I'm brand new to the forum but not completely new to British bikes. Today my father and I acquired a documented 1958 Triton (registered as Triton in 1958 on MOT). We are beginning the process of investigating the history of this bike (friend of ours that we purchased it from has had it since 1973 when he bought it from a seller in England and nothing on it has changed since then).
If there are any Triton gurus out there that can break down the basics of this bike and where I should start with my search on what is original and what is not, please help me out! We're taking our time and doing this right, but need to do every bit of research possible before we start messing with it. I took about 200 high resolution pictures today and if anybody needs a picture of any part of the bike I'm sure I have it. Some of the first questions we have are the following: -Why is the gas cap in the center of the tank? From what we've looked into, we're assuming it was added in the 1960's, but we've JUST started looking into it. -The original John Tickle triple tree, clip-ons, etc. and the smiths chronometric s467/107/n speedometer seem highly desirable. Notice the badge on the front of the triple tree. I have never seen one like this. Could anybody tell me why? -Is there anything that sticks out on the bike that is completely unoriginal and should be replaced? -We are beating our heads against the wall trying to figure out why the paint on the tank is the way it is. Any thoughts? -I have so many more questions but if there is anyone out there that might me able to get us started or point us in the right direction, we would be extremely grateful.
If there are any Triton gurus out there that can break down the basics of this bike and where I should start with my search on what is original and what is not,
Nice looking cycle - should polish up well.
But WHOA, we are going to pull you up right there. Tritons were not a manufactured breed of bike, they were an individuals individual bike, mostly built from whatever someone had to hand. So whatever is fitted could well be right/correct/original, allowing for it has to have a history for the past 50 years - and any owner could do whatever they felt like. Having said that, it does all look period, with nothing glaring out as out of place. Apart from the missing front guard...
There were too many pics to wade through to find the john tickle badge, but I noticed yesterday that someone is selling replica badges. And replica jt fork yoke bits too, with the badges attached.
Have fun. Look forward to seeing it all polished up and shipshape....
A T110 engine from 58 put into the frame from a Norton.
Most of these bikes were built;t in sheds, in the same way as choppers were, although a few people who specialised in supplying the better end of the parts market also supplied ready built bikes.
Formula 3 car racing used bike engines and Norton wouldn't sell spare engines. So car racers would buy complete bikes and sell the rolling chassis on. Aspiring bike racers would put a Triumph engine in it and have a Triton.
Sorry to piss on your parade, BUT......the frame is a 1958 Norton Dominator 99, with a Triumph engine that somebody else has dated.
I am not aware that John Tickle ever built complete bikes, and if he did then I believe that he would have fitted his John Tickle signature TLS front brake. Your bike appears to have a standard brake.
Tickle also made some nice rear set footrests and gear change and rear brake pedals. Those on your bike are not JT items. Indeed the footrests are not in the usually recommended position, but are far too low. The rear brake pedal looks like a badly made home made item. The foot rests (you can tell I am English as we do not call them pegs) are some cheap custom stock item. The tanks etc are simply proprietary items that were/are available from many sources.
There was never a bike manufacturer, in the true sense, that made Tritons. They were mostly, despite the hype, badly made home built bikes using almost any random selection of parts both new and second hand. There were businesses like Dave Degens of Dresda fame, who built nice Tritons but much of their bike was second hand (used or pre-owned in American speak).
Some aspects of your bike should simply be removed and thrown away, BUT more importantly you do have the basis of a fabulous Triton Café Racer, depending upon how much time and money you are prepared to put into it. Remember to post progress pictures on here for us all to admire.
Nice project Cody, that's a good foundation to work off of. The beauty of a bike like this is that you have a lot more flexibility than you might if it were a close to original factory bike. It's not a situation where only one specific part number is correct. There are a few things that you're going to want to improve on, a guy could look for ideas here and here . Have you had it running yet?
Last edited by Two Alpha; 01/20/152:29 pm. Reason: added second link
Everything on it, so far as I can see, is "original" 1960s, to early 70s cafe racer special. Apart from condition of components, the only thing I can see that's been done wrong (unless you're a funny shape), is the pegs. Most people mount them in the holes in the frame gusset, the left one going where the brake pedal pivot is on your bike. That way, your right foot will reach the reversed gear pedal. Clip on handlebars are more comfortable if you swivel them back a bit towards the tank, but you have to restrict the steering to stop your thumbs hitting the tank.
A front mudguard (fender) with stays makes the forks work better, I reckon.
Whoever put a rubber-mounted headlight on was serious about riding.
The alloy front engine plates look home made. Not sure about the thick-looking rear plates.
Making that bike into an original Norton (or Triumph!) would be pretty daunting. Getting it into shape as a clean cafe racer would be my plan. It's either that, or break it to sell the parts. The various Tickle stamped bits are just the sort of gear John Tickle sold to lash-up building dreamers. Those bits would sell well on eBay now, at least in the UK. The racing magneto would sell anywhere.
No worries, not pissing on my parade at all, I'm just here for the knowledge you all have. Can you tell me what makes the frame a 1958 Norton Dominator 99, with a Triumph engine that somebody else has dated? Also, I have some of the missing parts you mentioned that are in a box, not on the bike. Which aspects should be removed and thrown away in your opinion? Awesome info, thanks so much for your help.
This is the new replica jt parts with new badge. http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTE4NFgxNjAw/z/a2MAAOSwd4tUEupT/$_57.JPG
Your badge looks authentic enough, but is that a plastic layer over it, or peeling off. ? It looks very well kept and preserved....
The front mudguard is up to you to decide what you want. Tritons are very much an individuals idea of what makes HIS perfect bike. Mostly taking the form of a cafe racer, inspired with a bit of manx norton race-look-alike. To match the alloy looking rear one, a 5 inch universal alloy front guard looks like it would fit right in.
Without looking at all those pics, I assume that someone has found the engine and frame number pics, and figured out what year the engine and frame numbers are. Norton and Triumph number and model sequences are very widely known, and listed, so this is none too difficult.
You probably need to decide what sort of riding you are going to do with it - and whether to keep that full fairing. A lot of motorway riding may make that useful, but it hides the good looks of the mechanicals. Personally, I'd polish it as is, without the fairing, and ride it and show it as an honest 1950s Triton...
The alloy top yoke is a Tickle aftermarket part. That's why it has a Tickle badge on it.
The bike will have been registered as a 1958 Triton after it was put together from wrecked bikes, probably years later than 1958. Local vehicle registration offices used to be variably flexible and helpful. Some specials were registered as brand new bikes.
Most Tritons kept the original Norton registration of the frame, but plenty were registered as Triumphs. You might even have got your pride and joy registered as a Cody Sutton Flying 650, if you caught the reg. office staff in a good mood.
Loving the cut outs in the fairing for the swept back pipes, very late 60s.
Looking at the Avon Roadrunner tyres , this bike was last used in the late 70s /early 80s.
Judging by the JT bits and the fairing it was possibly constructed in the 60s
My Norton based cafe racer has the footrests in a similar position, on the gusset plate is tidy but cramped if you have legs 32 " or longer. This machine probably had a long legged creator.
It will make a good cafe racer without too many changes.If it was mine I would upgrade the front brake with a TLS or a grimeca 4LS, the back brake pedal is a poor looking bodge, that should be improved.
The tank has had its day , I have a similar "cafe style " grey metalflake fiberglasss tank lurking around, modern fuel will wreck it.
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