Featured in Custom Bike, December
Turning heads wherever it goes.
There are probably more than a few readers
out there in magazineland who are right now musing to them-selves, "For
sure, I've seen that bike somewhere before.
Indeed they have.
This motorcycle, Turnabout II, has appeared
on these pages twice before, as a matter of fact, which must be some kind
of record. The first time was back in September, 1978, when we featured
the machine, complete with centerspread. The second time was in March 1979,
in our 10th anniversary issue, showing the 10 best customs of the previous
The motorcycle, built by Richfield, Minnesota's
Tom Summers, is so innovative and well executed that we decided to provide
readers with yet another look at the bike, following an extensive refurbishment
Summers originally bought this motorcycle
as a stock, 1971 Bonneville basket case for $500. And of that basic machine,
only the engine still exists, for Summers discarded just about all the
other bits and pieces of that original vehicle.
So, here we are, with a total of almost
three years gone by, as well as some $2000. And Summers is still painting
and repainting, finishing and refinish-ing in his pursuit to perfect Turnabout
II. What'll it look like this time next year? At this point, nobody knows;
least of all Summers.
Let's go over some of the bike's features:
Paul Short is a close friend of Summers.
Moreover, Short is something of a mechanical marvel, for it was he who
performed the complex job of turning the Triumph's cylinder head around
180 degrees. Otherwise, the engine is pretty stock(!).
( Insert - Owner Summers proudly stands
by Turnabout II, which has won numerous First Place trophies on the show
circuit, plus Best of Show at th~/Jenver. Colorado exhibition)
(Insert -Above & Left-Premier tank-maker
Lundberg crafted this trim but dramatic unit. Note use of braided steel
fuel, oil lines.)
Extensive chroming has been done to engine
and chassis components, such as the rear brake hub, engine side covers
and the twin Amal concentric carburetors.
As we indicated before, engine modi-fications
are not extensive. The ignition of Turnabout II uses stock Triumph parts
in conjunction with a Drag Spe-cialties battery eliminator, which does
wonders by way of simplifying circuitry.
The clutch is a Barnett unit, which will
withstand greater engine torque. The oil tank is from R&R and those
swoopy, one-off pipes were tailored for Turn-about II by Ross Wheel Service.
The exhaust pipes terminate in an im-pressively sized Drag Specialties
col-lector. Braided steel oil and fuel lines are also used.
The frame is an R&R Savior unit having
a sprung rear axle, six inches of additional stretch and 45 degrees of
rake in the steering head. We are told that the additional steering rake
was done to accommodate the six-inch-overstock Smith Bros. & Fetrow
springer front end. Mark Swanberg is responsible for the frame's front
That's an Invader front wheel measuring
19 inches diameter. It is fitted with a 2.75-19 tire. As the photos reveal,
no handlebar risers are used. The bars themselves are of the Drag Specialties
tiller type. The rear view mirror is also from Drag Specialties.
At the rear we see a 15-inch Invader
wheel that uses early Triumph brake parts. That nifty stubby rear fender
is a five-inch-wide, flat model that shrouds the 165-15 rear tire. The
saddle of Turn about II is a gen-yo-O-Wine leather model made by Randy's
Upholstery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. That very stylish fuel tank is an
item especially crafted by Lundberg.
Owner Summers is responsible for both the
frame molding and the ap-plication of the bike's new polyurethane paint
job. The intricate pinstriping, however, was done by local artist D.J.
As further testimony to the fact that custom
bike building is a never-ending process, Summers indicate~ that all the
motorcycle's chrome and gold plating has been redone since last year to
flaw-less quality by Custom Metal Finishing in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
Summers is justifiably proud of this mount.
And welt he should be, for it displays both innovation and passionate detailing;
qualities that are becoming uncomfortably rare in these days of off-the-shelf,
(Above-Since we last saw Turnabout on
pages of CUSTOM BIKE the machine has
given a radically different paint scheme
and other details.)
(Above Right & Right-While owner
Tom Summers carefully applied new green base paint, elaborate leafing and
striping was done by D.J. Eckel.)
(Below~Summers modestly refers to his
molding of frame as only "clean-up' in nature. However, great patience
and planning is evidenced here.)