Street Seen: Triumph HTF

This classic English Triumph HTF 5-Speed, spotted by Ben, reminds me of one of my favorite British car/motorcycle jokes, “Why don’t the British make computers? Because they couldn’t find a way to make them leak oil.”  ha ha ha ha ha ha



Yet another old and unusual bike behind the library. While not quite Ten Speed, but OTSG is a pretty open culture.  A real Triumph bike with rubber bulb horn, top tube shifter and bar end brakes.

Thanks again Ben

  • Harv

    To continue the British oil-leaking computer theme: Why do the British drink warm beer? Because they have Lucas refrigerators!

    Raleigh also acquired BSA bicycles. What does BSA stand for? Not “Birmingham Small Arms” but:
    Bloody Sore Arse
    Bastard Stopped Again
    Bring Spares Along
    British Scrap Aluminum.

  • The Ten-Speed Dreamer
  • Harv

    The three positions of a Lucas headlamp switch:

    1. Dim
    2. Flicker
    3. Off

  • Ben Schapiro

    I owned and drove a Land Rover (the boxy, aluminum bodied Series IIA, not the urban status versions out now) with all Lucas electrics.

    While yes the electric bits were prone to interesting and inopportune failures, they could generally be put right with just a high school science education and any tool resembling a screwdriver.

    The starter once failed to turn, no big deal the hand crank filled in until I had a chance to work on it. Pulling the starter off (two bolts) the only repair was to flush out the sand and salt, from beach driving, with water, dry the thing out and bolt it back up. Ran fine for another two years.

  • Harv

    Well, we have strayed far from old 10-speed bikes, haven’t we? My disparaging remarks about Lucas electrics were meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I have decades of experience with British cars and motorcycles and Lucas electrical equipment. I find them to be quite reliable with a modicum of care in assembly and maintenance. Even to the point of retrofitting ignition points to an electronic system added onto a motorbike by a previous owner.

    Back to bikes: Nottingham Raleighs, and their many other subsidiary brands (BSA, Triumph, Phillips, etc) were robust, sturdy and reliable mounts that led the world in bicycle design. Much of the size and thread-form standards remain extant. In the early 20th century, the black Raleigh with fenders, headlamp, and wicker basket was the workhorse of transportation in England. And this despite the cold and damp weather.

    Once changing hands for the 5 or ten dollar bill, Nottingham Raleighs are now going for hundreds of dollars, but not very often as they have gotten difficult to find. Any British bicycle stands out and commands attention here on the bicycle-crazed streets of Los Angeles.