Steve and John, Take a look at this bike that was on eBay last week. Item number: 150213750926 paying close attention to the vintage motorcycle club certificate. This bike sold at the Las Vegas Auction in 2006 for $15,000 and was advertised as a TT. I am sure this won't prove anything. I just thought you would be interested. Tom
Thank you Tom: Looked at the bike on e-bay and VMC did have the records which clearly stated T120C... I knew they could clear that bit up. Motor number T120C DU25831
So we have a 1966 TT from the first '66 production batch (gaylin). It clearly has a 1966 front and rear frame. The tool tray sits high between the frame rails - lowered in 1967. The front steering head has both the fairing lugs and the key lock receprical. It was the last year for the removable steering lock. One year only front and rear frame sections.
Now these1966 bikes with the "1965" frames all have the hole where the fork lock lug would go brazed over and technically should be from a later batch, ie syamped T120TT. If they were from the first batch (gaylin) wouldn't they be T120C's? - see below...
So I would be interested where you get the reference, "As for the frame, the very first 66 T120s, up until DU 25277, were done with the older, 65 style chassis (at least as far as the steering head)."
As far as Eddie's quotes - If Bill is right about the pictures of a 1965 bike, I think the pictures tell a lot more than the "puffing" of Triumphs new '66 bike by a sponsored rider. Eddie is and always will be a promoter and would fit right into today's NASCAR culture. Pay back the sponsor... just more observations - just trying to learn something! John
John- "Triumph Motorcycle Restoration Guide, Bonneville and TR6 1956-1983", by David Gaylin. P. 85, under 1966 Frame and Cycle Parts.
Or, "Original Triumph Bonneville", by Gerald Kane. P.59, under Frame and Rear Suspension 1966 (I notice that you are a contributor to this book).
Assuming Gaylin is correct (and by his giving an actual number at which the frame design changed, I would guess that he has production documentation), then it would be possible that an early 66 frame, at first glance anyway, could appear to be a 65. I don't know that to be the case here with the Mulder bike, just saying it is possible that, not seeing the fairing lugs, the frames could be hard to distinguish.
The motorcycle Tom refers to was produced later than DU 25277. The number at which the T120C was changed to T120TT is not the same (I haven't located the number at which the change occurred, but it is definitely higher than this...for instance, the T120C at the Vegas auction last month was #DU 27736). There are bikes that have the later (66) frame with the T120C designation.
There is nothing here I could swear to be true, outside of my personal observations... any one or all of the sources I have checked could be incorrect on their information. Learning experience for me too.
Re: the Eddie Mulder TT Special It was a new 1966 TT Special they put a big tire (400X19 K70) on the front a big gas tank (100 laps!), an overlay sprocket, bobbed the rear fender, a Bates scrambles seat, 1965 front brake, Lodge sparkplugs, and a "Mexican" camshaft (offset rocker buttons) after practice Pat Owens went to check the plugs and one of them galled so they jammed it back in After the race the team went to the 190 Club by Ascot and while inside the truck, tools and bike vanished Eddie said he could get away with the 66 style frame because it was the typical daytime Ascot black patch