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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a complete newbie to Triumph Bonnevilles. I trying to purchase a 1970 Bonnie. I looked at my fist one yesterday, but walked away with 3 questions that I cannot find answers to. Any help would greatly appreciated.

1. The handle bars "wobbled" a little bit. In other words, they had a lot of play in them. Not steering wise, but more up and down. I was told this was on purpose to allow for the vibration of the bike. Is this correct?

2. When starting the bike, the owner primed the carbs manually (with a "pipper") until a couple of drops of fuel leaked out onto the case. Is this correct?

3. The owner said both the top and bottom half had been rebuilt. The engine was very clean, but under the case was a drop of oil and visible signs of past oil spread. I know the Bonnivilles leak, but was a little surprised to see the leak on a rebuilt. It has been sitting for a while. Is this normal?

Again, thank you very much for your help! Can't wait to purchase one!
 

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1. Yes, the bars are rubber-mounted as an antivibration measure;

2. Yes, but they're generally called ticklers not pippers;

3. Yes, they all leak oil. Its a sign they still have oil in them.

Good luck with your purchase but be aware that Triumphs are not for everyone. They require lots of maintenance, patience and mechanical sensitivity.

Bruce
 

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smell my finger ;)

gotta get one of those t-shirts :)
 

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rpedersen,

Welcome to the forum. I see Abmar got your questions covered.
Good luck with shopping for a ride.

Also Abmar got it right about a higher maintance ride. These
vintage rides do need to be checked more for trouble free
riding time, however, I can see no better way to spend some
time in the garage.

Pookybear
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks!

Thank you for the quick replies! I have heard they require a lot of TLC. I am pretty good with automobiles, recently rebuilt my old CJ7 from the ground up. Although I have no experience with old bikes, I love "garage time!" Just trying to find the right bike at the right price! Thanks again and hope to get the bike soon!
 

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1. The handle bars "wobbled" a little bit. In other words, they had a lot of play in them. Not steering wise, but more up and down. I was told this was on purpose to allow for the vibration of the bike. Is this correct?

2. When starting the bike, the owner primed the carbs manually (with a "pipper") until a couple of drops of fuel leaked out onto the case. Is this correct?

3. The owner said both the top and bottom half had been rebuilt. The engine was very clean, but under the case was a drop of oil and visible signs of past oil spread. I know the Bonnivilles leak, but was a little surprised to see the leak on a rebuilt. It has been sitting for a while. Is this normal?

Again, thank you very much for your help! Can't wait to purchase one!

Im no triumph expert by any means, but I can tell you that a 70' T-120R is a highly regarded Bonneville. (Possibly the highest regarded Bonnie.) Tickling the carbs is normal, and lets us know its likely got Amal concentric carbs on it which are correct for the bike.

If the engine was rebuilt properly and the bottom end was rebuilt/sludge cleaned, this engine could last another 40 yrs. without a rebuild. (could) :) A drop of oil is no big deal at all. If it's a puddle, then I'd be a little concerned if it was "rebuilt."

Sounds like it could be a good one. If the price is right, (should be in this economy) go for it.

Post pics if possible!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Price!

Thanks again all! I think I can get her for about $7000. She is original all the way and looks very nice. Does this sound like a fair price in today's market?

Lastly, I am also looking at a 1955 Triumph Thunderbird. Yeah, I know, totally different bikes. As you can see, I simply want a vintage Triumph that I can ride and restore. Mainly looking at 1966-1970 Bonnevilles and 1959 and lower. Any comments are welcome!
 

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Thanks again all! I think I can get her for about $7000. She is original all the way and looks very nice. Does this sound like a fair price in today's market?
If it's in great shape both cosmetically, and mechanically and you're in an area where there's a demand for 1970 Triumphs, maybe. :) I wouldn't pay that, but I'm thrifty. Or as my wife says, A CHEAP S.O.B.! (Among other things...)

I simply want a vintage Triumph that I can ride and restore. Mainly looking at 1966-1970 Bonnevilles and 1959 and lower. Any comments are welcome!
Buy a cheap runner, and put some love, and $$ into it and work on it yourself. Unless, you just have to have that restored 70 Bonnie!!!
 

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I don't know anything, but they all agree that the '79 is a good year mechanically. The '79s are common as protesters at a G20 summit, but you get a lot for your money.

The '70 is more along the lines of collectable, they say. Collectable motorcycles. Bosh. Motorcycles aren't collectables. They're rideables. If I want collectable, I'll get a 1909s VDB Lincoln Cent.

Oh, and $7,000 is too much. A very nice '70 is for sale nearby me for $5,800. A '79 goes for $4,000 in great shape.
 

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I see all your questions have been answered correctly. I recently purchased a 1970 Bonnie that is in mint condition. Completely rebuilt etc etc. Hard some carb problems that were corrected by me mainly replacing cables that were wrong. My bike does not leak oil so I guess that is a bonus. As to price I paid $6000.00 for the bike and that was the cheap Canadian money. Cheers.:)
 

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Whether a '70 bonnie is worth $7,000 is all up to the BUYER.

If it is near perfect (excellent, at least) cosmetically, and running as new, with title, I believe it is worth it. ESPECIALLY if it is "local" to the buyer, and thus saves $600 on shipping as well.

Definitely a more reliable and stable ride than a '55.
 

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I fully agree with the above statement. My Bonneville is in excellent condition but I did drive over 1000 miles to pick it up and bring it home. I have also put in about $1000.00 in work and parts but now I have a beautiful classic machine and in my mind worth every dollar and hour put into it.

Cheers.:)
 

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As far as the value of the bike in question by RPederson I cannot make a comment as I havent seen a picture of the bike nor has it been confirmed that the bike has matching VIN numbers. However I will say ANYONE that spends $7000 for an undocumented '70 is much more flush with greenbacks than me. I saw one advertised in a local vehicle paper for $5500 again much more than I would pay. As GPZ said whether the selling is reasonable or not is up to the buyer. That is very true. I am the first to admit I am a little frugal (as I have never had lots of excess dispoable income) and find the asking and/or selling prices of todays market one step short of obscene.
Jamo
As far as I am concerned no one T120/T140 from say 67 up is any better or worse than any other year. All years had there good /bad points and problems. As far as a rideable usable transport vehicle with any of them you get a lot for your money. And I remember a few years back when you couldnt get $1500 for a nice '78 and could buy nice '70's for $1500 all day long at that point you were paying top dollar.

Jus my pinion
 
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