Weird engine & frame numbers - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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Weird engine & frame numbers

Ok,I'm stumped.My brother has a basket case TR6 (?) he's selling on Craigslist as a 1968.I took a quick look when I was over there,and told him I thought it was quite a bit older than that when I saw the old style SLS front brake.I told him I could figure out the year from the numbers,which match.When I saw them though,I was confused,because all my 650's have numbers that start with DU,but I'm not familiar with the numbers on the older ones.The numbers on the frame,and engine,on this beast are NM 50982.

So,I get home,and realise none of my books go new enough for this thing,since all mine stop in'69,and they're DU numbers.I figure,even though the frame and engine numbers match,the rest of the thing could easily be bitsa.Hence the SLS brakes on a newer bike.At that point,I'm figuring it's a 1970,with some anachronistic parts swaps.(However,the numbers didn't pan out for that scenario,unless I'm missing something.)

I mean,when I say basket case,I mean....Basket Case. The PO tore this bike down just about as far as he could,going as far as de-lacing the wheels,knocking the races out everywhere there are races,engine completely disassembled,etc.Someone had grandiose plans for this machine at one time,but those dreams ended in my brothers garage two decades ago,when he bought them cheap,and there they've been sitting.

But I digress.I did a web search,and all the sites agree. After mid-year 1969,the first two digits represent the month,and year. "N"would be Octobre,but what is "M"? All the listings say 1975 is "K",then 1976 is "N" skipping over "M".Besides,it's definitely a dry frame.

I didn't know this was going to be a problem,so I didn't pull everything out of the boxes and look too close,but it appears to be a 650 unit,dry frame,single carb,engine and frame numbers:NM 50982. No other numbers on the frame or engine.Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!
Bruce

PS; Just in case you get a sense of Deja Vu when you read this,I'm posting this question on BIRRA and britbike.com too,in the unlikely event that no one here knows the answer. ;D

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 06:14 AM
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Are you sure that the M is M and not H?
NH would be Oct 1973.
But, my `74 KJ was actually made in Sept 1973 as a 1974 model.
The month is correct, but the year seems to be the year it left the factory, not when it was actually made.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 11:07 AM
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If it's a dry frame, somethings amiss.

Re-stamp, or maybe it's not a 650.

Is the engine "unit" (unitary all-in-one lower cases), or "pre-unit" modular construction with separate crankcase, transmission, and primary case?

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 11:28 AM
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As I understand it, all 650 and 750 bikes were issued with consecutive numbers irrespective of any prefixes or suffixes starting 1960 with D101.
However new number series were issued in 1963 with DU101, 1969 with JC00101 and 1978 with HX00100
Ranges were D101 - D15789. DU101 - DU90282. JC001001- GP8xxxx. HX00100 - CEA 34xxx.

DU50982 would be a 1967 model ie 650
In the JC00100 range, nos 35467 to 58038 were "skipped" so no. 50982 was never built.

Not sure this helps much but at least DU50982 would be a 650 even if it had the wrong brake.

Does the primary cover incorporate the large inspection plate towards the front? This commenced model yr 1968 at DU66246. Also carb changed for concentric type from monobloc (at least for UK and general export). Might help indicate 1967 or earlier.

A 500cc T100 with a no. H50982 would be possible and would have a old style SLS front brake. It would be 1967 moldel. Is this possible?

Last edited by epynt1050; 05-30-2009 at 11:36 AM. Reason: additional info
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for everyones responses. It's really moot now,the bike was sold this morning,but I'm still curious,so I'd welcome further comments.

Caulky,it's for sure "M" not "H",besides,it's not an OIF frame,which it would be if it's a 1973

Paul,like I said somewhere in my admittedly windy and rambling first post,it's a unit.

e-1050,I think it does have the inspection plate.There's no carb,but if memory serves,we swiped a monoblock out of this basket case,to put on a bitsa we built back in the 90's.And the fact that the brake's wrong isn't too surprising.I've dealt with enough of these basket jobs over the years to feel lucky that it doesn't have Kawasaki brakes.

What has me so curious is that the numbers just don't jibe with any info I have found. NM 50982. That's all. No T120,or TR6,or little stamping behind the numbers,just smooth plates with NM 50982,on the headstock,and the boss at the top of the case,just below the barrels.

Those numbers don't make sense for any year,or model.500,or 650.(this is a 650). I think Paul is right.It can only be a re-stamp,for some reason.

Wait! I just figured out what the "M" stands for! McQueen! This thing must have been a one off special built just for Steve!

Ahh well........

Cheers!
Bruce

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 06:23 AM
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Norton Manx???
Not Triumph anyway.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caulky View Post
Norton Manx???
Not Triumph anyway.
Ha! I could only wish.Had that been the case,the bike never would have gotten away from me.

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