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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Eli here. 37yo brit based in France and classic car fan (bought my first tr6 15yo, was a bit of a dog but great memories). I've got a 1970 land rover 109 (with the 2.6 straight six) and a 1956 triumph tr3. This year I've done a full rewire, rebuilt the carbs, retrimmed the interior and swapped gearboxes on the TR. I'm no mechanic but I'm handy enough.

A friend let me use her van van 125 for the last 2 years and since passing my motorbike licence this summer I've bought a mash 400cc mono. I was dead set on buying the new royal enfield 650cc interceptor but found it way too modern for me. I don't want to go fast, I want to have fun! The mash is perfect but lacking in soul and let's be honest it has zero street cred (mash are a Chinese built French neo retro brand) and could do with a bit more oomph.

I have a 4mi commute on quiet roads and I'm ashamed to admit that I'm only a fair weather rider.

Dream bike is a rickman métisse for looks alone but it will have to wait another lifetime.

I've zeroed in on the t100c as it has exactly the same dimensions and weight as the mash, a bit more power and is just about within my budget. Mild off-road capabilities would be good to have, some nice trails around here.

I've found several bikes for sale but covid means I have to buy untested which is a major stress factor but I don't think travel restrictions here will be lifted anytime soon.

Les Occasions du Hound > Triumph T100 C : Hound Motorcycle

1971 TRIUMPH TROPHY T100C COMPETITION. ORIGINAL CLASSIC. MATCHING NUMBERS | eBay
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/202007050893013?modal=description

The third is my current favourite. Tach, indicators and tls brakes will all make for a more usable bike. And it has the most history.

I love the patina of the 66 but it looks overpriced compared to the other two and perhaps less suited to my intended use.

I would fit electronic ignition and fit new tyres but other than that I would leave the bike as is. I don't want a show bike.

Any feedback would be much appreciated, thanks!
 

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The '71 has a more bullet-proof engine, and it certainly looks the part! I would enquire that the engine and frame numbers match, they ought to as it makes a big difference in value.
Good luck with it,
Mick.
 

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Welcome to this forum Eli. Think about a 1971 TR6C which is quite rare with high pipes on one side. Not really a trail bike but looks nice. The 500 is much smoother than a 650 but a 650 has a lot more low down power. I think you should try bot 500 and 650 before deciding.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks chaps. The third bike is matching numbers and comes with a heritage certificate.

I can't get insured on a 650cc for another two years.

Plus the dimensions and weight of the 500 are perfect for me.

Light is right!
 

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Hi EliTR6, I've never ridden a Triumph 500twin. I've ridden TR6C a lot on road & off road.

I don't know your off road experience. Compared to a modern or even a vintage single cylinder off road bike, the Triumph cannot hold a candle to them. Just too heavy & not nearly enough suspension. Plenty of power though. The off road motor cycle park near me has some moderate trails & trails so rough & steep I don't know how any bike can make it, by the experts do. You can do search of youtube etc to evaluate the trails. Remember what looks gentle on video can be very, very steep.


However..... On more sedate trails, even very long & steep, and every kind of dirt road, the Triumph "scramblers" are loads of fun. I did many 100 mile days on the back roads , power line single track trails & cow trails with my 1970 TR6C. Problem was lifting bike over fallen trees or if you ran off trail & ended up at bottom of ravine. Pushing back up was a killer. On the Honda 90s we didn't give it a thought. The nice thing is the on road is so good with either bike. Modern combination tires are really good for this use. We usually rode to the off road park & other trails so freeway speeds were a must. Tip: always take 2 spare clutch levers & a perch. I always fall to the left.

2 years is a long time to wait. 500 would certainly meet your needs & are somewhat lighter. Then sell it off if when it no longer fits your needs. If I ever get another vintage Triumph it will be scrambler type. I love off road riding. At 68 I don't need to take the steep dangerous trails. Just riding in the woods is so much fun. I'll take my '73 Tiger on easy dirt roads you'd drive a passenger car on. I really like that. I won't take it on any rough stuff. Bike is too nice to fall needlessly.

I don't know what the best years are for 500s.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Don!

I wish I had that sort of playground. There are a few unpaved farm tracks I could take, that's all. Forests, beach, etc are all protected so are no gos.

We call it greenlaning in the UK. Better than nothing!
 

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Hi Eli,

Apologies for being late to the party.

dimensions and weight of the 500 are perfect for me.
greenlaning
Ye-ea-ah ... ime 350 off-road is too much power but both 350 and 500 are too heavy to be enjoyable, DT175'd run rings 'round either of 'em and still be 'classic'.

Don't get me wrong, the 500 is a nice bike but imho on-road, there simply isn't any point either buggering particularly its cosmetics off-road or riding so slowly and carefully it isn't enjoyable. Original '71-on ally levers and "perches" (lever pivot castings) are unobtanium, patterns are available but, apart from being expensive, ones from one maker aren't interchangeable with ones from the other maker and only one maker's can be made to work with originals. :( More robust levers and handlebar switch clusters are available, but it's more expense, and the bike will still only be as enjoyable off-road as training a pig to do ballet.

Btw, the fuel tank on any T100C is only a little over 2 Imperial gallons; the tank fitted to European-market '71-on T100R's and pre-'71 T100T's and T100S's is over 3 Imperial gallons but doesn't look much different.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Stuart. The bike will be used 99% on road. Maybe I'll take a gravel or dirt track on a dry summer's day but that's all. My old van van was great for this!

I've got a bit of reading to do but I'm fairly certain I'm going to pull the trigger on the 71 bike.

736525
 

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Hi Eli,
fairly certain I'm going to pull the trigger on the 71 bike.
Ask for the engine and frame numbers, which should be the same, two letters and five figures plus "T100C"; the second of the two letters will be "E" on a '71 bike.

Then you might wish to be aware of the following:-

. 16th September 1970 as a "Date of 1st Registration" for a real '71 US market bike is highly-unlikely - Triumph didn't start producing '71 model year bikes until September 1970 (KE00001). The only possibility I can think of (don't let on to the seller ;)) is the bike has a very low engine/frame number and never left GB, perhaps going to another department within Meriden, its "1st Registration" then being in GB. But you'd only be able to confirm this from the Meriden dispatch books, possessed by the VJMC and TOMCC.

. I spotted a couple of pre-'71 parts - grabrail is '70, lower front mudguard stay is no later than early '69. Btw, if you wondered why there's such a big gap between the front tyre and the front of the mudguard, the oval brackets that connect the front and middle stays to the fork sliders are C-version (T100C and TR6C) but not listed in the '71 parts book.

. Tank paintjob isn't very good. :(

. One thing you might want to confirm with the seller is the mudguards are stainless, not aluminium alloy - the latter crack from the vibration unless mounted very carefully.

. At least two parts are missing - sidestand and the plastic 'button' that fits in the centre of the Zener heatsink - stops the weather getting in there and seizing the Zener mounting.

. Wiring loom's old but not original.

Be interesting to know how it compares the with excellent online guide, https://www.triumph-tiger-90.com/index.shtml.

Parts books and Triumph workshop manual are free-to-read online, or available brand-new on paper from Andover Norton; AN also has a '70 interactive parts book (few differences between '70 and '71).

The workshop manual can look daunting, because it covers everything from '63; Meriden updated by supplements but didn't always correct everything.

Regrettably, the '71-on 500 parts books are less accurate than they should be - e.g. pushrod tube leaks are a (occasional :whistle:) given on Triumphs but none of the '71-on 500 parts books illustrate or list the correct tube or seals, :mad: you need a TR5T book for them.

If you have to look for parts online, I strongly recommend against eBay for consumables and new parts, unless you can be sure the seller is a long-time bricks-'n'-mortar Triumph dealer, in which case they almost-certainly prefer you to buy direct. :) Second-hand spares - almost nothing pre-'67 will fit a '71, some '67/'68 bits will, more '69-on bits fit, some 650 and triple bits also fit; plenty of knowledge here. (y) :)

Most 1/4" or larger fasteners are Unified (UNC, UNF and UNEF) but Triumph stubbornly kept a few Cycle - e.g. cylinder head bolts - to keep owners on their toes. :) Smaller than 1/4" OD are almost always BA but, again, Triumph changed a few to keep owners on their toes - the tiny screws through the front brake gauze are a UnIfied ... :rolleyes:

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Stuart,

Thanks a million for the detailed reply.

I'm waiting for a better copy of it but the bike comes with a heritage certificate. Current photo is blurry but looks like engine and frame numbers match and start with GE but the build date on the certificate is June 1971 (G is July).

Is this possible?

Looks like the bike was originally supplied to a London address.

100% originality is not something I'm looking for. I want a solid bike in good usable condition. This one hasn't been used for the past year but was apparently kept by an enthusiast who maintained his bikes properly.

I'm making my way through the book and making a list of questions for the seller.

Keep the advice coming, cheers!
 

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Hi Eli,
looks like engine and frame numbers match and start with GE but the build date on the certificate is June 1971 (G is July).
Uh-uh, "G" is June (A=January, B=February, C=March, D=April, E=May, F wasn't used, presumably because it could be changed to "E" too easily?).

However, the number sequence was contiguous across all bikes built at Meriden, across all months and often across more than one model year. As I posted earlier, the '71 model year started in calendar September 1970 with KE00001, so I'd expect an engine actually built in June 1971 to have a number around 25000.

But then "Date of 1st Registration" in September 1970 doesn't make much sense, at least without greater clarification. I can think of at least one possible scenario, but it depends on the engine/frame number.

Btw, the reason engine and frame numbers should match is: an engine received its number when it was completed, it was copied on to the frame when the engine was installed. Engines were built (and numbered) in a separate part of the factory, they weren't always installed in frames in numerical order.

100% originality is not something I'm looking for.
No worries. I was simply posting the anomalies I noticed so you don't buy it and think, "I wonder why ..." :) and/or, "Bugger! I wish I'd known that before I bought it." :(

I'm making my way through the book and making a list of questions for the seller.
Post 'em here too? I'd certainly be interested to know. :)

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Stuart,

The book is the culprit! :)

736611


I think you've been looking at the 2nd (ebay/gumtree) advert. The bike below is the one at the top of my list :
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/202007050893013?modal=description

I've just noticed that the vin is stated in the ad : GE25092

This is really helpful. I'm too good at selling new toys to myself. I only figure out the problems I missed later on. Hence why the tr3 has spent more time off the road this year than on it!

IMG_20200426_153407_728.jpg
 

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Hi Eli,
The book is the culprit! :)
"The book" is The Essential Buyer's Guide ...? If so, jeez, what a stupid mistake, BSA and Triumph never used "F" (it's even missing from the other column on the page :rolleyes:); if you're wondering, because G=June, H=July then the list is correct again.

one at the top of my list :
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/202007050893013?modal=description
I think you've been looking at the 2nd (ebay/gumtree) advert.
:oops: My stupid mistake ...

Unfortunately, I couldn't magnify the Moto Classics/Auto Trader photos. like I could the eBay ones. :( This bike obviously has a better tank paintjob, sidestand and Zener heatsink central 'button'; however, it appears to have a '70 grabrail also :confused: - afaik, the combination of black lower and chromed pillion grab part was unique to '70(?); if you're interested, in each gusset between horizontal and pillion grab hoop, most '70 had a large (7/16" ID) hole, '71 had just a small (3/16" ID?) for the reflector mounting screw and the whole thing was all-chromed. I think the front lower mudguard stay fastening to the 'guard is the correct 2-bolt but lack of magnification and poor camera angles make it difficult to be sure. :(

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I've had a bit of documentation sent over from the seller. Looks like the bike was imported from the US in 2013 and the PO spent some time recommissioning it before registering the bike in the UK late 2014.

What is people's take on the later switchgear? Does it work and is it reliable? Lucas, Prince of darkness...

The seller has been very helpful and sent over more photos. They've spotted a broken spoke on the back wheel.

Carb looks recent. I'm no stranger to rusty nuts and bolts but it looks like this bike has more of them than I've noticed in the other adverts I've seen. Is this usual for a triumph of this age?

I'm looking for an original ish bike which I can maintain and upgrade to use as my daily ride (weather permitting). I think the prices are a bit high for all the bikes I've seen but this particular one speaks to me more.

736816


736817
736818

736819

736820
 

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Hi Eli,
Triumph TR5T Adventurer
mechanically this is what I'm looking to buy / achieve.
how much time and money will it take to get the red one to a similar standard?
As you don't own either bike, you don't have much idea of either bike's actual mechanical condition so, by "mechanically", I'm guessing you mean "get rid of all the rusty fasteners on the T100C"? If so, not as much as the £1200 between the purchase prices. (y)

Then depends how you want to do it:-

. Cheapest is probably dismantle the whole bike, degrease fasteners as required before chucking 'em all in a big bucket, take the bucket to a zinc plater who'll tumble them to remove the rust before replating them. Then lots of time sorting through the bucket's contents as you rebuild the bike. Ime, snag with replating is the fasteners gradually go rusty again as use knocks off the plating. :(

. More expensive is replace all the fasteners with stainless. Advantages here are you can continue riding the bike as you 'do' each area of the bike; if you do small-enough areas of the bike, you don't notice the total cost and, once done, they'll never go rusty. (y) Otoh, time here is unscrewing each fastener you want to replace at a given time, measuring as much as its diameter, thread and length, deciding if things like additional washers would be wise, and then if the bolt or screw needs to be longer, listing, ordering, waiting for the order to arrive, fitting the new bits.

Stainless can be a bit of a minefield, because it's easy to find cheap stainless, but then you find things like you've been supplied metric washers, heads of fasteners don't match (if that'll bother you), sometimes it's so cheap it isn't proper 'stainless'. If you go the stainless route, there are good suppliers - I've used the same one since about the mid-1980's. :)

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Hi Eli,

As you don't own either bike, you don't have much idea of either bike's actual mechanical condition so, by "mechanically", I'm guessing you mean "get rid of all the rusty fasteners on the T100C"? If so, not as much as the £1200 between the purchase prices. (y)

Then depends how you want to do it:-

. Cheapest is probably dismantle the whole bike, degrease fasteners as required before chucking 'em all in a big bucket, take the bucket to a zinc plater who'll tumble them to remove the rust before replating them. Then lots of time sorting through the bucket's contents as you rebuild the bike. Ime, snag with replating is the fasteners gradually go rusty again as use knocks off the plating. :(

. More expensive is replace all the fasteners with stainless. Advantages here are you can continue riding the bike as you 'do' each area of the bike; if you do small-enough areas of the bike, you don't notice the total cost and, once done, they'll never go rusty. (y) Otoh, time here is unscrewing each fastener you want to replace at a given time, measuring as much as its diameter, thread and length, deciding if things like additional washers would be wise, and then if the bolt or screw needs to be longer, listing, ordering, waiting for the order to arrive, fitting the new bits.

Stainless can be a bit of a minefield, because it's easy to find cheap stainless, but then you find things like you've been supplied metric washers, heads of fasteners don't match (if that'll bother you), sometimes it's so cheap it isn't proper 'stainless'. If you go the stainless route, there are good suppliers - I've used the same one since about the mid-1980's. :)

Hth.

Regards,
Thanks Stuart. I'm not bothered about rusty fasteners but they stood out on this bike compared to the others I've seen (in photos), it looks like it hasn't been cared for as well as the others.

I meant straight wheels, new tyres, electronic ignition, smoke-free wiring harness, rust free tank, fuel tight carb, working instruments and lights, electronic ignition, etc...

I have no idea of the mechanical condition other than it runs :)

Expect the worst and hope to be pleasantly surprised...
 
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