’75 Triumph Trident
Today you can buy a virtually new 1975 Triumph Trident on ebay. This is a great motorcycle, if you pay attention one very important detail. I shouldn’t say important I should say…critical.
In 1971, while attending Santa Monica City College, I met Ted Toki. Ted ruined my life. We became friends in a speech class…worthless class, cuz I still ain’t got no good english…
I was giving a speech about the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle. I had been in an accident (hit by a car 50 yards from my house) a couple of days before. After class Ted came up to me and told me that he too was a rider and when I could put a helmet on again (yeah, it was a head injury…reason for the helmet speech) would I like to go riding. We talked about motorcycles for a bit, I told him about my BSA and my stepfathers Triumph’s and he told me about his motorcycle…a Triumph Trident.
Ted had gotten his Trident from a friend of a friend of a friend, or maybe the second cousin of his step mothers twice removed third cousin from a previous marriage, who knows, but…wherever he got it from, it needed love. Ted gave it all the love…and money, he could. Ted was and I imagine still is, a small built Hawaiian whose feet could barely reach the ground while sitting on his Triumph, but, no matter his size or the condition of his Triumph, he could hustle that bike through a canyon road like nobody I had seen before.
A Triumph Trident, or a BSA Rocket Three (the same bike…well, except for different frames and slightly different motors and a few other minor details, but who’s counting??) were considered at the time, as truly the first Superbikes of the era. Very fast, great handling and a fantastic sound. The first versions were a bit funky looking but Triumph fixed that in the years to come. The thing that is ‘CRITICAL’ on a Trident…change the oil religiously and get a bigger oil cooler. The center cylinder overheats rather easily and that is something you don’t want to happen. The Trident’s cylinder block is just that, a block. Cooling air goes around the outsides and over the top but not between the cylinders, hence the center cylinder gets hot, siezes, and you’ve got a big repair bill. Good oil and a good cooler will be money well spent with your Trident.
Now let’s get on to this bike I found on ebay this morning. Less than 3,000 miles…on a 35 year old motorcycle!!?? And in stone stock condition??!! It even has the period correct ‘new’ tyres. It runs great according to the owner and has been babied for it’s whole life, (which, with only 2914 miles has been just sitting waiting for someone to ride it). This is a great find. Price is a little up there but compared to other bikes I find for people, this is pretty good deal. Click on the pic’s for more.
And one more thing, you’re asking how Ted Toki ruined my life…he’s the one that got me into a lifetime of roadracing. Bastard.