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Just picked this up.

Discussion in 'Triumph (Classic)' started by Johnnymac, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Johnnymac

    Johnnymac VIP MEMBER

    Oct 8, 2011
    I just acquired up this nice 1960 T120 Bonneville today. I will pick it up next week. Very excited!!!! I wasn't even looking for a new bike but happened to come across it at a local classic car/bike dealer. I've always wanted a pre-unit Triumph 650. This example is an older restoration. Ridden only once and has 4 miles on the motor since the rebuild. Going to need some TLC, but I'm ready to dig in!

    Attached Files:

    nortriubuell and jbruney like this.
  2. jbruney


    Jan 5, 2019
    Only thing missing is a glass of fresh milk to really savor the flavor of that tasty morsel. Great score.
  3. Johnnymac

    Johnnymac VIP MEMBER

    Oct 8, 2011
    Thanks jbruney! I'll post more pics once I get it home!
  4. Matt Spencer

    Matt Spencer

    Jul 25, 2010
    If youre wanting to match the vehical behind , in the picture , a few tweaks are required ! .

    Two Way Damped REAR SHOCKS will stop your fillings falling out , and the rear descending on irregulaities in the pavement , at speed .

    Theres two heads for these . A later slightly thicker chamber one , avoids the seat to stud head cracks .
    Splay port head was first fitted to the 57 T 100 R . dirt tracker , and was a option in 58 for the T 110 .

    750 Valves and mild tuliping thru the curve to the seat , and 1 5/32 Amal on the 1 1/8 intakes improve the breathing.
    in Combo with the Cut Back 56 pipes , 2 1/2 at head to the Boyer Length , with the Wassel Megas will have it
    coming on the pipes past 7000 rpm & running past 8000 . :eek:

    Tripe about poor handling is largely hogwash . Paint Between engine / gearbox plate faces etc a issue .
    Metal to metal 7 the bolts up ' securely ' the frightfully modern geometry steers well. With a firm hand .
    Matches a hideous Z1 at least . On pavement. And will leave them at the line on dirt roads. Never to be
    seen agian. Untill a wrecker hauls them out of the ditch . 100 mph hand off - on gravel roads. No Problem.
    even with the sh*t shocks .

    Extremely particular ignition timing is neccesary . 3/8 B.T.D.C. - 38 Deg. Would pink just at mid range,
    if not watched . 98 octane 70s pump gas . 110 in third on stock gearing. Tho 105 was less unreasonable .
    But who wants to be reasonable . :p

    9.5:1 Hepolites gave 9:75 with the oversized valves out on unsuncken stock seats . Head was actually
    done in N Z by Hooker , the last before he went to the U S to incorporate the ' Round ' valves seats used in His N A S C A R
    engines .
    Three angle - radiused - flat / coned at contact point. Stock cams ( tho this is a 61 - as in this here pitcher )

    So, there you go . Now you Know . Dont leat the side down . Chin up. Press on rewardless .
    Ball Race crank bearings and the 67 type ' Thruxton ' type pear cheeked crank . ( original was shot )
    Was past 18 owners and 100.000 mile before the build . Most Still basical sound. Tho all the consumables were .


    And no, some dead sh*t put the flat on the pipe prior to it going on the machine . Left pipe'd touch - under the clutch,
    so needed riding around . The dual rate Shocks'd help obliviate that issue . Dunno if youre lower fork legs match / 1 " longer than unit , so more travel . Bars are Westerns ' pulled back . Chin on rear of tank and 5'*" the elbows lock on the knees , to hold the plot on the road . Full Wellie' it'd load up , but clear at 90 mph. in third . 270 main jets .
    Thus the front was light it if didnt watch it , through the other side of the Auckland Bridge .
    Cork Clutckplates gave superb feed back . Theyve got good weight distribution .

    So Get To It. NO letting the side down . Goin chew up Hondas , kwikersakis and yamahahahas ,
    Gently off the line it'd pass RD 350s buy 60 mph & the souped up Saint theyed been racing .
    14.5 quater at 90 when totallty clapped out . Riding for the next owner ..
    1 intacct ring , clutch shot , no power . Wouldnt even lift the front end .
    However. . .
    Rebuit it 60 over & unit primary .
    Switching from throttle off to throttle on at 60 mph lane splitting, he ran it thru to 90 on the rear wheel .
    So it was back to its old habits . :cool:
    Last I heard some turkey had coverd it in mud and cooked and blown it,
    seen for sale 4 or 5 years back on NZ trade me , as a project .
    Likely theyd wrecked the best head on the planet . No Class some pr*cks .

    OPast 80 the Front Brake wasnt a lot of use . Id set it up carefully and use the straight pull cable backplate .
    or lever at least . Its a drop in , so Originality is less a priority than someones grill through your teeth .

    PLUS . A 25 tooth engine spocket was listed as an option . Wick should see it to / past 140 . in that spec .
    nortriubuell likes this.
  5. Matt Spencer

    Matt Spencer

    Jul 25, 2010

    You need the Float Bowl on the right hand carb sticking OUT . If you want to bruise the inside of your knee on it , starting .

    And Put BOTH Fuel Taps ON ,

    Running Hard , at the Strip , or W.F.O. or the second piston down the fuel line will evaporate the crown .

    Theres old Johnso Motors tooning bullitens about .
    Their JoMoCo Valves were 1 7/16 & 1 5/8 inch. For the 500 !

    Their W & S Valve Springs ARE the ' Norvil ' springs used by JPS in the 70s , youd probly hit 900 with them .
    This might not be in its best intrests .

    Should cut under 13 at around 105 tweaked up .Make sure the swing arm bush is A1 super plus ,
    and keep all the bolts pulled down even and firm .

    Take it to 1000 miles before the throttle gets on the stop . and 2.00 before its held there .

    Retourgue & Tappets at 50 and 100 or 150 miles. then 500 .
    Keep pulling the barrel nuts in .
    FINGER TIPS on the Spanners .
    Not a Gorilla Grip .

    feeler just free at 4 thou on the Exhausts & just dragging at 2 on the inlets .

    Incidently the T 100 R ( cams ) gave a redline at 8000 . Clearance 10 thou. all.
    Stock the powerbands to narrow untill the pipes were cut back. 27 1/2 valve face to end .
    Co-Incidently a Std Beer Jug Full to the level.
    Used on a 2 litrecortina ( pinto ) Engine , gave anther few thousand rpm . Just like the Triumph !
    Tho the Baffled :rolleyes: megas go incandescant internally and pull it up past that . With appropiate acoustics .

    Better fitta headlamp cam , and some decent tyres .

    The Pommy Spec was 19 inch rear , I ran . tho mine was a T120 ' R ' wich is U S ' Road ' Spec .Prefer the 4.25 18 rear , on a WM3 .
    Where the 55 / 57 T 100 ' R ' is " RACE " , the history / development is interwoven .
    Was using 800o on the Short Circuit at Pukekohe on the 100R at the inaugaral meeting.
    Inadvertantly .
    Years later found this was authorised .
    That ran 7600 & more left , in top , on the Grand Prix Circuit . Giving 130 unstreamlined .

    Getting right down & tucked in is important . Seeing your going to Bonneville .
    The Bars Pictured give the low drag tucked in Snow Ski Top Speed minimal frontal area , seated.
    With full bar leverage for stability .

    L S R they ran 80 % Nitro and the One Piece Crank . :)

    Theres a Picture of ' Morris ( Morrie ) Lowe & presumably the T100R Engine
    in ' The Bonne Book ' 1970s published History of the Triumph Bonneville .

    But as Henry Ford states , History is Bunk . Tho holding the L S R for 15 years ISNT .
    Dkarten and nortriubuell like this.
  6. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    Very nice Johnny.

    Do please keep the updates, and pics, flowing...
  7. ashman


    Jul 11, 2010
    I love the looks of the old pre-units just something about them, anyway nice fine and enjoy it when you get it home.

  8. Matt Spencer

    Matt Spencer

    Jul 25, 2010
    Yes Indeed . Lucky Man . Flash number plate too , even .

    Had the K 70s on it , were generally brilliant . TT 100s after that , goog for the twisties but knife edge ish on rolled seal .

    Assume the mufflers are ' straight thry ' glasspack . A broom handle will check that . Were longer pommy spec ones too .
    The Original exhaust supplier to Triumph is still in buisness.

    I ran ' no idle ' as in the throttle slides would close fully . Adjust wrist for idle . Not cables . Set even both slides at top of bore .
    Usually Second then first COLD . to avoid embarassing noises .
    Gear Box Adjust . The Rear Chain'll pull it back .
    Set Primary . Clamp Cross Bolts Tight .
    Then set rear nuts on dual adjusters firm against cross bar ,
    then front nuts . Fully Clamp cross bolts .

    A lot of ' long distance ' Triumph Oil Tanks had a dded resivoir on the rear to increase capacity . Id definately do it to a spare oil tank .
    A cheap dented one you could knock the dent out while half the backs off , and hot tank so no debri prescent .

    I used a pillow case stuffed with trools , stuffed down between seat post & rear guard . Safe there and never lost anything .
    Mine was a bit of a mongrel , being rebuilt from a write off , I assume . In 1965 . I had it around 77/78 .
    A right dog when I got it . Think it was 118.000 miles recorded .
    Only unplanned stops after my rebuild were the 1948 ! mag drives fibre teeth stripping , and the 56 small bearing / shaft ,
    mag pinion snapping . Awondered if the stripped pinion new years eve afternoon stopped a planned high speed endevour fortuitously .
    The Other mother came past , rural . Tow behind trailer behind 51 Rover 75 11 miles home. Reasonably safe . She didnt hang around .

    Had enough tools aboard FOR FULL OVERHAUL . No spare mag. parts tho .

    Another watch it is there were genuine Triumph clutch mainshaft half moon keys .
    Cleaning and lapping the taper stops the clutch center jumping ship . If its negleted there .

    Im sure youll enjoy many miles on it . Still switch to ' Big Bad Bonne ' state of mind periodically.
    Just picked up 5 T shirts with a 66 Bonne on at $ 3 apiece !

    The ' Works ' oil tanks had a sort off add on thing inside at the front ?
    a bit like this . Gave one gallon capacity for 3/4 Gal. Imperial = 5 Quarts U.S.
    one quart air / breather space .

    Vaugely like this .
    Stock tank filled to level driven firmly can / does get oil seeping out the cap
    which can & will get back on the rear tyre . Salubriously at times .
    Same with the Oiler .
    Better closed .
    Bigger capacty'd get temperature down , etc etc etc .
    Even if your not phyco on the throttle. All the time .

    Pays to ' Pre flight ' the machine . as the obstroberosity is ifectious .
    Tyres youve got there the best all rounders , good for unsealed roads and were Dirt Track Race Choice No 1 . Horrable Perrilis for soft tracks , but these
    throttle steer apallingly on tarmac & if you put the brakes on in a bend
    itll go sideways instead of forward .
    Advange off TT 100s is you can ' Clamp On ' the Brakes Fully . Fully leant over .
    If theres a pillon to keep the rear down .
    A pillon eased the muscle strain on uneven chip seal ' highway ' roads .

    The K 70s ride easier . So dont toss the tyres .
    No Battery And H Lamp Direct to a replacement alternator
    had ' searchlight beam ' past the Ton .
    Would blow bulb overreving .
    Wonder what a 130 / 90 wouldve been like in it , instead of the 55 / 60 . !

    Dont get pedantic over ' stock spec ' . Ride It and Enjoy It . !
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  9. Matt Spencer

    Matt Spencer

    Jul 25, 2010
    Starting a Magneto Eqiped P U , ordinarilly dampen the carbs , if the weathers cool . Tickler . Maybe 1/2 ( 1 second )
    takes 2 / 2 1/2 sec. to wet thumbs / finger . For full cold start .

    Push both cylinders through , throttle closed . maybe three / four compressions , in cold wether .

    Push against compression ,
    Position Kickstart lever , ( It'll catch three compressions , full travel , just . )
    Foot on lever against compression , leap skyward and straighten leg , so your WEIGH on a straight leg throws it over .
    ( the compression Not the motorcycle )

    Panic restart in traffic , seated de - clucth , throw against compresion , posn lever -
    ( full travel at tops not necesarry )
    Swing Throughj as you throw yourself up & fwd .

    All pretty basic , and No trouble . IF the throttle is only just cracked off the stops , then wiggled to catch on the lower quater . Big Throttle settings may result in 20 blokes collapsed around the motorcycle in a half an hour . Like mine .
  10. robs ss

    robs ss VIP MEMBER

    Aug 16, 2016
    I feel your excitement - well done!
    One question of clarification - I had always thought Triumph changed to unit construction in the mid fifties - so a 1960 pre-unit appears a bit odd to me - or am I wrong?
  11. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    Unit construction for the 650 engine was 1963. The 350/500 range was earlier.
  12. robs ss

    robs ss VIP MEMBER

    Aug 16, 2016
    Thanks Nigel - more info into my ever-failing databank!

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