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

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Old 03-14-2011, 02:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Handlebar controls for 73 Bonneville


Been awhile since I've been here. I just bought a 73 Bonnevile basket case. While most of the parts are there, and many of the high priced parts are in new or great shape, the bike needs the front brake parts (only has the disk and caliper) and it is missing all of the handlebar controls, light/horn controls, clutch, choke & brake levers.

This bike is going to be a rider and I'm not too fussy about original, I'm more interested in what works best.

All suggestions of what is best & sources are welcome.

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Old 03-14-2011, 04:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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All depends what you want to spend. You can probably get all the correct yet not available parts from somebody like Don Hutchinson (Triumphman.com)and the rest from the various Brit Bike Suppliers.

You need to properly size the master cylinder to the front caliper and if you are not going to stay stock, now would be the time to upgrade it a bit to get more stopping power. You might even consider adapting a Japanese or Brembo caliper and MC to the bike. Next to a good engine, a good front brake is key to a good ride.

If you just want easy to use and reliable controls and are handy in the electrical dept, you could adapt Japanese controls to your bike. I'm probably going to get spanked for saying that, but from a practical POV, it's not a bad solution. And you can pick up a set of controls for peanuts.

If it were my bike and not restoring it, I'd look at going more vintage and putting repro controls to keep the bars clean. Duplex switches like those used on mid-60's Brit bikes would give you hi/lo beam and horn on one side and directionals and kill button on the other side. You can look on the Brit Bike supplier websites to see what is available and then adapt it to your bike.

Lastly there is always the custom bike controls route. Just keep in mind that most of the chopper stuff is for 1 inch bars. But they offer some elegant solutions to simplicity.

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Old 03-14-2011, 07:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was at the same point a couple of years ago. After a bit of research, I decided to go with a set of 1" bars. The guy at the vintage Triumph place helped a little. He said that pre 50s Triumph had 1" bars, so I ordered the NOS clutch lever assembly from him. I also order a generic master cylinder(from a chopper place) and used that. For the switches I used separate left and right momentary for the turn signals, and another momentary for the horn. I have no kill switch. For these I googled "handle bar mounted switches" and found these little round stainless steel switches that have a spacer radius-ed for the handlebars. They mount very nicely right into the handle bars. The main reason I went with all the non Triumph parts was the cost of the Triumph master cylinder. I could not find one for less than 279.00. I found a few used ones but they are usually leakers so I passed.
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