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#716835 - 11/27/17 3:00 am '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine  
Joined: Aug 2001
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Al Eckstadt Online content
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Al Eckstadt  Online Content
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Jordan, NY
Here's something you may find interesting. In the 60's a few car mags would occasionally publish motorcycle road tests. These tests give a different perspective than the motorcycle mags, sometimes with even more thorough testing. This test of the new unit engine 1963 Triumph Bonneville was published in the June 1963 issue of Hot Rod Magazine.
These images can be read by right clicking and selecting "view image". The resulting image can be read by holding the control button and pressing the + button, zooming in til readable. It will still be fuzzy but can be read.
I would be willing to part with the original magazine at a reasonable cost.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Edit- here's the cover:
[Linked Image]

Last edited by Al Eckstadt; 11/27/17 3:06 am.

Al Eckstadt
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#716872 - 11/27/17 1:45 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Al Eckstadt]  
Joined: Oct 2003
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RF Whatley Offline
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RF Whatley  Offline
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North Georgia, USA
As I remember, it was the 1963 or 64 road test by Hot Rod Magazine that headlined the BSA Lightning as being able to attain 130 MPH. Reprints were available at any BSA dealer for several years afterwards !! At least to me, that's what started the sales spike in British motorcycles.


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA

"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
#716874 - 11/27/17 1:56 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: RF Whatley]  
Joined: Oct 2012
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Hillbilly bike Online content
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Hillbilly bike  Online Content
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Running from demons in WNY
Originally Posted by RF Whatley
As I remember, it was the 1963 or 64 road test by Hot Rod Magazine that headlined the BSA Lightning as being able to attain 130 MPH. Reprints were available at any BSA dealer for several years afterwards !! At least to me, that's what started the sales spike in British motorcycles.

And it took 52 more years and a lot of tuning , performance parts and cash for the another naked frame 650 BSA to be timed at 130 mph at an LSR track.....Just like the Triumph article says...
Quote
115 mph indicated on our moderately down hill test course
grin


650 Triumph modified production LSR record holder 133.1 MPH... Twin 650 engine Triumph LSR that goes sorta fast...
#716880 - 11/27/17 3:00 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Al Eckstadt]  
Joined: Jul 2001
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Lannis Online content
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Central Virginia
It's interesting, reading the "road tests" from the old magazines. BMW and Harleys being ridden and rated in the dirt, Montesa trials bikes being downrated because their 6V lighting-coil lights weren't "suitable for nighttime touring", and some tests that were demonstrably copied straight from the company sales literature without even trying to paraphrase it.

Bike mags have always been subject to their advertisers, but it was REALLY bad back then .... !

Lannis


America's great! Only place in the world where the poor and oppressed check on their Food Stamp balance with an $800 smartphone ... !
#716882 - 11/27/17 3:05 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Hillbilly bike]  
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ricochetrider Online content
Moto Mojo
ricochetrider  Online Content

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Pennsyltuckey
Originally Posted by RF Whatley
As I remember, it was the 1963 or 64 road test by Hot Rod Magazine that headlined the BSA Lightning as being able to attain 130 MPH. Reprints were available at any BSA dealer for several years afterwards !! At least to me, that's what started the sales spike in British motorcycles.

Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
Originally Posted by RF Whatley
As I remember, it was the 1963 or 64 road test by Hot Rod Magazine that headlined the BSA Lightning as being able to attain 130 MPH. Reprints were available at any BSA dealer for several years afterwards !! At least to me, that's what started the sales spike in British motorcycles.

And it took 52 more years and a lot of tuning , performance parts and cash for the another naked frame 650 BSA to be timed at 130 mph at an LSR track.....Just like the Triumph article says...
Quote
115 mph indicated on our moderately down hill test course
grin


Yeah, if those old bikes were timed at those speeds, it was likely with the wind, at Bonneville or some similar place, under ideal conditions. Yet Triumph motorcycles were winning races repeatedly, and that's a fact.


"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

#716894 - 11/27/17 4:41 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Al Eckstadt]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 117
Phil R Offline
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SoCal
If I'd picked up that mag back then of course I'd have read the Triumph article with great interest.
But to be honest the real reason I'd have bought that particular issue of Hot Rod would've been to check out what was behind the top banner on the cover.
I've never really been a car guy or even very continental for that matter.....but that AVANTI .......loved it from the get-go & still do.

#716899 - 11/27/17 5:27 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Al Eckstadt]  
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Dennis B Online content
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Annapolis, MD
I was a big fan of Mickey Thompson back then
he was on several HR covers
is that the car Dave MacDonald was killed in?

I was also a fan of the Avanti
saw a 1984 the other day
YES! 84!
Cheers
Dennis B


Member # 182
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#717052 - 11/29/17 2:04 am Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: ricochetrider]  
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RF Whatley Offline
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RF Whatley  Offline
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North Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by ricochetrider
Originally Posted by RF Whatley
As I remember, it was the 1963 or 64 road test by Hot Rod Magazine that headlined the BSA Lightning as being able to attain 130 MPH. Reprints were available at any BSA dealer for several years afterwards !! At least to me, that's what started the sales spike in British motorcycles.

Yeah, if those old bikes were timed at those speeds, it was likely with the wind, at Bonneville or some similar place, under ideal conditions. Yet Triumph motorcycles were winning races repeatedly, and that's a fact.


I remember reading that article. Somewhere near the end, they let slip that the 130 MPH in question was indicated on the Smiths speedo, and not collected in a timing trap, ala Bonneville salt flat standards.

In other words, reading it on the speedo was the 1963 equivalent of today's "reading it on the internet". It must be true ! laughing


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA

"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
#717053 - 11/29/17 2:06 am Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Hillbilly bike]  
Joined: Oct 2003
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RF Whatley Offline
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RF Whatley  Offline
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North Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
Quote
115 mph indicated on our moderately down hill test course
grin


And those were the really fast Triumph twins ! After 1967 they would barely pull the ton.


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA

"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
#717062 - 11/29/17 5:35 am Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Al Eckstadt]  
Joined: Jan 2014
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reverb Online content
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reverb  Online Content
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South cone
...regarding that the factory triples did (and do like R North s ones) 160 or more and today I was watching a clip of a new daytona 675R doing that top speed in a track...so these new triples cannot surpass oldies?

#717084 - 11/29/17 12:24 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: reverb]  
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Hillbilly bike Online content
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Running from demons in WNY
Originally Posted by reverb
...regarding that the factory triples did (and do like R North s ones) 160 or more and today I was watching a clip of a new Daytona 675R doing that top speed in a track...so these new triples cannot surpass oldies?

Gene Romero riding a Triple specially prepared for maximum speed on the Daytona 2.5 mile banked oval track hit 158 MPH during qualifying for the 200 mile race.... I believe the best Triples had about 85 HP back then....The new Triumph 675R is a street bike with over 100 HP at the rear wheel...


650 Triumph modified production LSR record holder 133.1 MPH... Twin 650 engine Triumph LSR that goes sorta fast...
#717132 - 11/29/17 6:41 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Al Eckstadt]  
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Dibnah Offline
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Dibnah  Offline
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Some vibration was apparant

#717136 - 11/29/17 7:04 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Al Eckstadt]  
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reverb Online content
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reverb  Online Content
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South cone
...there s a guy that uploaded few clips of him and his R North factory replica (slippery Sam) with a camera on board on the Isle of Mann doing tranquility 154 rpms so the bike does lot more

#717148 - 11/29/17 8:44 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Hillbilly bike]  
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bodine031 Online content
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melbourne florida
Back then they ran the tri-oval to qualify. 1970 the last year for that, $$1000 bonus for fastest time so Pat Owens put two skinny street tyres on Burritos triple pumped up the pressures and after 3 laps they had the cash! party time!! and pole. Gene finished 2nd to Bugsy Mann on the Honda. Gene went off track on lap one and ran out of laps to catch back to Mann who's Hon-Doo was eating the cam chain and would not have made to much further!! Don Castro was on the box in 3rd. Then 1971!! back to back for Mann, then Castro & Emde a BEEZUMPH TRI[PLE sweep!! That was the last non Japanese Daytona 200 win till a few years ago. I have been fortunate to hear wailing triples at Daytona & Barber, some of the all time great exhaust notes from race bikes!!

#717156 - 11/29/17 10:15 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: bodine031]  
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Lannis Online content
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Lannis  Online Content

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[quote=bodine031 Gene finished 2nd to Bugsy Mann on the Honda. [/quote]

Good potted history, but it's "Bugs", not "Bugsy". "Bugsy" was a gangster. The Mann himself was setting people straight at the 2014 BSA Int'l .... !

Lannis


America's great! Only place in the world where the poor and oppressed check on their Food Stamp balance with an $800 smartphone ... !
#717286 - 11/30/17 9:53 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Lannis]  
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toe-may-toe ta-mot-tow

#717874 - 12/06/17 1:29 am Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Al Eckstadt]  
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linker48x Online content
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Alaska
Bob Greene wrote that road test. He was quite a guy, the real thing, a good rider. He was editor of Hot Rod magazine and Cycle magazine, and he was the organizer of the Greenhorn Enduro, for the Pasadena Motorcycle Club. My dad rode the Greenhorn back in the day, quite a tough two-day ride, hitting many of the popular the riding areas around the Antelope Valley.

Wouldn't you love to have that '63 Bonneville? Wish I had a time machine...

That little rear engined Indy car of Mickey Thompson, I saw Danny Ongais race that at Marchbanks Stadium in the early 60's, really unique for the time bcause it had little 12 inch wheels, if I remember correctly, and I do remember he spun it and didn't finish. I think Dave McDonald was killed the next year in another iteration of that Thompson car.

Last edited by linker48x; 12/06/17 1:31 am.
#717910 - 12/06/17 1:33 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Al Eckstadt]  
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Al Eckstadt Online content
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Al Eckstadt  Online Content
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Jordan, NY
Linker48x, Thanks for pointing out Bob Greene as the writer. I checked and found that he is the guy who wrote two other tests I have read and kept. One is the '59 TR6 "desert" test - I have a copy of it ready to put on the bmccny.org website - but haven't hit the "publish" button yet.
He also wrote a road test of the '68 Wards Mojave 360 which is part of my Project 39-1/2 website: '68 Wards Mojave I get a kick out of seeing the photo of him pretty much airborne while wearing a tie and a cardigan, and no helmet.
[Linked Image]


Al Eckstadt
#718042 - 12/07/17 4:40 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Al Eckstadt]  
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RF Whatley Offline
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RF Whatley  Offline
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North Georgia, USA
A test rider with no helmet. Now when was the last time you saw that ? laughing

That frame seems to have about 3" of air below the engine. I wonder if that was an existing frame for a bigger engine, and the factory simply cobbled together this "special" for MW. That gives me an idea. Maybe we could call the Triumph factory and order 1000 Bonnevilles to 1963 spec as "specials".

bigt


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA

"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
#718072 - 12/07/17 8:07 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: Al Eckstadt]  
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edunham Offline
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Ewing. NJ
The story goes that originally the Mohave frame was going to be able to hold a much larger motor. I believe the prototype used the 650 engine. That didn't happen and the Mohave was released with the existing upright single and the 650 was released a few years later with a different frame. Rocket Scientist knows about these things. He built a special from a Mohave frame and bodywork and a Honda twin ( a Honelli) to channel the prototype.

Ed from NJ

#718159 - 12/08/17 8:30 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: edunham]  
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RF Whatley Offline
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RF Whatley  Offline
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Originally Posted by edunham
He built a special from a Mohave frame and bodywork and a Honda twin (a Honelli) to channel the prototype.


Honelli or Benelda ? grin


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA

"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
#718167 - 12/08/17 9:44 pm Re: '63 Bonnie Road Test - Hot Rod Magazine [Re: RF Whatley]  
Joined: Mar 2002
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rick e. Online content
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rick e.  Online Content
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Earth
Originally Posted by RF Whatley
A test rider with no helmet. Now when was the last time you saw that ? laughing

That frame seems to have about 3" of air below the engine. I wonder if that was an existing frame for a bigger engine, and the factory simply cobbled together this "special" for MW. That gives me an idea. Maybe we could call the Triumph factory and order 1000 Bonnevilles to 1963 spec as "specials".

bigt


not to mention the button-down white shirt and a tie....


"Back in the garage with my bullshit detector
Carbon monoxide making sure it's effective...
----THE CLASH-----


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