Ginty Melvill – Lusaka, Zambia
Oliver it is 20 years since I travelled from London to Bournemouth with Kate and we walked into your shop with a list as long as my arm for my 500 Speed Twin 1960 rebuild.
I will never forget the nice warm and friendly reception we got.
We were well pleased with the advice as well.
The bike is still going well on that rebuild, The gear box was not touched, and the only real problem was a cracked valve seat in all these years. I also later converted it to 12 volt, which was a good move.
I also have on frequent occasions picked your brains for information, which was always freely given and much appreciated, by myself.
I now see from adverts in Real Classic that you are going into retirement, and selling off the Business, which is a great pity, as far as we owners are concerned, and only hope that the business carries on in the same way as before.
It will be difficult to have a Tri-supply without Oliver answering the emails or the phone. I wish you well in your retirement, or whatever new venture you are going in to. I can`t imagine you sitting on the sofa in the front garden, in slippers and a warm gown, watching the world go by.
The passing of an era.
But of course all good things come to an end, and I wish you well in your Retirement, or whatever, but why don’t you do a bit of writing for the Magazines, so we can all benefit from your experiences and knowledge. Don’t sit on it, pass it on please. The fraternity, and we are a fraternity will miss you, so please somehow keep in touch, run for President of the Triumph Owners Club, or the VMCC or something, but don’t just fade away.
Regards and good luck in the future
To whom it may concern
As a manufacturer and supplier of precision made classic British motorcycle parts, L F Harris (International) Ltd has had a long-standing trading relationship with Mr Oliver Barnes of Tri-Supply Ltd. Our trading relationship is based on his rigorous requirement of parts made to a high standard and our supply of the same.
L F Harris (International) Ltd
To all Triumph Owners
Being classically trained in the art of restoring Series Land Rovers – the only side effect being alopecia – I threw my hat into the ring to restore the last remaining 1958 Triumph T6 650cc Thunderbird, owned by the late King, at close to 5000ft above sea level in Kathmandu.
Here the it’ll do attitude, 12 hours of load shedding and their penchant for swapping out original parts for, in no preferable order, Yamaha, Royal Enfield and Suzuki (car) made for a grit-your-teeth and swear-at-will rebuild.
Oliver Barnes at Tri-Supply supplied endless, it felt, audible cups of tea from an era of the honest AA man. A God’s send.
The job I felt was in no way difficult, as apart from Land Rovers I have rebuilt classic Vespas and Lambrettas here in Nepal. But, the main issue was my customer, as in so many other rebuilds. Oliver was very patient, knowledageable and we had a laugh along the way. Heck, when I’m back in Cornwall even I may now rebuild a Triumph. At least we’ll both know who the customer will be.
So as a testimonial I’ll leave it at this: If you’re up a mountain and your workshop manual has been sacrificed for heat Oliver will heli-vac you out of there into the warmth, knowledge and the correct parts bin(!) of Tri-Supply.
Thank you Tri-Supply.
Dear Mr Barnes
I just thought I would write to thank you for the help and advice you have given me during the restoration of the first of the two 1966 Tiger 90’s I own.
As you know when I first came to see you I explained that although I had owned and ridden modern bikes for many years I had never carried out any work or even maintenance myself, even to the point where friends used to have to remind me to check my tyre pressures. That was probably the extent of my maintenance schedule!
In recent years I had gained an interest in classic British bikes but it was always my intention to buy something already restored that was ready to ride as I didn’t think I would have the skills required to carry out a restoration. Well, things didn’t go quite as planned and I ended up with the two partially restored Tigers I now own but with very little knowledge of what to do next.
It was at this point that I came to see you for some parts and you could probably tell at that first meeting that I needed all the help and advice I could get. I think the first thing I bought were some exhaust brackets as the set that came with the bike did not fit and were of poor quality. Those brackets, as simple as they were, fitted perfectly, had the right feel and looked like they belonged on the bike. I can honestly say that I did not buy from any other supplier after that.
It was not only the parts that I started to come up for but also the advice. I remember bringing my clutch assembly up which you kindly inspected and advised me on what I could use and what needed replacing. I re-fitted that clutch myself, which for me was a major evolution in my skill/knowledge level, and I had a sense of achievement when it was finished. I must admit that initially it was still very stiff to operate and I was beginning to think that I had not fitted it correctly. I renewed the cable which improved it a little bit but it was still not right so I phoned you for advice again, and admit to being a little sceptical when you had me measuring the pivot points on the control lever and informing me that this distance was incorrect and that the lever was wrong. I took your advice and when I had fitted the new control lever, low and behold, clutch is now light and easy to operate. There’s no substitute for experience.
Anyway, bike No 1 is very nearly finished, it’s been a steep learning curve for me and at times I have been frustrated by my lack of knowledge, but do I regret starting it, no not a chance, only regret not doing this years ago, am I looking forward to getting out and riding it, absolutely yes.
So thank you again Mr Barnes for all your help and support.