June 2019

There was a time back in the late 1970s when ‘specials’ were all the rage. Hoping perhaps to attract new buyers from Harley, who dominated the market, it seemed as if most rival manufacturers were building so-called ‘factory customs’ and calling them ‘specials’. Most of these bikes, with their formula of stepped seats, higher ’bars and different exhausts, looked contrived to say the least – but I remember that Triumph’s T140D grabbed my attention at the time.

It wasn’t far off the look of their stock American twin but that black livery with gold pinstriping, the tastefully-stepped seat, seven-spoke black mag wheels with highlights and those lovely two-into one downpipes in American TT style that just looked perfect.

So it was great to find a pristine example to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Our featured bike is CB reader Lee Paxton’s personal ride, with a great back story of love lost and found.

We’ve got a Triumph thing going on in this issue, with an Our Classics special to celebrate in style the 60th anniversary of the Bonneville going into production. We’ve also got Ian Williets’ recently-restored single-carb TR6 that was entered in our Barn Find competition in 2018.

It’s not all Triumph, though. We’ve been chatting over lunch with Neil Tuxworth about his racing and management days, we’ve checked out Dave Lewis’ cache of Bantams, there’s a stunning TS400 Suzuki trail bike we’ve ridden, and Rupe’s Enfield is virtually finished.

Enjoy the read.

Gary Pinchin, Editor

Special Forces

Triumph’s 40-year-old T140D Special may well be the best-looking factory custom ever – but it was born out of a combination of desperation as well as inspiration…

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4700 Miles to Crack

It’s an epic distance to cover on a 100-year-old Harley 18J outfit – could the old girl make it all the way across the USA?

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Street Credibility

Trail bikes make perfect sense on Tarmac as well as out in the wilds – a theory we put to the test with Suzuki’s big-bore TS400 in the capital…

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