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

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Old 06-24-2008, 08:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1973 Triumph Bonneville 750 Questions

I am a new rider looking to get my first bike and for some reason I have always liked Triumph motorcycles. I really like the Speed Triple and the new Bonneville but figure I would hold off on a new bike.

On to the point. I came across this a 73 Bonnie 750 for sale and was curious to get some input. The bike looks in great condition with the exception of what the seller called a crack in the front axle retaining cap. The front suspension does not exactly look stock either. The asking price was $3000 which seems a little high considering that it is not drivable in the current condition from what I see. I posted the pictures as well.

Guess I am just looking for some advice on the price and also how much it would cost to repair the front axle cap? Worst comes to worse I guess I could make one. How would this bike suit a new rider? Any other information would be more then welcome as well.






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Old 06-24-2008, 08:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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$3000 , are you kidding ? that's a total rip off !!!!!!

please pm me his phone # so i can tell him so


is it in running condition otherwise ? if so you should run to your bank and get that $3k in his hand and the title in yours before he figures out how bad he just screwed up .

the cap should be readily available (common problem ) and as far as whether it's a good starter bike , well that depends on you .

if you're 18 and looking for a care free ride , please just pass it on to one of us , but if you're ready to experience motorcycling and are a little mechanically inclined , go for it .

you do know that your local jap bike shop won't work on it and your local triumph dealer won't be able to order you parts . still plenty of parts available , but it's a labor of love riding a vintage triumph , kinda like getting married . for better or worse .
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Last edited by Woody1911a1; 06-24-2008 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ditto what Woody said. The price seems fair if the motor is sound, good compression, no smoke, no knocks or other bad noises and starts with just a few kicks. It might not idle too great, but a carb rebuild will take care of that. The broken fork cap is a common problem, aftermarket replacements are available that are hardened and last longer for about 35 bucks.
It look likes someone put longer than stock fork tubes on to give it a chopper look. These often need replaced anyway and run about 150-200 a pair for stock. Figure on replacing the tires and tubes and battery unless they have been recently done.
As far as riding, these bikes are light and handle well and should be easy for a beginner to get comfortable on pretty quickly. This model has a shifter on the right compared to left on modern bikes. I personally wouldn't want to do a lot of freeway riding or long cruises on one because of the vibes, but others on here will disagree.
It really comes down to how much time you want to spend doing maintainance and repairs on the bike. My bike looks to have been in about the same condition when I bought it and I would estimate that for every hour I have spent riding it, I have probably spent another hour in the garage working on. However, that was part of the appeal of it to me. Parts are available and fairly reasonable and even a novice can generally fix something if he has the workshop manual, parts book and uses these forums. Not trying to discourage you, but if you want a gas and go experience, you might want to try a more modern bike.
Good Luck
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Woody and htown16 Thanks for the advice.

Well I am not in my teenage years anymore actually early 30s so I might be picking up riding a little latter but never to late to start I hope. Guess my interest got started when I was working for the now defunct Norton Motorcycle Company (later they became Viper). Everyday walking in the door surrounded by posters of old British bikes. I always thought it was a shame what they were doing to the name.

I know that if i get a classic bike that I am going to be the one wrenching on it. I have helped my friends work on theirs but working on crotch rockets is a different story. With a service manual, an exploded diagram and the right tools I am pretty confident that I can handle most things. I am pretty mechanically inclined and working on something like this I would find a challenge and enjoyable.

Well I will have to take a look at it and see what kind of shape the engine is in watching out for the things htown16 made. Its good to know that the axle retainer is not a major problem.

Just a few more questions.

From what I read the Triumphs after 70 had the gear shift moved back to the left. But I am the newbie here.

For tools I believe this bike would use standard SAE sizes and not Whitworth size wrenches?

I have looked around for places to buy parts online but have not found much, would you have any places that you can suggest?

Thanks Again
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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www.rabers.com and www.raskcycle.com These 2 places have just about every and any part you will need. I have a '70, and haven't been let down yet! Prices for them are a heck of a lot cheaper than the same kinds of parts for newer bikes too. Go figure? Also, you can find stuff on ebay, but check these other places first as I have found the prices are great, and service, well, top notch. They both even have machine shops, so you can mail the head, barrel or even the whole case, and they will do the requested work. And as for tires (tyres in British), Dunlap still makes OEM tires, the K70 series for about $65 each. I stand corrected, but I think Whitworth bolts ended in 1970 on Triumphs. (I needed them for all the cylinder head removal. I have also found many of the special service tools are not required, but merely a conveinence (such as a substitute for a spare set of hands). Good luck in your quest.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin324 View Post

Just a few more questions.

From what I read the Triumphs after 70 had the gear shift moved back to the left. But I am the newbie here.

For tools I believe this bike would use standard SAE sizes and not Whitworth size wrenches?

I have looked around for places to buy parts online but have not found much, would you have any places that you can suggest?

Thanks Again
• i have a '73 and it shifts on the right (hand) side. i believe they were switched to the left in '76

•your bike will use standard and whitworth. triumph made the switch to standard earlier but used whitworth until all inventory ran out. so the early '70s bikes were a mix to a certain degree

• british cycle supply will provide you with all the parts and tech support you need.

oh, and you're crazy if you think $3,000 is an unfair price. if all it needs is that $35 part it's a great deal.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I paid $2,500 for a 68 that wasn't running but was complete. I found out after I started resurecting it that pretty much everything on it needed replaced. If it's running, $3,000 sounds like a steal to me. Finding parts hasn't been a problem. Rabers, Rask, British cycle (I think is the name) out of Canada is a good, helpful bunch, MAP, Forking by Frank, and severall others.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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$3000 is about 1500, that would be considered a really good bargain over here - I wouldnt think twice.

Note that the fork end pieces are 'handed', specify right side when you go to order a new one, and dont overtighten it otherwise it'll crack again.

If it is a T140, its an early one - 1973 was their first year. Here is a link to a website with lots of T140 stuff http://www.t140.com/history/
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the answers everyone its been very helpful. As far as the price goes since the axle retainer is not a major wallet breaker to fix I think I may go take a look at it and see what I think. I also saw another bike appear on the market. Its a 1970 Triumph Tiger it looks like its in nice shape, the owner says it needs some work and is asking $2800. Decisions Decisions.



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Old 06-27-2008, 09:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The 70 looks complete. It has been dolled up and chromed in places. I have no experience with anything but my 70 Tiger so I can't offer you any comparison other than I love mine. I ride it two or three times a week. It has never failed me once it got it sorted out.

If you looking for dollar amounts, in the past the 70 and earlier bikes usually got more money for them. However that didn't mean the later bikes were garbage. Many people in here say the later bikes were more reliable.

Which ever one gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside would be the one I would get.
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