well, i live about 170 miles from wilmington, ohio, where the ECTA has its ohio mile event. i've never raced before (on a track, anyway), but i caught the bug. i've been accumulating pieces to build a 650cc triumph for the production modified pushrod class. much of it has come through the mail, which has been an interesting and educational experience in building a motorcycle. here's where i am so far . . .
got a frame i located here in ohio on craigslist. it's a 1965 bonneville, but seems to be a carryover from 1964, judging by the bracketry. it's all that was left of a basket case bike a man had since he was 15 years old. he took it apart and stored it in his garage, when he went to look at years later it had all been stolen except for the frame and a wheel. it came with a title, of all things, so it will even be street-legal (sort of) once it's up and running:
found a motor on eBay
. 1970 bonneville, the late 650 cylinder head, though not so late as to have the bolt-on carb manifolds. turns freely, but the pistons are 0.030 over and i'll have to use some closer to stock to stay legal in the 650 class. it's in reasonably good shape on the outside, though i haven't torn into it yet:
front forks were more eBay
finds. these are from a 70's TR7. i wanted the disc brake front end because it gave me fairly recent fork design and i could lose the disc to get a no-brake lightweight front end without a lot of work. adapting it to the 1965 dry frame took some information, which i got from people here on britbike-- thank you, folks. what i'll have is a disc brake T150 stem and lower tree, and with some conversion bearings and spacers the new forks should bolt right onto the old frame:
the motor is a 1970, so it has the earlier of the two versions of the two-piece rocker box head bolts. but the bolts were lost in the sands of time and cost some $20 each anyway. there were other issues with the original rocker boxes, including buggered-up side holes where you used a feeler gauge that year, that needed expensive plugs anyway. rather than try to fix what the motor came with, i found a pair of very nice earlier rocker boxes at not a lot of money, and bought them:
the motor was also a four-speed. nothing wrong with that, but the five-speed box has the ratios closer together and more evenly spaced. the four-speed drops into a hole when you shift into third gear, and to keep from bogging you either have to rev the engine to the sky before the shift or build in a wider and lower power band just for that gear. i'm thinking that a five speed will let me keep the power band higher and narrower without the bogging penalty, which for a top-end machine is part of the plan. a britbike member blew up his bonneville here a while back, and i bought the entire five speed innards from his bike:
at the same time i found a box of five speed parts for sale on eBay
that gave me spares for what i'd just got, and a possibility of another five speed conversion on another machine in the future:
found a perfect un-dented, un-cracked, and un-corroded oil tank:
along with a set of stock 1964 battery/oil tank mounts to use to hold it up:
and there are various other necessary pieces, some of which i've had for years:
(probably will update the shocks, though)
at this point i have enough together in one spot to put up a rolling chassis, so i can actually start tweaking this machine into what i'd like it to be by this summer. i'm planning on being at wilmington in june, as i don't think i'll have enough time to do the motor tuning by the may event, but i have a lot of motor work to get done by then.
much of this would not have been possible without this forum-- there are many people here who are willing to share a vast amount of knowledge on crossing parts, building a machine, choosing between components for specific purposes and tuning various combinations to make horsepower. much more than i can fit into my head. but the goal is to build a lightweight, high-horsepower, high-revving machine that will do more than 120 miles per hour--hopefully significantly more-- without losing the crank or shooting the pushrods through the tank.
we'll see how that works out.
in the meantime my poor old 72 T120 which went down for a simple manifold repair has been relegated to basket case status until i have more time to devote to it. i've had this one for some 38 years, though, so it's not going anywhere else: