a guy in Melbourne who does a lot of sign-writing shop fronts. He sent it up to me and I had to glue it down to the tank; not an easy task. It’s not super expensive but it’s like microns thin and you can’t even breathe on it because it just blows away.

I have my own fully equipped garage so I’ve got everything that I need to fabricate anything. I’m a through and through tight arse who likes to do everything myself as much as I possibly can. That being said, I’ve had a lot of help from friends. 

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A couple of the guys from The No Hopers helped with fabrication, cleaning things up, bits and pieces. And of course my lovely wife, Amanda, who sat out in the shed with me and wet-sanded the engine cases ready to polish them. She supported me the whole way through, and she held bits while I welded them together.

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There was a lot of stuff that I get through my mate Dave. He helped me out with a lot of bits and pieces. But, yeah, most of the stuff I just made it and made it work. That’s the beauty of having a fully equipped garage.

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It was made to look like a classic bike, but to someone who knows what they’re looking at, they’ll know it’s heavily modified. From front to back there’s not one thing that’s standard. I’ve had cops come up to me and ask me what sort of bike it is. They know it’s a Triumph because they can see the badges  but they don’t know what year it is and they just think it’s a classic bike. It gets no heavy attention. It’s loud but it doesn’t seem to worry them.

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I’m not really a show person so it’s sort of hard to get motivated to go to them. But it’s been ridden a lot. It’s probably done 6000 — 7000 km so far which is pretty good for a bike that is just a weekender.

I always wanted a Triumph, always wanted to make it my style — very understated; really stripped back; nice and simple and clean.

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