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#531669 - 03/06/14 1:20 pm Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay  
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'59 Bonnie Offline
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http://www.eBay.com/itm/271418362255?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649


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#531679 - 03/06/14 2:42 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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HawaiianTiger Online content
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Maui Hawaii
I think it's a nice example. Some things I would do differently to make it "Museum" quality, though. Black fuel line as well as transfers would look better and get rid of those nasty nylon tie wraps that weren't made for another decade or more.
As far as "only" 100 or these exist. Not so sure about that....and most of them in museums? There aren't that many museums....
And finally, of the examples I know of, all of them are ridden and enjoyed.
Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#531683 - 03/06/14 2:55 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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I agree Bill, just had a good look at it. In my opinion if it is as the seller claims one of the 3 best ones in the country I also would not expect to see plastic tie wraps, incorrect fuel lines, lack of decals, pattern light switch, incorrect fuel taps, cadmium exhaust clamps, incorrect cylinder inner base nuts and so on. Don't get me wrong, a smashing looking bike but if you claim it to be the best, that claim needs to be backed up.

#531690 - 03/06/14 4:47 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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The tea-strainer bell-ends on the carburettors look pretty stupid.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
#531691 - 03/06/14 4:54 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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Just had another look. I'm intrigued by the float bowl and mount. Anyone know what that is from? I can't see a clear view of the oil tank and tool box, but it's likely that they are from another bike, so that would help explain the odd float and mount.
Cheers,
Bill

Last edited by HawaiianTiger; 03/06/14 4:56 pm.

Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#531693 - 03/06/14 5:05 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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In what way is the float bowl different from original?


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
#531701 - 03/06/14 5:53 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: triton thrasher]  
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And while you guys with the sharp eyes are answering TT's question about the float bowl, please tell me what this is on the rocker box -- some sort of vent?



'64 TR6R Plus some Twins from other countries (U.S., Germany, Japan)
#531704 - 03/06/14 6:00 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: TR6Ray]  
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No, I think it is just an optical illusion that it looks like a hole, I think it is just the end of the rocker spindle (compare it withe the spindle on the front rocker cover)


1951 Triumph 6T Thunderbird;1939 Ariel VH Redhunter;1970 B175 Bantam;1986 Yamaha SRX600 single
http://cloggymoore.wix.com/triumph-pre-unit-6t
#531705 - 03/06/14 6:02 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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Irish Swede Online content
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Elburn, Ill. USA
Float bowl may be "as original," but it is mounted as per a 1960 and early '61 Bonneville.
And why is the patent number plate on the timing cover still colored BRASS?
If the bike was truly restored it would be nickel-plated with a black background.

Some of these "professional" restorers are only a good as they can fool the buyers into believing they are. They certainly don't do the essential research required to do the job they promise.

#531708 - 03/06/14 6:10 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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Devonport Tasmania
I think it is a bit like the old joke, and forgive me if this quote is not quite accurate, "Of the 25 Jaguar D types built, at least two hundred of them still exist."
And it is like Morris Minors, although they built over a million of them, at least two and a half million of them are still around!! :-)

#531725 - 03/06/14 8:45 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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Maui Hawaii
I'm still convinced the float bowl is not correct, nor are the banjo feeds on top. Can't see the bottom ones. How do you start this bike without a tickler, anyway? I suppose that's why the chokes are fitted? I'm pretty sure they never had those. Here's what it's supposed to look like.
http://www.flickriver.com/photos/johnnydoome/4638370716/

Ray, I'm not seeing anything there but the end of the rocker shaft. What are we supposed to see there?

So, I'm going to recommend that if anyone is interested in this bike, the price should reflect the shortcomings of this supposedly "Museum" ready bike and be ready to do a fair bit of work to get it that way if that is what you are looking for.

By the way, I'm rather tickled by the huge width of the gold stripe on the tank. No one does that anymore preferring a 1/8" stripe these days, but quite frankly I'm sure that a lot of them were just like that.
Cheers,
Bill

Last edited by HawaiianTiger; 03/06/14 9:00 pm.

Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#531745 - 03/06/14 11:34 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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reverb Online content
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South cone
...the motorcycle looks good, not so good photos to try to sell it the best way...
In my opinion, a restoration is to match exactly the stock unit freshly from the factory doors; I do not see that in this motorcycle.

#531755 - 03/07/14 12:51 am Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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Originally Posted By: HawaiianTiger
Ray, I'm not seeing anything there but the end of the rocker shaft. What are we supposed to see there?
Never mind, HT, it was just my eyes playing tricks on me.


'64 TR6R Plus some Twins from other countries (U.S., Germany, Japan)
#531756 - 03/07/14 12:52 am Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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kommando Online content
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Scotland
Description states only 100 59 Bonnies left out of 1900, thought there would be at least 3000 left by now wink

#531760 - 03/07/14 2:27 am Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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Ray, I know what you mean. I find myself living in a high definition world with low definition eyes myself. 1080p looks like VHF to me......

Were there really 1900 '59 Bonnies? is that total? How many made it to the US, I wonder?

Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#531765 - 03/07/14 3:09 am Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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'59 Bonnie Offline
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Rotorua, New Zealand
Originally Posted By: HawaiianTiger

Were there really 1900 '59 Bonnies? is that total? How many made it to the US, I wonder?

Cheers,
Bill




Total built 1875. This number does not include the 2 proto types built but does include 13 Thruxtons built. There was 16 service engines some with and with out numbered gearboxes.

Last edited by '59 Bonnie; 03/10/14 12:32 pm.

"We are "motorcyclists" & "historians" our hobby includes the research & preservation of motorcycle history. What we are doing in the research & preservation of iconic bikes is, an important part of its history & value".
#531782 - 03/07/14 7:33 am Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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Vermont
It appears that the kickstarter crank is not correct either.


Originally Posted By: HawaiianTiger
I'm still convinced the float bowl is not correct, nor are the banjo feeds on top.
Bill


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project
1970 BSA A65F 650 - Project

#531818 - 03/07/14 3:46 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: Jon W. Whitley]  
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'59 Bonnie Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jon W. Whitley

Originally Posted By: HawaiianTiger
I'm still convinced the float bowl is not correct, nor are the banjo feeds on top.
Bill


There were several schools of thought and many modifications made by distributors like Jomo and Tricor I do have some of these bulletins but I am sure there are others out there just ask John Healy and Irish Swede to dig in their archives.
There were also changes made to the carb it's self. The choke cable was eliminated in favour of the bevelled top so that the rear tank mounting bolt could be accessed better. The first carbs were flat tops and Later the slanted or bevelled tops were fitted. I don't know when this become available but I guess one would have to check with AMAL.

Jomo service bulletin 1-59 recommends the modification of the remote float bowl location by making a simple bracket that hangs from the rear tank mounting bracket or from the carb flange mount bolts and moving the float forward to the approximately the centre line of the throttle valves This will eliminate the forward surge of gas during rapid deceleration. I think the type used in his photo might have been a aftermarket type made by one of the dealers or distributors. And this mod most properly was what lead to the 1960 type hanging bracket.


Tricor had a similar bulletin No 59/16 dated 9 September 1959. Which was an extension of the remote float mount from the centre down tube which allowed the float bowl being moved forward by about 3 inches, but then the straight banjo would not fit.

I have noticed over the years there are slight variations to the floats used on the '59 Bonnie - Why I don't know. But today you can't buy the carbs or the floats from AMAL any more. There were different banjo available as the carb moved forward the straight banjo would not fit so one would have to get a angled banjo. The AMAL float used was 14/617


"We are "motorcyclists" & "historians" our hobby includes the research & preservation of motorcycle history. What we are doing in the research & preservation of iconic bikes is, an important part of its history & value".
#531835 - 03/07/14 6:17 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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Maui Hawaii
The float issue is a good one, and since the '59 I had did have the original float in the original position I'm well aware of the shortcoming of that set-up. I can't understand why the factory didn't do some better work on that issue, but the main difficultly for me was the constant stalling under braking. It was a difficult bike to ride.
I particularly didn't appreciate the weak front brake, too shallow steering head angle(front end push...really badly), also.
I sold the bike, but only because I needed the money and didn't enjoy riding it I enjoyed the Tiger 110 I had much more. It did everything better and was almost as fast. It would idle around town effortlessly or blast down the highway at 70 with equal ease. Nice front brake, too.

When it comes to presenting a bike as a museum ready bike, it should represent something that was actually produced, in my opinion. This bike, as stated before, has too many deviations from that spec to be advertised in the manner in which it is presented. I would call that false advertising, and that could be readily corrected by a little disclosure.

Without that disclosure, you can only presume that the seller is trying to benefit financially from deceiving the public about this bike.

This forum is a great place to vet these types of offerings and I would urge everyone who has specific knowledge to chime in. We can only be doing a favor for everyone to expose these kinds of things. Not everyone that is in the market for these bikes frequents this forum , but the word could get out about the expertise that is here. This could help keep prices in a more reasonable range.

The interest in these bikes in largely due to their historical significance,not because of the quality of the machine. They're pigs to ride without a lot of modifications and may other Triumphs were far superior machines. I'm mystified, actually. I wouldn't have another one. One only needs to ride a '62 Bonneville to see how far the factory came in just a few years.

I tried to be a collector for a while. It's definitely not for me. I would dig the bike out of the garage every few months, polish it up, ride it around the block and put it away for another few months. Occasionally take it to a show in the back of my truck. What a waste of a motorcycle.

Well, I hope whoever gets this bike doesn't pay too much for it and does eventually enjoy it as a motorcycle, not as an investment. He's likely to need the modifications already on it.

Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#531850 - 03/07/14 8:55 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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'59 Bonnie Offline
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Rotorua, New Zealand
Originally Posted By: HawaiianTiger
The main difficultly for me was the constant stalling under braking. Bill



These carbs were similar to the pre Monobloc (TT or GP type but called chapped) carbs, the earlier ones had the fixed float bowl, so the remote float bowls level was very difficult to set up and I felt that it was always to rich.

There was a way to improve the carb by moving it forward.
The other was to removed the Main Jet holder from the bottom of the carb, bored the carb body slightly over-size in this area, and slipped a brass sleeve in the hole, with the inside of the sleeve large enough to accommodate the re-installation of the
Main Jet holder.
The problem was that fuel was getting into the cavity which would have been the float bowl of a conventional Monobloc, and upon deceleration, this fuel would be sucked into the main jet, over-ruling the actions of the remote float bowl and causing throttle control problems. This new sleeve stopped the fuel from getting into the cavity, thus stopped this problem. It also stopped leaks in this area.


"We are "motorcyclists" & "historians" our hobby includes the research & preservation of motorcycle history. What we are doing in the research & preservation of iconic bikes is, an important part of its history & value".
#531927 - 03/08/14 4:19 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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HawaiianTiger Online content
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Maui Hawaii
Here's a list of things to make this bike "as delivered"
Correct the float situation. The float may be correct but I doubt it, certainly everything attached to it is from another bike. It needs a tickler and ditch the chokes.
Both kickstarter and shifter levers are from later bikes.
Front brake cable is not correct.
Carb velocity stacks should be the stubby ones
Fuel line should be black with clamps and there should be a "T" piece in line for the feed from the float.
All transfers on the grey parts should be black. Transfers on black parts are gold.
the light switch looks wrong. As stated above it's probably an Indian reproduction. The ammeter is a reproduction as well.
Top nacelle is wrong one for the bike. It should have holes in the side for cables.
Both tool box and oil tank are from a TR6 or T110 and don't have the reliefs cut into them for the remote float mount. These can be modified as per original.
The standard mag for these had manual advance/retard. Many were updated to automatic at some point.
That's actually a good mod.
Wrong bezel on the speedo. (Joel Levine, go figure)Probably wrong speedo face, too.
There are loads of "Rivet counter" type of deviations that point to an inexpert assembly, such as washers under the heads of the yoke pinch bolts. Washers go on the other side. For some reason the nuts that are supposed to be on these wound up on the cylinder base. The patent plate is un-finished. It may be original but why leave it unrestored when the rest of the bike is?
It's difficult to tell, but the levers look like small ball levers, much easier to find than the original big ball levers.
Also, none of the hardware on the carbs has been re-plated. That drags the whole bike down.
Fuel taps should be "big lever' types that leak and stick solid all the time. The taps used are much better for a rider, but points off for a "museum" bike.
I'm sure there are lots of other details that could be improved, judging by this list.

There are a lot of things to like about this bike, though. I think the paint job is close to spot on and I think the choice of tires is good for this kind of bike. The seat looks much better than some I've seen. The piping is the correct very small diameter. It's likely a Leighton seat.
The bike looks straight and driveable, which the owner should do. Anything less that 1K miles is considered very low mileage for a restored bike and does not in any way detract from the value.
Who wants to buy a bike only to have to go through the sorting out and breaking in process? Do this for your customer.....

This is not the offering of a professional or even a long time Triumph enthusiast. This should be reflected in the price.


Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#531951 - 03/08/14 7:41 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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J in KC Offline
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Kansas City, USA
FWIW




#531982 - 03/09/14 12:27 am Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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'59 Bonnie Offline
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Rotorua, New Zealand
Hey Bill I think you are being a bit critical. (Even though I agree with some of your comments and I can see there are some repro parts being used etc...) I have seen photos of '59 Bonnies in museums that are incorrect and even don't have correct matching numbers, painted incorrectly etc... etc. The reason being that not may people know what is correct and most the books out there have also got it incorrect.... which was a copy of someone else's mistake.
I would rather use this opportunity to discuss some of the correct specification one by one. For example the decals which are not complete on this bike and most others. My self and Irish Swede spent some time on this awhile back comparing notes on this issue. I have a copy of the drawing office spec which was used as the basis, you may be surprised by some of the items mentioned here. There are other sticky items like the seats, handlebars, front mudguards and colours etc. unfortunately every one thinks they are right.

Correct decals/ transfers from drawing office specification and Parts book.

Front engine cover plate - Black: Page 27 Item 21
A53 – “Valve clearances”
no mention of colour obviously to be gold as below on black engine cover plate
previously listed on year / model – 1959 and T110

Oil tank Pearl Grey: Page 34 Item 2 – 4
A3 – “Minimum oil lever” – in gold in drawing office specification
A40 – “Important drain and fill” in gold in drawing office specification
A44 – “Recommended oil” in gold in drawing office specification
Previously listed on year / model – 1959 and T110

Battery case and toolbox Pearl Grey: Page 36 Item 19 and page 37 item 2
A57 – “Bonneville 120” no mention of colour but has note added – MD’s instruction 2/11/58
Assumed to be gold as above this is a new addition on 2/11/58 from T120 022689 onwards fitted to battery and toolbox cover – bikes before this number did not carry this transfer on the battery/toolbox for this model
A52 – “Positive earth”
no mention of colour assumed to be gold as above
Previously listed on year / model – 1959 and T110
Noted in parts book page 84

Twin seat: Page 41 Item 14
A45 – “Triumph motif and registered design no”
no mention of colour assumed to be gold as above
Previously listed on year / model – TR6 seat only used on some models
Nacelle top unit Black: Page 47 Item 19 – 21
A56 – “World speed record” placed between kill button and steering damper
A48 – “Patent number” placed between kill button and steering damper, below “WSR”
A57 – “Bonneville 120” Noted in parts book page 55 as well placed below steering damper
no mention of colour assumed to be gold as above on black nacelle
Previously listed on year / model – T110

Rear number plate Black: Page 57 Item 2
D68 - “Triumph motif and registered design no”
White and gold specified in drawing office specification
Previously listed on year / model – 1959 and T110
Noted in parts book page 70

There is no mention of the boxed “MADE IN ENGLAND” transfer or where it goes in either drawing office specification or parts book but new evidence on the un-restored Bonneville T120 021658 shows that the American and possibly the Canadians got this transfer which was located on the fuel tank opposite the filler cap. Photos of this bike are not of a good quality and the transfers are of the water slide type I believe in “GOLD” possibly covered with shellac to preserve them. They almost look black in colour with age and dust as this bike only was used for the Fall when it was bought and parked and covered for the next 52 years with only 585 miles on it.

The '59 Bonnie is an "iconic" landmark bike. But it is also a benchmark from which we can project both backward and forward to determine what may or may not be accurate on other Triumphs. I have found this study to be most helpful in determining what the dividing line may be in uses of decals, and their colours. (Irish Swede) To those of you who have contributed you have been MOST HELPFUL in this. Thank you.





[u][/u][/i][color:#FFFF00][/color][i]


"We are "motorcyclists" & "historians" our hobby includes the research & preservation of motorcycle history. What we are doing in the research & preservation of iconic bikes is, an important part of its history & value".
#532003 - 03/09/14 4:48 am Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
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HawaiianTiger Online content
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Maui Hawaii
I wouldn't know very much about these bikes except that when I built mine, I networked with six other restorers who built theirs simultaneously. Among them were Gale Searing noted restorer in the SoCal area and Buzz Walneck of Walneck's magazine fame. Together we came up with the specifications we used. Still, Searing painted his oil tank and tool box black as did one of the other restorers despite no evidence existing that it ever happened on anything other than the prototype. We sourced much of our information from Cliff Rushworth who owns and operates Ace Classics in London. He's probably built more '59's than any man on Earth and if there was a question regarding these bikes, I would quickly defer to his experience above all others.
So, if you really want to have the skinny on these bikes, drop him a line as see what he says. This is man who has built entire pre unit bikes from NOS parts straight out of the back doors of the factory.
There are several other restorers that I am aware of that do not frequent public forums who also have immense experience with these bikes. I could refer you to them but I don't list names of folks who would rather not be in the public eye.
It was Gale Searing who came up with two rolls of film of an original '59, completely unmolested that I used for detail info. He loaned them to me, and I returned them when I was done. Still I deviated from standard specification and built mine to home market spec aside from dropped bars and custom front brake. Some period accessories were used, too.
So we do what we want to our bikes, but we should also be up front about what we have done. The subsequent owner of the bike I built did not object to Jomo cams, big valves, nitrided crank and other things I did, but he did ditch the carbs in favor of standard Monoblocks so he could ride the bike without the associated problems.
To each his own, but openness about what we do is important so that no one is deceived.

You can put any color transfer you want on your '59 toolbox and oil tanks. Gold, however, is nearly unreadable against the pearl gray background of these items. The factory was well aware of this and made black transfers for light colored backgrounds. When it happened is academic. I would use black; they just look better.

Cheers,
Bill



Last edited by HawaiianTiger; 03/10/14 3:25 pm.

Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#532136 - 03/09/14 11:13 pm Re: Nice '59 Bonnie on ebay [Re: '59 Bonnie]  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,304
Irish Swede Online content
BritBike Forum member
Irish Swede  Online Content
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,304
Elburn, Ill. USA
To '59 Bonnie: Your PM is 'over limit"

Please contact me. If you have that JOMO 1-59 bulletin I would like a copy.

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