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Levis-Triumph


From Pete Stansfield...


If you were planning to compete in a vintage championship catering for pre-1980 twin shock bikes your first choice of machine probably wouldn’t be based on an 86-year-old rigid frame with girder forks, but some of us do like to be different.


Will, with his dad Walt run a small and vaguely eccentric motorcycle shop in Malton, North Yorkshire where they cater for anything from MOTs to one off custom bike builds. As you approach the front door you will hear either The Archers or a dose of hard house depending on which of them is nearest to the entertainment device. It's a place I visit regularly when I need quality welding and a dose of enthusiasm.

Will has competed in almost every form of motorcycle sport (and tasted a little hospital food) over the years particularly off road and although intending to have a ride at DirtQuake something always got in the way during the busy summers. Scunthorpe stadium is only an hour away though and with a new, similar, event called Dirt Diggers approaching in June 2018 he dragged out the family 1934 Levis/Triumph. The bike had been ridden a few times at Red Marley Hill Climb by Walt (below) and with a bit of a refresh looked up to the job. The motor was an iron 5T, not a rocket but bike and rider made the vintage class final and thanks to a trade mark lightning start Will hung on to the lead until the final lap.

Second to me is a dream, second in Will’s eyes is last and he embarked on a winter build of a well modified 650 pre-unit motor to replace the 500 for the following race season. The 2019 plan went well, apart from one DNF due to a faulty magneto. His determined riding won the Scunthorpe vintage championship and the little Levis gained an enthusiastic following. As regards technical specs, if it's not original Levis or Triumph its something he’d either had on a shelf (floor) or he made it. On the dyno I believe it makes around 45bhp at the wheel, probably four times the original 350 would have produced but touching wood, or maybe cloth, nothing has broken yet!

Photo: Braking Point Images

So what now? On a recent visit to the workshop i noticed a venerable rolling chassis propped up against a bench, it would appear that this is to be next years race bike, in Wills’ words the Levis is 'A bit modern and newfangled;. I would say it’s going to be amazing but seemingly 'amazing' now refers to anything from a 12-year-old who can sing in tune to a dog that goes outside for a poo, just take it from me, like the Levis its a bit good!


All photos: Pete Stansfield, except where stated

#vintageflattrack #petestansfield #scunthorpe #levis #redmarley