Flat track Triumph The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Greg Heatley bought his beloved 1969 TR6 as a Chopper 26 years ago at the ripe old age of 16. The bike was Greg’s only mode of transport until the birth of his first child and at age 26 years Greg invested in his first car. The wife Karen and Greg rode the bike everywhere and when one spends that much time with anything you get attached and have a story and fond memories. Greg reminisces on everything from carrying the wife to be Karen’s wedding dress, to an illegal amount of passengers on the old girl. But as the story goes with many of us blokes after a wife comes family and with that a mortgage and as Greg put it, he, like many disappeared into that tunnel of mortgage and then with the birth of his second boy born years he had finally seen the light at the end of the mortgage tunnel, Greg like many of us found himself emerged in the kids sport and Greg’s offsprings chosen sport was Dirt Track, which meant to be competitive two late model dirt bikes Casey a Yamaha YZ 450 and younger brother Shaun a Honda CRF 250.
A couple of years on and the wife and the family set up, Greg decided to do something for Greg. The much loved Trumpy had sat in the garage for years and the bike was in dire need of attention and he thought it was time for an overhaul. Greg a railway worker knew the task was beyond him and as with many of the Triumphs we feature in this magazine, enlisted the services of Trojan Classic Motorcycles to bring the old girl back to life. Greg gave his glowing endorsements of the Trojan Boys. ‘’Nick, Peter and Neil were terrific, they listened to what I liked and were brilliant in inventing ways around problems they’d encounter. Nothing was a problem and they came up with some brilliant original ideas to keep the bike clean and neat.’’
It was whilst being in the care of Trojan that they discovered the abnormities in the frame that led them to believe the bike was formally a flat track racer, another indication was the right side gear change and short stroke 650cc motor. The gaping hole left on the left side engine casing when the gear change selector was removed was filled by a one dollar coin of the day which just happened to be a precise fit. It would be pretty simple to convert the bike back but even though it was tempting, Greg being a flat track fan and all, he has resisted the temptation if only because it would mean the bike would be fitted with a single seat, the wife also has a history with the bike and knowing how she loves it, wouldn’t be game.
The bike turned out far better than Greg imagined. The project was to make the bike light to handle and stop, reliable and clean. At first glance the project seemed simple but hour upon hour was invested in fabrication with a myriad of different components needing to be married together which would not otherwise fit and make sure they were functional and square.
The original short stroke 650cc offered plenty of punch and was overhauled, so much of the work was about handling and stopping, whilst keeping weight down. Trojan replaced the standard laced spoke rims for a set of Lester mag wheels and stopping come way of new Brembo replacing the original Lockheed callipers. The Triumph Achilles heel the electrical was all replaced and the bike totally rewired and to keep the bike clean the wiring was hidden. Overwhelmed and extremely proud of the bike, Trojan mechanic Neil regards the bike as a sweet thing to ride. ‘’The bike handles great and the power characteristics of the short stroke motor makes it different to anything we have built. Pete (Trojan) is so pedantic about his work he would take his time to make sure everything balanced out and the bike turned out very good and probably one of the sweetest rides we have built. It looks like any other bike but when you have a close look you can see the subtle changes. The bike is different to anything we have built or ridden and I wish we didn’t have to give the bike back!’’