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Looking for help from you Triumph historians out there. I am restoring a 67'/68' Bonneville T120R with frame and engine number 50400. The bike is very 67' stock appearing with two exceptions; the tailight housing is the cast aluminum type with two triangular reflectors on the sides and a twin leading shoe front brake anchor plate and shoes. I have read that the factory created an update kit for 1967 models still on the showroom floor when the 68's were introduced. Is there any way that I can tell whether this bike had a factory update or an owner modification?

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The only "update kit" I know of is the beauty kit used to make the
1970 Trident look more like a Bonneville.

I can't speak for the situation in your state of Virginia, but in the Midwest, dealers couldn't get enough Bonnevilles to fill the demand. They were all sold before June, so no "update kit" was ever needed.

Are you sure your bike wasn't altered by some prior owner?

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There may be some basis in fact regarding the tail light with the side reflectors, that was the early days of DOT mandated reflectors on every side except the bottom.

Bike would have also had side reflectors mounted under the front gas tank mounts.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
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I think it was Gaylin's book that refers to the TLS brake update for models still on the floor. Since your bike's numbers would make it about a 1967 5th month production model I'm not sure it would have still been on the floor when the brake update came out. Don't know that date.

Billy


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I have never heard of the factory, or have seen a factory parts bulletin (and I have a pretty complete set of them), making available an update kit as you describe. As a dealer, we had been modifying the stock 1966 and 1967 front brake, using modified brake cams, to make it a twin leading shoe. It is fairly simple thing to do.

When the 1968 twin leading shoe plate became available from the parts department we were buying them and offering them as an accessory for earlier models.

Very few people at that time were buying a bike and thinking, how can I preserve it so someone 50 years from now can see what it really looked like. People love to personalize THEIR motorcycle and all sorts of changes were made to do accomplish this. We even sell retro fenders, headlamp ears, etc. to make T140s look like pre-1970 models. Will someone be saying 50 years from now, "Look, there is a T140 with a factory T120 kit!"

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Originally Posted by John Healy
Will someone be saying 50 years from now, "Look, there is a T140 with a factory T120 kit!"


Yes!


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, a BSA, & some Japanese
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"

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