Workin on em or ridin em


Brother Dear, after about 2-3 months of work, just got his 72 Triumph trident running, not running like a top, but running and you could hear his grin on the phone and hear his pleasure in the e-mail he sent with a vid of it running.

My mechanical skills have never been the best but I can do light work on my bike in a pinch. I do however consider it a chore and the satisfaction is OK, but it's much more fun for me to ride the damned Bonnie than work on it. I think I'm in the majority but may be not. How about you guys?


Street Tracker
I would rather ride but I do take great satisfaction in learning about the inner workings and putting it back together especially with no spare parts.


Staff member
I enjoy both riding and wrenching. In Chicago, there are periods of the year when I cannot ride, so I use those weeks/months to wrench and do projects on the Bonnie. I get satisfaction and enjoyment out of both.


That's why God made winter
I go down into the workshop after thanksgiving and come back up around Easter
Tires are changed and engines rebuilt
This year's winter project is a 1965 BSA Thunderbolt


Street Tracker
I understand the joy of bringing back a neglected machine and have had the same shit-eating grin at the first firing up of a previously left-for-dead bike. My first was a '51 BSA B33 that was seized and the last was a '71 BMW barn find that was sitting with the jugs off/in a milk crate sitting next to the bike. That being said, the past decade has found me less and less inclined to do that sort of thing in lieu of riding my thruxton. It hasn't helped that I've moved twice in that timeframe and have spent way more time setting up work spaces for wrenching than actually using them. But the drive to do the shop time has certainly waned and I'm more in it now for the riding.

FWIW, I still have a couple project bikes kicking around; the '54 BMW R25/3 has been waiting patiently for at least 15 years and I've yet to repair the '71 CB350 racer I threw down at Mid-Ohio in '06. At the rate I'm going, I'll probably end up getting buried with those projects still in the queue...
I'm a born engineer so my hands and mind love a project. My biggest problem is not finishing one before I start another.
On the other hand I love to ride fast and hard and l can be hard on my toys. So I guess it comes in handy, but a wanna-do project is way more fun than a gotta-do.


Street Tracker
I ride my vintage Triumph as hard as my modern one, if anything breaks then I just get to fix it! And it's nice to have a backup for when something does go wrong. I enjoy doing my own work on my bikes, and luckily I have a friend that owns a bike shop that I have complete access to.


Both. Prefer riding, maintenance is annoying to me, but it must be done to keep shit from breaking. However, if it's to make an improvement I'm all about some wrenching. After I move here in the next few weeks my 72 daytona project will be inside, so I have to look at the bloody thing every day and get it going..


Street Tracker
Dave - who did the work on your 904 engine?
I bought the cylinders and pistons and valves from Bill Gately at Bonneville Performance. My headwork was done by an independent. I had a now closed Triumph dealer put it all together for me, but I would do it on my own of I did it again



My personal experience has been that my wrenching skills usually leave things in worse shape, so I end up supporting those who are much better at it than me, which is probably for the best.


New member
I don't get in to the heavy repairs much anymore. I do not start those kind of projects because I never know if I will have the energy or a healthy spell long enough to finish. I do some special parts (have a lathe, drill press, etc.) for my bikes. I do the maintenance and lesser repairs. Im 73 and showing my age a bit. I do love to ride with the guys on my old stuff. They all have new bikes complete with payments. Mine still keep up. ...J.D.203800k km203802203803