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Gents, I was searching and I may have missed it, but during the reign of the Triumphs, what were the consistent ET's of the single 650's? (non-Turbo/supercharger) Much has been talked about the double motor pre-units, but I was wondering about the unit motors.

This thread is so absolutely awesome, Ryan should look into a dedicated "Jockey Dragster" site... and have these legends on here run it.
 

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Frank,

Thanks, It would be great for him to chime in. I have a '66 T120 I built (not a drag bike) and I love the history of those bikes and how they dominated in there era. My god, 9's with a single 650! A nice story and and a run down of parts, tricks to achieve that would be unreal. Just like the great stories and pics on here.
 

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In response to BHEAD1968, while wrenching at T&M Triumph in Albany GA. in the early 60's, Billy Denby was the rider for Dwain Taylor, the builder of several fast Fuel Bikes. "Grandma" was the name of the single engine 650 Triumph Drag bike that ran consistently in the low 10's at 135 plus. At the Daytona drag strip in 1963 Billy ran a 10.1, at 139.5. That was the best time "Grandma" ever ran. It ran a 2 speed modified Triumph transmission, and 50% Nitro. I remember once when we had a crankcase explosion about 40 feet off the starting line. There were parts scattered everywhere. Probably by design, but every time I saw a Triumph (Pre-unit) blow up, it was on the timing chest side... I have posted pictures earlier of "Grandma", and the "Deuce", the twin engine job. Those were the good ol' days....

Dusty
Dusty, thats amazing!.. I'll look those pictures up. Any details on how the 2 speed was set up? Unfortunately this is or has become a lost art and hearing about those days are great.
 

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BHEAD...
The Transmission we used was already in place by the time I got there. They were using a standard 4 speed Triumph transmission using only 3rd and 4th gears. Dwain figured since we didn't need 1st and 2nd gears, he would remove all the teeth off of them just in case something came loose in there maybe less cogs to jam up might make the thing live a little longer. Billy Denby started trying to shift like the Harley boys were doing...Using the Kill Button. The triumph transmission just would not hold up to the abuse. Dwain took one of the Triumph Slick Shift transmissions and did the same gear and bearing mods to it and did something to the slick shift mechanism to make the throw shorter on the clutch linkage. This seemed to work OK, as no more blown gear boxes. I got shipped out to Korea in mid '63, and the boys kept right on racing up until '66 when Dwain started going full blast on Honda sales and racing. He built 3 more shops in 2 years and was one of the top Honda dealers for several years. About the same time Triumph was fizzling fast. By late 66 all the shop race bikes got sold, and Dwain was out of the Triumph business. Grandma went to a guy near Chicago, and the Deuce went to the Triumph factory in England. I have tried to locate them over the years, but so far no luck. The cases on Grandma were unique as they were replacement cases because of several crankcase explosions so there was no serial number on the stamping bosses, but we stamped "GRANDMA" on every case half we put on her. So if you ever come across a pre-unit case half with Grandma stamped on the number boss, thats the Ole gal.

Dusty
Awesome..thanks again. I'll definitely keep my eye out. Now "Grandma" was a pre-unit yes? from the pics I saw, did you all ever run a Unit motor? Curious were the Pre-Unit more favorable because you could switch out the tranny easy/put your own mods in?
 

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Bhead,

All the engines were pre-unit, because the unit 650cc didn't come out until '63, and we had a shop full of units. We would have to do a radical redisign on the Deuce to put unit engines in it. The shop was through racing by '66.
Gotcha, thanks so much. So, with that, were there any teams laying down record runs with unit motors?
 

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In amongst my trawling the web for vintage drag bike info i met Geoff James whom emailed me the attached pictures of "Icarus".and some info on the bike.
"the original Triumph 350 motor I had in the drag bike used to lose its piston crowns. This was because the supercharger allowed me to exceed 4000 ft/min mean piston speed, which is close to the limiting factor where things let go big time. I machined up my own short stroke crank from EN24 and mated it to a modified 500cc triumph barrel and head to convert it to a very oversquare 350 and drop the piston speed.I was second fastest 350 in the country behind Fred Wells in 1970. I also ran the standing start mile at Greenham Common on one occasion and was very close to the world record, despite a headwind and being over-geared for the conditions. Terminal speed was 147 mph if I remember correctly. That was on just 10% nitro."
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on another note-can any one tell me where i can order one of the MH slicks pictured from whom will courier it to new zealand.and what size rim do these fit?are they 18 x 4"-4" rim?

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Great pictures, I recently have been trading emails with Geoff, discussing his famous "Icarus". Great guy and discussed with me in detail, about his bike. Aside from the facts mentioned above, that bike ran mid 10's in the quarter! Absolutely amazing on a modified 350 triumph.

Curious if there was anyone, back in those days, running a Unit 650 in this config? With a Shorrock supercharger?

love this thread.
 
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