Pete Stansfield has told the story up to the day he sold me a bobbed Triumph rolling chassis on his Eat the Rich blog, check out T120 parts 1-4, so I'd better take up the story. Spring 2004, Ive got two projects on the go, (whaddya mean only 2???) a CCM/BSA hybrid and a rigid pre unit bonnie chop, so I'm trawling ebay for bobber junk. Now that was back in 2004, not many folks had a clue wot a bobber was, type the word "bobber" into ebay search now and you'll get your pick of everthing from T shirts n stickers to Honda Fireblades wi apehangers, back in 2004 you got about 10 items!
Anyway up comes a listing for a T120 bobber rolling chassis, down in deepest Yorkshire, I recognised it from pics I'd seen in BSH of Pete's T120 and was going to have it one way or another. Cut a short story shorter, the chassis, tank, wheels and tractor style seat arrived on my 40th birthday on a pallet, within about an hour I had the rolling chassis built up on a bench in the shop part of the petrol station that I ran at the time. Just one minor detail, I didnt have a motor for it!
On the phone to all the dealers I knew, nothing, on ebay, nothing, more phonecalls more leads and a couple of false starts later I got my hands on a fully rebuilt TR6P single carb 650cc motor, built up by a fella ready to go in a Rickman Metisse chassis to go pre 65 Scambling, but never used. All new parts inside, new carb and good to go!
The motor was fitted up, with help from Colin (now trading as Loch Ness Restorations )sparks were sorted out with a Boyer black box and micro digital ignition kit. Lights, who needs lights???
So a couple of months after it arrived from Petes, its on the road, christened BlackBob and getting a good shakedown at the Loch Ness Run.
I rode BlackBob like that all summer 2004, straight thru hi level legburner pipes, enclosed chain primary, standard T140 brakes front and rear and the forks that came with the rolling chassis which were T140 with cut down springs to lower the front end.
Over the winter months I pulled it all apart again, forks got rebuilt with new stanchions seals and
Progressive springs which lifted the front end by about 2", calipers got swapped for nice new lightweight Grimeca alloy ones with race spec pads. A change of sprockets to give better gearing to suit the type of riding up here in the middle of nowhere. Then some trick bits - SRM alloy clutch plate, race clutch, PSP hydraulic clutch kit and Magura master cylinders for both clutch and brakes, braided stainless hoses for both. While the primary was open I fitted a Hayward belt drive.
Back on the road for spring 2005 and what a difference, great handling, gearing lets the bike pull cleanly to well over the ton, clutch is light and positive, brakes are just excellent!
Round about this time I picked up a used Joe Hunt Magneto, so the boyer got stripped off along with the alternator and now BlackBob was completely Lucas free 8-)
The difference in the motor having the alternator removed was really impressive just picks up and revs so much better.
2006 Some minor changes, I managed to persuade Pete to part with the open primary cover that he had kept hold of, couldn't afford the ARD mag set up but to be honest I kinda like the way the Hunt hangs out there, EVERYONE asks what happens if I crash the bike on that side???!!!! dunno why, I suppose it must look kinda vulnerable, but at the end of the day if you bin a bike its gonna need fixed innit!
2007 wasnt a great year! I'd had a whole lot of phonecalls from a guy called Adam down in Hampshire who really wanted to buy BlackBob, pretty much asking me to name my price, at first the answer was a definate NO! but as the winter months kicked in and the bills kept coming I was kinda getting forced towards selling him the bike. I was gathering the parts for the Stroker Scout build at this time and something had to go!
In a moment of madness, I called Adam and told him a price, he agreed (didnt expect that!) and early 2007 I met him at Abingdon Services and we did the deal, a wad of cash and the remains ofthe ex Chris Knibbs T140 Flattracker came north with me, and BlackBob went south with Adam - I was gutted!
So 2007 came n went with a succession of modern bikes that never quite filled the gap, I got sent a pic that by a mate who'd seen BB down at a bike show in Aldershot.
Tail end of the year I got a call from Adam, he'd decided to sell BB, would I be interested?
So by selling a few Indian spares and the modern bike of the moment, I rustled up the asking price (less than he'd paid) I sorted out a man wiv a van to bring the beastie north and a week later BB was back in the lockup.
Adam had made some minor changes, the pipes were shorter and now had a kick up at the rear, which I liked, but they needed something - so I wrapped them! He'd changed the speedway bars for a narrower set and had machined up some low risers, otherwise BB was pretty much the same bike to look at.
The motor wasn't the same tho........... it started fine and would tick over, but all through the midrange there was a stuttering misfire, tried the Mag, new condenser, new coil, still the same!
Over the winter the top end got stripped down and checked over, I decided to fit a Morgo 750cc big bore kit, and a Cobb Racing sidedraft Mikuni kit from the states. These fitted early Summer 2008 BB was back on the road, the Mikuni wasnt quite running right, so I took it along to Highland MC Dyno's, just along the road from me and they got it running pretty sweet. Still a bit iffy when cold but once warmed up the motor pulls strong.
Summer 2010 BlackBob was taken to Richi Foss at Foss Fabrication and Welding in Inverness to get a new set of stainless exhausts made up, a chain tensioner and to have the footpegs modified to fold up, to help get round corners ;-) a few weeks later back on the road, sounding ace and looking sooohhhh good!
Well, that pretty much brings the story up to date, BB comes out to play most weekends, sometimes gets used for the run up to work at Achnasheen and gets taken to the Loch Ness run and sometimes the Helmsdale Run (both organised by the Highland CMCC) Always ridden hard and fast, always draws a crowd when its parked up, gets mixed reactions from the public, everything from thumbs up to shaked fists (that always cracks me up!)
So what's next? down the line, sometime, I want to put together a stroker motor, I read about a fella in Oz who put together a 940cc bonnie motor using a Norton Commando crank in T140 cases, but that'll have to wait til Ive finished all the Indian projects!
One thing's for sure, BlackBob aint for sale!