Speedway Workshop

Today in Motorcycle History

Triumph Speedway Motorcycle

(Information and Photo Courtesy of Rick Newlee)

When Rick Newlee mentioned that he'd spotted a Triumph Speedway Bike at Del Mar, California, I was most keen to see a picture* of this rare combination - and Rick kindly obliged ....

Hi Chris, well here we go again.

This is the one you wanted to see. I got in touch with the fellow that owns this machine last night on the phone. His name is Gary Hicks Sr whose Uncle was Jack Milne. This Triumph actually turns out to be a B50MX engine that was modified for speedway. It was built by Gene Ryan in 1973/1974 era. He was at that time an employee of Milne Bros. Motorcycles in Pasadena, California. He was their race mechanic. The bike had been ridden but never raced.

Many thanks for passing on the picture* and information Rick, a most deserving entry into the Workshop Pages.

Now I know what some of you are thinking - a B50MX engine is actually a BSA motor. Seems that this particular engine was totally stripped, and rebuilt using many Triumph parts, which and what we aren't exactly sure as yet. Another interesting fact comes from Bryan Lambert, who informs me that his BSA friends tell him that the B50 was sometimes badged as a Triumph for the US market but don't know details , certainly the 250cc singles were ( as the 'Blazer')

Certainly seems that the Triumph is generating a lot of interest, as Ben Ludolphy kindly sent me this information regarding another Triumph model.

A very interesting Triumph powered speedway machine was made in England in 1961 by Phil Hattersley & Gerry Goodwin. The engine in that particular machine was a vertical twin, but it worked as a "Big Bang" engine, in other words both cylinders are firing at the same time so the engine runs like a single cylinder motor and was mounted with 2 carbs. The first engine was with the so called generator heads, the second fitted with the Triumph Tiger heads.

In the Motor Cycle News, Wednesday, November 15,1961 is an article about this machine. Instead of the total loss system as used with Jap engines, the Hattersley Goodwin machine employs normal lubrication from a rear mounted oil tank.

The first version used cast iron barrels with most of the finning shaved off, 12.5 to 1 pistons, 3 piece crank and ex RAF generator head ported to Grand Prix specifications. 2 carbs were 1" Amal Road bike, jetted for dope and rubber hose mounted with one float chamber each.

The second version was with a Triumph Tiger 100 engine with cast iron barrels 12.5 to 1 compression and 2XE3134 cams.

Hopefully, someone out there will maybe someday come up with a photograph of this of this most intriguing machine.

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