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TriBSA motorcycle: ‘The Bitch’

TriBSA motorcycle
In the UK, this bike—nicknamed The Bitch—is something of a legend. Probably because it’s been around a long time and it looks good. And maybe because it also contains bits from nearly every iconic post-war British motorcycle maker. Steve ‘Swede’ Clark built his TriBSA in 1968, using a BSA frame and a hotted-up Triumph engine. Why? “I always argued that a BSA frame was better than a Norton frame, but no-one seemed to put a Triumph engine in one of those,” said Clark. “So that inspired me to make the TriBSA: a 750cc Triumph Thunderbird engine in a BSA frame instead of a Norton one. It’s a bit like a Triton but more interesting because it’s much more unusual.” The cylinder barrel is a Mk1 Morgo 750cc unit, mated to gas-flowed T140 heads and Amal GP carburetors. A lightened crank and BSA Gold Star RRT2 gearbox get the power down with minimum interference. The rear brake is (somewhat alarmingly) a stock BSA item, but the front is taken care of by a massive, rare and strong 260mm Fontana four-leading-shoe drum. The forks are Norton Roadholders and the oil tank is an equally original Gold Star item. Does the British ‘bitsa’ get any more classic than this?

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