Triumph 650 History Lesson, Continued

During the time I was rebuilding the motor, and assembling/modifying the frame, I also purchased a Harley-Davidson Sportster gas tank, which I intended to modify and use as my gas tank.

P1000054.JPG P1000056.JPG
I also found a really cool, funky ‘coffin’ style tank at a swap meet, that I couldn’t pass up, but I sold it with the bike (kicking myself!!).


I continued on the motor, putting the head back in place, after doing a basic valve job.


I also worked on putting the transmission back together.


Buttoning things up…


I also bought some Kawasaki ZX-11 inverted forks, thinking they would be sweet, but when I got them, they were bent… so much for ebay parts. Worst part was the seller wouldn’t take them back. I ended up selling them again on eBay as damaged, and made my money back, but just barely. They sure are cool looking though… I would have loved to use them!


About this time, I had the frame sand blasted at LNE blasting in Harris, MN… on a side note, Curt Peltier, the guy who bought my parent’s house in Harris back in 1996 or 1997 acquired LNE blasting in December of 2005. He’s a really good guy, and I’m sure I’ll use him to do a bunch of my blasting in the future!

Back to the triumph, here is a shot of the frame, and misc parts after blasting.


I assembled it (with a Honda rear wheel I had laying around), and rolled it into the daylight (or twilight as it were)…


Wow I just found a cute photo of Michelle and Jessie! It must have been Halloween… maybe 2003?


I tried the Sportster tank on for size, and realized it looked really… well, bad.


So I decided if Jessie (James) can build a tank from scratch, so can I! I started by making a cardboard template for the top and side, and taping them on, to see what I thought. Looks good.

P1000507.JPG P1000509.JPG

I borrowed a powerhammer from Richard Kleinschmidt (shopdog powerhammers)about this time… didn’t have a good place for it, so it sat pretty close to the floor… oh well. It worked so good! I wish I knew how to use it better, and had more time to play with it. My wooden buck is in the foreground.


I got the buck covered in bondo, and pulled a ‘flexible shape pattern’ from it.


About this time, Richard also had a get together at his shop in Minneapolis, where I got to play with some big boy metalshaping toys… pullmax, e-wheels galore, planishing hammers, more shopdogs, and some other brand power hammers. I also got to play with TIG welding for the first time. Oxygen Service Company borrowed a Miller 180SD for us to play with, and I spent about 12 hours over three days doing just that.
P1000650.JPG P1000651.JPG

And then my Jeep was broken into, and my digital camera stolen.

2 comments to “Triumph 650 History Lesson, Continued”
2 comments to “Triumph 650 History Lesson, Continued”
  1. Hello, nice project. I possibly can get my hands on a 1967 Triumph Trophy 250cc. I’m a little worried that parts will be very hard to get and the bike hasn’t been started in about 10 years so I probably gonna needs some. Would you recommend getting this bike and where do you get all your parts from. At some point I will pick up a Triumph bike so hoping you can help me out on finding a good supplier. Kind regards, Gary

  2. Hi Gary,

    There were actually quite a few places that I was able to get parts. The first place I looked (of course) was the company I work for… .

    We really don’t carry much for the older triumphs, so I had to find some other resources. I’ve ordered parts from British Only, and was very happy:

    Keith at Moore’s Cycle Center talked to me for about an hour on the phone, answering loads of my questions:

    Hope those help,


Leave a Reply