1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Trident ~ true phoenix

Discussion in 'Triumph (Classic)' started by Stuart SS, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. Stuart SS

    Stuart SS

    May 22, 2004

    Last Sunday was SU-PERB day ~ So took a punt and headed off to the Sunday club meet !~ (Did not even road test ~ just headed out !! [-X )

    All good ~

    Even decided to go on the club ride ~ Put in about 150 clicks ~ And No wonder the Trident drew small crowd as apart from a Suzuki GSX mine was the only classic bike on the club ride/s as most of the Whooshes bring out their modern bikes for the rides ~

    LOTS of hills, twists and turns ~ barely a flat straight in sight ~ which I prefer ~

    All good on the clutch scene ~

    Stopped off and took a few local shots after I headed home ~

    (Paused for a quick 'Misty Mountain Hop")

    'Misty mountain hop' LyricsPerformed by Led Zeppelin


    Ravenshoe Wind Farm

  2. Stuart SS

    Stuart SS

    May 22, 2004
    Well.. The first Rally the Triple appeared at, took place at Cardwell, between Cairns and Townsville this last weekend gone ~

    The 13th Cardwell Restorer's Club rally.

    Only six of us from the Atherton Tablelands club made the Cardwell FNQ Rally ~ and back ~

    And on Saturday morning it started to drizzle as we headed off and we got SATURATED , ( Well boots were filled with water ~ even some of the top range riding boots,) while going down the Palmerston Highway ascending to the coast ~

    Fortunately Most had effective wet weather gear.

    But we could not SEE~ I simply followed the white lines, and Sandy and her flouro pants !! What a journey , stage one! A great highway so real dangers !

    But it cleared at South Johnstone & Mena Creek ~


    Especially for the Ozzie riders or anyone who ventures our way ~

    The journey after leaving the Palmerstone Highway was fantastic .. bloody ripper! South Johnstone to Silkwood..and return.

    If anyone ventures to the extreme north QLD ~ Put the Silkwood to Mena Creek to South Johnstone (and back) onto the Bruce highway as a MUST do for anyone ~

    Tonnes of sweepers.. bends ~ ups and down ~ and no real nasty surprises ~ (Just watch out for Cane trains!)

    And DO NOT refill at the First Choice Fuel station on the Bruce H/way at the Silkwood turn off ~ (the octane rating will send you pinging as you go up the Palmstone and Milla-Milla! Fuel at Tully ~ the next reliable stop is Malanda ! Or Innisfail ~ )

    Stop just shy of Tully



    Stuart SS and the Trident ~ with a load of 92 ? Octane ~


    For me the entire weekend was about the rides ~ not so much the Rally ~

    View of Sunrise form the room ~Cardwell / Hinchinbrook Inlet.


    Statistics are in on the Trident carbs for a reasonably big run ~ First fuel check with your carbs is ; 34 km per 1 litre ! That's pretty dam~ great ~ for 1970s technology ~

    Now that is optimum , as it was after travelling down the Palmerstone which is the soft option , decline from 600 M to sea level ~ the decline is some 80 km

    BUT ~ Again ~ The remainder of that leg (195 km) was fantastic hills, sweepers, twists and turns ~ I don’t have a result on the return UP the range ~

    Oil consumption was “minimal” ~ <100 mils> in <650 km>

    Clutch ~ had it’s good and bad moments (??) Overall the clutch worked fine, pulled away and changed fine! May seriously look to have the entire thing dynamically balanced ~

    Highest terminal speed, highway cycle ~ 127 khm ~ ( GPS Speedo records this ! lol)

    Weekend Casualties~ one mobile phone.. left on the (only ) car rear spoiler! And El Presidento , did a U turn on a patch of dirt and dropped her W2 ! No damage apart from dignity and a twisted left ankle ~
  3. Stuart SS

    Stuart SS

    May 22, 2004
    Finally got a fuel return for the total rally run!

    This was the first time I did a comprehensive total on ANY of my bikes but was keen to see if the investment in the Amals was worthwhile ~

    (Precision built by a retired engineer and mate who is a wizard on ALL things fuel delivery systems ~ I was sworn on a case of Boags Premium not to play with them but only adjust air and idle screws!)

    First stage test down the ranges to sea level ~ I was stunned ~ 77 MPG!

    Return to the Moun-tain top and overall fuel consumption ~ 4 litres per 100K / 60 MPG ~

    I m stoked as anyone with knowledge of the BSA / Triumph triples knows a very good day on stock carbs will get you < 35 mpg> ~
  4. J.A.W.


    Jun 6, 2012
    Very good numbers, what revs/throttle opening range were you using? 4ltr/100km uphill is amazing for a Trident, well done.
  5. Stuart SS

    Stuart SS

    May 22, 2004

    Yes well.. I am generally a moderate/ "brisk " rider, hardly a cruiser ~ on both the Commando and the Trident ~

    The Trident I am usually found between 3500 to 5500, top out at 6ooo rpm on occasion .. five speed box.. I use the gears regularly with a rear 52 sprocket ~ Generally hang around the regulated speeds ~ here in QLD Aust there is Zero tolerance on speeding and they actually rely on revenus for state government funding !! :D :D

    But if the Wallopers (Police) were pull me over and were GPS Speedo savvy they would know that the Speedo actually records highest terminal speed ~ on that trip I was topping out at 123 kmh !! So I do have my moments ~
  6. J.A.W.


    Jun 6, 2012
  7. Stuart SS

    Stuart SS

    May 22, 2004
    Yes a classic gathering.. a good read indeed !

    THE BIG issue here that a 1960-70 British triple may well howl out to 8K and even 9K rpm , but it will eventually put a rod through the crankcase.

    I know of a number of local " Ozzie riders" that regularly spin the tacho to 8K ! But then they have things like Carrillo rods for starters ~ I want my triple to be a reliable but exciting ride for many years to come and know my bike bottom end is good to go !

    My new engine runs 78-80 lbs of oil pressure at any revs above idle and when hot generally runs around 30-35 lbs ~ which is about as good as it gets ~
  8. Onder


    May 11, 2010
    Dont forget that it isnt unheard of to stick a centre pot either.
    Ive done it . You need to back off at the top end after you reach it.
  9. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Jan 15, 2008
    I would be concerned leaning out excessively on a triple to arrive at those MPG figures...
  10. J.A.W.


    Jun 6, 2012
    I recall going for a test ride on a dealer Trident, it went willingly & well, but I was put off the purchase when the oil light started flickering on a hot idle, I know [Hitler type] VWs mentioned this in their manual as something not to be too concerned about, but with a Triumph it was a deal breaker..
  11. Stuart SS

    Stuart SS

    May 22, 2004

    Yes-I hear you loud and clear and I have argued that if the cams peak at around 4500 rpm and allowing another 1000 rpm to gather "momentum " I figure 5-5K is adequate for me ~ thus why I say that only occasionally I might touch 6K !

    (I notice that quite a few of the Triples that come up on E bay have such crankcase damage ! Occh!! Not a nice experience ~ I only blew an A65L in such a fashion ~ )

    My fellow triple compatriates argue that 6K is mandatory riding. I think I will stick to my preferred range of 5K + & go home happy !

    And flickering oil lights and lower oil pressures are a real debate ~ a mate down south, calls Oil gauges ~ "Stress meters" and argues it is best not to even entertain fitting them. Something to be said for this too!


    Appreciate your thoughts herein ~

    Bob is an retired Engineer and ran a (Rail dragster) race team up until two years ago ~ arguably one of the best in Australia ~ He is, I believe well qualified and a very knowledgeable on all things metallic, and fuel & delivery systems ~

    He has done extensive testing on this Amal carb issue, and as a base issue, the header pipes are perfect colour with NO discolouring. I too was concerned about this, but this lack of discolouring tells me that there is little to no leaning out ~

    As a matter of Interest here si the comprehensive list of modications and repairs 'Bob' did to my carbs and gantry


    I’ve finished the T150 complete carb set.

    Some points I wish to explain.

    The manifold plate the carbs bolt onto was bent by .100” and had to be straightened. I guess this was caused by bolting the manifold using the 2 centre bolts to the air filter plate too tightly by someone?

    When you fit them don’t do the bolts up too tight please as it will bend again.

    If bent again the carb bodies will distort also.

    There should be lock nuts to secure the 2 x 5/16” bolts in place at filter plate.

    # 3 float bowl needle seat was lose plus the gasket surface was badly pitted and would have only sucked air and not fuel for the idle circuit so I replaced it with a new bowl and needle seat.

    All 3 slides were # 3 cutaway and not 3 ½ cutaway so I have fitted Amal’s new Hard Anodized 3 ½ slides. These will never wear out, trust me, they are brilliant.

    # 1 carb had a T160, 5 groove identification needle on the middle clip while # 2 & 3 had worn T150 needles but on the top clip position, and # 2 slide was .080” higher up at rest than the others, not good.

    All of the 3 piano wires were bent beyond; well I don’t now what.

    All of the float levels were set at 3/16” down way too low plus someone has heated and bent the plastic float needle tangs to try and obtain a correct float level. This should never be done.

    I have replaced all 3 floats & float pins with new and re-set the floats to the correct level and fitted Viton Alloy float needles.

    All of your main jets flowed much higher than they should have and were closer to 160 mains not 150 mains, so I fitted 3 x new flowed mains and 3 x 106 new needle jets including 3 x T150 new 2 groove identification needles. (T150)

    All 3 carby top plates were bent so I straightened those and resurfaced them. All 3 x carby body gasket faces were re-surfaced including the float bowl gasket surfaces including the new one as they stupidly come not flat also.

    It is very important the carbs can’t suck air here at the gasket face or else it won’t draw fuel from the bowl feed hole for the idle circuit.

    All 3 welch plugs were removed and the mixing chamber under was bead blasted and cleaned; they were chockers with crap. Every carb and associated parts were also bead blasted and cleaned.

    # 2 carb had an incorrect short Air Mixture Adjusting screw which would not have worked at all to adjust idle mixture and the others were badly pitted and rusty so I replaced all 3 screws with new O rings.

    Your carbs were mounted with 1 3/8” factory O rings to the manifold plate but I’ve since learned the O ring receiver groove in the carby body is never deep enough and causes the carby flange to bow, so I have fitted gaskets to the carbs and not O rings, should seal better and not warp the flanges.

    Your carby slide springs; well; while they were the correct light type of spring for a Triple they all varied in length greatly which meant one springs was not anywhere near long enough to be effective so I re-set these to 3 1/2 “ the correct free length.

    I replaced your stainless steel spring washers on the 10-32 socket head screws with the correct steel type and removed your stainless 5/16” spring washers on the carby mounting bolts with flat AN washers and fitted 5/16” unf AN self locking nuts. Your 5/16” washers need too much pressure to work correctly plus they will bruise and scuff the bolt face plus the carbs should be fitted with self locking nuts not plain nuts and spring washers.

    Remember the carbs are not Alloy but merely Pot Metal or almost Zinc in construction and need to be handled carefully or else they buckle.

    All 3 slides are now set equal to each other and shouldn’t need further adjustment; the air screws are set at 1 ¼ turns out each so the only adjustment by you when hot is the final air screw adjustment and idle speed, but, I would try it at 1 ¼ turns out first and only adjust the idle speed screw.

    However, if when you first start the bike from dead cold and it spits in the carbs if you have adjusted the air screws out to say 1 ½ to 1 ¾ turns out this means they should be screwed back in to richen the idle, that’s why I have them at 1 ¼ turns out.

    If spitting occurs at idle it is Only the air adjuster screws need adjusting in and nothing else.

    The throttle gantry bushes were ok so I left them alone to save you some money and only cleaned and re-greased them and fitted new circlips and washers including the correct gantry return spring retaining end washer with the correct item.

    The carbies on the complete set are a mixture and are L15, 1969 Trident, R68, 1973-74 Trident and R66, 1973-74 Trident but that doesn’t matter as they were all 27mm bore carbs except someone had fitted rain hat ticklers to the L15 carb.

    I haven’t done anything with the 3 lose carbs, do you want me to repair them?

    I can supply 3 x re-sleeved Teflon coated 3 ½ slides for this set but it would have to be done first.

    Fit new Rain Hat Ticklers.

    Re-surface the carby bowl gasket face and manifold faces.

    Bead blast all and remove and fit 3 x new 11/32” welch plugs to the mixing chamber.

    Chase all threads and true up carby bodies.

    Could be another $200.00 + or so, as I don’t have a firm price on the Teflon Coating, as I’ve only played with this surface treatment and wasn’t charged back then.

    Let me know please.

  12. J.A.W.


    Jun 6, 2012
    I recall as a kid, seeing 2 bikies on 650s, one a A65 BSA, other on a Triumph Saint [ex-copbike] having a holeshot duel from a stoplight, I was impressed to see the pyrotechnics when the BSA dropped its guts massively, bits of engine, flashflame/smoke everywhere, the Triumph rider just laughed turned around, took a rope out of his bag & towed his mate away!
    Is the Trident revs/rod issue metallurgical [alloy stretch limit cycle exceeded] or lube system/bearing problem?
    I`ve heard that using heavy steel con-rods spoils the eager feel of the triple & increases the vibe level unpleasantly, is this a balance factor problem or a reciprocating mass issue?
  13. Stuart SS

    Stuart SS

    May 22, 2004

    Well i am not the sharpest tool in the shed but I am assured that for example if one does not rev the triples to and beyond 4500 rpm the top end and cam followers suffer severely right up front.

    Now given the crank shaft is a triple throws with big ends running at 120 deg angles to it's opposite number, the balance issue SHOULD be a perfect World ~
    Side stepping for one moment the crankshaft can in fact be lightened up to 8 lbs less tahn standard ~ I think.. and horse power can be dramatically increased ~ as many racers of these bikes do ~ But in doing so engine braking is washed off as the reciprocating weight is removed ~ obviously!

    There is an excellent read via Britbike.com where in some of the World's best Triple authorities have contributed ~ well worth a look .. And i may even be talking through my hat ~ or base ball cap !

    http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthrea ... 177&page=1

    But here is that fantastic sound of a extreme reving from a Trident/ BSA A75 Rocket III


    But the Primary and clutch can in fact be a major source of vibration issues. I have lightened my clutch assembly and fitted an alloy primary chain wheel ~ the effect was felt immediately but I could still go further as actually balancing the clutch assembly is a job for an expert fully armed with the right tools ~ but even then the average machinist will only rotate the assemblies to < 400> rpm which even in the final gearing is a tad low ~

    As for con rods ~ I am not aware of that one as I would have beleived that these would be or can be balanced too~
  14. J.A.W.


    Jun 6, 2012
  15. Stuart SS

    Stuart SS

    May 22, 2004
    LOL :D

    OH Yeah

    Pity that is so few of the Typhoons and the Tempests around...

    This the one that really Blows my skirt up ~ Man ! What a beast !!! Thrteen foot prop .. or was that the ME 109?

  16. Onder


    May 11, 2010
    I bored mine out to about 850, put 3-1 headers on
    and the difference over stock was quite noticeable.
    Torque especially. Used KN individual filters instead of
    the date box, mostly for ease of access. One thing to keep
    an eye on is the centre mains. After a season of riding they
    could show wear. Cheap, I replaced. So too the oil, never
    went more than 1k miles without change. Yes, oil was
    cheaper back then but I still keep to that schedule on a
    brit bike.
    Tridents are a great bike, reliable but they can be fragile. Never
    dropped a rod and 6 grand was common but seized it
    twice. Don't develop maximum power for any length of time.
  17. J.A.W.


    Jun 6, 2012
    Interesting empirical view, thanks.
    Check out the Factory "Breaking In" schedule for this `70s 750 Production racing triple.
    "4, Ride for 5 minutes in top gear at a constant 9,000rpm.
    5, Ride for 2 or 3 minutes in top gear at full throttle."
  18. Matt Spencer

    Matt Spencer

    Jul 25, 2010
    Is the Trident revs/rod issue metallurgical [alloy stretch limit cycle exceeded] or lube system/bearing problem?
    I`ve heard that using heavy steel con-rods spoils the eager feel of the triple & increases the vibe level unpleasantly, is this a balance factor problem or a reciprocating mass issue?[/quote]

    SIXTY HOUR life on works T120 rods . ( God knows why mine never went - 5.000 year old original ones . The RPMs must be something to do with it , After ' worked ' exceeded 7.500 , which was topped out previously )
    These things were fanged mercilessly , of course . This was ' about ' a seasons raceing . Therefore theyed get new rods annually . On the Triples , perhaps with each winters overhaul . One only anually ovehauled Manxes.
    unless overly endowered with capital .And even then ??

    Steel rods transmitt the shock loading to the crankshaft more . So heyre harder on that and the bearings . Cant have to much oil capacity & capeability . reserves . One Gallon Tank for Bol'Dor etc .
  19. Stuart SS

    Stuart SS

    May 22, 2004
    I gas flowed the Trident head myself... I had never done one before and I managed to source some information on the net and managed to do a nice job for a first timer, IMO ~

    The differences that can be made are stunning ..

    But be warned , take took much out you're into the head stud and or oil galleries.

    Here is an excellent site that demonstrates the difference in head ports is quite amazing ~

    (If is a tad convoluted but well the time if you are interested in the triples ~)

    I actually owned this same T160 model in Burgundy but sold it to make way for the Commando.. Been kicking myself ever since!

    Head ports ~


    While I did not go quite this far I did made huge difference particularly in the #2 inlet ! I wish I had found this site 4 years ago ~ as there seemed to lacking any such sites available ~

    A mate in Brisbane and fanatically triple fan , (also a 2011 and forthcoming 2012 Manx TT in September racer ), did some tests on Oil coolers ~
    "Snibor"/ Steve found that in Australia they are ‘Oil Heaters' ~ not oil coolers !

    So Steve made his version and I made my own heat shield ~ as per below ~ if you look at mine ~ you can see my efforts ~

    Steve actually fitted a second less obvious cooler as well !

    Yes~ they are Viking Big Bore one piece headers ~ Paul Bryant in NZ does superb work ~ ( and btw has moved into Commando exhausts as well now !)
  20. J.A.W.


    Jun 6, 2012
    From M.C.I. `74 Roadtest Annual ; Trident test by Dave Minton, P.84: Re top speed;
    "After a long, run-in of perhaps 4 miles, speed was admittedly still increasing at 118mph, but in a miserly fashion.Revs were 8,300 then.The older machines hit 9,000rpm like lightning & were eager for more."
    Minton blamed the restrictive mufflers/air-intake silencing, but didn`t spare the revs trying..

Share This Page