The motley crew that put the...
The motley crew that put the project together, from left: Shop Foreman Michael Candreia drove parts, bikes and engines all over Los Angeles and was a big help at the track. Superfast WERA racer Chad Lewin piloted the bike at a WERA race at Buttonwillow and the AMA FX round at Infineon-the details of the races will be covered in part II of this story. Eric "E-Money" Nugent is both an artist and a terror with a Sawzall and built the Triumph in his garage. Our man Trevitt brought everything together and kept the other three from beating on each other. Is that a gray hair we see?
Triumph calls the paint color of our '07 Daytona 675 test bike "scorched yellow," but the metalflake finish reminds us of the famous mid-'60s land-speed-record-holder Goldenrod. Powered by four Chrysler V-8 engines, Goldenrod posted a 409.27-mph record run at Bonneville in 1965, and while we weren't setting goals that high for our project Triumph, we were hoping for some big numbers and a top-10 finish in an AMA Formula Xtreme race. Our bike does have one thing in common with the record-holding car aside from the color: Just as Goldenrod was built in the Summers Brothers' backyard Southern California garage, our FX Triumph came together in a tiny garage in the San Fernando valley and has never seen the inside of a brilliantly lit or fabulously equipped factory workshop.
The impetus for this project came from our Triumph contact, who offered up the full set of Daytona 675 racing-kit parts for use in a project bike. As usual our plans grew bigger by the day, and before long we had outlined the story: We'd build our '07 test bike into a racebike using the kit parts and enter it in an AMA Formula Xtreme race with a rider capable of a top-10 or even a top-five finish. By all accounts, the 675 is an almost perfect platform for the AMA's Formula Xtreme class. As one of the lightest middleweights in stock form, meeting the class weight limit would seem an easy task. And with the bike's displacement advantage it would be easier to get competitive horsepower from the engine without building a time bomb. The kit parts all fall within the FX rules, and the AMA recently opened up the class to allow 675cc triples along with the 600cc fours. The kit parts include all the usual go-fast goodies to form a solid base: cams, valves, a slipper clutch, an ECU and matching wiring harness, a lightweight AC generator and so on. Around the engine we'd build a killer chassis with 16.5-inch wheels and grippy slicks along with aftermarket suspension and brakes.