The 1957 Triumph Freebird returns from Bornfree 11

Just back from Bornfree 11, the 1957 Triumph Freebird is getting some further tweaks like a brass air filter. There was a minor engine fubar (push rod slipped off the rocker arm) that was fixed a couple days after I got back, and we are running strong!

There are points from the front and back where the levers and cables all but disappear. Getting the bars to look clean was one of the goals on this build. The Honda internal cable throttle and bar-end levers with strategic exit points on the bars keep everything tidy.

There are points from the front and back where the levers and cables all but disappear. Getting the bars to look clean was one of the goals on this build. The Honda internal cable throttle and bar-end levers with strategic exit points on the bars keep everything tidy.

After coming back from the show, some tweaks were done like the bars angled a little lower, kickstand re-bent, left header pipe lengthened slightly on the muffler end, and a new yoke style lever on the rear brake panel (the one that was on there is a side-pull style opposed to the yoke style that does not torque the lever or bend the pull-rod as much.)

After coming back from the show, some tweaks were done like the bars angled a little lower, kickstand re-bent, left header pipe lengthened slightly on the muffler end, and a new yoke style lever on the rear brake panel (the one that was on there is a side-pull style opposed to the yoke style that does not torque the lever or bend the pull-rod as much.)

Once the engine was running right, an air filter had to be made before the final carb tuning could take place. Made from .050 and .032 brass sheet, the Amal velocity stack is inside and the threads are used to mount it to the carb. Everything was done by hand and eye, not using even a ruler or compass. There are ways of pressing or spinning metal to get a similar result, or even CNC, but the hand-made individuality of the pieces was what I wanted for not just this part, but the whole bike.

Once the engine was running right, an air filter had to be made before the final carb tuning could take place. Made from .050 and .032 brass sheet, the Amal velocity stack is inside and the threads are used to mount it to the carb. Everything was done by hand and eye, not using even a ruler or compass. There are ways of pressing or spinning metal to get a similar result, or even CNC, but the hand-made individuality of the pieces was what I wanted for not just this part, but the whole bike.

It would be hard to not make it out of brass at this point. Also noticing once again how artfully Jason Small made the paint line on the tank.

It would be hard to not make it out of brass at this point. Also noticing once again how artfully Jason Small made the paint line on the tank.

The brass hardware from the original Amal 389 carb fit the new carb perfectly. It does not bother me to see the scratches and nicks on it.

The brass hardware from the original Amal 389 carb fit the new carb perfectly. It does not bother me to see the scratches and nicks on it.

Salt shaker muffler grills.

Salt shaker muffler grills.

The amber capped kill switch works fine.

The amber capped kill switch works fine.

Some ground-level details. There is a pipe that runs between the oil tank and battery box, connecting with the oil tank vent on one end and the engine crankcase vent on the other. An upside-down “Y” comes off the tube just above the sump level and drains to the catch-can/chain oiler. The primary cover vent also drains into it via a separate tube. The voltage regulator can be seen below.

Some ground-level details. There is a pipe that runs between the oil tank and battery box, connecting with the oil tank vent on one end and the engine crankcase vent on the other. An upside-down “Y” comes off the tube just above the sump level and drains to the catch-can/chain oiler. The primary cover vent also drains into it via a separate tube. The voltage regulator can be seen below.

Once again, the levers disappear. The seat cover design by Paisley of Penny Goods Leather echoes the tank package rack. I was just going for the ribs down the seat in the traditional form, but she came up with this design and it looks so much better because of it! The Small Time Motors paint job by Jason Small continues to blow me away as well. It was definitely the sleeper strategy to bring such subtle colors to a chopper show. The response was about what you would expect…about one person out of a hundred dug on it.

Once again, the levers disappear. The seat cover design by Paisley of Penny Goods Leather echoes the tank package rack. I was just going for the ribs down the seat in the traditional form, but she came up with this design and it looks so much better because of it! The Small Time Motors paint job by Jason Small continues to blow me away as well. It was definitely the sleeper strategy to bring such subtle colors to a chopper show. The response was about what you would expect…about one person out of a hundred dug on it.

I do not mind the signs of use as long as it is honest. The appearance of leather grips after some use warms up and humanizes the bike. The Wade Oliver Wilson engraving on the levers and kick start pedal was a big hit at the show.

I do not mind the signs of use as long as it is honest. The appearance of leather grips after some use warms up and humanizes the bike. The Wade Oliver Wilson engraving on the levers and kick start pedal was a big hit at the show.

Just a little lowering of the bar ends makes for a better profile and fit.

Just a little lowering of the bar ends makes for a better profile and fit.

Another example of hiding a cable in the silhouette of the bike on the front brake cable. making it a little longer or shorter makes it more noticeable.

Another example of hiding a cable in the silhouette of the bike on the front brake cable. making it a little longer or shorter makes it more noticeable.

Detail of the pannier inside. Once again, I did not ask for some of the detail like the inner canvas pocket, but was stoked with the outcome!

Detail of the pannier inside. Once again, I did not ask for some of the detail like the inner canvas pocket, but was stoked with the outcome!

I always want the tail end of a bike to have a certain look. Tidy and sexy is the only way to describe it. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Happy with this one.

I always want the tail end of a bike to have a certain look. Tidy and sexy is the only way to describe it. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Happy with this one.