Saturday, January 03, 2009

Eddie Mulder's Triumphant Garage

Eddie Mulder was a leading TT Steeplechase and desert racer back in the 1960s. He won The Big Bear Race at age 17, beating a field of over 500 racers -- even after getting a late start because he was in the bathroom instead of on his bike. He is best known for his five AMA Grand National victories, all on TT circuits. Eddie Mulder, was a factory sponsored Triumph racer who ran under National #12, and he's been a Triumph guy ever since.

Eddie retired from professional racing in the mid-1970s, and became a leading Hollywood stunt rider, doubling Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force and other movies. He still works as a stunt coordinator, and he's still a a die hard racer -- especially when there is dirt involved. Eddie and his wife run the West Coast Vintage Dirt Track Series, and Eddie gets out on the track to ride the blue groove whenever he can.

We flew to California in November to interview Eddie about his various motorcycle-related ventures. Eddie runs a small business that builds custom Triumph street bikes closely based on his Triumph racers of the 1960s and ‘70s. Although he does do some restoration work, the bikes he builds have very modern components: Brakes by Brembo, cables by Motion Pro, and Works Performance shocks. The hand crafted motors come with Johnson cams, electronic ignition and all sort of trick bits housed in a C&J Frame. A Carbon fiber tank and body works keeps things light, and Maxxis tires provide the grip. As he said in the interview, "The only thing really vintage on them is the motor and the guy sitting on 'em."

We hung out with with Eddie in his Triumphant garage, where he discussed the West Coast Vintage Dirt Track Series, the beautiful Triumph motorcycles he has in his shop, and what life is like for a guy who has been riding for more than five decades.