First Times A Charm – Myles’ T140 Triumph

Published In The February 2014 Issue Of Cycle Source

Article By: Milwaukee Mike Photos By: Mark Velazquez

Feb '14 Feature 5A Kerri

During this magazine’s 15th anniversary events, one of the first things we did that year was roll out to NYC and attend the Genuine Motorworks’ party. Thanks to the efforts of Bobby and Elisa Seeger, we were made to feel quite at home and it afforded me the ability to connect with a whole bunch of very talented artists in that part of the country. Among them was a new face that came with an old, longtime friend of mine from Milwaukee; the new guy was Myles Atherton. This story has a bit of a different spin on it than most I get to write. About 4 years ago, Myles got the itch to learn how to ride. Being that he had zero experience, he took a very different route than most. He decided to build a bike first, and then teach himself how to ride it while perfecting this little chopper all at the same time. He told me that it just seemed to make the most sense and that he could get all the lumps in one shot. This saga starts with a search on eBay where he found a beat up and pretty hammered out Triumph chopper for a good price. He bought it and then quickly he pulled the whole thing apart. There wasn’t much that was worth keeping except for the frame, rear wheel and engine. The project did include the Springer front end that is on the bike, but little did he know how thoroughly beat it really was. It seems that the ticking time bomb that this bike was at that time had its first mishap shortly after it was running in bare metal, and in an even more cut down state. One day while cruising around in the city, the shock tower napped off on one side right below the threads and sent the top spring on one side sailing straight up off the front  end. By some miraculous feat, he caught it in mid air! If you don’t believe him, he had witnesses to back this up! Luckily this did not cause a near death experience, but some further investigation found that someone had ham fisted the top nut on that side and cross threaded the nut.

Feb '14 Feature 5B Kerri

The next mishap came when a faulty line ran the bike out of oil and seized up the original 650 engine. Then Myles received a little leg up from local motorcycle hero, Greaser Mike. He sold Myles a running and complete 750 engine. After a little rework to switch the left side shift back to a right side shift — done by Hugh Mackie over at 6th Street Specials — he was ready to start working in the space were the old 650 was. This was all happening about the time that the Cycle Source staff was all in NYC, as I mentioned earlier. We saw this build in its 2nd incarnation; it was still raw, but looking very right on. The bike is now in the 3rd state of being redone, and according to Myles, it is now finally complete. Being that I have been messing with Brits for 25 plus years, I would say he hit the mark pretty square. The first thing Myles did was to replace the mini drum front wheel with a V-Twin spoolie 21” and then threw an Avon Speedmaster on for that classic look. With the Springer being repaired and a set of rebound springs with some fresh chrome from Paul in Pennsylvania, it was good to go and looks just as nice as it works. The frame was staying as is with the front having a fair amount of stretch, and with just a touch of lift it holds the 2” over Springer just right. The narrowed bars top it off and make sliding through New York traffic a breeze. The gas tank was switched from a Mustang to a Lowbrow three gallon tank, and along with the eBay scored ribbed fender (that cost more to ship than buy), they were sent out to Sonny Boy in Cali for that beautiful paint with the understanding that less is more. I think he got the message because it flows just like it should. Factory Metal Works supplied the oil bag and exhaust pipes that wrap the left side so it won’t interfere with the Joe Hunt magneto setup on the timing side of the engine. When it came time to put it all together, Myles got some help from a couple of local friends. Vander built the bitchin’ sissybar and Neil Fenton helped fit all the sheet metal. Myles also got a hand from Corrine Molson from Via Meccanica who re-stitched the tuck and roll on the seat and built and stitched the matching p-pad as well. Factory Metal Works also supplied the foot controls, and the headlight and taillights were from TT and Co. Myles said he would like to thank Greaser Mike, Neil Fenton and Tim Vanderbass because without their help, this project would have not got off the ground. I look forward to seeing what the future brings because Myles told me he has a ‘53 Frankenpan in the works, and if this is what he did with his first build, I can’t wait to see what the second one brings.

Feb '14 Feature 5C Kerri

First Time’s A Charm Tech Sheet
Owner: Myles Atherton
City: Brooklyn, NY
Fabrication By: Tim Vanderbas & Neil Fenton
Year: 1973
Model: T140
Year: 1973
Model: T140
Builder: 6th Street Specials – Hugh Mackey
Ignition: Magneto
Displacement: 750cc
Pistons: Stock
Heads: Stock
Cam(s): Stock
Carb: Mikuni VM 34
Air Cleaner: Custom Benchmark
Exhaust: Factory Metal Works
Primary: Stock
Year: 1973
Make: T140
Shifting: 5 Speed Right Foot
Year: Unknown
Make: Custom
Rake: 8 Degrees
Stretch: Stock
Type: Springer
Builder: Custom British Cycle Supply
Extension: 2” Over
Front Wheel: Spool
Size: 21”
Tire: Avon Speedmaster
Brakes: Zero
Rear Wheel: Stock
Size: 18”
Tire: Safety Mileage
Brakes: Drum
Painter: Sonny Boy
Bars: Acme – Shortened and Narrowed
Hand controls:
Gas Tank(s):
Front Fender: Zero
Rear Fender: eBay Special
Seat: Via Meccanica
Foot Controls: Factory Metal Works
Oil Tank: Factory Metal Works
Taillight: TT & Co
Headlight: TT & Co
Speedo: None
Photographer: Mark Velazquez

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