The ‘Robertson Triumph Triple’,1972 BSA 750cc Rocket III Racing Motorcycle  Frame no. HR 3552 Engine no. HD 00336 A75R

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Lot 418
The ‘Robertson Triumph Triple’,1972 BSA 750cc Rocket III Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. HR 3552 Engine no. HD 00336 A75R

£ 24,000 - 28,000
US$ 31,000 - 37,000
The ‘Robertson Triumph Triple’
1972 BSA 750cc Rocket III Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. HR 3552
Engine no. HD 00336 A75R
Although up-staged in the showroom by Japanese rivals, the Triumph and BSA 750 triples did more than enough on the racetrack to ensure their place in motorcycling history. BSA-Triumph’s Chief Engineer Doug Hele supervised engine development throughout 1969, while frame builder Rob North devised a chassis that would stand the test of time like few others. The team narrowly missed victory at the 1970 Daytona 200, its first major event, when Gene Romero finished second on a Triumph. Dick Mann’s BSA won at Daytona in 1971 and John Cooper, also BSA-mounted, at Mallory Park’s Race of the Year, vanquishing the hitherto unbeatable combination of Giacomo Agostini and MV. Percy Tait and Ray Pickrell had won the 24-hour Bol d’Or endurance race the preceding week on another Triple, and Cooper wrapped up a memorable international season for BSA-Triumph with victory in the 250-mile race at Ontario in October. As a production racer the Triple was equally dominant, as the number of important production race victories achieved (most notably by the works Triumph ‘Slippery Sam’) is eloquent testimony. This famous racing triple was owned by the late John ‘Jock’ Robertson and campaigned by his Robertson Racing Equipe, which was active in (mainly) endurance racing during the 1960s and 1970s. The machine was exhibited at the Racing Motorcycle & Sports Show, London in 1978, and is featured in Mick Dickworth’s book, The Complete Story of the Trident & Rocket III (page 187) and Moto Revue’s Scrapbook Du Bol d’Or 1922-1976. Although always known as the ‘Robertson Triumph Triple’, this machine is actually a BSA Rocket III and was built during the winter of 1972 by Bob Harrington using a genuine Rob North frame. (As well as supplying the works team, North built a number of frames for privateers, the Robertson Equipe among them). The machine was raced in top-flight international and domestic events throughout the 1970s, including the Le Mans, Montjuic and Bol d’Or 24-hour classics, the Isle of Man TT, endurance races at Paul Ricard, Mettet, Nurburgring, Imola and Zandvoort, and the British Grand Prix support races. Its riders included Jan Strijbis, Bob Harrington, Andy Barr, Hugh Robertson, Peter Blaauboer, Bob Newby and Mick Hemmings (a full list of events/riders is available for inspection).
Retired from the track at the end of 1979, the ‘Robertson Triumph Triple’ re-emerged in 1982 to compete in classic Formula 750 races ridden by Mick Hemmings, who achieved a win and a number of podium finishes in CRMC events before the bike was withdrawn from active duty again at the end of 1983. At around this time John Robertson gifted the triple to Jan Strijbis. Jan kept the bike for the next 20-or-so years without using it, before gifting it back to the Robertson family in 2002.

Now refinished in its original racing livery, the machine is offered fresh from a complete restoration undertaken by world famous marque expert Richard Peckett. Its specification includes all the components one would expect to find in a competitive racing triple of the period, including magnesium hubs, factory forks and brake discs, cross-drilled and Tuftrided crankshaft, Carillo con-rods, Omega forged pistons, TH13/TH6 inlet/exhaust camshafts, gas-flowed cylinder head, lightened timing gears and rockers, titanium valve caps, ‘mushroom’ tappet adjusters, Amal 30mm Concentric carburettors, Boyer ignition, Quaife Mk2 close-ratio gearbox and much more besides (a full list is available for inspection). In addition, the machine is offered with a comprehensive history file of contemporary press cuttings, race programmes, official time sheets, correspondence, book references and invoices relating to its recent restoration. With all the genuine ex-works BSA-Triumph three-cylinder racers in museums or private collections, and each worth a veritable king’s ransom, the ‘Robertson Triumph Triple’ represents a rare opportunity to acquire a racing triple of similar specification, including the all-important genuine Rob North frame, possessing significant in-period race history and offered at a most affordable price.
The ‘Robertson Triumph Triple’,1972 BSA 750cc Rocket III Racing Motorcycle  Frame no. HR 3552 Engine no. HD 00336 A75R
The ‘Robertson Triumph Triple’,1972 BSA 750cc Rocket III Racing Motorcycle  Frame no. HR 3552 Engine no. HD 00336 A75R
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