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Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #731248
04/07/18 5:44 pm
04/07/18 5:44 pm
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South cone
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reverb Offline
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South cone
...I have a buddy here with a BMW 500 from the 50s, and has no better quality than the 50s Triumphs; plus the engine is horrendous.
Regarding performance, is like a touring bike of that era.

-I think that lots of BMWs make those kms etc in good shape is due to the owners profile...you did not saw a tuner or like that wrenching a BMW; you cannot change the chains/sprockets ratio because do not have them.
Then the mechanics that open the engines are specialized ones, with the right tools, so less damage (lot of damage in the old Brits)
Like Koan says, have too much weight; visually too.

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Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #731249
04/07/18 5:57 pm
04/07/18 5:57 pm
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Isle of Wight, UK
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koan58 Online content OP
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Isle of Wight, UK
It does make me wonder how the planes were so good, I guess the engineering was adjusted to the requirement, or rather the other way round.
There was a significant change in the quality of BMW bikes in the 80's. My R100 had horrible plastic bits all over it, eg floppy indicators, nasty instrument nacelle. If we're talking of myths, I suspect the one that assumes extremely high quality of any BMW product is another myth.

Last edited by koan58; 04/07/18 6:00 pm.
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: triton thrasher] #731263
04/07/18 7:40 pm
04/07/18 7:40 pm
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Posts: 1,109
Westminster, MD, USA
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J. Charles Smith Offline
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Westminster, MD, USA
Originally Posted by triton thrasher
The Triumph/BMW hybrid wouldn't just be a special: it would be a Bumph!
Wasn't Bumph the original Trump family name? wink

I put together this Triton in 1973, before there was a Triton "formula." Looks like the formula has done Tritons good!
[Linked Image]

Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: J. Charles Smith] #731267
04/07/18 8:14 pm
04/07/18 8:14 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,627
scotland
triton thrasher Offline
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Originally Posted by J. Charles Smith

[Linked Image]



Looks mean!


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: triton thrasher] #731276
04/07/18 9:21 pm
04/07/18 9:21 pm
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,109
Westminster, MD, USA
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J. Charles Smith Offline
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Originally Posted by triton thrasher
Originally Posted by J. Charles Smith

[Linked Image]



Looks mean!


Looks can be deceiving! Your basic cooking iron head engine with a twin carb aftermarket manifold, so pretty slow. Very sweet ride, though, reliable and a very willing starter. Also no side stand, hence the mighty oak!

Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #731283
04/07/18 10:15 pm
04/07/18 10:15 pm
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Isle of Wight, UK
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koan58 Online content OP
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Nice! No need for high spec cracking alloy head to be decent. Don't you miss it?

Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #731286
04/07/18 10:32 pm
04/07/18 10:32 pm
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Isle of Wight, UK
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koan58 Online content OP
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Of course the "Triton formula" was wearing out by 73, when I intruded in 76 nobody wanted the horrible hybrids. Hence cheap..
What did you do with that good looking machine?
I assume you have some bitter memories of it, for whatever reason?

Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #731287
04/07/18 10:33 pm
04/07/18 10:33 pm
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,755
OZ
Triless Offline
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Well, Koan, you certainly did provoke opinionated discussion, and how interesting it has been ! I wonder if the car mob would get as animated over Lister Jaguars , or Cooper Bristols , etc !
I still reckon a Triton is, as I said earlier, the quintessential British special. I remember ,years ago,an article in the British magazine, " Motorcyle and Scooter Mechanics ", Brian Lecomber wrote a feature on Tritons, and somewhere said that with the marriage of the Triumph engine and the Norton Featherbed frame, everybody was happy.......except for those left with Norton engines and Triumph frames ! I had a great laugh over that !

Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #731289
04/07/18 10:41 pm
04/07/18 10:41 pm
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Isle of Wight, UK
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koan58 Online content OP
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Yeah, as Nick described them earlier, afterbirth!
It has been provoking hasn't it? Nothing like a good debate!

Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: ] #731317
04/08/18 8:52 am
04/08/18 8:52 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,627
scotland
triton thrasher Offline
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Originally Posted by Charles DB

If the definition of mean is, slow (in the words of the owner) and uncomfortable (judging by the handlebar position in relation to the barely upholstered flat seat) then yes, that is one 'mean' bike. Is another definition of mean 'special'?

(No offence intended to J.Charles.)


I remember people who talked like that at school, but I never meet any now.

They must have vanished, or else grown up.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #731375
04/08/18 7:43 pm
04/08/18 7:43 pm
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,480
ohio, usa
kevin roberts Offline

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tbe radical clipons and rearsets on my T120 transformed the bike into a marvelously comfortable road machine. before, with the queen julianna sit-up-and-beg riding position, i had to stop to unwind periodically.

the clip ons are murderously painful on the 20-30 mph gravel and stone road that runs three miles to the blacktop, but after that i wouldnt go back for love or money.

well, for money, anyway.


"Are bikes so nice as all that?" asked the mole, shyly...

"Nice? They're the only thing," said the Water Rat Solemnly, as he leaned forward on the handlebars. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about with bikes."
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: revblue] #735665
05/17/18 3:38 pm
05/17/18 3:38 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,120
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Online content
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Originally Posted by revblue
Just curious, has anyone seen an airhead BMW frame used to build a Triumph engined special.

I was thinking about that when I saw my old R75/5 frame out of the corner of my eye just yesterday...


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: triton thrasher] #735666
05/17/18 3:40 pm
05/17/18 3:40 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,120
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Online content
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Originally Posted by triton thrasher
Originally Posted by revblue
Just curious, has anyone seen an airhead BMW frame used to build a Triumph engined special.


BMWs had a reputation for serious wobbles.

Then they came out with the extended shaft & swingarm to cure it (late 72?).

Last edited by GrandPaul; 05/17/18 3:44 pm.

GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #735669
05/17/18 3:49 pm
05/17/18 3:49 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,120
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Online content
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Not VERY typical, but as has been pointed out, some choices are simply limited to what can and what can't fit...

[Linked Image]

Not seen on the average Triton-
Suzuki GT550 front end complete
Central mount early Commando oil tank
Oil cooler (this is south Texas) and oil filter
MkII AMAL carbs
Standard Triumph exhaust headers with Norton peashooters (Triton exhaust, if you will)

For those who held the belief that the Unit engine is "lost" in the spacious featherbed frame, you can see here that is definitely NOT the case.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: GrandPaul] #735684
05/17/18 5:26 pm
05/17/18 5:26 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,627
scotland
triton thrasher Offline
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Originally Posted by GrandPaul


For those who held the belief that the Unit engine is "lost" in the spacious featherbed frame, you can see here that is definitely NOT the case.



Yes it is.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #735714
05/17/18 11:29 pm
05/17/18 11:29 pm
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,080
Aus
N
NickL Offline
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Aus
The oil tank could be increased to 5 galls or so to fill it in a bit. laughing
Nice bike though.

I prefer the unit motor myself, mainly 'cos i'm a lazy sod and they are easier to keep oil tight and maintain etc.

That picture shows why i never proceeded with my Norbsa project (A65 in S/L Featherbed)
The motor just looked lost, it's only when i placed in the frame to mock it up i realised i'd need
to cut 3 or 4 inches at least out of the frame. That would have been sacrilege really as the frame
was like brand new (an ex Atlas slimline) so i sold it for use with a racing 500 pre-unit setup.


No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition................
Bring in the 'Comfy Chair'
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #740450
07/01/18 9:16 pm
07/01/18 9:16 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,177
argyll. scotland, uk
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A friend of mine put a B50 in a featherbed, took 6 " out of the wheel base/ bottom rails, it was very nimble.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #741601
07/12/18 7:50 am
07/12/18 7:50 am
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Athens Greece
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Athens Greece
I have a T150 engine in featherbed and is lost too cry
Most beautiful Tritons are with pre unit engines especialy if engine fit like sloper Nortons!

Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #741799
07/13/18 9:54 pm
07/13/18 9:54 pm
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Posts: 1,289
Bolton Lancs UK
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Andy Higham Offline
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The esscence of the Triton and even more so with the NorVin, in the '50s and '60s was to take the very best components available to make the ultimate cafe racer, something to rival the Goldie.
To be true to this ethos a modern build Triton would have serious twin discs up front, as big as the bacon slicers on Tritons of old, modern forks and rear shocks, valved and sprung to suit the bike and rider


BSA B31 500cc "Stargazer"
Greeves 200cc "Blue Meanie"
Greeves 350
Greeves 360 Challenger
Suzuki GSX1100 EFE "Sorcerers Apprentice"
GM500cc sprint/LSR bike "Deofol"
Jawa 500cc "Llareggub"
2003 Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
'35 OK Supreme
'36 OK Supreme
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: Andy Higham] #741855
07/14/18 3:23 pm
07/14/18 3:23 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,120
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Online content
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Originally Posted by Andy Higham
The esscence of the Triton and even more so with the NorVin, in the '50s and '60s was to take the very best components available to make the ultimate cafe racer, something to rival the Goldie.
To be true to this ethos a modern build Triton would have serious twin discs up front, as big as the bacon slicers on Tritons of old, modern forks and rear shocks, valved and sprung to suit the bike and rider

I disagree with your point #1 with ample historical evidence that many Tritons were built from leftover bits and whatever budget-conscious riders could scrounge up.

While I personally don't disagree with your point #2, MANY people believe disc brakes have no place on Tritons.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Tritons - are they still specials? [Re: koan58] #741987
07/15/18 5:46 pm
07/15/18 5:46 pm
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,109
Westminster, MD, USA
J
J. Charles Smith Offline
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Posts: 1,109
Westminster, MD, USA
Seeing as how this is 2018, not 1958, there's really no point in trying to make a "modern Triton" competitive with today's bikes. That just ain't gonna happen. Besides, if it's okay to bolt a dual disc front end on a Triton so it will stop better, what's wrong with fitting a Street Triple engine so it will go better? In a sense, nothing - cafe racers are customs, and there are no "rules," just guidelines. But in another sense, what's wrong is that you end up with a relatively poor handling Speed Triple! Most everyone who enjoys customizing Brit-Iron wants to get the most out of their old bikes, but staying period-correct has been a traditional part of the deal. Like, I don't feel bad about having modern disc brakes on both ends of my still-simmering T140 cafe project since '73 T140s came with disc front brakes, and by 1976 they had rear discs. There weren't even Colin Lyster or Paul Dunstall disc conversions when the Featherbed gave way to the Isolastic frame. So though it's an easy "upgrade" to bolt up a modern dual disc, upside-down front fork, and useful if you attack canyon corners like a madman, I'd rather see a Triton with a detailed out Grimeca, GT750, or TZ350 front drum any day. BTW, the main advantage of a second disc isn't stopping power, but fade resistance, and the additional unsprung weight would likely negate any braking advantage, especially on an otherwise svelte Triton.

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