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Thruxton 300x240Triumph Thruxton

The Triumph Thruxton 900 is a twin-cylinder, air-cooled. British motorcycle manufactured and marketed by Triumph Motorcycles and launched in 2004. The Thruxton is heavily based on the company’s Bonneville model, with hallmark café racer style modifications — including clip-on handlebars, rear foot controls (“rear sets”), small flyscreen, white-faced instruments, reverse cone silencers, and a prominent rear seat cowl.

The motorcycle is named after Thruxton Circuit, a race track where in 1969 Triumph won the top three places in theThruxton 500-mile endurance race. These were the same races that established the “café racer” era when standard production motorcycles were modified to improve street and racing performance.

Suzie’s favorite color is Yellow. Triumph only produced yellow Thruxtons in 2005 and 2006.


Rocket3 300x240Triumph Rocket 3

What a monster, it is all engine, a massive 2.3 litre three cylinder engine.

Despite extensive market research, the Rocket III has had difficulty finding its niche. Originally intended to break into the USA’s lucrative cruiser market, the Triumph struggled to find acceptance among Harley-Davidson’s ultra-traditional riders, who have barely come to terms with Harley-Davidson’s own V-Rod.[8] The 2009 Thunderbird competes more successfully with Harley-Davidson bikes. Triumph is spreading its focus: the Rocket III is now in the “musclebike” and “streetfighter” market, where the Yamaha V-Max has found success while the Rocket III Touring is making inroads to the market for large touring machines.

Motor Cycle News said of the Rocket III: “It is the biggest; most bad-ass motorcycle money can buy. The Triumph Rocket III is an incredible experience and bravo to Triumph for making it. Compared to a Harley, the Rocket III is a steal. It’s better braked, faster, handles better and it’s British.

The engine produces 140 bhp more than twice as much as Suzie’s Thruxton but it weighs 770 lbs.

Classic Racing Bikes

whiteshadowVincent White Shadow

Despite the obvious I could not find a picture of a white one.

White shadows were produced with a polished aluminium engine rather than the black engines provided on the more popular Black Shadows.

In 2016, the bike illustrated sold for US$440,000 .


manx norton 300x240Manx Norton

The Manx was produced with both a 500cc and 350cc engines and was the MOST successful British racing motorcycle.

A Norton had contested every Isle of Man TT race from the inaugural 1907 event through into the 1970s, the only manufacturer with this legacy.

The Manx of the 50’s was a special machine its advanced twin overhead cam engine (only tamed by the multicylinder engines of the Italian manufacturers) and the Feather Bed frame. Much of the Norton’s success was attributed to this frame which was developed by the McCandless brothers. The ‘Featherbed’ gained its name from a comment from an early rider  like “riding on a featherbed” compared with riding the “garden gate(The Garden gate was the name of the old Norton frame).

Nortons dominated motor sport in the fifties even tasting success against the Italian multicylinder machines. In the first decade of the post-war TT’s Norton had a total of 10 wins in the Senior and Junior TT’s.

Manx Norton engines were the ‘go to’ engine for the then Formula 3. Norton refused to sell their engines alone if you wanted an engine, you bought a bike. This led to a secondary market in ‘Feather Bed’ frames and the birth of Tritons (Triumph engine) Norvins (Vincent engine) and many other hybrid machines.


AJS 300x240The AJS 7R (Boy Racer)

The AJS 7R was, after the Manx Norton, the most successful British racing motorcycle. The Manx raced with both a 500cc and 350cc engine. The 7R was only produced as a 350cc.

Nicknamed ‘The Boy Racer’ (being a 350cc it could only compete in the Junior Manx TT).

Always in the shadow of the Nortons which dominated all forms of motorcycle racing, particularly in the early 50’s the AJS 7R never won the world championship although in 1949, 1950 and 1951 it was runner-up. The bike continued to perform credibly actually winning the 1954 Isle of Man Junior TT in 1954.


Golden Eagle 300x240Matchless G50

The 500cc version of the AJS 7R. Called the Golden Eagle for its (golden) anodised aluminium. Like the AJS this was not affectation, it was to protect the easily oxidized magnesium alloy from corrosion.

Whilst there were many entries in the TT’s in the early 50’s there were only two minor placings 1951 and 1955.


Porcupine E90 300x240AJS E90 (Porcupine)

The E90 AJS gained its name – “The porcupine” because of the spiked finning on the cylinder head. This bike won the first World Championship in 1949.

The bike was unique it was designed before the war to be a supercharged machine, hence the engine configuration, low to leave room for the supercharger on top. The rules changed after the war and the bike was presented as a naturally aspirated machine.

All of the E90 Porcupines were believed to have been scrapped by the factory.

The Porcupine was the brainchild of Joe Craig, who is more famous for developing Norton’s racing singles. AMC’s development team included Phil Irving and Vic Webb.


Porcupine 300x240

AJS E95 (Porcupine)

The E95 was also called the Porcupine but was majorly different to the E90. The engine was tilted the frame was new, but it is one of the world’s most expensive bike reputedly being sold after auction at Bonham’s for $675,000.


Racing PorcupineOnly four were made, later a display model was found to be a fully functioning machine making five.




KKT 300x240Velocette KKT

The Velocette was a highly regarded marque in motorcycle racing. The KKT won the inaugural 350cc World Championship in 1949.

Velocettes had a sprinkling of success in racing throughout the 50’s.


dbd34 300x240BSA Gold Star

The ‘Goldie’, no clues where that name came from, but it is a little deeper than that. The bike was called The Empire Star until  Wal Handley won the Brooklands TT in 1937 and was awarded a Gold Star pin for averaging over 100mph lap speed. The name stuck.

Its ancient design was said to have been outdated from inception but its name resonates through racing history, even though it was never placed in a World championship or Isle of Man TT.