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Triumph T160 #427735
04/03/12 7:22 pm
04/03/12 7:22 pm
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
jimmymckenna Online content OP
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jimmymckenna  Online Content OP
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Scotland, UK
Hi
My name is jimmy, I post on a couple of other Classic forums and was pointed in the direction of this fine board. I am currently Classicless but have owned a number of T140s only selling my last one this time last year.
Anyway I am currently looking to buy a T160 and am looking for any advice/information about what I should be looking for
I live in Scotland and hopefully will be in a position to buy in about 2-3 months, so it gives me time to get my homework done. Thanks in advance for any help

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Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #428384
04/07/12 2:34 am
04/07/12 2:34 am
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,123
Sydney, Oz
S
Shane in Oz Offline
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Sydney, Oz
Have you looked over at Triples Online ?
That's where most of the Beezumph triple types hang out most of the time.

I think T160s are a bit thin on the ground in the UK at present, but it depends what sort of condition you're after.

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #428396
04/07/12 3:50 am
04/07/12 3:50 am
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
jimmymckenna Online content OP
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jimmymckenna  Online Content OP
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Scotland, UK
Cheers Shane
Yea I'm looking on TOL as well as a couple of UK based forums. Mainly asking for advice on what to look out for etc. Probs be about summertime before the serious business happens.

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #428400
04/07/12 4:22 am
04/07/12 4:22 am
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,123
Sydney, Oz
S
Shane in Oz Offline
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I gather the biggest problem with T160s is the primary chain, which is apparently made of Unobtainium.

Apart from that

- the starter motors can get a bit cranky, but Dave Madigan has dug up modern replacements which cost about the same as a professional overhaul of the original.

- Tri-Spark electronic ignition is well worth the cost.

T160s are heavier and less powerful than T150s, and also tend to be more expensive. T150Vs are still a bit of a bargain, if you don't mind kick starting.


It might be worth broadening your search a bit and looking at the US east coast. I don't think shipping from the US to UK is too bad, but there might be a lot of additional costs like VAT.

All the best with the search

Shane

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #428861
04/09/12 8:14 pm
04/09/12 8:14 pm
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 2
Ontario, Canada
Mick Moore Offline
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Ontario, Canada
Hi Jimmy,
If you're familiar with the T140 its not a major leap to a T160.

- brakes can be expensive. If the bike has been sitting brake fluid changes to jello and you can figure on rebuilding both master cylinders. The calipers will need looking at as well.

- check for engine work. From my experience, valve guides and big end shells can be problematic. The engine isn't too hard to work on.... there's just more of it. Splitting the cases is an experience.

- ham fisted previous owners have usually stripped a bolt or two. Rocker boxes and head bolts. You'll need a good quality torque wrench.

- if you replace the push rods with pattern pieces carefully check the fit to the cam followers. There are defective one's out there.

- check for smoking.... a lot of them do. Rings and/or guides.

- high mileage or sitting the Amals will need work. As a matter of course I replace needle jets and needles, check the pilot circuit, and slide wear.

- the starter motor is much better than a Commando's. Clean the brushes, install a heavier gauge lead to the battery and it will work fine.

- as previously stated a Tri-Spark will transform the bike.

- Triples are rated at 58 hp from the factory. I don't notice any power difference between my 69 A75 and my 75 T160. Of course there are a lot of engine mods to increase power. I prefer the handling of the T160.

Good luck with your search!

Mick

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #429110
04/11/12 10:03 am
04/11/12 10:03 am
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 239
Australia (FNQ)
Stuart SS Offline
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Stuart SS  Offline
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Posts: 239
Australia (FNQ)
Jimmy

Quote:
T160s are heavier and less powerful than T150s, and also tend to be more expensive. T150Vs are still a bit of a bargain, if you don't mind kick starting.



The T150/ A75 can be converted to a starter motor ! Check out my Trident

T150V Trident risen from the Ashes

I built this bike with the concept that I can fit the starter motor anytime I feel ~ But I thus far am quite happy with the kick start and I don't need the extra weight ~
Although I believe Dave's starter motor version is a much lighter deal~

Personally I feel there is little connection between the Triumph twins and the Triples ~ The triples IMO are far more reliable ~ and sound is ~ Sweeet!!

As Mick say the handling of the T160 is excellent ~ as the swing arm is slightly longer, I think .. But both are great fun.

The weight at stand still is misleading~ once up and running it is a whole different World.

The T150s are also a bargain even in Australia compared to the A75 or T160 ~ again as Mick suggests ~

The fuel consumption is pretty bad at around 35 mpg standard ~ but the new Amals are improving the mileage.. My rebuilt Amals are road tested to deliver 56 mile per gallon ~


Last edited by Stuart SS; 04/11/12 10:07 am.

ABSTINENCE;" He neither drank, smoked, nor rode a bike. Living frugally, saving his money, he died early, surrounded by greedy relatives. It was a great lesson to me. "
Re: Triumph T160 [Re: Stuart SS] #429115
04/11/12 11:46 am
04/11/12 11:46 am
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
jimmymckenna Online content OP
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jimmymckenna  Online Content OP
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Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
Thanks for the replies folks
Whilst I wouldn't dismiss a T150, my heart is stuck on the styling of the 160 and has been since my yoof.
Anyway folks keep the info and opinions coming. I wont have the funds until about June/July so I am on a couple of classic forums (forii?)trying to build up my knowledge, pre purchase

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #429117
04/11/12 12:22 pm
04/11/12 12:22 pm
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
jimmymckenna Online content OP
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jimmymckenna  Online Content OP
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Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
Stuart
Just went through your thread....Great job and great perseverance with the clutch issues. Some good advice which is encouraging to see.
I like the look of your T150 so it may just be the breadbin tank I dont like, apologies if I offended anyones pride and joy there.

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #430364
04/18/12 4:07 am
04/18/12 4:07 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 52
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
R
Robin Giesbrecht Offline
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Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
I have to say that I really don't understand why an electric start is so sought after. A Trident is not that hard to kick over and a well tuned one will fire up first or second kick. My 73 starts on three or four with no chokes at minus 2C as in this morning. When it warms up a bit it starts first kick.

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: Robin Giesbrecht] #430370
04/18/12 5:40 am
04/18/12 5:40 am
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,943
Gnashville
DavidP Offline

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Gnashville
Originally Posted By: Robin Giesbrecht
I have to say that I really don't understand why an electric start is so sought after. A Trident is not that hard to kick over and a well tuned one will fire up first or second kick. My 73 starts on three or four with no chokes at minus 2C as in this morning. When it warms up a bit it starts first kick.

Quite right, Robin!
However, I've seen that Jimmy is obsesed with styling. Never mind the weight, never mind the handling, never mind that it shifts on the wrong side, never mind that you must remove the exhaust to drain the sump, it looks like he wants. That's all that matters to him.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
Re: Triumph T160 [Re: DavidP] #430375
04/18/12 7:16 am
04/18/12 7:16 am
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
jimmymckenna Online content OP
BritBike Forum member
jimmymckenna  Online Content OP
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Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
Originally Posted By: DavidP

Quite right, Robin!
However, I've seen that Jimmy is obsesed with styling. Never mind the weight, never mind the handling, never mind that it shifts on the wrong side, never mind that you must remove the exhaust to drain the sump, it looks like he wants. That's all that matters to him.


And if you spent half as much time reading and understanding a posting instead of attempting, and failing, to post a witty reply you will see that I asked for advice and information on the very first post. Other than stating I did not like the look of the breadbin tank, no mention of styling was muted (on the 1st post, although I mentioned styling later on) so how that could be classed as me being obsesed(sic)is beyond me. Oh and nowhere did I mention anything about an electric start

Another, and much more helpful, way of posting could have went along the lines of
Jimmy
While the T160 is a nice looking bike, style isnt everything. Do not dismiss the T150s, they are a lot lighter, they handle better, the gearchange is on the correct side and even a job as simple as changing the oil is far more easier. The breadbin tank may not be everyones cup of tea, but in general the T150 is recognised as a better bike, hope this helps.......to which I would have replied

DavidP
Thanks for your helpful advice, its folk like you that make these forums worthwhile, once again thanks

Last edited by jimmymckenna; 04/18/12 7:18 am.
Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #430465
04/18/12 9:03 pm
04/18/12 9:03 pm
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 2
Ontario, Canada
Mick Moore Offline
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Mick Moore  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 2
Ontario, Canada
Jimmy,
One thing to consider is that T150s are much cheaper and more readily available than a well sorted T160. The T160 is about 40 lbs. heavier but it has a lower center of gravity. I prefer the handling of the T160.... each to his own.

Electric start is nice but its not a big deal to me. I ride a Norton Combat more than my T160 so kick starting a triple is pretty easy. What side it shifts on should be irrelevant. The Norton is one up, three down on the right, the Trident is one down, four up on the left. I don`t seem to have a problem going back and forth between machines.

To access the sump on a T160 requires you to remove the two center exhaust pipes.... takes about two minutes, or install a sump plate with a drain plug, easy peasy.

Styling is subjective. I prefer the slanted engine look of the T160, A75 and the Commando (gotta love a BSA Sloper or a Panther). Others like the more upright look of the T120-T140-T150. Again each to his own.

Mick

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: Mick Moore] #430477
04/18/12 10:07 pm
04/18/12 10:07 pm
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
jimmymckenna Online content OP
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jimmymckenna  Online Content OP
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Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
Thanks Mick
Thats the kind of informative, subjective post I am after.

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #430486
04/18/12 11:30 pm
04/18/12 11:30 pm
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,648
ca, us
D
DMadigan Offline
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ca, us
If you are not familiar with the normal noises of a triple, try to find one in good running shape. Put the handle of a large screw driver to your ear then touch the tip to the primary, rockerboxes, timing et cetera. Knocking in the primary can be loose chainwheel rivets or degraded dampers. Check the primary chain for tension around its length for uneven stretch. T160 primary chains (7/16" pitch twin row) are essentially unobtanium. The "over 200 improvements" on the T160 were not always. Shifting is not as precise because of the cross-over linkage. It does have a rear disc that the T150 does not.
The starter can be fitted to earlier R3/T150 though the T150 needs a minor case modification. Triples are easy to kickstart unless you have a bum leg and a 1000cc race bike. It also makes rearsets an easier installation.

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #432143
04/28/12 10:29 am
04/28/12 10:29 am
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 12
Baltimore MD USA
T
Tom Renda Offline
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Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 12
Baltimore MD USA
Hey folks, I have a T-160 that has been sitting for a few years. I bought it from the original owner and it appears to have been well mainained by a local dealer, based on service records.

Q1. On my Japanese bikes, the rubber carb boots often fail. How do the T-160 boots hold up? Since we are not talking CV carbs, is this somewhat less important than on the CV carbs bikes? Should I plan on replacing them for peace of mind?

Q2. As the bike is low mileage (8K, as I recall) and well maintained, do you still recommend throwing out the existing jets, or is it worth a shot trying to clean them up?

Thanks.

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: Tom Renda] #432191
04/28/12 4:27 pm
04/28/12 4:27 pm
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,693
Scotland
S
Stuart Online content
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Stuart  Online Content
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Scotland
Hi Tom,

Originally Posted By: Tom Renda
How do the T-160 boots hold up?

Not particularly well. They're bits of reinforced rubber tube. Replace 'em.

Originally Posted By: Tom Renda
is this somewhat less important than on the CV carbs bikes?

Doesn't matter what sort of carb. it is, it mixes air and fuel to make the engine work. If you then add more air between the carb. and the engine, either the weakened mixture doesn't allow the engine to work or, worse still, the engine works long enough to put extra lightening holes in the pistons. frown

Originally Posted By: Tom Renda
do you still recommend throwing out the existing jets

Yes. Jets are precision but, being metal, they corrode. Doesn't take much corrosion to change a hole from 150 to 160, or .106 to .107.

The metal the standard carbs. are made from corrodes small passages, there are three that take tickover fuel and air beneath the main choke (visible in the bottom of the body once you take the float bowl off) to the engine side of the slide.

The pilot jet is in the fuel passage on the far side of the body from the air screw. It's more than likely to be either partially- or fully-blocked. It's difficult to access through the air screw hole so I drill carefully through the body over the jet itself; I drill with an M5 tapping drill then, having cleaned the jet, I tap the hole and seal it with a grub screw.

As the bike's been standing for so long, I'd completely dismantle and clean out both master cylinders and calipers, replacing the seals and the fluid. If the fluid is DOT3 or DOT4, it's hygroscopic (absorbs atmospheric water vapour) which'll rot the metal parts internally. Personally, I prefer DOT5, 'cos you don't get the hygroscopic nonsense, but it's your call.

While the brakes are apart, I'd replace the rubber hoses. Unlike Jap ones, they don't cause problems by expanding under pressure but there are a few reports of (near 40-year-old) originals delaminating inside. frown New ones are available but it's just as easy to knock up replacements from braided hose, which'll be unlikely to give your grand-children problems. grin

Ime, choose your parts suppliers carefully; not all who major on twins are good with triples. frown In the US, I know good things of Mitch Klempf (Forum sponsor) and Triple Tecs (Charlie Barnes and Jerry Liggett). Finally, if you haven't found it already, there's the Triples On Line forum.

Hth.

Regards,

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: Robin Giesbrecht] #432204
04/28/12 5:34 pm
04/28/12 5:34 pm
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,693
Scotland
S
Stuart Online content
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Stuart  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,693
Scotland
Hi Jimmy,

Originally Posted By: jimmymckenna
my heart is stuck on the styling of the 160 and has been since my yoof.

Me too. Trouble was, I did something about it, presenting myself with a new one for graduating and reaching 21. I have never been rich (at least financially grin ) since.

You'll recall that I advised considering buying one you know is in need of complete refurbishment? If you pay a lot of money for one that's 'running' and/or 'been rebuilt', which of the listed checks/replacements advised in the other posts do you perform and which do you ignore, or "put off 'til later"? Otoh, you buy one you know is in need of complete refurbishment, you know you have to do 'em all (or pay your chosen expert to do 'em).

Originally Posted By: DMadigan
If you are not familiar with the normal noises of a triple, try to find one in good running shape.

With absolutely no disrepect intended, Dave is very experienced with triples. As others have said elsewhere, a triple engine can sound perfect, right up 'til it goes (expensively) bang. For example: few years ago, I bought my T150 allegedly completely rebuilt by a Britbike restorer I'd known for years. Within a thousand miles, the oil pressure was down to 40 psi @ 4,000 rpm (should be twice the psi at those revs.) and bu66er-all at tickover (should be around 20/25 psi). It still sounded great, I only knew about the oil pressure 'cos I had a gauge on it.

Another thing to bear in mind - you buy one you know is in need of a complete rebuild, you get to decide what goodies are going in/on it. You pay more for one in (allegedly frown ) good nick, it's harder to justify - even to yourself - fiddling with it.

Originally Posted By: Robin Giesbrecht
I really don't understand why an electric start is so sought after.

There speaks a man who has never stalled a bike in the twelve?-abreast traffic around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris (or in any British city). whistle

Originally Posted By: Robin Giesbrecht
A Trident is not that hard to kick over and a well tuned one will fire up first or second kick. My 73 starts on three or four with no chokes at minus 2C as in this morning. When it warms up a bit it starts first kick.

... the Trident's infamous "warmed-up" clutch having finally allowed you to get the gearbox into neutral. whistle Trust me, it's wa-aa-ay less stressful - on you and the dodgem drivers - to simply disengage the clutch, press the starter button, rev. up and drop the clutch again.

Hth.

Regards,

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: Stuart] #451143
08/26/12 9:51 pm
08/26/12 9:51 pm
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
jimmymckenna Online content OP
BritBike Forum member
jimmymckenna  Online Content OP
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 109
Scotland, UK
Hi folks
An update is due.

After seeking advice from a number of sources, this forum included, I opted to stick with what I know (twins) and bought a Triumph Speedtwin 5ta today. I have posted details on the Triumph thread further down the home page, but would just like to say thanks to all those who offered help and guidance in this thread.

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #468711
12/21/12 10:29 am
12/21/12 10:29 am
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Canterbury, New Zealand
Ken Roy Offline
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Ken Roy  Offline
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Posts: 19
Canterbury, New Zealand
Jimmy - I feel that you have missed out on a great experience.

I had some brief riding on T150 Tridents before I got my new T160, and I found there to be light years of difference between the two.
I am not going to start a raging controversy by saying either is better - but they certainly are different - and I will say that despite the sump issue, the T160 is much more friendly from a maintenance perspective.
Whilst Triumph were responsible for very iconic examples of both 2 and 3 cylinder bikes, the triple is a beast of a different colour.
You should allow yourself to sample that difference.
Cheers.

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #472670
01/16/13 1:49 pm
01/16/13 1:49 pm
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3
Uk
D
daytona35 Offline
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Uk
I agree with Kil, i have a 1970 500 daytona and purchased a T160 12 months ago.
the difference is night and day

triples all the way for me Love em

Re: Triumph T160 [Re: jimmymckenna] #492062
05/28/13 6:30 pm
05/28/13 6:30 pm
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 85
queensburry ny usa
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queensburry ny usa
sorry you didnt go with the t160, they do have so unique issues that come up but i have to say im completly in love with mine. to me its absolutly a beautuful machine and someday ill be burried with it or because of it : )


1975 Triumph T160 Trident
1969 BSA A65t Thunderbolt
1978 Honda CB750 basketcase
Re: Triumph T160 [Re: Stuart] #492269
05/30/13 5:21 am
05/30/13 5:21 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 52
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
R
Robin Giesbrecht Offline
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Posts: 52
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
News to you Stuart:

I stalled a well used T160 I had just purchased 100 km southeast of Montreal in the middle of the Champlain bridge over the St Lawrence River in rush hour. If you have ever been there you will appreciate it. If not you have no idea. Bike had a stone dead battery and would only start with a good push. The guys I bought it from gave me a boost. The guy at the gas station gave me a push. But once it got below 3000 rpm it started to miss and would die if you did not catch it. This happened on the bridge and nobody would give me a second look. As I was still not quite at the central point of the bridge and it is hump shaped I turned it around against opposing traffic, gave them all the finger and pushed lane splitting downhill against traffic and got it going. I was not happy. I still had 100 km to go crossing over Montreal and heading north and I just broke every rule in the book and did not stop till I got home. Was good fun. I don't like the french too much.



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