Hello all, I'm new here. Need fast advice on a 72-73 Daytona 500cc machine. I know bikes in general, done some restoration, but not Triumph. Usually I would buy books and read up before a purchase. My problem/question is this: a neighbor up the street is moving away next week and offered to sell me his bike, rather immediately, else he has to include it on the moving company manifest, paying more,etc. I understand condition and price are my problem, but am looking for advice on the general character of this model, and any particular pitfalls. In an era of 650 and 750 machines, this bike must have been a little off the pace. Yet this one seems in very nice shape. You opinions are most welcome. Thanks.
Check the engine & frame numbers (they should be the same) to get an idea of the season (aka 'year').
Engine number should be on a raised 'pad' on the drive-side crankcase just under the side of the block; the 'pad' should also be covered in lots of tiny 'Triumph' logos (which can make the number hard to read :rolleyes: - a bright light and a magnifying glass can be useful ). Frame number should be on the drive-side of the headstock casting, also on a raised 'pad' running down towards the front down tube (this 'pad' doesn't have Triumph logos).
Prefixing a five-figure number should be two letters; the second of these denotes the season the bike was built in - 'G' is '72 and 'H' is '73.
Also, either prefixing or suffixing (Triumph moved it around ) the two-letter date code/five-figure number will be 'T100R' if it's a Daytona.
To get an idea of what a '72 Daytona should look like, go to www.kentdaytonas.co.uk and look at the pictures of the dark red & white bike. '73 was usually similar except the red was lighter.
Originally posted by EL Panhead: I understand condition and price
Dunno US prices but fwiw, at last year's big British Classic Bike Show in April, a pretty good-looking '69 stickered at £4,200 (think $8k) sold.
Originally posted by EL Panhead: general character
500's are a short-stroke motor so need to be revved a bit - bothers some 650/750 owners but, as my other Triumphs are triples, not me. I find it hard work if I need to carry a passenger but then, as I say, my other Triumphs are triples. Otoh, Ted Simon rode 'round the world ("Jupiter's Travels") for years on a '73 attached to a sidecar.
Originally posted by EL Panhead: this bike must have been a little off the pace.
In '66 and '67, Triumph beat the Hardly 750's in the Daytona 200 with 500-based racers (hence the 'Daytona' moniker). After that, they improved the engine some more.
Originally posted by EL Panhead: Usually I would buy books and read up before a purchase.
If you buy the bike, "Triumph Tiger 100 And Daytona" by J.R. Nelson is the best, with "The Triumph Trophy Bible" by Harry Woolridge a nice-to-have.
Re: Daytona 500cc question#112416 03/18/0710:17 am03/18/0710:17 am
Originally posted by EL Panhead: In an era of 650 and 750 machines, this bike must have been a little off the pace.
This is the Triumph Daytona that actually WON Daytona -& more than once, too !
I'd be sorely tempted to get one, one day .
In a mid-seventies Cycle magazine 'shootout' with a Yamaha 500 twin, the Yamaha edged out the Triumph in everything- except 'being a Triumph' which when you're looking at it and/or riding it , you may/may not understand
[QUOTE] Otoh, Ted Simon rode 'round the world ("Jupiter's Travels") for years on a '73 attached to a sidecar.
Ted rode a T100P (police model: single carb-ed?) without a sidecar- although Richard & Mopsa English rode another less well known short stroke Triumph, the TR65 Thunderbird, around the world with a sidecar
Daytonas, especially late ones, are what the Bonneville owners glance sideways at when they are idling at the lights, they're thinking ..."... cheap, light, fun and very good in the twisties, and I wouldn't have that godawful vibration..."
..meanwhile, the Daytona guy at the same set of lights is thinking, ".... Oh for a relaxed engine on the highway, and a little more power on the hills..."
A clean, running Daytona is a very good introduction to British Bikes and if you pay market, you shouldn't lose money. You may not get rich either, but that's not what this is about.
Fun is guaranteed.
Re: Daytona 500cc question#112421 03/19/074:22 am03/19/074:22 am
on the same bottom end as the 650's or 750's it would be long lived, as was the case for the HD 61' which had the same bottom end as the 74's. And the same for many BMW's where the smaller jugs on the same drive, ment longer life. But I have since learned that the 500 Triumph's were companion to the 350's, which kind of blows my theory away.
Someone here has to get me right on all this, as I am not yet learned in these. Thanks.
Re: Daytona 500cc question#112423 03/19/075:28 am03/19/075:28 am
I've ridden a 70 Daytona for many years, bought it for a few hundred bucks from a guy with "substance abuse" issues, fixed the carb problem and did virtually nothing else but ride the #@$% out of it and change the oil regularly. I used it for commuting, blasting up the twisties, power sliding it around on dirt roads in the desert (where I often took it camping), etc. Without question, my favorite bike of all time. Every time I ride it I feel like Steve McQueen in the Great Escape. Only qualifier I would add is that being a smaller bike than the Bonnie the 500 is better suited to smaller riders. If you're a big guy, you might want to stick with the 650/750. In that case, I'll buy it from you! Bonnies get all the attention, but the Daytona just might be the better bike.
When people who should have known better cautioned me about the dangers of motorcycle racing, I always told them that a fear of death is nothing more than a fear of life in disguise.
Re: Daytona 500cc question#112424 03/19/0711:08 am03/19/0711:08 am
In my view Triumph bottom ends, as a rule, aren't fragile. Especially the 500 Daytona. It's a high revving parallel twin, so isn't throwing big slugs of metal up and down like a single would be. By the time they got the motor to the 70's evolution, it was feeling no pain, and they had it working really well. In fact probably from mid 60's if the Daytona wins are good evidence of development.
Any bike will die if you don't love it, and every bike has a weakness I guess. Daytonas would be in the head/valve train which are robust but need well set up if you want the best out of the bike.
When you consider that the 350/500 unit design went on to become a 650/750 and had a 30 year plus life span, you can see that the HD analogy about bottom ends probably applies to the whole Triumph motor.
Generally I reckon if you get a motor that is at, or not quite at, the peak of it's development, you are okay. That's what you are looking at. To do much better than a 72 Daytona, and stay in Brit bikes, you are going to have to go into 650's or buy a big sports single from the fifties which will be a beast (but what a beast!)
..and that's why I brought an early 70's 500.
Like I say, fun guaranteed but you'll alwasy wonder about a 650, and the 650 guys will wonder back.
Re: Daytona 500cc question#112427 03/20/0712:07 am03/20/0712:07 am
Well, those two sites proved very instructive. Thanks. After reading one, now I don't even know what year my machine is. Reg says 73. The engine # is T100RKH. According to one site this is a 75, and by another a 74. Perhaps someone here will sort this out definetly. Thanks.
Re: Daytona 500cc question#112431 03/20/079:25 am03/20/079:25 am
On a lighter note, I think you'll find that a pre-Friends David Schwimmer playing the narrator's sister's boyfriend rode a Daytona in The Wonder Years
Also the villain, Ringemann, played by Don Stroud rides a Daytona while chased by a 650cc Trophy- mounted Clint Eastwood in Coogan's Bluff. Despite speeded-up film in some sequences, the chase is pretty good : does the 500 hold off the 650 ? Next time it's on TV, take a look ....
T100RKH = 1973 model. U.S. models (according to J.R. Nelson) should be Hi-Fi Vermillion and Ice White, whereas U.K. and general export bikes were painted Astral Blue and Gold. K = manufactured in September 1972 H = for 1973 season year
Brian M 1971 T100R 1974 T150V 1980 GS1000 2011 Tiger 800 1965 Norton Atlas
This forum is an excellent place for tech support, if you didn't notice already. I love my little 500 and ride the snot out of it. Didn't really appreciate it until I started riding it like I stole it... but two hours on the interstate at 65 - 70mph is like an eternity!