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Hello All,
I'm new to this forum and to Triumph bikes but happy to have found it. I have recently become rabidly obsessed with the construction a Bonneville bobber and have located a relatively affordable bike in Southern California to begin my project so any advice any of you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Here’s the scoop: I have the opportunity to purchase a 1973 Bonneville 750 in seemingly good, original condition for $2500 + extra Makuni top pulls from a friend of a friend who I don’t reckon would screw me over with a lemon. The catch is the bike was running until 6 months ago when the kick start gear was broken by the current owner, a Harley guy, so it’s been sitting in the garage dormant.

My question for you gentlemen is two fold; First off, would the ’73 Bonnie be a suitable bike for a greenhorn like myself to get started with or should I keep the search alive? Secondly, if the damage to the kick gear is isolated and relatively straightforward will it be an insurmountable circus attempting to repair the bottom end when I am fairly unfamiliar with British engines?

Any direction would be appreciated, thank you much-

Best,
PDB
 

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Boy at 2,500 you could talk them bown a bit, I mean you have
to push start that bad boy to hear it run.

On the good side, Triumphs have very few specfic problems to
them, sticking clutches is the biggie. So any general knowledge
of engines and transmission will be of great help. And generally
are very easy to fix.

Good luck,

Pookybear
 

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You might consider finding a good battery, and carrying it down with a tool box, gallon of Castrol 10/40, pair of Champion N5C spark plugs and gas can to check out the bike.

Clean the carb, dump & change the oil, swap the battery 7 plugs, and dump out the old gas and pour in a half-gallon of fresh stuff, then try a push-start in 2nd gear.

If the clutch is stuck, just push harder then hang on for dear life!

...you might want to check that it has a keyswitch or kill button that works, and give the brakes a check, just in case...

If it runs, $2,500 is probably not too bad; if it doesn't, I'd start bargaining from about $1,500.
 

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If the clutch is stuck, just push harder then hang on for dear life!
I am just about at that point in my life where this is either for
a younger version of me to do, or I have finally become a
smart as my father. Not something I would like to do with a
stuck clutch.

Pookybear
 

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Pooky, where is the excitement?

That's half the fun of a "make-run" project!
Paul,

Well, lets see where is the fun? How about riding with my
friends. They have the advantage of new frame designs and
more horse power. So on today's ride; I locked up the rear
wheel about six times to close up the gap. Most of their bikes
are geared low, so I get them on the charge. Hard to do in
the mountains as there is always a corner. Anyway it got
real loose one time. Hard to throttle out of a corner when the
rear tire is going back and fourth under you.

I get plenty of fun, without starting the bike race style.

Pookybear
 

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To unstick the clutch: put it in gear, pull in the clutch lever, and push the bike along untill the clutch frees-off. If the rear wheel locks, try a higher gear.
 

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pooky, did you buy the bike? Is that the one you were riding?

I raced a full season on my '69 Bonnie with modern Dunlop 501s and NEVER ONCE broke loose under the heaviest braking I have ever done in my life; not even on a damp Road America track with light drizzle.

The bike is bone stock for the most part, the Dunlops are hands down the best, stickiest tires I have ever had on an old bike, PERIOD.

A reasonably well set up old bike hould never do what you describe. Otherwise, get new tires.
 

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pooky, did you buy the bike? Is that the one you were riding?

A reasonably well set up old bike hould never do what you describe. Otherwise, get new tires.
Paul,

Mostly a choppy surface causes the problem. The roads here
in NC are mostly a tar with gravel thrown over it to form pavement
on the back roads. So it can get quite fun to put it. I have
a Dunlop with only 2,000 miles on it. And it chirps all the time
on down shifts. And has locked up a few times under hard braking.
Also the front forks are adding havoc and excitment to the
braking procdure. The bike was raised with extended forks some-
time ago. I have not changed them because it does give ground
clearance for cornering with out grinding down any parts. But
they do move alot, around 4 inches of travel. The front tire
never leaves the road!

To be honest, I think it does very well for the age of the machine
but 10mph hairpins are still hard on the bike. And if I go in at
60mph with a triple downshift trying to cut my speed to 20mph
fast well it is to be expected. The point where stupid meets
the road so to say! However, the bike loves the fast sweepers.

And yes it is my beater 1979 that I was riding. Got a smooth
3,000 miles on it now. Not bad for something that was left to
rot by three other people.

Vince,

As for a stuck clutch and freeing it up. It is not always easy
as a push in gear. I had to use a screwdriver and hammer to
get my old plates out! Boy that would have been nice though,
maybe BobbinWeevin will have better luck.

And that brings us back to BobbinWeevin, this is his thread
after all.

BobbinWeevin,

Did you go and look at that ride? How did it go?

Pookybear
 
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