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Help I.D Pa's bike please!

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Sheepdog, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. Hey all

    I was hoping for some help identifying the make and model of this bike. It belonged to my grandfather who has since passed away.

    photo would have been taken some time around 1952

    Thanks in advance

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  2. That looks like an Ariel Square Four Mk1 .
    My father had one and sold it in 1982 for £19 ($38 AUD), how I wish he'd kept it.

    Attached Files:

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  3. Don't know a lot about old pommie bikes, but I do know that's not a square four. They have a unique head casting. Anything else I'd be guessing.
  4. That's a Triumph Thunderbird mate. ;)

    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. Thanks guys.

    She's definitely a triumph, I've been told elsewhere it may be a 5t or tiger 100, or as strife says a thunderbird 6t. Any way of telling the difference?
  6. I'm sure there are subtleties known to real afficionados. For example, the 650 engine as used in the T-bird appears physically larger than the 500 in the 5T (Speed Twin) and Tiger 100.

    However, assuming the photo was taken in Australia, the odds are good that it's the 650 anyway, as the larger variants of all the Brit twins seem to have made up a larger proportion of total sales than they did in their home country.
  7. I'll go with the 650cc as I believe the 500's were singles, and unless I'm mistaken, that's a twin.
  8. Sorry Mick, but Triumph didn't make any singles over 200cc post WW2. All their eggs were firmly in the twin basket, all the way from the 3T 350 upwards. Oddly enough they were the only one of the major Brit makers, IIRC, who didn't have an offering in the 250 four stroke category which was, effectively, the lower cut off point for "serious" motorcycles, below which pretty much everything was awful, grey-porridge utility fare. Exceptions being a few specialist dirt bikes of one flavour or another, which used the terrible Villiers 2-strokes because there wasn't much else available to manufacturers without the resources to build their own engines.
  9. Well there you go - learn something new everyday. It really does so what assuming stuff does do.
  10. A number plate in front of the front number plate: neat!
  11. Assuming the bike has not been re-sprayed (a fairly safe assumption) I'll say it's a '51 or '52 5T 500cc twin. The 650 Thunderbirds were grey or blue and the 500cc T100's were silver. The 5T Speedtwin was finished in a shade of maroon called "Amaranth Red". Despite the difference in engine capacities many of the engine parts were interchangeable. I hope this helps solve your puzzle.
  12. Thanks tastiger, I've been doing a bit of research (in actual books - wow) and came to the same conclusion.

    Thanks everyone :happy: next step - getting my hands on one.