Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Bike of the Month Challenge!

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This years winter project is almost complete. I re-cycled my '78 T140E. My long time original condition Bonnie is now a lighter, more agile, dependable street/track day bike. I enlisted a lot of local talent in helping me where I couldn't help myself; I had a Triumph shop rebuild the engine, the painting was done professionally, but the rest of the rebuild is the result of a cold winter in the garage. All most everything was re-cycled but the rubber items. More pictures in my photos.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,271 Posts
Why don't you back-track and give us a bit of a back-story on the total projct, with progress pictures and info on resources, problems encountered and tips for success?

I'll move the thread into the "member's projects" section once you get it going.

C'mon, it's easy, and folks will really appreciate it and learn from it.

Thanx.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Getting Started

Disclaimer: This is not a detailed account of a concours restore or an episode from American Chopper.
History:
I purchased this 1978 T140E originally in 1990. While stopped at a yard sale I spotted the frame and motor, numbers matching, T140EEX08126, and asked if it was complete. I was shone the boxes containing the remainder of the parts. His son had taken it apart to build a race bike but life had gotten in the way, he was now living in the mid-west with a child on the way. I offered him $500, he said sold and my wife told me I was crazy.

The last Triumph I owned was an Bonneville in 1966 so I was aware of a Triumph's requirement for mechanical attention but I was not so sure where I would find parts and knowledge in New Hampshire. I asked around and was directed to the local Triumph guru Harold Bishop who also happened to own Gate City Cycle, a former Triumph dealership. Harold goes back to the early '50s with the Triumph brand, racing them at Loudon and Daytona and selling them in Nashua, New Hampshire. His technical help and being a parts resource was invaluable in getting me on my way.

It took me 3 years to restore the bike to it's original glory. Fortunately the parts boxes contained almost everything and in serviceable condition, but I didn't have the time. It was “my hobby” and as such it didn't get attention until the house was painted or the floors were refinished. The biggest obstacle I encountered in restoring the bike was my own thinking. After owning and fixing a couple Japanese bikes I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the design philosophy (or lack of) of the Triumph. I have since read Motorcycle Engineering by P.E. Erving and realized the 50s through 80s Triumph evolved from the design philosophies of the 1930s and 40s.

The odometer read 6426 on the day the Bonneville was registered in 1993 and it now reads 31794. I had learned in the 60s that with diligent maintenance it would run dependably and it did. My wife eventually relented and rode on “that thing”, enjoying the experience and the social aspects of motorcycling. She became versed in the history of Triumph and easily fielded the questions of those curious enough to ask. She was also a Proud Owner. Those were some happy miles.

When I could no longer keep up with the electrical problems of a tired wiring harness the bike spent a couple years sitting with only occasional use. With some time and finances to rebuild and motivation from friends the project was started in October of 2008. The purpose of the rebuild was to restore dependability, improve handling and performance.

Starting:
Organization of a project helps economically spend budgeted time and money. I kept it simple. For organizing parts I used various sized storage bags and a 4 drawer filing cabinet. I kept all printed reference materials together and did the same on the computer. Website bookmarks have there own folder as do related photos, email and documents. I used a manila folder for receipts with a to do list on the front.

As I disassembled the bike I would clean and inspect each part, nut and bolt and note if replacement or rebuilding was in order. This list made finding and pricing these items easier. All sub assemblies were stored in there own marked bag and kept with like assemblies, fuel, oil, suspension, brakes,etc. in the cabinet. With my history with this particular bike I didn't find it necessary to photograph part location or assembly but on an unfamiliar project I would take the time. I kept nuts, bolts and washers with the assemblies they went with. I haven't lost or wasted time looking for anything.

I chose serviceable used and OEM or “made in England” parts for there fit and finish. Although they were less expensive I did not find Asian replacement parts fit as well or looked as good. The one exception being the Excel wheel rims from Buchanan's Spoke and Rim, Inc., buchananspokes.com. When I had the needed parts in hand I would rebuild assemblies and store them for pre-paint and final assembly. Again Gate City Cycle and the new owner “Dude” Wheeler were my main resource for parts and expertise. Although prices may have been less in some instances on the net, supporting my local shop is in my best interest.

The original design and mechanical function of the bikes' systems were retained except for the electrics governing charging and ignition. I replaced the points, coils and condensers with a Boyer Bransden Ignition for Triumph/BSA twins, KIT00281, 12volt. I replaced the rectifier and zenor diode with a Tympanium single phase power control unit. Instructions for these items are straight forward and with additional diagrams found on the web installation was easy. raskcycle.com/techtip/webdoc10.html As a precaution I used Shielded Twisted Pair wire for transferring signals between Boyer components.

I'll write more if interest warrants.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top