Lowbrow Customs Triumph

Lowbrow Customs
Early last year, Lowbrow Customs’ Tyler Malinky was working at Four Aces Cycle—the shop owned by his friend Wes White—building the Salt Ghost. “As we lived, ate, slept, talked and breathed motorcycles, my mind started drifting to the pre-unit Triumph chopper I had back home,” says Tyler. “Late 50s swingarm front frame, with a custom-built hardtail, narrowed Wassell banana tank, and 21″ front and 19″ rear Akront flanged alloy rims.” It sounded like a good basis for a lakes racer. Malinky located a set of 1955 crankcases and a unit crankshaft, some hot MegaCycle cams, and MAP Cycle billet connecting rods. To these he added high-compression overbored forged pistons, titanium valve caps and keepers, and high tension springs. He also got hold of a lightened valve train, drilled and beveled cam and idler gears, an alloy magneto gear, and a rebuilt Lucas K2FC magneto. A Bob Newby belt drive finished off the collection. “I sent all the parts off to Wes to use some of his race mojo on it. While he built my motor I got started on rebuilding the gearbox and the rest of the bike.”

Lowbrow Customs
Most of the bike is custom made. A longer, lower hardtail was made by David Bird and Malinky ended up cutting and bringing in the top frame rails, so he can now keep his legs tucked tight while in the lay-down riding position. Dan at 7 Metal West made the 4″ wide alloy fender, and Malinky made the oil tank, chain guard and other odds and ends. “I rebuilt an early 60s Triumph front end, shortening the tubes and running an old set of adjustable Tommaselli clip-ons from the UK. I wanted to be able to run the bike in multiple classes and I planned to race in both naked as well as partially streamlined classes, both gas and fuel.” He made the fairing easy to remove and used a Pingel petcock with a remote cable shutoff, “so I could cut fuel to the carbs at speed with my hands both planted firmly on the bars—which is one of the safety requirements for running fuel class.”

Lowbrow Customs
Malinky reckons that racing at SpeedWeek 2010 was one of the most rewarding things he’s ever done. “My best timed run was 111mph and change which was a record in my class—but I bent a valve just before my backup run, losing the record. The 111 mph run was in the afternoon, hot in the mid 90s, and with a DA, or adjusted altitude, of over 7,300 feet. Hardly ideal conditions.” Right now, Malinky is modifying the bike in preparation for SpeedWeek 2011 and is planning to set some national land speed records. He’s also building a second land speed bike to race this year as well: another pre-unit Triumph sidecar bike that was a former drag bike. “Going faster is the plan!”

[Images courtesy of Vincent Prat of Guerry & Prat Images. See more photos on the Southsiders MC blog.]

Lowbrow Customs
Lowbrow Customs