Driving the Type 4

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Richard and Pat
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:44 pm
Location: Biggleswade

Driving the Type 4

Post by Richard and Pat » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:21 am

Tony is off to Norfolk today and is going to drive the new T4 and it will be interesting to hear his views on the result as Pat and I tried Alan’s new demonstrator just after the Complete Kit Car article appeared last month. We had a short if informative drive around the lanes of Hingham and we were blown away by the experience. Also it was really interesting seeing Pat enthused by the new car from a passenger's point of view.

First the colour choice, a red metallic including the mudguards, is a very good choice in my opinion and right for us too, it is modern yet classic and suits the styling of the T4 body a treat showing the body lines in all the right places. The proportions throughout the design seem natural which means the job has been done well [only to be expected of course], it is pleasing to the eye and make no mistake this is a bigger car.

This car uses the two valve engine with the similar shaped barrels to the previous donors, has the six speed gearbox and modern engine mounting plus it has the mono shock rear. Apart from making more donors available as the California’s become increasingly a Classic therefore more expensive and less available, for my money the icing on the cake is the ability to accept the addition of the Triking own brand rocker covers. This takes the eye away from the rather overpowering appearance of the belt cover running up the centre of the cylinders on the modern engine and puts the emphasis back on the twin cylinders which for many, me included, is the very epitome of a three-wheel vehicle. BSA’s apart!

The interior is quite a departure from what we have come to expect being in a two tone black and white with silver thread running through it and a stitching style not seen in a Triking before, at least not by me that is. The space is a revelation, having spent nearly seven years hunkering down into the cockpit of Squeaker this was a real treat. I reckon I could get one of the average size local telephone books [remember those?] down beside each hip once seated comfortably. Don’t get the impression this is sloppy, no this is still the favoured snug driving position but at a comfortable level. I get the impression this car may even take a bucket seat.

The view through the screen was a new and pleasing experience for this six plus footer and the flow of air over the top giving a much better time to my hair or what’s left of it. Looking down, the dash might be described as minimalist but in fact has everything you need and again it looks modern and stylish with all the switches necessary close to hand. The steering wheel has a nice feel and is very reminiscent of sports cars of the fifties with its four sets of wire spokes and black rim picking up on the upholstery's black element.

The pedal box is another major change in that the whole unit can be mounted quickly improving build time or repositioned easily for a change of owner driver but the biggest benefit is for those with size ten or greater boots as there is much more room to pedal this exciting three-wheel sports car.

Whilst still in the cockpit mention must be made of the new positioning of the handbrake perched as it is in the cab on top of the transmission tunnel. This is another really good change that suits the bigger driver as it saves that leaning down under the dash to the old position. I have improved the ease of use in my earlier Mk2 car by the inclusion of a Trigger handbrake which will not be necessary in a Mk 4. Can you see the way this is going?

Out on the road the later engine gearbox configuration is an immediate improvement of the earlier donors in that the gear change is almost electronic in its quick and easy movement, even reverse seemed smoother than before and whilst I did not get a chance to give it the beans, it’s not my car after all and the roads around Hingham are either busy or narrow, sometimes both, we did enjoy a few short blasts and the six speed box and ease of change were really noticeable. The exhaust note is at the level I like in that it is enjoyable without being intrusive. In my opinion the choice of silencer is important and chosen on the kind of driving you prefer. In my yoof I fitted a PECO to a Mini I had and I wonder why I am going deaf now. I am looking forward to an extended driving experience once ‘Borcellino nee Yellow Peril’ is completed.

Whilst the track is wider than my Mk2 it didn’t phase me whilst driving as I thought it might. It won’t fit the trailer but hey ho I have a plan. The steering on the demonstrator is set to give an easy return to centre and therefore requires a little more effort in parking or tight turns. But remember you can of course set this up to suit your own style such is the flexibility of design involved in the Trikings. I liked it and would want the same. Can see the way this is going?

Once again people are making comparisons with the Morgan and I have spoken at length on the subject before, suffice to say I chose the Triking after driving both on the same day back in late 2011. It is really interesting that I find myself making the same comparisons again today but this time it is much more a like for like compare; this car is a modern translation of the early motoring icon as is the 3W Morgan. OK I am biased but even if I wasn’t surely with a currently posted £40,629 starting price [up over £10k from when Greg and I were looking as a joint venture] I could not justify a purchase. Yes I’d have the cachet of a ‘Morgan’ in the garage and a modern embodiment of the genre but I want to drive it, regularly, with confidence and with the track record of both Triking and Moto Guzzi I know I can. Don’t give me the ‘but they have good residuals’ as that is just not the case any more. The older 3W is fetching above average because the new price has risen and risen whereas the Triking has such a following that you see twenty five year old cars fetching today’s equivalent of far more than the kit cost back in the eighties and good modern ones are not long on the market.

Overall I am excited by the prospect of the new car with its up to date gearbox and suspension, larger living room, modern looking interior, trim and dash and the same driving thrill but more so. I am guessing you have seen the way this has gone.
Richard

westendguzzi
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:30 pm
Location: Huntingdonshire

Re: Driving the Type 4

Post by westendguzzi » Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:17 pm

Great article Richard, you have summed up the essence of the T4.
My ride out was solo and brilliant----!
Yes I did get it dirty, it did rain in Norfolk yesterday.
I didn't push it, honest, not first time out, but handling was good, straight line stability perfect giving confidence for a great long distance car.

Power and agility as expected from great engineering.
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Oleg
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:19 pm
Location: South Staffs

Re: Driving the Type 4

Post by Oleg » Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:39 pm

Agree excellent article/report . Thanks.
Seems one is on its way to Biggleswade!

EricStarmer
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:51 pm
Location: USA

Re: Driving the Type 4

Post by EricStarmer » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:47 pm

Tony - what's that thing that looks like an oil-cooler or suchlike at the bottom front ?

westendguzzi
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:30 pm
Location: Huntingdonshire

Re: Driving the Type 4

Post by westendguzzi » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:52 pm

Eric, it's an oil cooler!

EricStarmer
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:51 pm
Location: USA

Re: Driving the Type 4

Post by EricStarmer » Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:24 am

Thanks, Tony

Doverhay
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Location: TA66NN

Re: Driving the Type 4

Post by Doverhay » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:13 am

So Richard, when is your T4 arriving, we all know you can get 3 Triking’s in your garage?
Brilliant write up, could even be worth some discount on the T4 kit!!
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Richard and Pat
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:44 pm
Location: Biggleswade

Re: Driving the Type 4

Post by Richard and Pat » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:48 pm

This is true,
I am currently having the shed door widened to allow access and egress down the garden too to Type 4 width just in case. 8-)

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