The Salt Ghost - pre-unit Triumph land speed bike - The Jockey Journal Board

Go Back   The Jockey Journal Board > General Discussion > The Board

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-12-2010, 10:26 AM   #1
lowbrowcustoms
Senior Member
 
lowbrowcustoms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Medina, Ohio
Posts: 1,739
Default The Salt Ghost - pre-unit Triumph land speed bike

This article was written by Wes White of Four Aces Cycle and originally appeared on ChopCult. I am reposting this for your viewing pleasure!



The “Salt Ghost” first came out of hiding around 2005 at the Bub Speed Trials, where some old guy rolled it out of a trailer at that event’s swap meet. Keith Martin of Big D Cycles in Dallas bought it without a second thought. Keith and his crew got it running in a few hours and rode it back to the old guy, who seemed mighty impressed that they could exorcise his demon so quickly. Keith took it back to Dallas, where it remained in his office until Wes White, another learned student of Bonneville lore, started bugging Keith about the machine a couple years ago. In September of 2009, Keith Martin succumbed to Wes’s prodding and sold his LSR time machine to Four Aces Wes and fellow partner in grime Tyler Malinky of Lowbrow Customs.



Along with the bike Wes and Tyler got a box full of trophies, memorabilia and documentation proving the Salt Ghost’s racing pedigree. One such piece was a photo showing bike and owner/builder doing a buck-forty and change at SoCal’s El Mirage dry lake in 1969. The man behind the bike was Theo Ozen, the president of an El Mirage racing club called the Rod Riders in ‘68 or ‘69.



The Salt Ghost is a classic piece of dry lakes racing history, complete with badass speed parts. A 1961 Bonneville engine powers the bike, and the chassis comprises a 1948 Triumph rigid frame with a swingarm pre-unit Triumph gearbox mounted with custom alloy engine/gearbox plates. The Bonne mill has a later nine-bolt head on a 650 barrel with Harmon and Collins roller tappet conversion. The cams have yet to be identified, but they have serious lift, enough for the valves to require .008” and .010” clearances when stock was .002” and .004”.



Two Amal GP carburetors dump fuel into this fire-breathing motor through not one but two Amal Matchbox floats. These floats are like an open or shot trap door. Since GP carbs have no idle circuits, keeping the Salt Ghost lit requires revving the throttle constantly. Both the stock primary and final drive chainguards are functional works of art with just enough meat to save the rider’s foot from turning into hamburger. This open approach was necessary to facilitate speedy gear ratio changes. The oil tank is another super tricky piece that was made to fit into the place where the generator on the stock bike would have been. It probably holds a couple pints—just enough to keep the motor lubed for the three-mile stretch at Bonneville. The clip-ons are barely there, and the rearsets with no-frills brake and shifter linkage are pure function, no flair at all.

Last edited by lowbrowcustoms; 03-16-2010 at 10:23 AM. Reason: added photos
lowbrowcustoms is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-12-2010, 10:28 AM   #2
lowbrowcustoms
Senior Member
 
lowbrowcustoms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Medina, Ohio
Posts: 1,739
Default Re: The Salt Ghost





Rolling stock on the Salt Ghost is a cornucopia of goodness for vintage part nerds. The front rim is a WM1x21 Borraini Record, and the rear is a WM1x20. The front wheel is shod with an Avon Speedmaster and the rear boasts a shaved Beck “TT Special.” Shaving tread was low-buck speed mod back in the day to reduce the rolling resistance and rotational mass of a racing bike’s meats. The crowning glory for this bike is the ultra-rare 1957 Tiger 100R/R gas tank, which is distinguishable by its angled petcock fittings and its super-slim shape, to say nothing of its original, stock paint. Where is the seat you ask? It is on top of the fender, and after sitting in a barn for the past 30 years it has become a taint breaker without equal.



The Salt Ghost’s new owners are justifiably thrilled by their latest acquisition, but remain circumspect about their machine’s future. Could a resurrection on the hallowed grounds of its birth be in the Salt Ghost’s racing log? Time will tell. Today only one thing is certain: The Salt Ghost’s spirit is destined to live on in the greasy, nurturing hands of two very dedicated and capable patrons of the Brit bike arts.




This photo credit: Hugh Swingle

Last edited by lowbrowcustoms; 03-16-2010 at 10:24 AM. Reason: added photos
lowbrowcustoms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 11:58 AM   #3
JuhaP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Espoo, Finland
Posts: 106
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

WOW! That is one of the best looking bikes I have ever seen. Rebuild the engine, if needed, but dont touch anything else... Its perfect.
__________________
"Finland, the small Nordic nation, known for its high suicide rates, heavy drinking and domestic violence." (Fox News)
JuhaP is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 01-12-2010, 12:09 PM   #4
Choptop
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 27
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

I should have bought it when I first saw it... but I didnt have room in the trailer to bring it back from the Salt. Damn.

Choptop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 12:10 PM   #5
GothboY
Member
 
GothboY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Long beach
Posts: 95
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

That thing is just sex on wheels man. Glad it has a great home now.
-GothY-
__________________
Unemployed and broke? Starving? Eat your foreign car.
GothboY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 12:10 PM   #6
drumrooster
Senior Member
 
drumrooster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: somerset ky
Posts: 962
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

restore that bitch and go back and break the record or maybe die trying...get video either way..nice score man..
__________________
"NO PICTURE. NEVER HAPPENED..."
drumrooster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 12:35 PM   #7
hillbillyhell
Senior Member
 
hillbillyhell's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 1,545
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

Tyler. You are an asshole.
hillbillyhell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 12:42 PM   #8
gasketscraper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seattle Area
Posts: 1,584
Thumbs up Re: The Salt Ghost

What a cool piece of history. I'm glad its in good hands! Makes you want to go W.O.T. on the salt! Maybe someday.
gasketscraper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 12:52 PM   #9
No honestlyitsme
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boston, Ma
Posts: 98
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

wow, great piece of history right there, nice post its cool to hear about the oldschool modifications they made on the cheap
No honestlyitsme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 12:52 PM   #10
servi53
Senior Member
 
servi53's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: east peoria IL
Posts: 1,116
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

ride and history, cool as hell, get it going and ride
servi53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 12:53 PM   #11
skinthead
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pearl, Mississippi.....
Posts: 425
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillyhell View Post
Tyler. You are an asshole.
Your saying this makes me even more interested to meet Tyler in person....hahahah! But why you say that is beyond me.

very cool find guys! I am with whoever said rebuilt the engine and take her back out and try to romp another record out of her!
skinthead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 03:56 PM   #12
horror
Senior Member
 
horror's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: London
Posts: 778
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

I liked the bike a lot when i saw it before. good story too.
I'd like to blog about it
horror is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 04:04 PM   #13
joes bakery
Senior Member
 
joes bakery's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: vancouver canada
Posts: 144
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

very,very .... kool
joes bakery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 04:11 PM   #14
Dirty_Kustoms_LA
Senior Member
 
Dirty_Kustoms_LA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 308
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

beautiful, glad its with a good set of guys!!!
Dirty_Kustoms_LA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 04:13 PM   #15
hillbillyhell
Senior Member
 
hillbillyhell's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 1,545
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

Quote:
Originally Posted by skinthead View Post
Your saying this makes me even more interested to meet Tyler in person....hahahah! But why you say that is beyond me.
YOu should want to meet Tyler because he has a dreamy physique, not because I called him an asshole. I just call him that because Tyler is abusive towards me, and regularly mocks me in public. He did not consider my feelings before buying this fine motorbike. hahaha, it could all just be an inside joke

Good on Tyler and Wes for buying this thing. I know a bit about what they're doing with it, and they deserve great praise.
hillbillyhell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 05:30 PM   #16
Okie Pete
Senior Member
 
Okie Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: willow springs okla
Posts: 820
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

Wow great piece of history. Rebuild it , ride it and add to the story.
Okie Pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 05:32 PM   #17
el diablo
Senior Member
 
el diablo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: den haag /holland
Posts: 2,189
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

Quote:
Originally Posted by gasketscraper View Post
What a cool piece of history. I'm glad its in good hands!
you don't know that for sure !!

it would be better in my hands
race the thing ..it was build for just that !
el diablo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 05:54 PM   #18
not45blesk
Senior Member
 
not45blesk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Urb Olissiponesis Portucale
Posts: 1,525
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

race it to oblivion

this year my projects to go to the salt drowned in shallow water, but man you got it

take it there and race it ... against the race chic or the race correct...

great find and great story
__________________
Knot Blesk
3ciprestescycles
http://3ciprestescycles.blogspot.com
http://fatfredtowing.blogspot.com/
not45blesk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 06:13 PM   #19
Lurkingclass
Senior Member
 
Lurkingclass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,202
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

If I were to state my true sentiments regarding the acquisition of this motorcycle, I would most definitely be referred to as a "hater" so I will abstain. I'll just say nice score.
Lurkingclass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 06:43 PM   #20
barndoor
Junior Member
 
barndoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: So Cal
Posts: 9
Default Re: The Salt Ghost

Great Read. Thanks for sharing.

I'd keep it the way it is.
__________________
Last night, I was drunk for a week
barndoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:29 AM.