British Bikes in Tokyo’s Electronic City

Newly restored Triumph

Akihabara is where the Otaku, they highly enthusiastic Japanese geeks, go for electronic toys and lunch with a French maid. Instead of pop culture dining and manga figurines, I found Trinity School, a small workshop on a side street, where a couple of experienced mechanics have spent the last 10 years teaching a group of enthusiastic apprentices to restore classic bikes, often European ones.  I had a nice chat with the guy who runs the school, who had just taken a restored Triumph out for a road test. 

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Most of the cycles were Triumphs and BSAs, but a smoky room in the back included a vintage Harley, and pre-war BMW will be an upcoming drivetrain restoration project (I expected the drive shaft, but not the H-pattern hand shift on the right side of the tank).

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I watched one of the students adjust the carb on a 1952 Triumph, which was propped up on a stand so the wheel could spin, and I watched another student cut the threads on a bolt on a turret lathe.

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They also have done some non-motorized bikes, like this very funky Moulton (which also goes to show why you need to cover your Brooks).  With both Sturmey-Archer and Lucas to worry about, these students are going to learn a lot about vehicle mechanics.

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