Recovered my stolen '03 Triple- things are even more mysterious now. - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
Minitwins
Main Motorcycle: Speed Triple 955i
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Charlotte
Posts: 11
Other Motorcycle: Excelsior Henderson
Extra Motorcycle: YZ426, Ducati Monster
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Recovered my stolen '03 Triple- things are even more mysterious now.

I had a completely unsupported hunch that I might see this bike again after it vanished one night from in front of my house one night about a month ago while I was troubleshooting the tach. Well that's come to pass, and I took a road trip from Charlotte, NC to Columbia, SC to retrieve it from a tow depot. It's back, and all I know is it was found in a ditch. Relatively minimal external damage except for the left rear fairing that is now cracked, and the black panels that hide the fuel lines/etc. are gone.

A few questions:
1. The Vin # on the sticker was scratched off, and the one printed vertically along the steering mount (frame) is ground off. There is also a blank plate riveted on the right side of the frame but it doesn't look like it had ever been used. I have a steel punch kit, and 3d printed an indexer to use with it- punched by VIN# back into those areas (the original vin from the title). Somebody probably came up with a reason that's unlawful, but whatever it's probably less hassle than whatever hoops someone would have me jump through. I just looked up reference #'s to see that I didn't miss any, and discovered the one on the engine. I was surprised to see that its different. Now what? sigh.

2. They cut the "trunk" (passenger seat) lock cable, so I'm redoing that now too. I think I can probably just use a universal bike shifter cable kit for that, right? Seems like it.

3. They had cut the harness cable bundle to the ignition and wired the two white wires to one side of a SPST toggle switch and all the rest to the other. That seemed to work out well for them as the bike was able to start and run when I recovered it. I carefully rewired all these to their original positions- now its dead to the world. I guess I'll take them apart to test tomorrow.

4. No luck finding fairings for this- do I really have to order(bonus points for green!) from the UK? The black plastic covers would be an easier decision since they're just gone, but the fairing is possibly repairable depending on how much time I want to invest. Anyone know what material they are manufactured in?
5. Where do I get some replacement union jack decals- I think these were original paint flair when this bike came out but this guy scratched them all off!

Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 09:21 PM
Supersport 600
Main Motorcycle: 2004 Daytona 955i
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 157
Other Motorcycle: 2006 1050 Speed Triple
Extra Motorcycle: Vespa PX200
Well done on getting your bike back.

1. Unless you can restamp the VIN on the headstock really neatly it'll always look suspicious. I'd be more inclined to get an aluminium VIN strip and epoxy it in place. If you can't find anyone in the US that'll do it you can get one here in Australia.
Here's a place in Australia that can make one for you. https://www.niddrienameplates.com.au/contact

Ask for a Motorcycle VIN Strip (they do 2 sizes one for cars and a smaller one for bikes). And make sure the VIN is quite clear in your communication with them.

In addition to stamping the blank riveted plate with your VIN you also need to identify it as a T500 series. I've attached an example picture but the US plate may be different.

Don't worry about the engine # not matching the VIN, they never did.

2. The cable for the seat release hasn't changed for years. Used on most 955 models and 1050s. Should be easy to get from a wrecker.

3. The wires to the ignition switch being colour coded shouldn't be too hard to fix unless they cut them right at the solder terminals.

4. Don't forget the tail fairings are common to both 955 Speed Triple (2002 - 2004) and 955 Daytona 2002 - 2006) so that should help your search. Widen you search description to include terms such as 'rear fairing', 'rear panels', 'ducktail', 'tailpiece'. The black mid panels are aslo common to Speed Triple and Daytona although a lot of Daytona ones are carbon fibre (effect?).

5. Union Jack Decals - good luck finding originals. There's a paint shop here in Sydney that can replicate them if you can't find any locally. Let me know.

Oh, and document everything so that if you sell the bike you can be open and honest as to why the VIN appears not to be original.
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Last edited by Terry Colley; 06-16-2019 at 09:31 PM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
Minitwins
Main Motorcycle: Speed Triple 955i
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Charlotte
Posts: 11
Other Motorcycle: Excelsior Henderson
Extra Motorcycle: YZ426, Ducati Monster
Send a message via Skype™ to 2steelwheels
Thanks a bunch, Terry! This is all really helpful! I wish I'd thought through that VIN# bit more before getting started. The one on the downtube area I did freehand and it looks like it. It was the reason I went and printed the index tool which worked out quite nicely. I'm almost motivated to re-grind off the first attempt now. Another friend told me the engine #'s don't need to match- that they just indicate the series that was installed and should be appropriate to the year/model. All my life I've assumed they would all be identical when somebody says "numbers match"... haha. So I'm smarter on both these points now!

I did go through the seat release cable and ended up using the original end parts on a common cable from a kit I had lying around- seems to have worked out quite nicely!

I will have to see about getting a replacement sticker from Triumph for that one vin#- it also has info & specs for the rest of the bike printed on it, and is kinda messed up now but that would be a worthwhile cosmetic improvement along with the decals. As I work in product development and prototypes I have access to a color laser that I can run decal media on. I wonder if I might get a professional enough result with that approach. Maybe I'll give it a go.

Those search terms are especially useful! Thanks! Today I plan to go over wiring some more- although I hate to cut them after putting so much effort making them neat and tidy assuming they would work as expected. Oh well. Overall still just happy to get it back. Actually, while I'm doing an unplanned restore here, I never did fix the problem that caused this mess in the first place. The bike was stolen without the instrument cluster which I had removed because the tach needle wasn't working. Still not sure why exactly but left with the choices of A)continuing to troubleshoot the electronics, B) Replacing the whole clu$ter with a new factory one. or C) Replacing with an aftermarket version. I'd welcome any suggestions on A or C! (or B if there is a way to find one affordably priced!)

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 06:45 PM
Supersport 600
Main Motorcycle: 2004 Daytona 955i
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 157
Other Motorcycle: 2006 1050 Speed Triple
Extra Motorcycle: Vespa PX200
Plenty of instrument clusters available on ebay. You can use any of that series (955 Speed Triple, 955 Daytona, TT600, 600/650 Daytona, 955 Sprint RS). The rev range and redline vary according to model - they'll all work though.

A quick check of ebay found this Sprint RS unit. Same rev range and redline as your Speed Triple too just has the RS logo on the face:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2003-TRI...frcectupt=true

Last edited by Terry Colley; 06-17-2019 at 06:49 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
Minitwins
Main Motorcycle: Speed Triple 955i
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Charlotte
Posts: 11
Other Motorcycle: Excelsior Henderson
Extra Motorcycle: YZ426, Ducati Monster
Send a message via Skype™ to 2steelwheels
Tried out that decal thing! it worked better than I expected. I couldn't read the full original sticker so please let me know if I missed anything in my rework decal. I made an awesome discovery as well today- whomever stole this thing replaced my front tire and upgraded the battery! I'm going to have to get him to steal it again in 6 months or so when I need a new rear tire!
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