Tagged: 1958

Working Class Hero: 1958 Triton for Sale

1958 Triton L Side

One of my favorite things about motorcycles is the seeming endless ways there are to mix and match parts to create new machines. Chain drive and fairly simple frames mean that it’s no big deal to say, sling an RD400 motor into the old GS500E you have lying around. But while many of these creations are born of necessity or just to see if it can be done, the classic Triton was a very functional motorcycle that actually managed to achieve some legitimacy among the motorcycling community.

1958 Triton R Side Engine

The Triton was a hybrid that used a Triumph parallel-twin engine and the famously excellent-handling Norton “featherbed” frame to create a seriously nimble motorcycle with good power and endless tuning potential. It also happens to be the name of the half-man, half-fish son of Poseidon in Greek mythology, something that the motorcycling community has sadly not capitalized on.

1958 Triton Dash

The choice of a Triumph engine might seem odd at first. After all, in stock form, it was actually a bit more powerful than the Triumph. But the Norton’s longer-stroke engine had a much higher piston speed and was considered less reliable, and a wealth of performance parts and tuning expertise were available for the Triumph as well.

1958 Triton L Side Engine

Interestingly, the non-unit design of both bikes meant that either four-speed gearbox could be used, although the Norton’s was generally considered superior. Really, all it took to make a Triton was a couple of donor bikes and a set of engine/transmission mounting plates, so it wasn’t too difficult to build one if you were reasonably competent with a set of tools, and plenty of these were built then and are being built today, so “authenticity” is hard to define and hard to verify.

From the original eBay listing: 1958 Triton for Sale

Ultimate Cafe Racer

1958 Norton Featherbed frame (Model 88)

1971 Triumph T120R engine with 4 speed transmission.

  • Unity Special Equipe UNAX2 Polished aluminum, Lyta style, 3 Gallon Short Circuit fuel tank.
  • Unity Wideline oiltank w/ battery holder
  • Unity Wideline Seat
  • Unity Fiberglass Fenders
  • Gold Star Silencers
  • Converta Engine plates
  • 4 Leading shoe Brake hubs
  • Akront Rims laced by Hagon
  • Far too many parts to list them all. For more information please feel free to contact us with your inquiries. 
  • Clocks show 269 Miles. Actual mileage is unknown. 
  • Was acquired from a museum. Rides and sounds wonderful. 

1958 Triton R Side Rear

I don’t know all that much about Tritons, but I know enough to know that they naturally vary a bit from bike to bike, since there’s no such thing as a “factory” example. These really do take the best bits and incorporate them into one of the most beautiful bikes of the era: everything is on display here, and looks purposefully industrial, but hand-crafted and decorative at the same time… So far, bidding is very slow, with the Reserve Not Met at $5,000 which is obviously well below where I expect this to sell, but maybe someone will manage to scoop a bargain with this one…

-tad

1958 Triton L Side Riding

One for the Moto Giro: 1958 MV Agusta 125 Turismo Rapido

1958 MV Agusta 125 Tourismo L Side

While both modern and vintage motorcycle enthusiasts generally associate the name “MV Agusta” with expensive, exotic, competition-oriented motorcycles. But without more affordable, readily-available machinery like this little 125 Tourismo Rapido to plump up the company’s bottom line, much of their famous racing success would have been impossible.

1958 MV Agusta 125 Tourismo Engine Detail

Certainly even when this bike was new, the name MV Agusta was associated with top-tier racing success. But the 125 and 175 models were designed to be sold by the bucketload to help finance those successful exotic machines. These were very popular, due to their quality construction and extremely frugal fuel consumption.

1958 MV Agusta 125 Tourismo L Tank

The bike used a four-stroke engine to add refinement to the package: two-strokes make plenty of power for their weight, but they’re rattle-y, dirty, and generally antisocial. Handling was excellent, even if power was unremarkable: bore and stroke for the overhead valve single were “square” at 54mm each, for a total of 123.6cc that put 6.5hp through a four-speed box.

1958 MV Agusta 125 Tourismo Speedo

From the original eBay listing: 1958 MV Agusta Turismo Rapido

Very rare and hard to find – original vintage MV Agusta – Turismo Rapido 125 cc – Legendary Italian Design at it’s Best. I personally hand selected and purchased this Bike in Germany from a private collector who had the Bike completely restored all to Factory specs in Germany about 9 years ago. No money has been spared not only to restore the Bike but also to preserve history.

At the beginning of the year I decided to display the bike at two well known shows here in Florida, my goal was to find out if the US Judges do have that trained eye needed to appreciate a bike like this one and the precision German craftsmanship going into a Restoration, THEY DID: 

On January 31st. the Bike made 2nd. PLACE – in European Bikes – at the – DANIA BEACH ANTIQUE MOTORCYCLE SHOW – and it made – BEST IN CLASS – at the Prestigious – BOCA RATON CONCOURSE D’ ELEGANCE – on February 22.nd 2015 – They did not skimp on the Trophy either, it is made by TIFFANY & CO. – Both awards goes with the bike, they belong to the bike and they are documented.

The 1958 Year marks the last year of this model and you’ll not find to many in all red. I’ll include some factory pictures that will show the bike with a black / red seat plus I found one factory picture showing the all red seat. In one of the pictures you’ll see Magura – plus a serial Nr. that’s the Manufacturer & nr. engraved in the handle bar, only the original MV Agusta handle bar has that, you’ll not find it in the after market parts.

I would grade the bike a 9 ( from 1 to 10 ) – you’ll find some very minor flaws like a small paint chip here and there and in one picture you’ll see a very minor surface rust spot on the rear rims chrome. There is nothing really that can take anything away from the overall Beauty of this bike. It is already a show winner but this is not just a bike for show you can actually ride this every day. I just changed the Engine Oil.

If you want to come by and check the bike out before you bid on it, that’s very welcome. The bike is so special that I keep it in the living room to my wife’s delight.

1958 MV Agusta 125 Tourismo Rear Suspension

These seem like such fun machines and are far more durable than their exotic nameplate would suggest, since they were originally designed to provide regular transportation with a dash of style. And with 40,000 of them sold during their lifetime, keeping one running shouldn’t be impossible, considering we’re talking about a sixty-year-old motorcycle. This would be a great way to participate in classic events like the Moto Giro, or just make a great weekend ride for puttering around your neighborhood.

-tad

1958 MV Agusta 125 Tourismo L Front

Patina in Spades: 1958 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster for Sale

1958 Harley XLH Sportster R Front

I don’t generally write up Harleys, simply because I’m not that familiar with the brand. That’s probably a result of their current reliance on cutting-edge 1960’s technology and the company’s lifestyle marketing: it looks to me like they’re basically cashing in on a culture of 1%’er badassdom that you really can’t simply buy your way into. That recent commercial, where the guy on the $25,000 touring bike with $1,000 worth of branded gear and a big, smug smile ignores a call from his boss?

Yeah, you’re a real rebel, man. A True. Bad. Ass.

But the guy I saw on a bagger in Jersey City last year at Popeye’s, with his old lady in tow, a freaking 12-inch knife worn openly on his hip, and a patch that read, “Hell’s Angels Knock-Out Crew”? He might have something to say to you about that.

“Bad ass” is the kind of image you’ve got to earn.

1958 Harley XLH Sportster L Tank

So the company’s current engineering and marketing leave a bad taste in my mouth and, for the most part, their sporting heritage isn’t in the kind of roadracing and sporty street machines we cover on this site. As a result, I don’t generally know all that much about vintage Harleys, excepting rebadged Aermacchis. But my snobbish attitude does a great disservice to serious riders and racers who favor vintage American iron: I’ve seen guys banging rigid-frame, tank-shift Harleys around NJMP and that kind of thing is impressive as hell.

Besides, unrestored vintage motorcycles that look this classic and “fire right up and ride smooth as butter” are always cool.

1958 Harley XLH Sportster Dash

Introduced in 1957, the Sportster was HD’s solution when the British invasion forced The Motor Company to evolve or die. Powered by the evocatively-named “Ironhead” [three guesses as to why] overhead-valve 883cc engine, the XLH [the “H” was for “Hot”] featured a higher-compression engine and is relatively rare. On that subject: other than the recent “Twin Cam,” Harleys really do have the best-named engines. Who wouldn’t want a “Knucklehead” in their garage? Or a “Pan-Knuckle”?

Also: dual keys?! Any old Harley fans in the audience want to clarify for me the two keys in the dash and what they both do?

1958 Harley XLH Sportster R Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1958 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster for Sale

Here we have a 1958 XLH Sportster that is unrestored original paint. The white paint on the tank appears to be touched up at some point but all of the black paint is untouched. This is only the second year for the Sportster model and one of the most sought after ones with the one year only type plastic tank emblems and yes they are the original ones with the rivets and gaskets. This machine also has the 2 into one pipes with the rare original muffler.  Also has the original carb. with the correct air cleaner with the script on top. Rolling on its original rims and 3.50-18 Goodyear tires.  Same owner since 1960 up until this year. You just dont see many unrestored early Sportsters in this condition. This Sportster fires right up and runs and rides as smooth as butter. This bike also comes with the original tools, manual, old aftermarket signals, title battery tender, and other misc. papers.

Bidding is up to $8,500 and pretty active, with three days to go. It may look a bit rough around the edges, but the miles are relatively low and the seller claims it runs just fine. Patina isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you’re unlikely to find a Sportster as original as this one.

-tad

1958 Harley XLH Sportster L Side