I Love Triumphs


Is it because of my European genes, because every day I was seeing one passing by my high school, or simply because I love bare bones skinny looking bikes? I always loved Triumphs. And with the retro trend in full swing I enjoy seeing builders of American bikes taking inspiration and parts from many foreign brands to conceive and build their next sleds. There is a shop in California that many of you don’t know. Four Aces Cycle Supply is specializing in Triumphs and other British makes, but has also plenty of experience with Harleys (of course, they love WL’s). Their site is full of very cool and simple bikes. And trust me, it’s worth the jump. Four Aces Cycle Supply.

9 Responses to “I Love Triumphs”

  1. 1 Kirk Perry Apr 22nd, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Very nice machines. Nimble.
    Good to see in a state that WON’T EVEN ALLOW KIT BUILDS !

  2. 2 Ryan Apr 22nd, 2009 at 10:47 am

    In Southern California, this is THE place to go for all your motorsickle needs. Prices are way low for the expertise you get, the bikes always look and ride amazing, and the owner (Wes White) is an honest craftman.

    I purchased a bike here (not a Triumph!), and I have had nothing but good times since. Four Aces builds bikes you can RIDE. I couldn’t be happier.

  3. 3 Kirk Perry Apr 22nd, 2009 at 10:56 am

    I did own a (rear “spring” hub) ’52 Triumph Thunderbird in the early 60’s. I bought it from the guy that owned a Bear Brake Service® on Slber Rd. in Spring Branch, Texas. It was parked leaning against the wall of his shop. His wife needed a washing machine at the same time I wanted to buy his bike.
    The T-bird had been owned by numerous people over the years (averaged about one new owner each summer). In Texas the original title had spaces on the back for the new owners to sign-off on. The back of the title had several owners I had heard about, some were thugs. All of them had paper routes at one time or another. I remember that (one owner) Glen Baines threw a 110 customer Chronicle route. There was a “paper corner” lot and field behind the Midget Market on Long Point. The Houston Chronicle had a lease on the property and built us a 30 x 30 corrguated tin roof supported by cedar poles, with full length benches (pretty soon the cedar poles were stripped bare, because we found out that if we stripped cedar bark off the poles, we could rub it on a stone and smoke it wrapped in newspaper.) “Don’t suck up a flame!!”, my mom would warn.
    The dirt parking lot was filled daily at 2 p.m., with motor scooters (Mustangs, Cushmans, Vespa’s, Piaggio’s, and bigger Brit bikes as kids got older). The “paper corner” could be a rough place. There was a burn pile behind the shed where carriers threw away yesterday’s papers and paper bundle wraps and wire. Sometimes a kid would get thrown into the fire, but would only get singed, unless he got tangled in bailing wire loops, then he might trip and get his pant legs lit up.
    One kid kept bugging Baines for a ride on the back fender of his T-bird. So Baines said okay, lets go. The kid got on the back and Baines took off. With no pegs to put his feet, the kid rolled backwards over the rear fender and Baines kept twisting the throttle. He kept the throttle open enough that the kid couldn’t recover his balance and finally fell off about 50 yards away from the shed, where about 50 kids were watching. Nobody ever asked Baines for a ride again.
    When I bought the (Baines) Triumph in 1962, it was to replace my Tiger Cub. I went from 150 cc to 650 cc, and the day I drove it home (down Long Point Ave.) it was raining. I still remember shifting from 3rd to 4th gear and immediately gaining big respect for a Brit twin. It seemed to me (at that very moment), that unless you rode a motorcycle that was big enough to scare you, every time you rode it, that a person couldn’t be satisfied with anything less than 650 cc (even if my T-Bird was only 28 cu. in. compared to a Bonneville’s 34). Triumph® was my first Big Twin.

  4. 4 Nicker Apr 22nd, 2009 at 12:28 pm


    Lots of scooter jockeys started working as paper carriers. More than one were members of the Richmond Ramblers. Guys like Dick “bugs” Mann and Steve “Barney” Bailes ran their paper routs on motorcycles.

    In those days a “Factory Ride” was a dealer who loaned ya a bike to deliver papers in the morning, with lights removed ya raced it later that day, then reinstalled the lights and returned it the next day.

    Always had Triumphs, the “Small Block Chevy” of motorcycles, always will.

    Great “paper lot” story.
    Brings back good memories. Thanks.
    Can smell the Bean-Oil now …… 🙂


  5. 5 Kirk Perry Apr 22nd, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    I posted a pic of a Mustang over at http://hydra-glide.com/
    You don’t have to register to view it – just scroll down to the heading “Knuckleheads, Shovels & Other Models”
    “Here’s a 1960 Bronco owned by Doug Smith. First year with wire wheels. Dougs papers are wrapped too loose. You had to really get down on them, to roll them tight. The papers were tied by having a roll of #2 twine (#1 twine would pop when the paper hit the pavement). However, these papers should be lain: One row down in the bottom of the bag, then the rest of the papers crammed upright like soda straws. The canvas bags would always be stretched to the max. – full. To not carry every paper you needed to complete your route, meant that you had to go back to the paper corner to re-fill -which was viewed as poor performance by your peers.
    Dogs that chased you would gnaw at the bags. There was nothing you could do about it except carry a water pistol and blast the mutt between the eyes. Worked for awhile, but not against dogs that liked water.
    With a tightly rolled paper, you could “walk” the paper up the customers driveway, sometimes hitting their front door with the paper’s last legs. Talk about Zen. That’s all the [b]Zen[/b] you’d ever need doll face. A hit like that could inspire the confidence to steer with no hands (Ma!) and throw papers across you chest in both directions.”

  6. 6 Slag Apr 23rd, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Triumph was and will always have a place in my heart. My first big twin was a 1965 Bonneville and wish I had never let it go. Went into military and sold it. I regret this even today. Back then there were hardly any jap bikes except just a few little rice bikes beginning to trickle into the US. The Bonneville had 52 hp weighing in at 380 lbs right off the show room floor.

  7. 7 Jamea (Kiwi) Apr 24th, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Had a 51 ThunderBird for 14 years and had to sell it so I could buy a 94 RoadKing in 94 which I still own.I know were the ol girl is and try to get her back ocasionaly.
    Had 72,78 and 81 Bonnies.Bought the 81 new , it was a nice bike.Getting near the end of the real triumphs…had an electric foot even.
    The new thunderBird is a middle weight cruiser.Not like the originals that won the Maudes trophy.
    I may be wrong but I think The land speed record for a normaly aspirated 650’s is still held by a pre unit Triumph.Running CI head and barrels.

    Those were the days when MotorCyclists had an adventure every time they rode out of the garage


  8. 8 Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian M/C Co Apr 25th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    I saw their workmanship at the Legends show in Half Moon Bay Ca, nothing short of perfection. Great job.

  9. 9 Psycho Drew Apr 27th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Triumph’s rule.When I was a kid a friend of mines Dad rode a 650 Bonneville chopper in the early 70’s.That is one of the reasons I have been into bikes my whole life.Old Bonnevilles are cool stock or custom.

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Cyril Huze