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Bike of the Month

May 2019

1972 Triumph TR6RV

By Jerry and Patti Meadows

Anatomy of a Restoration

This is an accounting of what it takes for me to restore a pile of excrement into a bike worthy of its heritage and all the additional help along the way.


This motorcycle was rescued from one of the sheds at Phil Anderson’s ranch after all buyers had passed it by.  It was mostly complete but needing lots of TLC. I went through Sparks Justice Court to obtain a title. 


I completely dismantled and inspected what was and wasn’t there.  Because this is an OIF (oil-in-frame) model, it is not yet a desirable piece, so I took some liberties in the restoration.  I had the frame and swing arm powder-coated flat black.  I replaced the drum brake with a newer style Triumph disc brake front end.


There was no wear or damage in the engine that would give me an idea as to why this bike was parked.  I had the crank balanced using the original standard-bore pistons that were Swain coated.  I was also able to use the original valve guides with new valves, springs and valve seals.  I installed the existing 5-speed gear box.  All aluminum cases are polished by me while watching movies in my shop. With a new carburetor and electronic ignition, the motor unit is set aside.


New rims and tires installed to make a rolling chassis.  Later year front and rear fenders were de-chromed, holes filled and massaged for fit as needed.  I found an OIF gas tank and had it stripped, boiled out and pressure tested.  British racing green metallic paint with white accent stripe and black pin-striping was chosen for the tank and fenders. 


Original exhaust pipes were re-chromed (because re-pops just don’t fit) and matched with ‘60s-retro Triumph mufflers. I replaced  the ugly DOT-required taillight from the 70’s with a sexier 67 taillight.  The side panels were painted a gloss black as were all other bolt-on parts, headlight ears, etc.


Fitted new cables, carb and instruments.  Had a factory seat cover installed over new foam. 


I kicked the engine through to circulate the oil, only to find one of the only parts not be replaced, polished, painted or plated to be bad - - the oil pump.  So even before starting, the first part to be replaced under the unlimited lifetime parts and labor warranty was the oil pump.  


As I write on Sunday night, the bike is scheduled to be started on Wednesday morning.  And I have to thank the following people for making this restoration possible:  Al at Accent Auto Body for all metal repairs: Altizer Powder Coating; Bob Hayes, machinist extraordinaire: KAR upholstery: Meclec Metal Finishing; Tom Kith paint and pinstripe: Apex Anodizing for zinc plating.


Wednesday morning came before this was sent to Rodd.  The bike started on the first kick, what a thrill.  Timed it and took it for a 20 mile ride.  Unfortunately, the alternator is not alternating, so the warranty work begins.


You can see, without the help of my friends, this restoration would not be possible.

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