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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I’ve just sold a classic race bike and have a good pile of cash to spend on my ‘69 TR6 road bike. It’s currently pretty stock, and I want to know what ‘upgrades’ are worth putting money into.
I want a reliable everyday rider that I can do a bit of touring in if the weather is good. No, a modern bike isn’t an option, have two vintage bikes (family heirlooms) and another is not an option!!!!!!
At this stage a 7 plate clutch is first idea complete with alloy pressure plate. Bike has an oil filter already.
An offset crank isn’t out of the question, if it’s a good thing to reduce vibes?. A 100% catalogue restored bike is not a thing for me, I’d rather it went, and went well.
Experienced opinions welcomed

Nick
 

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A thin sheet of memory foam under the seat cover will make it very comfortable for longer rides. The foam has been my best anti- vibration modification so far. I have the alloy pressure plate but never considered a 7 plate clutch as the 6 plate works perfectly without any sticking.
If i were doing any touring, possibly the most important thing would be tyres and tubes if they have been on the bike a few years.
Replace brake and clutch cables.
Chain and sprocket.
 

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I agree with all of rambo's comments. I would upgrade or at least add some better lighting. Rambo has some good suggestions with LED add ons and/or you can change your stock headlight to brighter halogen that may require an upgraded alternator.

That said, I have found that the best way to make your vintage bike reliable is not to throw money at it, but rather to throw a leg over it and ride it often. The more you ride the bike, the more you will detect and correct minor issues before they become major ones. You will also get to know your bike's personal unique quirks as well. So hold on to that "good pile of cash". You will need it for all the maintenance needed to make it reliable. Good luck!
 

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Hi Nick,
Continental Classic attack Radial tyres, then you can hit the Taylor pass hard.

The 7 plate would be my second option, I like the SRM alloy pressure plate, it has a proper bearing for the push rod thrust. If your clutch basket is worn, then add an alloy basket.

Electronic Ignition if you want to reduce maintenance.

Regards
Peg.
 

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A "modern" sealed battery in place of the old wet battery acid type
----maximise the braking potential of the drum brakes --- quality brake linings dedicated to road use - maybe skimmed to fit the drums - and a skim of the drums if necessary ( i assume it already has a TLS front brake)
 

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My riding friend Steve has a 69 TR6 going like stink without any internal engine modifications.
Only change he think about are covseal rocker box gaskets to stop leaks showing up after our 90 - 100 mph rides on a highway ( I ride a Trident ) and 3 phase alternator with solid state rectifier/regulator and H4 front lamp. He has EI already and massaged TLC brake on the front.
One main reason his bike is soo good in speed and acceleration is a switch from Amal Concentric to Monoblock he did couple years ago, I couldn't believe how big change in bike behavior it made.
The carb was built from nearly new and new parts on the new body, but you can still just buy it new from Amal (Burlen) for a pile of cash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys. Isn’t it funny that since I rebuilt it 2000 miles ago (crack tested and balanced crank, new rods pistons and cylinders etc etc) it has been 100% reliable!. It’s got modern charging system, oil filter, new Avon am26 tyres new bearings everywhere (frame and engine).
The clutch is the main thing that niggles at me with the bike, usual problems of heavy lever, dragging engaging gear etc etc. The primary needs new chain, clutch basket and plates at this point (not done during rebuild) Is a good MAP or Newby belt drive worth the cash at this point? Or a stock one with 7 plate clutch and alloy pressure plate?
 

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I stick with the chain primary and 6 plate clutch as it is light in operation,gears engage easily, no need to free it up when starting. Still wonder why there are problems with this arrangement ? .Never had a problem since my first T120r in 1978. This one is now at 750 cc and using a 2 row chain.
 

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I can only speak for the 20+ Triumphs I've restored, and the other 20+ that I've owned when I say (with the exception of my Triton*) that I recommend EMGO friction plates matched with a good/refurbished/new clutch basket, properly serviced, with a new chain and tensioner, high quality cable, and clean, flat plain steel plates with good teeth.

Once I got the hang of race starts with my scratch-built BONE STOCK 650 Bonnie (after the first 4 starts), I was never beaten to turn one in 29 races against much faster bikes (including 750 twins, triples and fours), with much better riders, using inexpensive EMGO friction plates, and good OEM hard parts (including plain duplex chain). Maybe I had good reaction times, maybe everyone else sucked at starts, but I never felt the slightest slip, EVER.

*I have an M.A.P. belt drive (and other M.A.P. stuff) on the Triton only because I got it F.R.E.E.

* * * DO NOT "moisten" the new, dry plates with oil before use!

(also, I ONLY use Castrol 10/30 in the primary, and/or 20/50 if shared primary/crankcase)
 

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If you are going to do some touring then consider an X ring/O ring chain setup.

I have the 7 plate clutch and the SRM radial needle roller alloy pressure plate.....they work!!!.

I'd also recommend a good set of rear shocks [Fournales, Ikon, etc, name your flavour] and if your looking to spend money a conversion to disc brake at the front....much better than the conical - probably the least efficient front brake Triumph used on the 650's.

A 750 conversion is also a nice upgrade for longer trips, and if you're filthy rich a Nourish 750cc kit and 4 valve head is the stuff of dreams.
I have a belt primary on my Trident and that was a big big improvement, but never felt the need for my twin to have one.
 

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Now, lets add up what makes my bike reliable at the moment.
Podtronic regulator/rectifier
AGM battery
Premier carbs
Boyer electronic ignition
Newish Avon tyres and Michelin tubes
Oil changes plus the added external oil filter.
Champion N3C plugs. Never had one of these fail in all my ownership.
Rubber mat covering all electrics under the seat.
Hagon gas shocks. Now 20 years old and still good.
So called, progressive front fork springs.
Grease chain after each ride when the chain is warm.
Beeston grips that isolate a lot of vibration.
Then there is the check before every journey for loose fixings.
I have a few LED lamps but using standard filament lamps for indicators and headlight.
Chain tension.
I rarely break down, but things do break at times mostly due to the hard ride it gets as i will always exceed 85mph on any ride at various times.
I have had 3 punctures,one Boyer failure,Kickstart jammed due to the nut unscrewing and jamming the bike so the clutch would not work, broken crank resulting in a rebuild,Rotor lost magnetism and battery discharged.The rotor was about 40 years old and no reason it should lose magnetism when always on the bike. Maybe a gradual loss. Fuse holder wiring fracture,ignition lock/switch failure. Those are what have caused me to stop out on a ride over the last 20 years.
A few parts have worked loose, the indicators, horn bracket, rear mudguard lower bolt, mirrors. Silencer fell off.
Parts do fracture and i have fractured the indicator plastics, horn bracket,exhaust bracket,rear mudguard around the fixing bolts.
No parts held by nylock nuts have ever unscrewed, that includes all engine fixings.
I might have missed something but this is what i recall.
 

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Hi Nick,

‘69 TR6
I want a reliable everyday rider that I can do a bit of touring in if the weather is good.
One thing I'm surprised no-one's mentioned so far for a bike this old - new Morgo plunger or nos late Triumph oil pump?

At this stage a 7 plate clutch is first idea complete with alloy pressure plate.
The clutch is the main thing that niggles at me with the bike, usual problems of heavy lever, dragging engaging gear etc
My one-and-only Triumph twin is a 500, with the same 6-plate as a 650; I can work my 500's handlebar lever with one finger several times at least for demo. purposes, two fingers all day. So, unless you need the bragging rights, ;) before lashing out on a 7-plate, as well as your bike's current basket and plates, maybe also check handlebar lever and cable pivots, clutch cable itself (I use Venhill stainless inner/Teflon-lined outer) and the clutch actuation parts inside the gearbox outer cover?

rear shocks [Fournales,
:thumb Fournales air/oil shocks. - spendy but definitely worth it when touring, I originally fitted S&W air shocks. to my triples in the early 1980's.

disc brake at the front....much better than the conical
While I appreciate a '69 has the better pre-conical front drum ... I can get this to fade on my T150, :( not great on the "Taylor pass"? I built my T100 (same frame steering head/bearings as your TR6) with a mixture of Triumph triple and twin disc-brake parts.

X ring/O ring chain setup.
Mmmm ... ime, X ring/O ring on a Triumph is a pita to organise, an rrpita on a standard '69, and they still require lubrication of the chain/sprockets interface. :(

First 'ring' chain I fitted was back in the early 1990's on a CB750 I was using for a 70-mile commute every day. I also fitted a Scottoiler. Over 25 years later, I still have the bike and the chain - the adjusters are about half-way along. The bike/chain/Scottoiler covered about 10,000 miles in the first year, after which I changed job and didn't need to do the commute. Although the bike was usually cleaner thereafter, it did a lot more sitting around; the advantage of the Scottoiler then is the chain is always lubed when the bike is put away, even if that's wet/dirty and I don't get around to cleaning it for a while.

Looking at converting my other bikes to O-/X-ring and Scottoiler, with the problems of fitting the chain to Triumphs, Fraser Scott advised that a Scottoiler would give the same protection to a normal chain. They have; :thumb I've yet to replace a Scottoiler-lubed chain and, when I'm touring with others, while they're faffing around spraying chains, groaning and wheezing as they get up and down, the BMW riders and I are spectating with our morning coffee.

Once the Scottoiler "delivery tube" is located correctly, if the Scottoiler is set correctly for the weather (particularly drier), the back of the bike shouldn't be any worse than with good-quality spray-on chain lube, and mine is usually cleaner ...

progressive front fork springs.
Ime, good on disc-brake forks, not sure I notice 'em on the T150 (same forks as your TR6).

Beeston grips that isolate a lot of vibration.
I have the Beston pattern grips on my Jap bikes and they're :thumb However, they're longer than the originals supplied to Triumph and, on my T150, I found my left hand is positioned just right for the dipswitch lever to poke into the skin between thumb and forefinger. :( Also, the right grip being longer than the standard Amal twist-grip drum, if that isn't fitted just right, the carb. throttle return spring can't always overcome the drag of the little bit of exposed soft rubber on the handlebar end. :(

Fuse holder wiring fracture,
Replace with holder or box for more-common blade fuses.

No parts held by nylock nuts have ever unscrewed,
They will, sooner or later, depending on how many times a given nut's tightened and loosened (aiui, on aircraft, Nylocs are one-use-only). Fitting a Rickman T140 rack to one of the T160's, I wore out the supplied Nylocs in the session, tightening and loosening to get the adjustments right. :( I was planning to replace with stainless UNF anyway, but one reason I only use Nylocs as a temporary get-them-home fix - normally, I use either 'heavy duty' spring washers (oblong section instead of the more-common square-section) or all-metal self-locking nuts.

offset crank
Risking stating the obvious, you'd also need offset cams (more $$).

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Stuart has just reminded me, i have the later 4 valve pump which has been fitted since 1991 and no wet sumping or problems of any kind. On the earlier T120 timing chest cover, you would need to scoop out a little metal to clear the pump fixing. A T140 has a deeper timing chest cover so that could be fitted instead. A 4 valve pump fits to existing crankcase with no alterations apart from the metal removal of the cover.
 

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Stuart -- Beston grips -- i seem to recall when looking last year to buy some grips there appeared to be different lengths quoted by various suppliers (fleabay) - never checked it in any detail - but if you get really annoyed with the ones you have maybe you could get some that fit better

nyloc nuts -- i never re-fit used ones -
 
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