The  “Real Thing” Edinburgh 1974

The time has come to get my proverbial in gear and sell the last two trials bikes from the now much
depleted thirty strong collection. Top of the shop will be my museum piece “53” which has only seen
battle once following it’s build several years ago.

The Replica on it’s one and only ride

Back then, realistically money was no object, and I was at the height of my Yamaha building phase.
Machines were sourced, mainly through E-bay, and then rebuilt to whatever standard and color
scheme I had in mind. Several of the TY250A models were rebuilt and finished to a high order of
polish and chroming, suitably revamped with modern day throttles and carbs and sent on their way
to their new owners. The sequence usually followed the same pattern and it became almost
automatic from the “wrecks” arrival until dispatch.

A pair of rebuilds ready for sale

The truck would pull into the yard and once the crate or package was off loaded the first inspection
would begin. In the early days a good amount of used stuff would depart for the dump as I had no
intention of using it but in later years it was preserved and re-sold through ebay at some outrageous

Once the original decision had been made to concentrate on Yamaha’s rebuilding them became a
breeze as I had all my sources for parts available and a large collection of equipment and spares on
hand including many rechromed and repolished items all ready to fit. At that stage I had been through
3 different metal shops for chroming and polishing and eventually settled on a reliable firm who
produced the work on time and to a very high quality.

Sprockets, Mikuni VM26 carbs, cables and throttles all came from BJ Racing, while Cycle Gear
supplied all tires at trade along with air filters, racing chains, levers and a selection of oils and petrol
piping. A local company, Copperstate, was a good source for all replacement metric nuts and bolts,
and the local ACE hardware at the end of the road was always on hand for that oddball item that I
didn’t have in stock. Some items such as bars and the one piece tank and seat unit and footrest
conversion units all came direct from the UK and that man in New Milton.

OEM parts were always available from Speed and Sport in PA and usually a lot cheaper than
anywhere else.

The project that would become 53 was acquired from E-bay and it looked very good in the picture and I
was amazed that nobody even gave it a second look and it just sat at it’s asking price with, no reserve,
until bidding closed at my opening bid. Sometimes that happens, I know, whereas a piece of real junk
can take off and get an absurd price. It duly arrived with cheap shipping from a dealership and was
even better than in the pictures. Flawless tank, no signs of abuse anywhere and totally original.

Better than expected “53” on arrival

Extensive chroming of frame, exhaust, footrests, kicker and shifter and polishing for engine cases,
fork legs, yokes and brake anchors and with all the new parts on hand it was reassembled and given
its one and only competitive ride.

Engine redone!

Building the masterpiece in the lounge

As she is today

At the time I had several other TY250A’s that were in regular competition use so 53 was assigned to
the museum where she sat until our enforced move up to Colorado. Now she sits below the “I love me
wall” but its time for her to be on her way and join someone else’s collection.

Pride of place in the museum

Baby Superglitz was another TY175 that was built shortly after completion of the first Glitzmobile and
at this stage I was looking to do something really special and like a Harley I went the whole hog and
chromed everything including engine cases forks and yokes. I must confess that I was amazed at
what a TY175 could do as I had always thought they were underpowered and a bit on the small side
for trials. Just how wrong can you be! She won the Twinshock Class against some stiff competition
and also won a few rounds in the Ahrma Nationals before being retired to make way for other projects
namely the Superglitz Mk 2 which I still use today.

The First “Glitz”

Chromed everything!

More chrome than a Harley!

Ready for action

Big Brother the “Superglitz”

The 175 was rebored as they seem to be a little weaker in that department than their big brothers and
now I must change the main bearings before turning her loose once more. So a few days in the
workshop rebuilding the baby then finish her off with a new set of red fenders and she too, will be
ready to grace e-bay.

53 will be up for sale this week starting at $3500 and the 175 Babyglitz will be on at $3000 if anyone is
interested ?


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  • 8/13/2009 10:14 AM James Graham wrote:
    Hello Tony- I want to say that I have read some your writtings and you are a great writter who leaves the reader wanting more. I love vintage TBs, and had owned a mid 70s TL125. I plan to buy a couple old scooters and keep practiced on my Sherco. I would like to get involved with vintage trials comp so look forward to meeting you oneday. I routinely watch EBAY on vintage bikes and could easily see myself owning 6 or 8. Thanks again for the great reads. James
    Reply to this
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