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Smithology: On the trail of a 1973 Triumph

The Triumph smelled funny. Like old oil, but also dirt covered in old oil, plus a strange and familiar funk. Maybe you know the scent: equal parts grandma-basement and used tractor, with a faint hint of What Died in Here? Rusty old British sports cars used to smell like this by the time they ended up in junkyards, back when rusty old British sports cars tended to get sent to junkyards, instead of restoration shops.


And yet it wasn’t a sports car. It was a motorcycle.


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The beauty of motorcycles is that the good parts are all on display, not buried under yards of sheet metal. That and the fact that when one rides it is an involving act, unlike a car transporting one from place to place. On the bike, the journey is the reason for the trip.

The TR5T is a fairly rare, very underappreciated model, still usable today as a back road/dirt road ride.

I know a bit about flawed orphan motorcycles and the draw to save at least some of them to carry on the name and the history. Mea culpa, I restore and collect Spanish Bultacos.

Pit Crew