Michael Haars 1963 Triumph – A Diggers Way Of Mind

From The Pages Of The July 2014 Issue:

Article & Photos By: Mark Velazquez

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First and foremost I am a drummer. After that, I’m other things..” Ringo Star I’m going to go out on a limb here when I say that 99% of us that read this rag have had some type of love affair with music. If you’re in a good place in your life that affair is still going on. I have no doubt that we have all stood in front of the mirror either doing the Elvis, playing our best air guitar, or for the ladies maybe even a vogue or two. It’s what makes us different. When I think of music, rides and being a little left of center I can’t help but to think of drummers and the Triumph Digger! With that being said, let me introduce to this cat, Michael Haar. Michael is a drummer living in NYC, Hell’s Kitchen to be exact. You may F Cycle Source July ‘14 21 Article & Photos By: Mark Velazquez not notice Michael right off the bat because for the last 3 years Michael has been playing with his band, KISS ALIVE. When I met Michael in some random passing he told me about this crazy, off the hook 1963 Triumph Digger he had. Who wouldn’t want a chance to check out a NYC Digger?! I have to admit, the cult following of the Triumph Digger kinda fits right into the mindset of a drummer, or at least the ones I have come to know. Diggers are not everyone’s cup of tea as they say. Michael’s ride fits right into that mold, but that’s because not everyone can rock a Digger, as they say on the streets of NYC. I get my chance to walk up on this bad-boy and notice from a distance that the sunburst orange/ copper vibe off the stretched coffin/ prism tank draws you in for a closer look.

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Michael got this bike from a friend of a friend of a friend so we can’t give the painter his due, but damn, what a killer paint job done by the mystery panting man. The front end, a raked out Ness springer, giving it that classic old school chopped garage built feel. Total So-Cal, just like the tank reads. If we get techie, for just a moment, we have to jump all over this engine. Hugh Mackie of Sixth Street Specials, here in NYC, better known as the “Triumph Guru” did the rebuild on this engine. Yes, this is an original 1963 Bonneville 650 and to compliment it we have an open cut primary with a quiet power drive belt. Simple perfection done by the Guru! As for the rest of the bike, classic spoke wheels, handmade custom seat, bullet taillight, and custom made oil tank make this ride total eye candy. Michael says that this bike is a blast to ride through the streets of NYC. He also told me don’t let this bike fool you for speed. It’s enough to get you a ticket or two in a New York minute. So be it a bar hopper, cruiser, or a get out of dodge ride, this bike is the total package. I had the pleasure of shooting this bike on the streets in New York City on a warm spring Saturday. I thought to myself what better way then to put her right in the middle of things, just the way it should be done here in the big city.

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As I did my shoot, I was amazed at the attention the bike received from onlookers. So many people stopped to ask if they could take their own pictures with the bike. Usually I try to stay focused and locked in on what I am doing with my own selfish intentions of getting my job done, but on this day, I just had to give the people their due. I like to think that beauty and art are subjective but there are times when the rules are bent and simplicity takes over. This was one of those moments. So if you’re ever in the big city, NYC, and its 4:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning you just may hear the sound of the Digger. And if you do be sure to put your sunglasses on or that orange copper may blind you in the morning sun if she’s out. Just remember to take a close look, you may see a pair of drumsticks in the back pocket of the rider, if you do, maybe its Michael doing a solo of a different kind to a different beat…. FTW

Digger Tech Sheet
Owner: Michael Haar
City: New York NY
Fabrication By: Noah Jordan
Year: 1963
Model: Digger
Time: ??
Year: 1963
Model: 650cc T120
Builder: Noah Jordan
Ignition: Ard Magneto
Pistons: Stock
Carb: Mikuni
Air Cleaner: Mikuni
Exhaust: Short Megaphone, no baffles
Primary: Open Quiet Power Drive Belt
Year: 1963
Make: Triumph
Shifting: Foot Shifter
Year: ?
Make: Honda / Denvers (?)
Rake: 50 degrees
Stretch: ?
Type: Ness Wishbone Springer
Builder: Arlen Ness
Triple Trees: Ness Wishbone Springer
Front Wheel: Spoke
Size: 21”
Tire: Speedmaster
Brakes: None
Rear Wheel: Spoke
Size: 18”
Brakes: Drum
Painter: ??
Color: Orange
Type: Shadow / Stepping
Bars: Pullback
Risers: Built Into Bars
Hand Controls: ?
Gas Tank(s): Diamond Prism Shape
Rear fender: Molded into Frame
Seat: Custom Step and Roll
Foot Controls: Stock
Oil Tank: Hexagon
Taillight: Heartland Biker USA
Headlight: 4.5 Bates Style
Speedo: None
Photographer: Mark V.


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