Miller was/is a legend. Many time British and world trials champion, world
racer, and currently, owner of one of the world's great motorcycle
museums. In the 1970's,
at the height of his trials career, Miller
built a series of special frames for use with Bultaco and later, Honda TL
125, components. Known as "High-Boys", Miller's Reynolds 531
frames were stronger and lighter than the factories' production models.
I found this one on eBay only a couple
hundred miles down the road. As the auction was winding down, we were
dining out with our friends Jerry and Darlene Sira. There were no bids
on the bike, Jerry said buy, Darlene said no, my wife Terri knew better
than to opine either way. Smartphone in hand, I went for it.
It's an interesting and quite rare
piece. There are, I believe, only three in the US, though many more in the
UK. The frame incorporates a bolt-on skid plate that replaces the lower
frame tubes, allowing some extra ground clearance (thus
"High-Boy"). This particular bike uses Bultaco M151 components;
they are also fairly rare as this 325cc model was produced for only about
five months. There are also other Sammy Miller and Renthal components as
well. The tank/seat unit is alloy in place of the usual Bultaco
fiberglass, manufactured in the UK by Homerlite.
SM552 remained with the original owner
for 30 years, it's complete but fairly rough having competed in competitive trials both in the UK, and later, here
with AHRMA. It does seem to run OK, with a fairly recent top end job, so I'll be
concentrating on cosmetics and the other mechanicals.
I have my work cut
out for me. I have about nine months to get it ready for a debut at the
2016 edition of Riding Into History.
Update: See below for photos of
the project and the first photo of the completed renovation.