T120 engines in Norton Featherbed frames

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Doug Hele would probably be disgusted.
That modern Triumph motor in the slimline frame is disgusting.
Maybe we should all order up some of the new Norley's as well.
Just gross.....
 
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Hi Matt

My hot 850 motor in my 57 Wideline does have very minamal vibrations in the foot pegs and some vibration in the handle bars but only at serturn revs ranges, the crank was balance at 72% by a old English gentleman that knew what he was doing, what ever he done my Featherbed is very comfortable to ride, I have done quite a lot of long distance runs, the only bad vibrations I get in my handle bars is around 115 mph but smooths out at 118 mph and will get the same vibrations at about 123 mph but agains smooths out at 125 mph and will be fine after that till it can't go no more, but mine you that was in my younger days and no longer do them speeds.

I do a lot of my highway cursing at 75 mph to 90 mph, it is very smooth at that speed and will take it to the ton and more on most runs, it will sit on these speeds all day without any problems, in 33 years of this build I have only had one nut come undone, that was my top gearbox bolt but I have a feeling that I didn't do it up tight enought at the time it was rebuild, my exhaust pipes are hard mounted and have never had any problem with them coming loose at all, so you can build them to run smooth, it will never be as smooth as a moden bike, but I still enjoy riding it and I have done well over 130,000 miles on this bike, it was my everyday ride till I brought my new Triumph Thruxton at the beging of this year.

Ashley
 
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Chris , I got it out of a think a 1974 issue ( was built back then , California ) of this mag . or same layout American mag . Content ' varied ' in ' Big Bike ', half were chopper stuff . One had SS Duke another SFC Laverda studio features .



Was a feature on the Manx Combat in one . as I said , 74 I think , mayve mentioned a bent commando insurance wreck for powerplant . cool Machine for back then , Doubt a Z1 would worry it . though its got a few elaborate parts on it .
The ' mufflers ' are the rowdy ' wassell ' megas . Music to the ears . :D

And thanks Ashman , obviously not all these British machines dont shake themselves apart . Though some degree of mechanical sympathy / aptitude certainly helps the equation .
 

grandpaul

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"To each his own" ... "No two alike".

I submit that there is only ONE "authentic" Triton, all others since the very first one are simply someone else's idea of the pairing of a Norton frame and Triumph engine.

Ever since I was 13, I had been reading about Tritons. About the time I was in my 20s, I started thinking I'd like to have one. Over the years, I've had quite a few Bonnevilles, and have made several deals on lots of engines & parts, so I've had spare engines in the shop to choose from. When a friend ended up with a spare Slimline frame, he offered it to me at an attractive price. Various other serendipitous events led to the accumulation of the parts it took to build MY Triton.



Don't like it? I don't care.

The question should not be "Why?"; rather "Why NOT?"
 
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Paul, it is a nice bike, however I would never build it. I can remember one like it racing in the early 70s, however it is not the real deal. When I was a kid, a friend of mine owned a maroon '53 Tiger 100 with the full race kit. When I think of that I get the real feeling of nostalgia. It had the correct megaphones, tacho and speedo, the E3134 cams and even the rigid frame with the factory rear sets, and a Mk2 sprung hub. It had the factory racing twin carb setup with the remote bowl. - A registered street bike, and it was to die for. I'd love to have a correctly built Triton these days , even though I know all of their limitations. I was recently offered a full race kitted 53 model T100, however I could not bring myself to go there again. - Difficult to get correct in every detail, and not have the motor blow up.
Ashman, I've thought of building a featherbed bike using my spare 850 motor and 4 speed CR box. My Seeley 850 has the motor mounted rigidly, and crank balanced to 72%. It rocks back and forwards when idling, however is as smooth as silk once rolling. The isolastics were an attempt to make a big twin as smooth as a CB750 - NOT NECESSARY !
Norton were chasing the market, like politicians who respond to opinion polls.
 
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acotrel said:
Norton were chasing the market, l.
More troll comments from the troll
Or, just stating the bleedin obvious.... ?

All makers respond to what sells and what doesn't.
Name a manufacturer who hasn't made a model or variation that didn't sell, and just sat on the showroom floor.
Anyone who does that for too long won't be in business for too much longer....

Besides, if Nortons had truly been 'chasing the market', they would have had bigger engines, sooner.
Enfields had 700cc and then 750cc twins for years before anyone else got there.
On their side of the pond anyway.
 
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I don't know if this is an urban myth, but I thought the origination of the Triton was borne of the use on Manx motors in F3 cars in the early '50s. I've seen a couple of Coopers from that period with Manx motors. I was told that Norton would not sell the engine alone, or that some car owners would buy a Manx just to get the motor, then sell the chassis, sometimes with gearbox.

I agree it would be a shame to turn an Atlas into a Triton, but what about a late '50s-early '60s single without an engine?

Friend of mine built up a Triton using a '66 Atlas frame he bought, and installed a T140 motor that had been warmed over a bit. I think it weighs about 360 lbs. He built it using all period parts, as if it was done in the mid-70s - Tomaselli clip-ons and levers, Dunstall mufflers (with the red 'Dunstall Power' badges), early headlight off a Goldstar, etc. To the purist, it is not a Triton, but I think he put together a pretty well-sorted machine.

Only pic I could find was this one from the Boca Raton Concours back in February. My Ranger is to his right, and Bill Sherer's P11A (done up like a P11 and a Triumph away to the left)
http://www.robertstolpe.net/Boca-Ra...9008_DbM9tq#!i=2409329978&k=c2dHthF&lb=1&s=X3

BTW, we rode both bikes there, while nearly all the rest were trailored. I won a trophy for my class, and his was a crowd favorite. I had to have a friend take my trophy home, and later that week, when I picked it up, I learned of the G15 I just finished :)
 
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BillT said:
I don't know if this is an urban myth, but I thought the origination of the Triton was borne of the use on Manx motors in F3 cars in the early '50s. I've seen a couple of Coopers from that period with Manx motors. I was told that Norton would not sell the engine alone, or that some car owners would buy a Manx just to get the motor, then sell the chassis, sometimes with gearbox.
That has been mentioned by someone previously here earlier in the thread.
Fairly well documented from the time... ?

Norvins appeared fairly early on too ??

If folks didn't think that they could build a better mousetrap, we'd all still be riding penny-farthings....
 

Time Warp

.......back to the 70's.
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BillT said:
I don't know if this is an urban myth, but I thought the origination of the Triton was borne of the use on Manx motors in F3 cars in the early '50s. I've seen a couple of Coopers from that period with Manx motors. I was told that Norton would not sell the engine alone, or that some car owners would buy a Manx just to get the motor, then sell the chassis, sometimes with gearbox.
That then might pose the question,did the Triton appear because there were cheap rolling chassis's that people with Triumph Pre Unit bikes could put the engines into or were they a bike only those with a bit of cash could build.
Was it firstly a race or road based conversion. ?
Its not like the job could be done over a weekend with off the shelf parts. ? (engine plates were hacked out in the shed)

To build a good pre unit engine these days costs money even if you have a good start not forgetting it had its own oddities.
Interpretation of near anything changes when it crosses decades and this thread shows it.
 
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Time Warp said:
That then might pose the question,did the Triton appear because there were cheap rolling chassis's that people with Triumph Pre Unit bikes could put the engines into or were they a bike only those with a bit of cash could build.
Was it firstly a race or road based conversion. ?
Its not like the job could be done over a weekend with off the shelf parts. ? (engine plates were hacked out in the shed)
Probably have to find old magazines from the era, and look at the race results to see what was winning.
A featherbed triumph would have been a good proposition in clubman racing - if they were eligible to enter ??

Manx rolling chassis wouldn't have been cheap, certainly not initially anyway.
A new Manx cost more then a house back then, so a 'working man' wouldn't even get a look in.
Cheap came later, when a few years had rolled by ??
 
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I think the Hinckley engine in the Featherbed frame doesn't look bad at all, I quite like it, I personally wouldn't do it myself for various reasons but I'm glad someone has. Remember that people used to scoff at Tritons as home jobs at one point before they became legend, if people innovate and make good looking stuff who's to judge?

And I reckon Doug Hele would have liked it being a man who tried to move with the times for sure.

I had read somewhere that the reason the T120 engine is favoured in a Triton is because it is more reliable than the Atlas / Dommie engines, why else would you reduce your bhp by swapping to a 650 Triumph engine from an Atlas?

I've also read a few threads that comment on the big problems with the Atlas engines but they don't really explain what exactly it is that makes them unfavourable.

I don't like the whole Triton or Cafe Racer thing at all, but I'm glad it exists. I'm personally not averse to swapping nice looking tanks and things to make a bike look nice, imagine an Atlas with a beau Matchless G9 tank or P11 tank or something (as I find the stock atlas tank ugly), but I would not cafe..
 
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Acebars said:
Remember that people used to scoff at Tritons as home jobs at one point before they became legend,
I don't remember that.

I had read somewhere that the reason the T120 engine is favoured in a Triton is because it is more reliable than the Atlas / Dommie engines, why else would you reduce your bhp by swapping to a 650 Triumph engine from an Atlas?

I've also read a few threads that comment on the big problems with the Atlas engines but they don't really explain what exactly it is that makes them unfavourable.
Have you read the thread?
 
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Triton Thrasher said:
Acebars said:
Remember that people used to scoff at Tritons as home jobs at one point before they became legend,
I don't remember that.
I wasn't born so don't remember it either, I was watching an old documentary about moto racing and there was a negative notion about special bikes made at home but this was quickly dispelled with what became the Triton legend .

Triton Thrasher said:
ave you read the thread?
Read all of it, people mentioned vibration.. no reliability stuff...
 
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I was a keen dude back in the '60s and remember the advent of the Triton on the roads.
There were some really nice ones, quite a lot that would be nice with a little work, and heaps of rubbish that shouldn't have been allowed out. At about the same time, early/mid 60s, there were a lot of "goodie" shops, who were selling some good stuff but mostly absolute crap. There was one such shop that had a range of swept back pipes on display, we peeled the chrome off in large sheets!!
A nicely built Triton could be very very nice. A friend built one with a late pre unit 500 engine, and used it for touring. Looking at it in the street there was nothing to indicate that it hadn't come out of a factory, it had normal footrests, handlebars, seat etc. Went like a dream. I asked him "why the Triumph motor", he replied that when he built it he couldn't find a Norton 500 or 650 one, or a pre unit 650 Triumph.
cheers
wakeup
 
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One issue of motorcycle mechanics had a ' how to ' artical . El Cheapo was throw the Triumph engine on the Norton Rear engine plates , throw in two bolts and redrill lower hole for third , Knock up some cardboard patterns for new dront plates . This set the engine angled forward , which they thought looked as cool . Something to the terms of ' if you couldnt make front plates , you shouldnt be building one anyway .




they even built one of these themselves and ran a feature .
 
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these continuously had ' how to ' s on all sorts , overhauls , tuneing , race prep etc . Was bodge it yourself , in those days . :x mustve set off a few ' experiments ' of dubious results . :(

Maybe 2/3 or so of some fields at a race were ' specials ' or moded . ' often ' Yamaha ' on entry ment ' Yamse; ' , Seely framed Yamaha . as with all the rest . Right into 70s - Norton forks on a Sheene Suzuki ,
Paul Smarts , etc . etc . etc . A case of desperation . A place was money , so no great fuss as long as it went better . Generally ' Open ' was the class over 500 , with a 1000 cc limit for the ' 650 specials ' .
Before the 70s .
" Lets Go Raceing - see M.M.s easy to follow guide " :lol:

Would trawl the likely second hand bookshops in the 70s for these . Ebay these days the price is still competetive to a new mag. While some were full of junk , some had gold in them . the Periods Gold .
 
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I raced a very nasty 500cc Triton for 12 years against a friend who has a well-developed 650cc Triton. I've ridden his bike which is extremely fast. I've also ridden a very original 1961 500cc Manx. Forget Tritons. Even a featherbed frame fitted with a two valve Jawa speedway engine is better for classic racing . Tritons are good road bikes, if you enjoy riding beautiful camels.
 
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I believe the first Atlases were known to break off barrel flanges. These days there are more Atlases in Australian historic racing than were ever built by the Norton factory. You can tell an 850 Commando motor from about 100 metres away, however they are still there in the pre-62 class. Oh well, the kiddies must have their fun !
 
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Matt, no more "Motorcycle Maniacs".....please.
Had enough of them in the 60s, Better Brakes, Terrfic Tyres, Mighty Magneto, Awesome Amals (!!). They seemed to have a regurgitation cycle of about 18 months.
cheers
wakeup
 
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