One Sweet 1969 Triumph Chopper

“…after one too many burnouts, the drive chain snapped, wedging itself around the front sprocket and ripping out the gearbox,” said Greg.

IN ABOUT 1998, my mate, Joe Georgiou, bought a Triumph motorcycle in four or five boxes. He pieced it together, and with a few modifications, rode it until it seized in about 2002. He then made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and a deal was struck.

I was doing an apprenticeship at Cash & Co Motorcycle Wreckers, so with some help from Greg and Joe, we rebuilt the engine. I was finally riding my first Trump. Then, after one too many burnouts, the drive chain snapped, wedging itself around the front sprocket and ripping out the gearbox. 

A pair of T120 cases and the rest of the parts needed for another rebuild were sourced from Norm at Sovereign Classic Motorcycles in Glenquarie. While filing out the cases to accept the 750 barrels, I thought it would be the ideal time to hand-polish them. What a dickhead!

Now, with the motor back together and looking good, attention was turned to the rest of the bike. It was re-assembled with new wiring and electrical. Some new carbs and some other new bits and pieces were added, and she’s looking great.

On a beer budget, a mate, Kevin Osmond (Ozzy), had some two-pak black and claret-red left over so the tank, guards and frame were blasted and primed at RED Abrasive Blasting & Protective Coatings, then Ozzy and me put them on the clothes-line and painted them.

It looked good but the claret-red was a bit plain, so after a few beers, we decided some violet pearl might do the trick. Some violet pearl was purchased and poured straight into the gun filled with claret-red until we could see it (never used pearl before). Put it on the bike and wheeled her out in the sun and the bloody thing was the brightest pink I’ve ever seen! Excellent on a car but didn’t work for the bike so a new plan was to put some blue tint into the clear and spray on as many coats as we could to tame her down. 

My mate Joe was doing some airbrushing and offered to do a mural on the tank. A dragon was decided and left in his capable hands. End result—bloody awesome!

photos by George; words by Greg Burgess

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