Bobby Sirkegian's 1951 Triumph Thunderbird Drag Bike [Video]
It was one of the first drag bikes to make it big on the TV screens and it was one of the initial proofs of speed superiority of bikes over cars. While the race between the '51 Triumph Thunderbird and the stripped-don hotrod seemed neck to neck, the finish line sees Bobby on his Baby Mine first, with more than a bike length ahead of the muscle car.
Bobby's father had taken care of the bike's customization and had beefed it up so well, that Bobby rode it to two NHRA wins in the 650cc class. The Baby Mine was a 650cc bike and received high compression pistons, S&W racing valve springs, a balanced crankshaft, custom camshafts and lifters, and lighter cam gears.
The dual carburetor was also a custom one, and has remote floatbowls. And since weight loss was of the essence, the '51 Triumph tank had to go, as it was massive and heavy. The replacement was a peanut Wassel one, hand-painted with both Triumph logo and Baby Mine graphics. The headlight and front brakes were dumped.
Even if Bobby retired from drag racing at 17 years to follow a flat-track and road racing career, the bike has been well taken care of and was auctioned earlier this year for $48,000 (€36,778), together with a script of that “You Asked For It” episode signed by Bobby Sirkegian.
❐ Check out the Bobby Sirkegian's 1951 Triumph Thunderbird photo gallery