Episode 73. Triumph Palm Beach (Part 2).

Sticking with Triumphs for a bit, I guess it's time for a bit of an update on the Triumph Palm Beach.

I think it's safe to say that things are not going according to plan. My plans for this were originally to give it a good and thorough cleaning and lubricating, then re-assemble and ride it. I thought that also I would change the wheels from old style 26" to a more modern 700c. If I can manage to find a 700c wheel with a Sturmey Archer three speed hub as part of the charm of this bike for me is that lovely tick-tick-ticking sound as you ride it, I love that sound, it's the sound of my youth! Well obviously finding a 700c wheel with a Sturmey Archer hub was going to be a challenge, and so, due to the originaly wheels being so rusty I just went for the 700c wheels from the tip.

Of course I couldn't find a matching pair, but I figured that at the very least I could mock it up with what I had found. The problem was that the front wheels didn't fit well in the Triumph forks, it almost touched the top, and I needed to spread the forks nearly an inch to get the wheel in there. This in my mind is not a good solution. I raided my stash and came up with a set of front forks that the 700c wheel fitted in... Sort of! At the back the frame also needed a bit of a strech, although nowhere near as much as the front did. Annoyingly the rear wheel I had picked up has quite a buckle in it, and this is fine while it has no brakes, but once it's finished the brakes will rub, and this without doubt will annoy me! I've got a few wheels in my stash, but I had no 700c wheels. So instead I fitted a 26" mountain bike wheel.

I can't decide if I like this or not to be honest. The more I look at it however the more I like it. Having a larger front wheel at first seems a bit odd, but almost every motorcycle I've ever owned has a larger diameter front wheel that it does at the rear, so I guess it's ok. Now then, about those front forks working ok, sort of...

Yep, although the wheel fits in, these are clearly from a mountain bike with 26" wheels, so there's no way these brakes are going to work. My solution to this will be to grind off the mountings for the cantilever brakes, and just use caliper brakes fitted through the hole that has the reflector bracket bolted through it. 

With the frame and forks cleaned up as best as I can it's pretty clear that this will never be a good looking example of the Triumph Palm Beach, and to be honest I doubt that anyone will ever want it if I tried to sell it. It's solid enough, but it really would need a complete stripping and restoration to be worth anything, and even then the restoration costs would outweigh the value of the finished bike. This is fine if you are building it for yourself, but then unless you had sentimental value attached to this bike, you probably wouldn't start with this one. So my plan from here on out is to build it in a ratbike fashion (even though I hate the term). My plan is to make it rideable, make it safe, but not to be too worried about the aesthetics of the thing. I think from here the handlebars will stay, but the saddle will go. It's also going to get a set of deraillier gears front and back, and hopefully some decent brakes. As soon as that is done, then I think I'll just ride it, and hopefully enjoy it. The added bonus to this look with any luck will be that nobody else will want to ride it, and therefore nobody will want to steal it! But I've said that before, and that didn't exactly go according to plan either!