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1949 Triumph Speed Twin
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The Speed Twin has been called 'the most influential British bike ever made.' Allen Broad has rebuilt his with painstaking patience, to recreate the machine as it might have left the factory...

You might think that your pet project has taken a little while to finish. 18 months? A couple of years? Phooey. Allen Broad has been working for a little while longer on his post-war, Amaranth Red Speed Twin. He bought it in 1971 for £25 and - a mere three and a half decades later - his restoration was completed!

Hello Jon...

The Speed Twin was, as Cyril Ayton described it; 'probably the best known motorcycle of the day. It was strikingly good looking and, even detuned to suit the pool petrol of the 1940s, turned out 25bhp at 5500rpm which was enough to power the bike at up to 85mph. Light and simple, the engine was virtually a single with two pistons travelling in unison, to give even firing intervals, and impelled by a 360-degree crankshaft. Camshafts front and rear were driven by gears and actuated, from close-set cams, pushrods arranged in pairs and housed in plated tubes.'

...got a new motor?

Back in 1971, Allen's 498cc Triumph was complete but in pretty rough condition, and it didn't actually run. So over the decades it has been completely rebuilt and restored to, in Allen's own words 'a very exacting standard. I have been told many times that I am too fussy!' That might explain why the rebuild took an entire 34 years - he only finished the job in 2005. 'It might be a record' says Allen 'for the longest-ever restoration!'

No beating about the bush...

During those three decades, Allen did most of the work on the Speed Twin - only turning to professionals for help with the plating, wheel-building and the tank-lining. He used and recommends Sprockets Unlimited, Tri-Supply (www.trisupply.co.uk), Kidderminster Motorcycles, Ace Classics and Armours

...this is a very tidy bike.

Take a close look at the photos and you'll see that the Speed Twin has been renovated to standard condition, so there's no modifications, upgrades or improvements. What you see on this machine is what Mr Turner built in the first place!

Eveything as Mr Turner intended...
Random Speed Twin stuff on eBay.co.uk

Yet even without any modern technology, the Speed Twin tends to run just fine. There are very few occasions when it fails Allen - one notable time was during a club run on the Isle of Man during TT week. 'The carb flooded and it wouldn't start, explained Allen. 'I was kicking the bike over trying to start it and it was a blisteringly hot afternoon. When it finally got going I was the very last to leave the meeting point - but I wasn't the last to get to the finish!'

And that ride around the Isle of Man was definitely a high point, after all those years' work preparing the machine. Ask Allen for his magic moment with the Speed Twin and there's no doubt. 'Completing a lap of the TT course in 2006,' he says. The Triumph was ideally suited to the circuit; 'the engine is very lively and torquey, it has a lovely light clutch and an excellent, positive gearbox.'

And here's the man himself.

Allen is justifiably proud of his Speed Twin - 'if it disappeared I'd be heart-broken' - and he'll soon need to sort out some extra space at home for all the cups and trophies he's bound to win. He collected a RealClassic concours award at the Sandwell Historic Vehicle Show in 2006 and we have a sneaky feeling that this Triumph will attract attention where ever it goes…

********

*The next RC-sponsored Show is on Sunday 11th March 2007. To enter your classic motorcycle into the concours see www.classicshows.org

*Details of the 2007 Sandwell Historic Vehicle Show can be found at www.transtarpromotions.co.uk


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