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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone.

I've recently come across this Bonneville wasting away under someones deck.

Story was it was bought for the guy's sister's ex-husband (boyfriend) and was a one owner machine. He never rode it and its been sitting there for about two years.

I've never owned a motorcycle (actually, I don't even know how to ride). But I am an engineer by trade and can build fix most anything (generally process equipment) so I'm pretty confident I can get it going.

I can turn in over and it has gas in it (or something that looks like gas).

Currently it doesn't run, I didn't want to try starting it since it sat for so long.

Of the stuff I can see it will need is:

Tires - $200 ?
Carb rebuild - $100
Fork Rebuild - ??
New Brake lines -??
Clean out tanks/carbs/etc
New Speedometer
Tuneup stuff
Rubber bits and pieces

All the chrome is starting to get a little light rust on it, can that be polished up?

What about the paint? Its all faded, along with the emblems.

Build date is Dec 1978 I believe

I think I can get it for about $1200.

I might be getting a layoff notice in the next month (thanks economy!) so I should have some time to work on it but I would like to be able to sell it for roughly what I paid for it, just in case;)

Any opinions on this machine? Seems like something that would be useful to terrorize the local bikers (the ones with the spandex).











 

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I bought a '78 T140v for $2k in working order. It is a Triumph so I have put another 2 into it over time. Budgets are great but they are always going to get broken. I don't recommend old Triumphs for a bike to learn on. They have a mind of their own. However they are extremely rewarding and they are popular right now. So good luck. There are plenty of people on here who are willing to help
 

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Good value.Rust doesn't appear too severe in the photos.Clean the chromework with aluminium foil and water.You can use Coca Cola or vinegar instead of water;wash it off afterward.
If you can turn it over and there's still oil in the tank,it won't hurt to start it.

2 new float bowl gaskets and 2 new needle-jets should sort out the carbs.Just clean out the other jets,especially pilot jets (in behind the mixture screws).
Drain the fuel out and fill it up.Pump some oil into the rocker spindle feed line with an oil can,then try to start it.They will sometimes start with an old battery (if it's left connected),but a new one makes it easier.

Drain and re-fill the gearbox and primary case;there may be some water/condensation in both.Drain and re-fill the oil tank after you run the engine.You can save yourself unneccesary drama if you never remove the crankcase drain plug;there's never much oil in there anyway.

The clutch plates may be stuck together.If you pull the clutch lever and use the kickstart,they "should" break free (they probably won't).Tie the clutch lever back to the handlebar and wait a week,then try again.A stubborn one needs to be taken for a ride,with the clutch lever held to the handlebar,until the plates free up.

Fit the tyres,gear lever rubber etc,and see how it goes.A reproduction speedo is a little over $100.It won't have "Smiths" printed on the face,but it's a lot cheaper.

It looks pretty much unmolested.In my opinion,that's better than one that's been molested and then fully restored.
You could restore the fuel tank with a good paint job,and I'd still give you points for that.The paint job may cost more than everything else put together.
 

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A T140, complete, basically original, engine that turns over, for $1200? That's about £800 - there'd be a brawl outside the sellers house if it was here in UK! Snap it up before someone else does, then find out who the local Triumph enthusiasts are.
 

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Yes, buy. Figure about $500 to get the bike on the road from the list you provided (doing the work yourself and no major issues). Cleaned up and running, that bike is worth about $3,600 to $4,200 or more in the Spring.
 

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Can I second JohnA, that looks like a complete, unmolested bike. Here in the UK people would be fighting over it and I wouldn't be surprised to see it knock on the door of £2k. It kills me to see how cheap Triumphs, especially 750's are in the US.

I'd take a risk with it, 8 months ago I was new to Triumphs but I've managed to re ring, hone the bores and rebuild the head. On top of numerous other fixes I've covered 2000 miles on it. The help on this forum is fantastic and the satisfaction from raising a beauty like that from the dead will be enormous.

PS. Plewseys videos really help take the fear and mystery out of a lot of jobs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for the responses everyone

I'm thimking I'm going to go look at it again today.

Is there a surefire way to make sure the engine turns over?

How do I pull up the seat to see if the battery hasn't leaked out?

Anything I should check for I'm missing?

What's the proper way to strap it down for the ride home?

Do these use metric or inch wrenches? Or these on the whitworth standard?
 

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Strange mix of spanners will be required, if it's anything like my bike (78 Tiger) it will have UNF/UNC/Whit/BA?cyclethread and metric!

The seat may have a catch that pulls out on one side.

The bike looks like a T140E (E=Enviromental) if I remember it was the first year with paralell intakes, mkII amals and electronic igniton this was all to clean up the emissions for the US market.
I bought my bike in a similiar state when I went to see it I drained the tank and carb, filled with fresh fuel, cleaned the plugs, put a battery (from my Trident 900) with leads on it. It started on the third kick, I couldn't belive it!
Saying that as I found out you only really know the state of play after you have run the bike properly for a week or two.
 

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Sure looks like a T140V to me. Splayed intake and definitely MK1 carbs.
They'll be a black knob on the right side of the seat just below the seat trim. Pull it out and the seat will hinge open. Can be hard to pull, might have to sit on it and pull with pliers if its stuck. As stated before, pull the clutch in and kick it over to see if the clutch plates are free if they are then give it a kick with the clutch out and see if it turns. You can make this much easier by removing the spark plugs. If the clutch plates are stuck, you should still be able to get it in 5th gear and roll the bike with the plugs out and turn the engine over.
I strap mine down with ratchet straps. One on each side of the lower parts of the handle bars and one on each side of the rear, hooked on the frame under the seat. Rachet it down until the forks and shocks are compressed. Some say you can pull the forks down too far if your not careful and blow the seals....I've never seen this happen personally
 

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ES is Electric Start. E is Environmental.

That's a V, or I gather that some really early E's looked like that, but it's not a parallel head.

The seat catch might be stuck - or locked. There's a lock on an E but not sure when they came in

When you see the piles of Tat that go for £2-3k here, i want to lick my computer screen every time someone posts a "should I buy this bike for $500 threads"!
 

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Anyone any ideas why British bikes go so cheaply in the US? It must be a commonplace thing because there are several ebay delaers who seem to sell nothing but bikes imported from USA. Many of them have very low mileage too. It costs a lot to ship bikes across the Atlantic, and to pay import duties etc, and these people obviously still make a profit.

Is the typical American bike owner so rich they can afford to buy bikes they hardly ever use, then sell them for next to nothing? - I'm sure that can't be true, but I'd love to understand why this situation exists!

Oh, and by the way, the E designation could mean 'Environment/al' or 'Emission' or 'Electronic (ignition)' or something we haven't thought of yet, but the elctric start version was definitely ES.

As for seeing if the engine turns over, no need to bother trying to free-off the clutch first - even if its stuck solid it makes no difference to kicking the engine over. I'd take the plugs out first to make it turn easier.
 

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Anyone any ideas why British bikes go so cheaply in the US? It must be a commonplace thing because there are several ebay delaers who seem to sell nothing but bikes imported from USA. Many of them have very low mileage too. It costs a lot to ship bikes across the Atlantic, and to pay import duties etc, and these people obviously still make a profit.

Is the typical American bike owner so rich they can afford to buy bikes they hardly ever use, then sell them for next to nothing? - I'm sure that can't be true, but I'd love to understand why this situation exists!

Oh, and by the way, the E designation could mean 'Environment/al' or 'Emission' or 'Electronic (ignition)' or something we haven't thought of yet, but the elctric start version was definitely ES.

As for seeing if the engine turns over, no need to bother trying to free-off the clutch first - even if its stuck solid it makes no difference to kicking the engine over. I'd take the plugs out first to make it turn easier.
Basically it the economy for it's a buyers market now for sure. Mint/mechanically sound bikes still hold their money.
 

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The "E" stands for " EEEEK" which what you say every time you think your bike is sorted and you find a new puddle under it, or a mystery bolt under it, or a clutch cable that snaps at a traffic light, and etc. But seriously it looks like a real nice complete bike. Colorado is a pretty dry place (I once lived in Ft Collins) so a lot of things that would have rusted up and corroded will be fine but I think I'd take the carbs off and clean out at least the bowls. If the mystery tank contents have been leaking past the pet cocks the carbs will be full of green mung and white corrosion. Not sure if this model has electronic ignition or not but I'd peek under the points cover too to see if everthing looks ok. Good luck
 

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I stand corrected it's not a T140E it's must be a V. My arcahic computer only allowed me to view the first pic and I had it in my mind 78 was the year emmissions became a big deal as it was the last year the TR7 tiger was sold in the US as it only came with the MK1 amal etc

It's probably the tail end of the V's, I'm sure if you have the engine no. someone here will be able to identify it for you.

Either way I'd still buy it but be prepared to have to do a bit of work on it, fingers crossed the bottom end and gear box will be fine. What's the milage?
 

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I'd buy that in a minute if it has a title and turns over. There are some great Triumph guys on this site in Colorado that would no doubt help.
 

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a quick way to guess if it has EI is that the E models came with a finned points cover.

But I bought one for a mate as he liked the look of mine, and he had points.
 

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a quick way to guess if it has EI is that the E models came with a finned points cover.

But I bought one for a mate as he liked the look of mine, and he had points.
I've done the opposite - my 1980 TR7 had elec ign with the finned points cover but I wanted an 'earlier' look, so fitted the chromed steel points cover!

Probabky best to not judge a book by its cover...
 
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