Tagged: Rob North

Rob North 1978 Yamaha TZ350

We have seen TZ and Rob North separately here on CSBFS already, but this  has put them together. To sweeten the deal they also added Kenny Roberts and Kel Carruthers.

From the seller

            78 Rob North Yamaha TZ350 ,( developed with Kel Carruthers and Kenny Roberts with Rob North for his championship in 1978),

The two men, Roberts and Carruthers, are well known separately for their racing careers. Kel for winning the 1969 World Championship on a 250cc Yamaha and Kenny Robert for his many championships in multiple disciplines. The two of them joined forces in 1978, Carruthers was the elder team boss, and Roberts the rider and took off for Europe. They entered their Yamahas in 250cc and 750cc races, but their focus was on the 500cc Championship.  Barry Sheen may have regretted labeling Roberts “no threat” prior to the start of the season.

From TZ350.net history, Rob North and famed land speed racer Don Vesco got together to develop a frame that would lower the center of gravity of Kenny Roberts TZ. They called it the “lowboy” and TZ350.net claims there is some talk that Carruthers had copies made by and English frame builder and sold them out the back door. Could this be one of those of those frames? Did someone get a 350 engine and put it into a 250 frame?

From the seller

            this machine has come from Italy ,It comes with the Jacky Germain JPX Wheels These machines were Also used by Franco Uncini and Patrick Fenandez, I believe that with the french wheels this bike was Patrick Fenandez’s machine,As you can see they really set the trend for the low boy frame, (G model) 


The 350cc Yamaha engine found in the frame could produce up to 64bhp at 10,500rpm, but looking at the race results in the 350cc class in 1978, it looks like Yamaha was beat out by Kawasaki that year. The good news for Yamaha was Kenny Roberts did win the 500cc title that year becoming the first American to win a Grand Prix Championship.

This is a classified add, so there is no winning bidder, it is offered at the equivalent of $10,251. If you are one of the 221 visitors from England, this might be the bike for you, if not tell your friends. BB

1969 Rob North Triumph Trident

We have already shown one Triumph Trident triple here on CSBFS, a factory first custom with unique body work. This Triumph Trident is unique in how it is held together.

In motorcycle racing, frame development has often been behind engine development, and a successful race engine was held together by a successful race frame. When the Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3 cylinder engine went racing they hired Rob North to develop the frame.

The seller gives us almost no information about the bike:

original triumph trident Rob North racer.. Not a replica a rear piece of racing history ..phone calls only please serious inquires only

I have to wonder what the sellers definition of “original”. Do they mean the frame only? The frame and body work? Or is this one of the first Factory bikes?

I am a huge fan of the four leading shoe front brake, but am surprised to see the rear disk brake. The fairing, tank and seat are a great combination of style and function and appear to be the same as images found when researching Rob North. The color might not been everyone’s favorite, but it appears that this is a “traditional” color that is similar to the factory colors of the time. Some close ups of the frame show what is necessary to make a rigid race frame.

The name Rob North has been sold twice since Rob North, the person who developed this frame for Triumph, first to Miles Engineering and current trademark holder Trident MCS.  You can buy a new Rob North frame for your Trident or Rocket3. Later Rob North the man worked with Butler & Smith on their Superbike Championship R90S.

We here at CSBFS love to share these great bikes with our readers, but as always, do your homework before investing in a bike, especially when there is limited information given by the seller. The same bike appears to be offered in Portland OR with some pictures and New York with the same pictures plus others. The phone numbers given appear to be for the Portland area, and for Atlanta GA.