650 Triumph Chopper - Maybe - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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650 Triumph Chopper - Maybe

I thought I would start a build thread for my 650 Triumph Chopper. I'm struggling a bit with whether I will finish it as a Triumph or find a Bonneville to put the engine in and put an XS650 in the chopper frame.

Here's the chopper when I picked it up. It has a radical rake which I really don't like much. The engine was frozen up. I got it for cheap so thought it might be a fun project. I've built a few British bikes and owned others over the years so not afraid of digging into this one. I have 3 other project bikes going so the Triumph is my fill in when I'm waiting on parts for one of the other bikes.



I got the engine freed up and tore the top end down. I played around with ways to make it look a little better as a chopper. Some custom fender work and a different seat and tank.





I think it looks okay, but not really partial to choppers

I had the cylinders bored to +20 and bought new pistons and rings. Had the head work done. Bought all the top end parts, pistons, rings, gaskets, etc. and polished and painted everything so I could put the engine back together.





So it was going to be a top end only but then I decided to tear the engine down and go through the whole thing. As I've been working on it, I really feel like the engine is turning out too nice to put it in the chopper. I'm really torn because my first instinct was to do a quick turn on the bike, but now I'm thinking I should save the engine for a proper Triumph build. Hard to waste this nice engine on a chopper.

1966 Triumph 650 Chopper
1975 Norton 850 MKIII
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 07:32 PM
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When I look at Triumph choppers for sale the first thing I look and pray for is a bolt on hard tail. That way it can be removed and make a real bike again. I had a Triumph Daytona 500 back in the early 70's. I pulled it completely down and built a weld on hardtail chopper out of it. It was a beautiful bike, but in hindsight I would never do that again to a Triumph.

Last edited by o1marc; 02-12-2016 at 10:44 AM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 09:06 AM
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I remember seeing that top photo...

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPaulZ View Post
I remember seeing that top photo...
Yes I posted it when I first got the bike. You told me to keep the engine and back wheel and throw the rest away. I'm starting to agree with you.

1966 Triumph 650 Chopper
1975 Norton 850 MKIII
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 09:52 AM
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Or -- keep the engine and back wheel - then SELL the rest -
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 10:54 AM
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What is that on the upper deck with a sidecar on it?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 11:40 AM
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I understand I'm new here but all this Triumph chopper hating is baffaling to me. You guys re NUTS!!! Chopped p Triumphs are some of the most beautiful custom bikes on the road and at the show.

Only thing you need to remember about building a chopper is STICK TO THE ROOTS!
Late 60s through the 70s style is timeless any other style of chopper has always been fad an rightfully disappeared into custom past.

My suggestion and openion is lose those fener brackets, add sissy bar or struts and solid frame mounts in the front of fender. Friscoed mounted tank and springer or girder front end.

Not to hijack but I just finished this one up in September.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 06:49 AM
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I like all Triumphs - whatever the style - (even some of the Hinckley jobbies) --- drifting slightly off subject ; I have seen some "custom" bikes in USA that have Huge diameter front wheels and i am not referring to the typical 21 inch on 60s/70s proper chops -- can anyone explain that ?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:30 AM
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I like chops if they are done well.

I started riding late 70's and my local was a biker pub so loads of cafe racers and chops, can't remember any jap bikes?

People chopped all sorts back then like sunbeams and square fours. I doubt if people would consider that now?
Chopping a common bike isn't a crime, it's a matter of taste. The rarer a bike is, the less I'd agree with the premise that "it's your bike, do with it what you will" but at the end of the day it's just a bike

Most chopped bikes put spares back in the pool.

I have a 3ta in the shed that I intend , one day, to hardtail and bobberise but it will all be reversible

I had owned my Bonnie for less than 24 hours before I modified something- it's a question of how far you go.

Imho the op's bike might be better as a Yamaha and keep the triumph engine- probably worth more
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 10:00 AM
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I still have my first Triumph, a '67 TR6R, which I bobbed years ago, hardtail but stock forks and wheels. All the lugs have been cut off the frame, unfortunately, but numbers match. One day I'll put it back on the road.
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