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Thread: Franks KTMs three wheeles on the race track

  1. #1
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    Franks KTMs three wheeles on the race track

    This is for Bill OC250r who inspired me to start posting here on 3wheelerworld with his thread about Kelvin Franks wonderful creations.

    (1)KTM 495 at Riverside OffRoad world championships.

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    (2)KTM 495 at Watsonville Offroad Nationals.

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    (3)George railing a turn on the KTM 250 at the Alaskan invitational race.

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    (4)Drag racing King Dean out of a turn at a Mickey Thompson Grand Prix at Pomona Raceway on the KTM 250.

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    (5)Horsepower was never in shortage with my Dad tuning our bikes.

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    George had text book style.

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    More to come.

  2. #2
    Toaster556's Avatar
    Toaster556 is offline At The Back Of The Pack Arm chair racerFirst time rider
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    Awesome photos, thanks for sharing.
    Did all of your Franks bikes have Simons forks on them, or did you use the WP inverted forks on any?

  3. #3
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    @Toaster556 - My Dad was good friends with Steve Simons and not only did Steve make the forks but he was the Ohlins shock importer at the time so we had fork and shock sponsorship from him and is why you always saw Simons Forks and Ohlins shocks on our bikes. On one of our KTMs we had a pair of his prototype upside down forks called UDX forks of the same design as Brad Lackey used to win the 500 GP world Championship with but they never had the right feel in my opinion and i liked our normal KTM 250 more.

    Kelvin built the bikes to the customers specs with in reason so you got whatever brakes, suspension, motor and color you agreed on using.

    George on the UDX fork KTM at Pomona Mickey Thompson in 83
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Wow John, these are really good pics!!! Who took them all???
    "Roll on 3"

    RIP Ol' Deuce

    "Long Live the ATC"
    Building: ATCr125x
    Riding: ATC200sx
    "I am not a mechanic, mechanics get paid for this. I do it because I enjoy it."

  5. #5
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    @Jmoozy27 - My Dad had a really nice camera set that he would pack around to the races and since he was friends with all the guys from Dirt Wheels, ATVnews, 3&4 Action, ect he would borrow a press pass and be able to get these shots from right on the edge of the race track where normally they would never let a person stand. Good old Pops is crafty like that.

    He had a whole bag of big lenses and stuff, i always remember being impressed by my Dads camera collection.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_Neary View Post
    @Jmoozy27 - My Dad had a really nice camera set that he would pack around to the races and since he was friends with all the guys from Dirt Wheels, ATVnews, 3&4 Action, ect he would borrow a press pass and be able to get these shots from right on the edge of the race track where normally they would never let a person stand. Good old Pops is crafty like that.

    He had a whole bag of big lenses and stuff, i always remember being impressed by my Dads camera collection.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Best pic yet. Thank you Mr Neary. Pure gold John, pure gold.Lovin the 1980 ATC185 with suspension behind him. Super trick stuff even with just a pic of him walking through the pits!
    Please help those who cannot help themselves.

    ALWAYS buying Museum quality machines,3 and 4 wheels. And any and ALL ,NOS parts,EVERY brand.

    I am turning my PM's Off,my Email is billsracing@hotmail.com,put 3WW in the subject. Thanx!

    Gun laws do not stop criminals. BULLETS do.

  7. #7
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    Glad to finally connect with you. I have this very Franks up here with those forks and that gold wheel !!! I knew it was blue but did change the cosmetics a bit to the orange and white Kelvin used on some of his other models. Having the other 3 blue and white models up here I desperately needed an orange and white one!! This is what it looked like when I bought it. Funny thing is once upon a time (before I bought it) it was posted up here on the boards as a KTM 3 wheeler. People were bashing it calling it a chopped up Honda (LOL) I knew it was a Franks

    Quote Originally Posted by John_Neary View Post
    @Toaster556 - My Dad was good friends with Steve Simons and not only did Steve make the forks but he was the Ohlins shock importer at the time so we had fork and shock sponsorship from him and is why you always saw Simons Forks and Ohlins shocks on our bikes. On one of our KTMs we had a pair of his prototype upside down forks called UDX forks of the same design as Brad Lackey used to win the 500 GP world Championship with but they never had the right feel in my opinion and i liked our normal KTM 250 more.

    Kelvin built the bikes to the customers specs with in reason so you got whatever brakes, suspension, motor and color you agreed on using.

    George on the UDX fork KTM at Pomona Mickey Thompson in 83
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC00295 (1024x768) (2).jpg  
    Last edited by Orangecnty250r; 07-04-2015 at 06:37 PM.
    Wikipedia "All Terrain Vehicle" Definition excerpt
    Other smaller or lesser known companies, such as Tiger ATV, Franks, and Cagiva, produced racing three wheelers, but in much smaller numbers. Few of these machines are known to exist today and are highly sought by collectors.


    Check out my Tiger 3 wheeler Webpage..my quest for a TIGER MUSEUM started 2004 http://sites.google.com/site/tigerrotax/home

    Rides: TIGER Factory line up, Tricky Dicks Cagiva 200, 4- Franks 3 and 4 Wheelers

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    You know what is also a bit odd.....this bike came with no plate and I just happened to put an NOS white preston plate on it last year....I guess that was the right choice!
    Wikipedia "All Terrain Vehicle" Definition excerpt
    Other smaller or lesser known companies, such as Tiger ATV, Franks, and Cagiva, produced racing three wheelers, but in much smaller numbers. Few of these machines are known to exist today and are highly sought by collectors.


    Check out my Tiger 3 wheeler Webpage..my quest for a TIGER MUSEUM started 2004 http://sites.google.com/site/tigerrotax/home

    Rides: TIGER Factory line up, Tricky Dicks Cagiva 200, 4- Franks 3 and 4 Wheelers

  9. #9
    phantomtracer's Avatar
    phantomtracer is offline At The Back Of The Pack Arm chair racerAt the back of the pack
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    Great stuff, John can you give us a little history as to how you ended up riding these Franks/ktm machines?
    Did you pay for these bikes or were they loaned to you?

  10. #10
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    Sad story of my Franks 1984 KTM125 powered bike..in the time it took to build it the 125 pro class was done away with by AATVA and it would of been forced to race against 200cc bikes and of course i already had top of the line 200s so in the end i only raced this once or twice at my local track that Mickey has raced at, Cycle Land Speedway, just to try it out and then we sold it.

    It was little and so darn cute, 2/3 scale of a normal Franks.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    those are 16inch Carlisle RA tires just to give you a sense of scale

    Found another photo, it was so small i could tip it over just by leaning like i was in a turn.

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    Last edited by John_Neary; 07-06-2015 at 04:03 PM.

  11. #11
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    @Phantomracer - My Dad was well off and was buying the Franks bikes for us, i am sure at some sort of discount, but Kelvin did not have the size operation to give away anything and keep the door open as it was just a small two man crew who made everything by hand in the age before computer CNC machines.

    One reason in 1985 that we switched to Hondas was because i was fast enough to get sponsorship who could not only give us free stuff but pay us to race for them, first DG racing had me riding their bikes and wearing their gear and paying nice bonus checks when id do good and after that Allen at CT Racing was a huge help and took on a massive amount of the cost when we where building all those crazy Honda/Suzuki, Yamaha/Suzuki mix engined Quads and stuff.

    I was sponsored for a while by Rob Selvy but i think it was mostly i got the choice parts and his full attention more than it being a free ride, again Rob needing to keep his shop open could not really give away his custom parts and shop time and Rob already had full time riders with Dan Lamey and Fred Conover. Rob was a artist in every sense when it came to his engines.
    Last edited by John_Neary; 07-04-2015 at 07:22 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_Neary View Post
    Sad story of my Franks 1984 KTM125 powered bike..in the time it took to build it the 125 pro class was done away with by AATVA and it would of been forced to race against 200cc bikes and of course i already had top of the line 200s so in the end i only raced this once or twice at my local track that Mickey has raced at, Cycle Land Speedway, just to try it out and then we sold it.

    It was little and so darn cute, 2/3 scale of a normal Franks.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Wow!!! I love it! ....Hopefully it still exists .....somewhere, other than a steel beam in a skyscraper!
    Wikipedia "All Terrain Vehicle" Definition excerpt
    Other smaller or lesser known companies, such as Tiger ATV, Franks, and Cagiva, produced racing three wheelers, but in much smaller numbers. Few of these machines are known to exist today and are highly sought by collectors.


    Check out my Tiger 3 wheeler Webpage..my quest for a TIGER MUSEUM started 2004 http://sites.google.com/site/tigerrotax/home

    Rides: TIGER Factory line up, Tricky Dicks Cagiva 200, 4- Franks 3 and 4 Wheelers

  13. #13
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    Thank you so much for posting those photos and stories up Sir. Please keep them coming.

    Billy, when does this gentleman get a star?

  14. #14
    barnett468 is offline FACT ! I have no edit button Arm chair racerThe day begins with 3WW
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    Those photos of George are very cool, and the last one looks so perfect it almost looks staged . . I could only dream of looking that stylish when I raced, lol.

    Here is cool article on the Frank's racer from the January 1985 issue of 3&4 Wheel action that I found on the net in case anyone is interested in it . . I like the sideways mounted muffler in the photo on the last page . . His shop was only 1 mile from our first Kawi Ran D and racing building, but unfortunately, I had not heard of him at that time so I never got to his place to see his stuff . . You can blow the images up on internet explorer if necessary.

    http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s...ranks250R1.jpg

    http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s...ranks250R2.jpg

    http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s...ranks250R3.jpg

  15. #15
    Toaster556's Avatar
    Toaster556 is offline At The Back Of The Pack Arm chair racerFirst time rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_Neary View Post
    @Toaster556 - My Dad was good friends with Steve Simons and not only did Steve make the forks but he was the Ohlins shock importer at the time so we had fork and shock sponsorship from him and is why you always saw Simons Forks and Ohlins shocks on our bikes. On one of our KTMs we had a pair of his prototype upside down forks called UDX forks of the same design as Brad Lackey used to win the 500 GP world Championship with but they never had the right feel in my opinion and i liked our normal KTM 250 more.

    Kelvin built the bikes to the customers specs with in reason so you got whatever brakes, suspension, motor and color you agreed on using.

    George on the UDX fork KTM at Pomona Mickey Thompson in 83
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's too cool. I always wanted Simons forks for my VMX bike, but try finding a set! Thanks for that inside info!

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