Bogri and the Hard Luck Biker
Grease had spotted an ad for a Triton in the local rag and asked me to take a look at it with him to give him the benefit of me expert judgement on the mechanical bits. Tritons come in all shapes and sizes, some look like decent bikes but have no innards, some look like scrap yard dropout but run like birds.
We called round to the house and had a look up the entry. A bike was leaned against the wall covered with a tarpaulin and we couldn't see much except some oil underneath. Still, it was old oil and the rest of the yard seemed covered in the same. Grease knocked on the front door and it was answered by a youngster with engine oil up to the elbows.
"Hello" said Grease "I'm Grease, this is my mate Bogri and we've come about the bike you was advertising."
"Pleased to meet yer. My names Chris, the bike's just 'ere.
These long haired youngsters that are into the mechanics of bikes often put a lot of loving care and money into building a heap of crap and I was rapidly thinking up plaudits to appease a sycophant that the ramshackle load of old boots thought to be gods answer to the foreign invasion was whatever they wanted to believe.
"It's been run regularly since I built it two years ago and hasn't given any trouble. Course its a bit mucky but you'll have to allow for that." Chris pulled off the cover.
We were throughly humbled. The bike was a gem. The chrome shone, the paintwork was clean and flawless with a deep lustre that gave you vertigo, the aluminium looked the same as the chrome. We leaned forward for closer inspection as Chris began a running commentary on the bike's history.
"Took a lot of care over the engine and it's paying off. Took it out an almost brand new write off, not yet run in. Stripped it down and rebuilt it proper. It's standard cams and medium compression pistons but I put in dural valve guides, double speed oil pump and all the usual bits. The reciprocating stuff is all lightened or racing versions. The engine is dynamically balanced at peak torque which, with present jetting, works out at 5,700rpm ..."
I passed me hand under the sump and it was clean and dry. The pipes were just slightly straw colour for even amounts, no bent up or frayed footpegs, no chaffed handlebar ends. The spokes were all clean chromed heavy duty into alloy rims and the TT100 tyres were the first I've seen on a road bike that were almost worn out but still triangular.
"Can we hear it running?"
"Sure, you can try it out. I'll ride it because of the insurance."
Chris fetched a crash helmet and with one prod the bike roared into life. Grease took pillion and I followed on the Vin. Hell, could that kid ride. Two wheels drifting, I could see how the tyres got worn like they were. Acceleration I couldn't match and all without more than a burble from the pipes which were dull grey as far down them as I could see, without a hint of smoke. We got back after a half hour jaunt which convinced me the kid and the bike were an unbeatable combination on the road. We listened to the bike ticking over. There were no sounds of sloppy chains, loose tappets, worn bearings, piston slap or anything. Even the carb stacks seemed to hush the air hitting the petrol.
"I've kept a pretty good record of the maintenance programme." continued Chris as we drooled over the machine. "Here's the file, regular checks, all the bearings ... this is the log book, MOT, receipts for all the bits ..."
Grease got round to talking price.
"Well, I've got to make a quick sale. What about five hundred?"
"Give us a couple of minutes to talk it over." I asked.
Me and Grease walked back up the entry.
"What d'ya say that for, Bogri?" asked Grease. "I was gonna bite the kid's hand off."
"There's gotta be a catch. It's just too good. I've never seen such a perfect example of a Triton. Perfect electrics, slick clutch action, silk smooth engine. What's the catch?" We couldn't figure it out so we went back to Chris.
"Reckon we'll take it Chris, but why on earth are you selling?"
"You know how it is. I need the money right now. I'm getting married." replied Chris with some embarrassment.
"Jeezus, you gotta be joking. A kid your age with a bike like this?" Grease was incredulous.
"Listen Chris," I advised, "fill up that tank with petrol and get outa town. That bike is meant to be ridden by you and you can't let it go. Give that bike five or ten years before you think of getting married. The opposite sex will still be here in ten year's time but this combination won't."
"It would be criminal for you to sell this for money!" broke in Grease. "You'll regret it the rest of your life. Sure, I'll give you five hundred for it ... but why the hell do you want to sell it to get married?" We were both speechless.
Chris was deadpan. "I'm pregnant." she announced.
I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the Bogri stories. Who wrote them?
Ben fesses up...