Yes – that is Ago on a Triumph Trident in around 1970! And there will be even more historic threes for him and everyone else to enjoy at LlanBikeFest.

Rob Hughes and the good people from the Triumph & Rocket 3 Owners Club (TR3OC) are bringing the works Trident ridden by Paul Smart that came second to Ago and his MV in the 1971 South African Grand Prix. For seven laps Smart’s Trident was in the lead!

The club is also exhibiting Son of Sam – the T160 production racer built to compete in the 1976 10 lap Production TT, Scroll down this post read all about it.

Visit the TR3OC website.

 

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Son of Sam : T160 Production Racer – Built to compete in 1976 10 Lap Production TT

By Steve Brown & Les Williams

History :

The factory records, held by the TR3OC, reveal that the bike was “born” on the 11th July 1975 with crankcase sections numbered 5652.

The bike was purchased from Vale Onslow, Stratford Road, Birmingham as a standard T160V and converted by Steve Brown and Les Williams in the couple of months leading up to the 1976 TT races.  The logbook shows that the date of first registration was 1st March 1976.

By this time, Slippery Sam was ineligible due to being over 5 years old.  The intention was to build a “Slippery Sam” based on a T160 rather than a T150.

In its first race, it was ridden by Martin Russell (of Rustler Racing) in an Open 1000cc production race at Wellsbourne where it finished 3rd.

As regards the events at the 1976 TT, the key dates and incidents were :

28th April 1976 :

Announced in MCN that the bike would be racing.

Les Williams said that the bike would be about 40 lbs heavier than Slippery Sam and produce about 75 bhp.  The article also stated that the bike would run under the Hermetite banner who had been Alex Georges’ sponsors all season on his Yamaha

2nd June 1976 :

Norrie White writing in MCN predicted a first place finish for the bike in the Production TT.  It was to be ridden by Percy Tait and Alex George.

3rd June 1976

Son of Sam records its fastest practice lap of 98.49 mph (fifth fastest overall)

4th June 1976

Final practice day.  Son of Sam records 4th fastest time in morning session of 94.36 mph and the fastest time in the final practice session on the Friday evening of  92.11mph

5th June 1976

Production race cancelled due to bad weather

8th June 1976

Production Race re-scheduled for 8th June 1976.  Percy Tait crashes Son of Sam approaching Ballig.  He broke his shoulder and knocked himself up pretty badly but he managed to stop the bike without it falling over.

Following the 1976 TT, the bikes next appearance was at the 1976 John Player Grand Prix held at Silverstone on the 14th and 15th August.  Here it was ridden by Alex George (number 24) in the Production Race where, after the Gus Khun 980cc BMW ridden by John Cowie was disqualified, the bike won the 1000cc class and finished third overall in the handicap race

Sometime thereafter, Robinsons of Derby bought the Bike and raced it for a time under their own colours (after first removing the original fairing, tank and seat unit – hence the survival of the paint and sponsors stickers from 1976 !!!!!!)

In around 1981, Mike Page of Burton Bike Bits, purchased the bike mainly for the transmission, but luckily with the bike came a spare Quaife gearbox and so the original gearbox remained in the bike.  Son of Sam was demonstrated by Burton Bike Bits at Beezumph 1 and later at the Post TT in the late nineties.

In October 2004, I bought the bike and it was recommissioned (not restored) by Richard Darby of 3D Motorcycles and myself.  Only two stickers were missing from the bike when compared to photographs from 1976, these being the Dunlop stickers on the petrol tank.  The racing number “60” was put back on the bike, since this was the number with which it raced at the Production TT.  The two red and blue paint stripes on the petrol tank were repainted by Ron Hosell of Warlord Motorcycles.  Brake lines were replaced with plastic covered steel braided hoses (to replicate the originals) and new brake pads fitted.  New tyres were fitted.  Other than that, the bike was simply dismantled, checked and rebuilt !

At Beezumph 14, it was ridden at Cadwell Park for the first time in anger for many years by amongst others, Mick Grant (winner of Production TT on Slippery Sam in 1974), Martin Russell (the first person to race the bike) and Steve Brown (its builder)

Son of Sam : T160 Production Racer – Built to compete in 1976 10 Lap Production TT

By Steve Brown & Les Williams

Engine Specification :

  • Standard Crank
  • Standard Conrods
  • Works Non Squish Pistons (approx 11.5 : 1)
  • Gas Flowed Head
  • TH13 Inlet Camshaft
  • TH6 Exhaust Camshaft
  • Works Quill Drive Ignition
  • Bendix Points
  • Lightened Timing Gear
  • T150 Primary Transmission
  • Lightened Oil Pump Gears and Engine Sprocket
  • Quaife Mark 1 – Five Speed Close Ratio Gearbox
  • 20 Tooth Gearbox Sprocket
  • T150 Lightened Clutch (Per Slippery Sam Specification)
  • Lightened Rocker Arms
  • Mushroom Head Adjusters

In the 1976 Production TT , Son of Sam raced with the actual primary transmission, clutch and Mark 2 Quaife five speed gearbox from Slippery Sam

Cycle Parts :

  • Standard Frame, but Drilled (everywhere !!). Stand Lugs Removed.
  • Modified T160 swinging arm
  • Twin Front Discs per Slippery Sam
  • Right Hand Gearchange, Lefthand Rear Brake (but still disc)
  • Alloy Tank per Slippery Sam
  • “Token” Light inside Fairing
  • Alloy Rims
  • Electric Starter Removed.  (This is confirmed in an article in Motor Cycle, week ending 12th June 1976)
  • Alloy Engine Plates and Silencer Brackets (painted black to disguise fact)
  • Shortened Front Mudguard
  • Alloy Rear Mudguard
  • Lightened Raygun Silencers

Standard Down Pipes with Modified 4 into 2 Collector Box

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