I sent a letter off to an address I found on a free website for a guy with the same name as the original owner (1972-1995) 2500 miles (~4000 Km.) away from his last known address shown on the last registration card. Fingers crossed for a couple weeks now. I asked if it had the upgraded transmission. The address site stated that he is now 75 years old.
Today I got a long E-mail reply!! He says that when the bike (1972 TR6RV) was just out of warranty, he shifted into 2nd going around a corner and the gear broke and locked up the transmission. Here is some of what what he said in the E-mail;
"There is a bit of a story to the upgrade:
While I was still living in Laramie, Wyoming, and when the Triumph was just out of warranty, the transmission failed. I had just returned to Laramie after a trip to Denver, Colorado; and while rounding a corner just 1/2 block from my apartment, I shifted into 2nd gear; the gear broke, and the transmission locked (fortunately at low speed). After sliding to a stop, I held the clutch open while I pushed the bike home. The guys at Frontier Cycles were very helpful in convincing Triumph to cover the upgrade kit under warranty (but not the labor to install it). The upgrade kit consisted of first, second and third speed gears (each a bit thicker than the original gears) which were drop in replacements. The wrinkle was that Triumph had changed ownership during that time, and their part numbering system was changed. There was a kit number for the upgrade which we kept hearing was on backorder. The backorder situation continued for (as I recall) about 21 months. It was only when the owner of Frontier Cycles was at a motorcycle rally in Texas that he bumped into a Vice President of Triumph Motorcycles, and told him the story of the backorder. Well, it turns out, that all the parts had been on the shelf in California all the time; just not stocked as a kit. The Vice President gave his business card to the owner of Frontier Cycles, and told him to call the warehouse again; and that if he was told again that the kit was on backorder that he should tell them what the Vice President had said. This time the phone call was put on hold for a few minutes and sure enough, all the parts were there; and were shipped that same day. I installed the upgrade kit, and rode the bike a fair number of miles after that (i.e. in Wyoming, Colorado, then in San Diego and Ventura County California)."
He adds; "An interesting side note:
A professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wyoming talked me out of the broken gear, and used it for his classes as an example of a weak gear design. He said it was a "classic" gear failure."
What a break for me. I've been driving very carefully and wondering if it would finally break just as I was leaned way over on a mountain road, 500 foot cliff on the outside. Well, I'm still going to be careful because any transmission can fail, especially one that has had a lot of water in there as this one had.
Anyway, I'm totally jazzed to hear this and to have this connection to the original owner (who sold it to a co-worker who let it sit outside until I rescued it last year).
Brian *Should I post this in my reso thread too?*