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Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

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Old 12-16-2010, 12:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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T 120r ??

There is a T 120R available nearby. (photo below) The ad says it's a '71, all original, has about 14,000mi, has rust in the tank and hasn't been run since '94. I don't know much about the Meridian Triumphs, but have read the T120R was the least desirable of the Bonnies.

I haven't seen the bike. Can anyone advise what might be a good price and what I should look for? And - why is the T 120 "the least desirable" Bonneville?
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The T120 is the most desirable of the Meriden Bonneville range provided it is the right year. The problem is that the 1971 yr is the least desirable due to a raft of changes made of that year. Some changes were good, some (mostly on the chassis/brakes) not so good. Went from a distinctly Triumph look to a corporate BSA/Triumph design which many people did not like.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi eelmgren,
Looking at the photo the bike looks complete and original.
There's nothing wrong with the 71 Bonnie, although the styling and color schemes are not to everyones tastes.
The main reason why many people do not like them was because they were the first oil in frame bikes with a high seat (34" if I remember correctly) and as previously mentioned the styling can look a bit odd from some angles.
But overall, you still get the same (well, almost) well proven, reliable engine that you find in the pre 71 bikes and the frame handles very well. You also have the added bonus that they are less than half the price of a pre OIF model.
For more info have a read of Gatornapper's thread, it will take you though the highs and lows of finding, buying and riding a 71 almost identical to the one you're looking at.

I hope this helps

Webby

PS: I've got a 71 that I use every day, it's so reliable that I should stick Honda badges on the tank!
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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if it runs and rides

Quote:
Originally Posted by eelmgren View Post
There is a T 120R available nearby. (photo below) The ad says it's a '71, all original, has about 14,000mi, has rust in the tank and hasn't been run since '94. I don't know much about the Meridian Triumphs, but have read the T120R was the least desirable of the Bonnies.

I haven't seen the bike. Can anyone advise what might be a good price and what I should look for? And - why is the T 120 "the least desirable" Bonneville?
If the bike does not run or is in pieces, I'd pay less than $2000. If the engine is frozen and won't turn over, less than that. If the bike is currently licensed and running, asking prices can be $5000. The total cost for a dependable rider , after repairs is the important number. A new gas tank is $500, unpainted (paint is many hundreds more). An exhaust system is several hundred for good quality and you don't want thin metal that will stress crack at the mounting points. Seats can be recovered or replaced at several hundred dollars. Rusty wheels can be hundreds each to replace/relace. Check the compression. 130 psi or more, and close to each other. This is not likely after sitting that long. Dab a finger inside the mufflers to see if it's oily in there. Make sure all the parts are on the bike:side covers, mufflers, fenders, lights, seat, tank, carb with air filters, kick-start and shift levers . Check the shocks for oil leaks. Tires are $100 each. Look at the plugs and motor oil. If the bike has an external oil filter mounted, I'd feel more comfortable. The bike should start on the 2nd kick, after tickling the carburetor. If the bike is a T120R, it will be a 4-speed. 1971 5-speeds had brittle gears. Running bikes in my area that are priced around $3000 are gone the next day. Many of us have spent more than $3000 on a rebuild and may not recover our investment any time soon. Prices are down, winter is here, and bikes are available. The seat height is a big deal on resale. It is not necessarily a problem for shorter riders after a short familiarization. I'd take a battery charger and some starting fluid to see if it will fire at all. Positive ground=red wire. A non-running bike is a significant financial gamble and the price should reflect this. It's the sound. The sound of the engine will lure you in. Bob
A rider recently sold in Atlanta for $3k and a complete/stored for years non-runner sold for$2k. I looked on Ebay at the completed listings.

Last edited by coloradobob; 12-16-2010 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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71 frames (and possibly other early oil-bearing frames) not only were too tall for most riders' taste, but if ridden hard on rough roads, they fractured at the swingarm pivot point releasing all the oil. If you didn't notice it happening, the result (besides possibly loosing it with a slick rear tire) would be an oil-starved engine.

The frame can be weld reinforced, not that big a deal; but, it'll still be tall!
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The tank colors tell me this is a 72 as 71 was gold/black but serial numbers the only way to make sure. The bike does look to be complete & if it is a 72 model wasn't the seat height problem fixed for that year. By the way my 71 Bonneville( bought new) was very dependable & out handled any of my Honda's (as Webby says) & the ride height wasn't a problem with me being 5'7" on a good day. Good luck, Mike
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It sure looks like a '71 by the way the frame rails run under the seat, but then the seat looks like it fits next to the tank a little lower than a '71, maybe just due to use. The serial number will tell the tale.

Regardless of whether it's a '71 or '72, however, if it checks out well and is priced right, either model will serve you well and offer lots of good times. I love my '71 and it handles great. Be prepared to get your hands dirty and watch Plewsy's videos for a primer.

Good luck,
Ron
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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color scheme looks just like my SWEEET '72 I just bought, but yes only way to verify real year is go by serial #, but I've also seen other discussions where a bike looked like one year but serial# suggested another. Comes down to model year vs. build date type issue I think.

I love the bike, so do others, check out this thread on a 1972 Bonne

http://www.triumphrat.net/classic-vi...to-riding.html

ok, I just looked at the ad, has other pics (not very good ones), but to me it's def a '72 and maybe one with the lower seat? It kind of looks like the condition I recall GatorNapper's was in when he bought it last year for I think just under $2K? Hard to tell by the pics but assuming it's very close to all original and looks decent in person, then $2K +/- $500 does not seem unreasonable to me, but still a gamble if you can't hear it run. I paid $4k for mine, all original in 7-8/10 condition, 5300mi, really think $3500 was what I should have paid in this market but I bought it anyway. Good luck.

Last edited by DCrider; 12-16-2010 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=
It's the sound. The sound of the engine will lure you in. Bob
[/QUOTE]

Yes, the sound. When I went to buy my '72 Bonnie it was the sound that sold me. She had me at "ka-thump."
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeman71 View Post
Yes, the sound. When I went to buy my '72 Bonnie it was the sound that sold me. She had me at "ka-thump."
Ditto here, I thought I prefered the '67-70 Bonne but once I heard the '72 my wallet just climbed out of my back pocket and forked over the $$$
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