A trike is born 1983 to 2006


It is like this, I get involved in a nasty crash and end up a little legless so to speak not the middle wicket just half of the off side stump, and bang goes the bike riding way of life, still go to the parties, shows etc but riding 2 wheels is just a no go. Or so I thought.

Life goes on and I get married. My Bruv in law Chris moves in 'cause he has to. Fine and tickty boo, as he is a great bloke and biker to boot. He meets my mate Elvis who has set up his own bike shop in Malden Essex. Most weekends Chris is working in London (or so I thought) but no the tricky little beggars are playing Trike builders. I am in the dark until it is Plugs birthday bash in January and Jacqui (the Missus) and I trundle round to Plug's to have a knees up, I note, mind you that there are a heck of a lot of my mates there especially a large contingent from Essex and we're a few pints into the party when Mark (Plug) says look mate it's not just my birthday but we have gone and done something for you and out in the garage along side the Triumph is a little some thing of us to you. Well, I scoot out with the revellers and there are cameras flashing and video camera whirring away. I become one very taken a back nay humble Gazza, there along side the triumph project, is a Black XS 750 hard tail trike. Bloody marvellous. Well to me it is like winning the lottery. I get on it and the beast is mine.

Ever since, it has been a work in progress. We get the exhaust sorted and the big ends. Then a load of paper work is sent off to the registration office in Sidcup and bosh I have the beast registered and almost ready for the first MOT. The date gets set for April and I set off on my own, a very nervous yet intrepid trike/biker as I have not ridden since the accident some 12 years earlier. I wind my merry way from Crayford over to Plumstead and at the Test Centre I pull in and feel the buzz of adrenalin and place both feet on the ground and look down rather concerned with the fact that there is no side stand? Yeh, yeh, I know it's a trike but in my defence it's my first solo ride and the bike buzz is back in the veins and I just forgot. The bloke comes over and we wheel the beast into the garage and suddenly we're all legal. So I set off onto the unsuspecting roads of South East London and beyond.

We go off to the Brighton Devils Weald Rally and have a great time. On our way my mates all have a good old laugh as I slowly zoom ahead into the distance and leave them all behind (but I'm only doing 50 honest) we get back all in one piece minus a kick start that poor old Chris very nearly ended up wearing on the A26. So it goes on, rally's party's and sore arse after 60 miles and poor Jacqui ends up with great big welds on her botty. I come up with the idea of splitting the saddle and Carlos Fandango FB welds up my seat frame so jacqui gets some suspension via a set of old Koni's and she is much happier now to come out for a ride. But after 3 engine rebuilds and 4 gearboxes I think hey this motor is not up to it so I get a XJ900 lump, as I reckon it will fit the frame where it touches. It does but money is tight and other things take priority.

Its now 1999 we then move from smoky London to leafy Norfolk and the beast comes with me but still the engine has yet to get fixed into the frame. It is 2003 when we are out and about in North Walsham that we see photo's of a nice trike and ask about it and Mike the Trike's phone number is mine and I give him a ring to be greeted with Mike's wife, Christine's "North Walsham knocking shop ".Jacqui and I pop round and we fix a plan of what needs doing and when he can squeeze it in. Mike cracks on when he can and the frame takes a lesson in instant weight loss and is tided up. Extra engine mounts go in, a complete XJ900 is purchased as we can't get a CDI for the older XJ lump and it works out that the whole bike was cheaper than just the new bit. So it's a new front end, wheel, fairing and seats. I get the Koni suspension now and it's brilliant as my numb bum durability is now in excess of 300 miles and on one long week end we end up doing more than the previous entire year's mileage some 1021 in 3 days, a new rear axle and wheels and a paint job and we have a current reliable fun and practicable piece of kit.

Started off with a T reg XS 750 D that had been used as a get away bike in an armed robbery. The whole of the bike from the swinging arm forward is standard and the back end is fabricated from Reynolds tubing and a Ford Escort (van) axel with 15" cosworth wheels. Trailer galvanised mudguards, Hillman imp brake cylinder for the rear brakes jellymold Lucas side lights (how could I forget?) CB 900 seat and rear light. A 3 into 1 fabricated front section and an exhaust can off a sporty Kawasaki (sounded well neat) but it limited the load space so Fred fabricated the exchange box that fitted underneath in the winging arm area and had 2 pipes (sounded different and somewhere to fry an egg) bonny US handlebars XS 750 switch gear.

It now has a 1988 XJ900 (non diversion) front end complete with fairing, a Honda Valkerie seat for the rider, a Fork lift truck seat for the pillion (as it has it's own built in suspension), a Robin Reliant rear axle with Astra wheels (soon to be 15" or 16" BMW wheels), Caterham Super 7 mudguards, an XS850 5 gallon tank which allows a 200 or more fuel range which is good enough for my arse. The rear brake set up has changed a little and is now off a Honda. Side lights are LED's rear lights off a lorry trailer board, XJ 900 switch gear , Suzuki top yoke. I have entered the 'Noisy Git' at the Soggy Moggy (Tiggers MCC ) huntingdon and came third with a Decibel reading of 117 with my pipes onů

Gary Mayle 2005 with Yamaha trike and faithful mutt 'Buddy' hoping for a ride!

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