Sunday, January 31, 2016

1962 Triumph Bonneville Restoration.

1962 Was the final year of the Pre Unit 650's, many significant changes were made for the '63 Season all of which paved the way for the next 2 decades of production. My passion is with Pre Unit construction machines and the '62 Bonnie was a fine example of the iconic T120. Here is a blog centered around a bike I restored in 2014 that now sits in the prestige collection of an important client of mine.
Pictured below is the bike how I purchased it back in 2013, still with many original parts and in running condition (despite a broken Crankshaft, see below). Click on the images for supersized versions.
Fitted with an Alfin custom Alloy Cylinder otherwise all as standard with the original Amal 376 Monobloc Carbs,
After chemical stripping the sheet metal was in excellent condition. The front blade was supplied by Pre Unit specialists Ace Classics as the one that came fitted was a custom aftermarket type
The Drive end of the Crankshaft was broke in two and was clamped together with a stud, amazingly it did hold together until teardown for restoration.
Replacement Crank was reground and then dynamically balanced
My least favorite job on a Triumph is removing and replacing the Swing Arm Spindle. After years of neglect rarely ever seeing a squirt of grease these are more often than not a real pain to remove. Anyway, new bushing were fitted as was a new Spindle.
The Alfin Cylinder was replaced by a stcok one and bored .040. Boring and Cylinder Head work was performed by Dan over at Franz and Grubb in North Hollywood.
A new High Gear bush is almost always required during any Gearbox overall.
New Shock Absorber Rubbers fitted to the Clutch Center.
A few shots during the rebuild.
Original Dunlop Rims were re-plated. The Dunlop stampings survived the process nicely.
Pre Units from 1960 to 1962 came in a Duplex Frame
 A neat assortment of finishes can be seen on a restored a bike. Chrome, polished Alloy, Cadmium Plating and so on.
 1962 Bonneville's had a unique Oil Tank mounting set up which rubber mounted the Tank at every point.
 I was able to reuse both the Lucas Horn and Rectifiers. A new old stock Harness was fitted.
376 Amals were refurbished.
Petrol Taps introduced for the 1962 models were stripped for Nickel and Chrome.
 And finally enjoy pictures of the finished machine.

Monday, February 9, 2015

1967 Triumph T.T. Special Factory Racer

1967 Was the final year that Triumph produced the fire breathing T.T. Special. The T.T. was a souped up Bonneville featuring High Compression Pistons, Sports Camshafts, 1-3/16" Amal Monobloc Carburetors, Energy Transfer Ignition, full bore Exhaust Pipes with no Silencers, Lighting, Horn or Speedometer. A bike destined for T.T Racing in the United States, all but a few were sent to either Tricor in the East or Johnson Motors in the West. It is said that there were 1200 or so machines produced for '67, a batch of these were produced with early 1965 style Steering Heads with a steeper 65-degree Angle which were favored over the Head angle that was introduced for the '66 season. These Frames are identifiable by the lack of Fairing Lugs, the Steering Damper Anchor Plate mount as well as UNF Threads all over (which made them different from the 1965 Frames). Unfortunately although requested by US Dealers, the 1968 T.T. never went into production which is a great shame because it was destined to have this early style Frame, Alloy Rims as well as a central Oil Tank. The topic of these Frames is still a grey area because no paperwork has been found to back up this batch of machines but it can now be said after a good number of these bikes have been discovered even the most skeptical experts have now come around to the fact that these were factory produced, all the machines so far are within the same batch of serial numbers and were produced in December 1966. A link to a British Motorcycle Forum can be found at the end of this article which has an interesting thread on this subject.

Aubergine and White were the colors for 1967 Bonnie's, although the first batch came with Aubergine and Gold. The change came at engine number DU48157.

The Triumph Logo was introduced onto the back of Seats in 1966, this cover is New Old Stock and shows this logo exactly how it was. The seat is a very important detail to me on my restorations as I find that many restorations are spoilt by a couch looking saddle being employed.

Pictured below is the bike as I found it. Advertised as a 1968 TR6? I went out to see it anyway. Instead of a TR6 was a 1967 TT! Sold with the original California Title.

Some photos below were taken during the restoration. After a dry build to check the fit of the cycle parts and to insure all hardware was present and correct.

The competition machines such as the T.T. and TR6C were given more efficient Damper Rods that were not fitted to the road bikes, a worthwhile upgrade for 1964-1964 models.

1966 Saw the introduction of a lightened Flywheel, it was said to improve off the line performance although was discontinued in 1968 because of addition vibration concerns. This Crank was dynamically balanced.

Don't think I have ever had one of these motors apart and not had to replace the High Gear Bush, not due to internal wear but because the Clutch window Oil Seal hardens and cuts a grove into the brass rendering it useless for sealing oil. T.T. Specials used a 17-Tooth Countershaft Sprocket unlike the road bikes which used a 19 Tooth.

High Compression Racing Pistons by Robbins.

Energy Transfer Ignition allowed the non use of a Battery. The E.T. system is frowned upon by many but when set up correctly can be a good set up although the Coils are very hard to come by nowadays.

Original Dunlop Rims were restored, very pleased with the deep manufacturers stampings that survived the re-plating process.

Original Amal Monobloc Carbs were retained and restored, each having correct numbers and date codes.

Below are a few shots of the bike just before it was delivered to it's new owner.

Check out the interesting threat on these T.T.'s