Dick Sutton’s 1968 ISDT Cheney Triumph 500 Twin

Image of restored Cheney Triumph ISDT 1968

Restored Cheney Triumph 500 [LPM 22 E] twin ridden by Dick Sutton in the ISDT 1968

Dick Sutton is an all time great of British ISDT scene, not least his retirement saw him move to the Elan Valley where he ran a succesful Trail Ridings holiday company where he was able to introduce many riders to the trails that had been part of the history of the ISDT in Mid Wales over its duration.

In 2012 H&H the specialist classic vehicle auctioneers advertised an Auction to tale place at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford on the 19th April 2012 ( the bike was again listed in a subsequent auction 23 Oct 2012 guide price £8=10,000). In the catalogue is listed an interesting ex ISDT Cheney Triumph which was ridden in the 1968 ISDT held in San Pellegrino Italy. Dick Sutton had been a leading privateer in the ISDT 1967. This is the detail from the catalogue entry and a link to the entry document as a PDF.

Lot Number: 91
1968 Cheney Triumph ISDT

Estimate: (£) 8,000 – 9,000

Reg Number: LPM 22E
Frame Number: 19148
Engine Number: T100-AH19148
Body Colour: Green
Cc: 490
MOT ExpiryDate: None

The decline of the British motorcycle industry towards the end of the sixties presented the ACU with a dilemma. The rules governing the ISDT stipulated that riders must use machines of their own nationality, a clause that in 1968 restricted the choice of suitable machines for British riders, particularly in the larger classes. In response they turned to Eric Cheney. Eric Cheney had enjoyed a successful competition career before concentrating on frame production, initially building a Gold Star powered machine. His products, which were hand built using the finest materials quickly built up a formidable reputation. For the 1968 ISDT he built a limited number of machines for the British Trophy team using a tuned Triumph 500 twin. Eric Cheney was at the forefront of suspension development which the ISDT machines benefitted from.

This example was ridden by Dick Sutton in the 1968 ISDT held at San Pellegrino in Italy to a bronze medal. It is presented to a good standard having formed part of a private collection.”

Further researching this Article reveals that this bike was previously listed on eBay in 2011, but nothing in yet known about if it was sold or not. However the discussion of that sale on a number of blogs questioned some elements of the authenticity of the bike. As a result of that discussion other pictures of the bike were found both at the time of it’s eBay sale and back in the days it was being ridden by Dick. My obvious thanks go to a number forums dedicated to the Cheney and Triumph marques for making putting these images into the public domain

Image of Dick Sutton’s Cheney Triumph at the time of sale 2011

Photo of Dick Sutton’s Cheney Triumph #135 on which he won a Bronze Medal, this photo was taken at the ISDT of 1967 in Poland by Brian Catt

Dick’s bike is here in civvy mode out for a day’s trail riding during a BMF Trail riding weekend in Wales, based on Brecon, the Bantam being “Muttley”. We had pulled off track to allow safe passage for the sheep who where being brought down to the farm from the hills. Dick moved to the Elan Valley area and ran Trail Riding holidays from his home which were very popular in their time. The bike [MUT 233] was a BSA Bantam belonging to Brian Catt who took the photo.

14 thoughts on “Dick Sutton’s 1968 ISDT Cheney Triumph 500 Twin”

  1. Brian CATT said:

    The period shots of Dick and his bikes are my photos, so I will offer captions accordingly. The shot wit Race Number 135 on was taken during a service opportunity in the Polish ISDT in 1967. Dick rode the bike to a Bronze medal here.
    The second shot is during a BMF Trail riding weekend in Wales, based on Brecon, my Bantam being “Muttley”. We had pulled off track to allow safe passage for the sheep who where being brought down to the farm from the hills.
    Examination of the pics will reveal that the frame in the modern shots is very different to that used in the period shots, look at the engine mounts particularly. No doubt there are components in that bike that came from Dick’s, but opinion is that it is a Gold Star type frame with overlarge plates used for the Triumph engine.
    Incidentally, I was also at the ’68 ISDT, and my lack of pics of Dick would suggest to me that he retired. I was a very frequent visitor to Dick’s home/workshop at this time and if he had continued riding in that event, I would have had pics of him.

  2. i have a dick sutton triumph 500 reg jro 3 c engine no ds2 any info please

    • Hello
      Interesting to hear that JRO 3C is still about . My dad owned it about 20 years ago . It had a brown tank then with a single seat. The DS2 Engine was a brand new engine built by Dick Sutton but I dont think it was the original one for the bike ??. I think the original very dented exhaust pipes may still be in the shed,

  3. Brian Catt said:

    Mark, contact me direct on briancatt(at)talktalk.net and I will have stories and pics.

  4. Brian Catt said:

    Documentation in the form of the excellent Book “ISDT1968” reveals that DS retired on day 2 of the trial, so therefore would not have earned a medal.

  5. ex trials rider said:

    LPM 22E was sold again at H&H Duxford IWM Auction 23/10/12 for £6,832. It is being auctioned again by Silverstone Auctions https://www.silverstoneauctions.com/1967-triumph-cheney-isdt on 26/7/14 but a note has been added regarding the autenticity of the frame. Buyer beware!

  6. Brian Catt said:

    Silverstone’s on-line catalogue seems to have omitted the warnings that I sent them. They have, however, corrected the information on where Dick won his Bronze medal on his “near-Cheney” registered as XRO 1F

    • My Grandpa Rex Wills purchased XRO 1F from Dick Sutton. My dad and I are currently restoring the bike with the engine stripped down at the moment. It was running before we started the restoration. If you zoom into the picture in Wales off the sheep track you can just make out the number plate XRO 1F. Unfortunately the 1967 ISDT Poland picture doesn’t show the Reg No. Looking at the frame its looks the same but would like to clarify that XRO 1F was the bike used? Any information and photo’s about the bike would be greatly appreciated. What do you mean by “near Cheney”?

      • Brian Catt. said:

        I was a friend of Dicks during that period and rode with him numerous times. I took the photos in Wales and Poland, so I know the bike well. The description “near Cheney” comes from the fact the according to what Dick told me, was that the tubing for the frame was bent and brazed on the same jig as the 500 Triumph scrambles frame kits were made on. Just one word of warning, Dick was known to ride his bikes on whatever number plate that had a tax disc available, so that machine was seen out on different plates at times. Conversely, please ID your machine to those photos. Another owner has claimed to own Dick’s medal winning bike, but the photos show the frame to be much bigger, particularly noticable by looking at the exhaust area. He told me it took a whole week to build that system.

  7. ex trials rider said:

    It sold for £5980

  8. My brother and I ordered two Triumph pre – unit Cheney Enduro Bikes . I believe
    he used a 1964 engine. We only received one bike as he took so long to make them.
    My one was metallic red,and we used it in the Brecon Beacons. Great holidays.!
    I sold this bike as I moved to Mallorca to live. Biggest mistake ever. ! Would like to
    buy another,if you can help. ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.