Tuesday, May 22 2012

TT Cycles’ Scallop Fest

By Buck Manning Photos by Dennis “Why do you spill all my secrets?” Harrold


TT Cycles’ Scallop Fest


Whenever I went out to a restaurant, I always ordered scallops. Grilled, seared, wrapped in bacon, wrapped in prosciutto, gratin, Provencal, and even in a casserole of sorts.
I loved scallops. Unfortunately for me, some stupid inner body clock fired off and I developed a shellfish allergy when I was 38. Now, they’re as deadly to me as a little nip from an African Saw-Scaled Viper.
Strange how something you love can turn on you so badly, but that could be said about a lot of things. Luckily, I still get to enjoy scallops on motorcycles, but just like at a restaurant,
I can only really enjoy them when they’re done well. Sometimes, just like food, I find them all the tastier when the simpler the better and executed to perfection.

Now I’ve never eaten candy magenta scallops and never will even if someone figures out a recipe for them, but I have seen them in the combined work of TT Cycles’ painter extraordinaire
and man-about-town, Dennis Harrold, with a lovely garnish of pin striping by pinstriped extraordinaire, Greg Ross, on this lovely TT Cycles-built 1967 Triumph TR6 bobber,
They look marvelously tasty laid over a black base coat on the clean-as-a-whistle (whatever the hell that old saying means) Triumph tank. “My favorite aspects of the bike are the color of the scallops and the rear fender.
 I love the contrast on the paint colors and how the silver outline on the scallops ties into the whole polished aluminum thing,” said TT’s other principal and the laid-back half of the TT duo, the dashingly-shy Steve Blaufeder.
“Dennis laid on a killer paint job, black base with candy magenta scallops. Our pinstriped, Greg Ross, outlined the scallops in a nice subtle silver.”
I gotta agree with the quieter one of the two as it’s a striking scheme in its total classic simplicity and almost looked like it might have (or should have) made the original cross-Atlantic trip from Ol’ Blighty just as you see it.

Steve explained how this whole bike came about and where it ended up and here’s a spoiler, it’s living and riding nowhere near their Berkeley Heights,
New Jersey, shop or even within the shores of America. “We were contacted by a nice gentleman, Renaldo, from Belgium. He had seen one of our bikes that sparked his interest.
He requested a bike done in a similar style to what he had seen. We never really like to duplicate things, so we ‘coaxed’ him into a few changes,” said Steve. “For instance, the original bike Renaldo saw had a 4"-over frame.
We opted to go with a 6"-over with a 2”-drop bolt-on hard tail after getting some personal details about his height, pants inseam, etc.”

After doing all their standard TT touches like rebuilding the single-carb motor to stock specs with all their quiet modern updates to make it a reliable runner,
Steve bolted on a set of internally-unencumbered TT-style pipes to let the Meriden vertical twin sing its song like a flat tracker running the Ascot TT races.
Belgium must have some rather lax noise laws I imagine or Renaldo is a very good and very fast rider when those very annoying European sirens start wailing. With only four-speeds in the Triumph tranny and a torque-laden twin,
maybe he can just concentrate on riding fast and not worrying about what gear he’s in.

Other little touches are the 21’ rim laced to a ‘69/’70-style brake drum with a 16” rim out back laced to the stock ’67 drum. An attractively plump, vintage-size rear tire sits under something I’m seeing more of lately,
a polished aluminum, ribbed-for-your-viewing pleasure fender that evokes images of old English bikes with their much-narrower, but similar fenders.
Along with the 2”-drop in the rear hard tail, the bike features a 2’-drop in the forks to keep things on an even and pretty keel.
Meanwhile, the sprung saddle helps Renaldo’s spine to live another day when the road gets a little waffle-y in Belgium.

Did you catch the script on the down tube right by the coil by chance? Well in case you’re wondering what the hell that’s all about, the Jimmy Stewart of Triumphs, steve explained,
“Renaldo was adamant that we put Made In New Jersey on the frame, simulating the Made In England decal that adorns so many British bikes.
The bike was built here as far as Renaldo’s concerned, so Made In New Jersey it was. Here again, Greg Ross was the big hero and hand-painted that script.”

Summing up the build for a customer they never saw, Steve said, “We were able to give Renaldo the bike he wanted, while not copying a bike we had already built.
The bike went together smooth as silk with no issues. I put about 300 miles on this bike before it went out. I did not want to let this one go! It is comfortable, fast, and a pleasure to ride.
There have been only a few bikes that I can honestly say, ‘I wish I could keep this.’ This was one!”

For more info on TT Cycles and their incredible and diversified portfolio of totally affordable Triumph customs for an average guy or gal or even a Belgian with good taste, visit www.ttcycles.net.