Classic British SparesKlempf British PartsBaxter CycleBritBike Sponsor SteadfastCyclesSRM EngineeringLucas Classic MotorcycleHepolite PistonsIndustrial tec supply

Upgrade your membership to: Premium Membership | Gold Membership | Life Membership | Vendor Membership | Site Sponsor Membership
Welcome to BritBike Forum!
Britbike forum logo
Member Spotlight
Kenny
Kenny
Oklahoma
Posts: 33
Joined: July 2003
ShoutChat
Comment Guidelines: Do post respectful and insightful comments. Don't flame, hate, spam.
Search eBay for motorcycle parts in following countries
Australia, Canada, France, Holland, Italy, United Kingdom, USA
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
M
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
Hello all - I recently acquired a 1967 Bonneville and while I'm not new to motorcycle mechanics I'm definitely new to classic British bikes so I'm looking for some advice and feedback. I purchased the bike at auction and it did not have oil or gas at the time of purchase. Would you recommend getting fluids in the bike and trying to fire it up or would pulling the covers (chaincase, gearbox, timing) for a more thorough inspection be prudent? I've got copies of the shop Manual and parts catalog but are there any other publications that are recommended? Thanks for the help!

Support Your #1 BritBike Forum!

Check out British motorcycles for sale: British Motorcycles on e-Bay UK, British motorcycles on e-Bay North America
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,373
Likes: 37
D
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
D
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,373
Likes: 37
Are the manuals Genuine Triumph or are they Haynes or Clymer? A 67 is going to require a set of Whitworth wrenches and sockets.
http://gabma.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/cranking_old.pdf

Google " greater Atlanta british motorcycle association" for more tips. Click on Tech articles.
Here some advice I give to everyone;

No guide book but some advice. Some guys decide that riding around on an old Triumph would be really cool. Then they find out how much work they can be. They get on this site, ask about a million questions, then in a month or so, the bike is gone and so are they. Here are some essential needs;
1) time/patience
2) mechanical aptitude
3) money
If you are short on any of the first two you are going to need plenty of the third.
4) depending on the year of the bike you may need some special tools.
5) a genuine Triumph shop and parts Manual, not Haynes, not Clymer, for your year and model.
And last, I printed this sentence out of an article I read a while back. It is taped to my monitor mount, "To love motorcycles is to love some measure of suffering".
I'll be 76 soon and have been riding these old turds for 58 years now. Good luck. Update, I'll be 77 soon and still riding Triumphs. Sort of.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
1 member likes this: MarksterTT
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 135
Likes: 3
M
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 135
Likes: 3
The question of what to do to wake up a dormant engine will bring many opinions. Most of them are likely valid but how far you need to go will vary with the bikes history and your comfort level with risk.

My first question is, do you have any idea how long it has been sitting? How many miles are on it and has it been apart before?

If you don’t know whether it has been apart or not or if it has been a long time since it has been apart id consider disassembling it to check the sludge trap. Otherwise, I’d be tempted to keep it simple. Change the fluids, unstick the clutch, adjust the valves, clean the carbs, and check the timing. An effort to pre-lube the engine would probably be good as well. Then see what happens. There will likely be oil leaks and other problems associated with sitting but you never know what they are until it is running or rebuilt.

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 135
Likes: 3
M
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 135
Likes: 3
Originally Posted by desco
And last, I printed this sentence out of an article I read a while back. It is taped to my monitor mount, "To love motorcycles is to love some measure of suffering".

Ha. I’ve always viewed it as a form of masochism and perhaps a bit of Stockholm syndrome. My affinity for vintage British and Italian cars and motorcycles probably says a lot about where I’m at.

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 3,107
Likes: 98
Q
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
Q
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 3,107
Likes: 98
what did the auction purport to be selling ?
it could be all polish on the outside with just about any condition on the inside .

I'd be taking off side covers and head to have a look-see
at general conditions ... and looking for evidence of previous owners "workmanship ."

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,150
Likes: 79
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,150
Likes: 79
Originally Posted by MechAgitation
Hello all - I recently acquired a 1967 Bonneville

Congratulations and welcome to BritBike beerchug

If it were me, I would put fresh plugs in it as well as engine and gearbox oil and gas and attempt to start it. You could of course check that the timing and points are set and pull the oil tank screen and case drain plug to see what they look like. Also, pull the oil lines and make sure they are clear as well as fuel lines and petcocks.

Try and get it to run and see how it runs. Once you do that, if it makes strange noises, etc., then you obviously know you have work to do.


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project
1971 BSA A65 650 - Project
1972 Norton Commando 750 "Combat"


"Every time I listen to AC/DC, so do my neighbors"

Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
M
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
Thanks for the feedback so far! Let me try and address some of the vagaries in my original post that some of you have asked about...

Originally Posted by desco
Are the manuals Genuine Triumph or are they Haynes or Clymer?
The manuals are pdf versions of the original Triumph shop Manual and parts catalogue that I was able to find online.

Originally Posted by desco
No guide book but some advice. Some guys decide that riding around on an old Triumph would be really cool. Then they find out how much work they can be. They get on this site, ask about a million questions, then in a month or so, the bike is gone and so are they.
Thanks for the advice. I definitely have the time and mechanical aptitude and I think I have the patience (time will tell ;-)). This certainly isn't my first project type bike and I have other, more modern motorcycles if I just need to get out and ride.

Originally Posted by mondtster
My first question is, do you have any idea how long it has been sitting? How many miles are on it and has it been apart before?
Great questions. Unfortunately I don't know how long it's been sitting. The gages were supposedly rebuilt so the odo reads about 2 miles so no joy there either. It does look like it's been apart recently. The chaincase cover has a brand new fiber gasket and grey rtv. The bike also has a small oil leak near what I believe is the crankcase filter at the seam between the 2 halves. The oil leaking out looks brand new.

Originally Posted by quinten
what did the auction purport to be selling ?
So, it was supposedly restored by a marquee expert. Of course, there's no way for me to verify this. There is evidence of work, and the bike doesn't look slapped together but there are some things that are concerning. The drive chain is way loose and there is noise when pushed. This may be due to the lack of tension and possible misalignment of the rear wheel. The front wheel bearings have way too much play (they're shot). The rebuilt odo doesn't have the knob/lever to reset the trip odo. I would think these would be things a marque expert would take care of, but purhaps not.

Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
M
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,373
Likes: 37
D
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
D
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,373
Likes: 37
Well, at least you don't have spend any money to make it pretty. Check the fluids and valve adjustment and go for a ride. The engine may not be broken in so make it a fast, hard ride. Don't lug it. Don't baby it. Too bad about the reset knob but it's not the end of the world. If that is as bad as the leaks are thank your lucky stars. Make sure you are getting oil returned to the tank. Fix the front wheel bearings before you go.
PS These bikes don't have an internal oil filter. A screen on the sump and a screen in the oil tank. Look through the shop Manual and parts book. At least look at the pictures and figure out what things are called. It will help when asking questions.

Last edited by desco; 05/03/21 1:36 am.

1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
M
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. If I'm reading your comment correctly, the part I was referring to is called the crankcase filter in the parts Manual (part #E5312) unless I'm reading something wrong.

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,373
Likes: 37
D
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
D
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,373
Likes: 37
I've got parts book. That's a screen. It filters the big chunks out. Fitting a real, external filter should be at the top of the list of things to do.
F3179 Oil tank filter is also a screen. It can get plugged up with goo.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 7,158
Likes: 133
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 7,158
Likes: 133
Welcome to the asylum!
The best general advice I can give is to take notes and pictures when you disassemble anything. The drawings in your parts book are quite good, but they cannot be relied upon as accurate diagrams as to how things go together.


Knowledge speaks. Wisdom listens.

72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
1 member likes this: MechAgitation
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,121
Likes: 69
I
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
I
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,121
Likes: 69
The "expert" who supposedly restored this bike didn't even get some simple things correct.

The gas tank is in '67 TR6R colors, not Bonneville colors, Aubergine (purple) and white.
The tank is the big TR6R one, not the slim-line one stock on USA model Bonnevilles.
The badges on that tank are 1969-1970 style badges.

The "Bonneville" decal on the side cover is a 1968 decal. The '67 one reads "Bonneville 120" which was used 1959-1967.
The air cleaners are missing. These are the clamp-on ones that are offset to clear the float bowls on the Monobloc carbs.

If this bike is to be ridden, closer inspection is needed of the 'restoration" work the "expert" supposedly did.

1 member likes this: MechAgitation
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
M
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
I was aware of the color and missing cleaners. The tank and badging I didn't know about so thank you for that.

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 877
Likes: 10
M
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 877
Likes: 10
If you're inclined to ride it first (I wouldn't but then I like to take things apart) then at least pull the spark plugs and look inside to see how the cylinder walls look in regards to prep such as honing and if dry & maybe could use a small squirt of oil. You'll also be able to see if the pistons tops look new and in some cases you'll even be able to read piston size like .020" etc. on top of crown. You should also be able to see the intake and maybe exhaust valves with engine turned through to see how the lapping looks, how wide the seat contact patch is etc. With plugs out, pull the oil galley blanking plug on the front of the rt. side timing cover and with a catch pan below kick the engine through until you ascertain oil flow. I'd also pull rocker box covers and check valve clearances and condition of adjusters/valve tips, cleanliness (look for glass beads as cases appear to have been blasted). Visual will tell you if the valves look new, the guides are nice and shiny/new, valve springs are new or used etc. All clues will indicate how much effort was spent on your engine. Squirt copious amounts of oil into the rocker boxes on and around all components, this will also help drip down onto lifters/cams. Before squirting oil into rocker boxes, pull engine sump plug and replace or anneal copper washer to see if that stops your leak. I can't tell if that's your leak from the pictures but I do see screw driver pry damage to case parting line where you see less grey sealant. May or may not be an issue. Also case halves may not be matching numbers but hard to tell from photo. This also may or may not be of concern but seeing if they were matching would make me, as the owner, feel better about the build. If not matching, then I'd be looking at case deck where cylinders sit to see if there appears to be machining where the cases were decked. You'll be able to see this machining with cylinders in place...usually. The only mismatched numbers cases I've used didn't line up at the deck nor did cam bushings for that matter. I'm not saying this to say you have a problem but I spent many years in aviation and this is just stuff that I would look for and make a mental note of these type things so I just look harder than most might...had to put my name and number in those log books.

If you're really anal, you may want to retorque cylinder, head and rocker boxes....of course do so before adjusting or checking valve lash.

Make sure transmission has lubricant. If you don't pull primary cover, then at least pull oil fill plug and clutch adjust plug and see what you can see, maybe hook primary chain with 90* scribe or welding rod to determine slack etc. Pull cover drain plug and see what comes out and how much and refill, on a '67 I'd use ATF type F. I'd probably have to pull the cover and check rotor clearance, chain condition and play, clutch adjustment and wobble and parts in regards to new vs. old etc. Just me ok? Some will say I'm way overboard but I know me and that's just the way it is.

A lot of this has already been suggested but I'd want to check ignition timing and pulling points cover will let you see how things look in there, new points etc?

A 1967 T120 will always be my favorite looks wise...slim line tank with correct paint and badges would be a must and someone will want that TR6 tank.

I'd be tempted to add fresh fuel and then pull the carb drains and let some fuel flow through to flush things out. Just a note here, if your Monoblocs ever start pouring out fuel (stuck float) then a tap on the side with something like a screw driver handle usually works, my '66 would do this every once in a while.

Once you've lubed and adjusted and if you've determined (by visual) that the pistons and bores are indeed new then this would be the time to think about what desco said in regards to a proper break in run with all that entails.

Sorry this is long winded but peace of mind on that first ride would be important to me, no surprises please. Good luck and welcome to a great forum...Mark R.

Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
M
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
Originally Posted by MarksterTT
Also case halves may not be matching numbers but hard to tell from photo. This also may or may not be of concern but seeing if they were matching would make me, as the owner, feel better about the build.
Mark - Thank you for the detailed feedback. I think I will do some level of inspection to make sure everything is good prior to firing it up. Where are the case half markings located to be able to tell if they are numbers matching?

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 877
Likes: 10
M
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 877
Likes: 10
Originally Posted by MechAgitation
Originally Posted by MarksterTT
Also case halves may not be matching numbers but hard to tell from photo. This also may or may not be of concern but seeing if they were matching would make me, as the owner, feel better about the build.
Mark - Thank you for the detailed feedback. I think I will do some level of inspection to make sure everything is good prior to firing it up. Where are the case half markings located to be able to tell if they are numbers matching?


Mech, in your 4th photo of the leaking? sump plug. The lower engine case thru bolt boss, the point that the engine sits on when it's out of the frame and on the ground is where the numbers are stamped and should be the same left and right. Your right side looks to be 46 but I can't see if the left matches. A lot of engines of this era have mismatched cases for various reasons, usually the left side is replaced because that's the side with the engine serial numbers. It makes a difference if reselling a Triumph in that a lot of buyers will want to see matching numbers and it's reflected in the pricing. Mark R.

1 member likes this: MechAgitation
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,367
Likes: 38
D
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
D
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,367
Likes: 38
There are several historical threads re "Waking the sleeping beast" on Britbike, there's also "Waking the sleeping beast" for triples http://www.triples.co.uk/articles/articles/sleepbeast.htm

The options vary from "try and start it, she'll be right" to "dismantle and rebuild everything, just in case".

If the bike is of value then the right oil in the right place is a good start, as is fresh fuel, clean oil tank, clean any filters, new plugs and a known good battery. Have a look into the empty fuel tank and check for rust / debris.

As far as I am aware, it's not possible to spin the oil pump on a Triumph twin without turning the engine

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 24
Likes: 1
J
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
J
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 24
Likes: 1
Hi Mech,

Congratulations for the fresh purchase! It will be exciting and rewarding building your bike into a reliable roadburner which it certainly will be within a few years from now.

I did experience same kind of a strange oil leak out of the end of the lowest engine mount stud. After parking the bike for a few minutes, there was a small puddle of oil on the tarmac every time. The leak stopped nearly completely when the engine (and oil in engine) cooled down. I did not realize what was the culprit of the leak until I stripped the engine, and saw there is an opening between the case halves just above the mounting stud. This opening provides the engine oil to flow from the drive side to the timing side half of the case, from where it is being pumped back into the oil tank.

I had forgotten to spread sealant around this opening. Without sealant oil will penetrate in the seam and travel downwards, just where the mounting stud is. Oil came out from the end just like your pic shows, but also the case seam beneath the engine was wet as well. This may not be the cause in your case, just wanted to inform you what I experienced. Please see the pic behind this link, sorry for a rather low quality, it is "borrowed" from ebay. You can see the opening hole in the timing side case half, above the mounting lug:
https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ebayimg.com%2Fimages%2Fg%2FFnkAAOSw67ZcriJB%2Fs-l300.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fitm%2FTriumph-650-1967-Crankcase-Used-No-50%2F133029898500&tbnid=fUPr87ady2nqRM&vet=12ahUKEwjLtq-CsLDwAhWB-ioKHQatAn4QMyhCegQIARBe..i&docid=cWJWE991tPVN8M&w=225&h=300&itg=1&q=triumph%20650%20crankcases&client=ubuntu&ved=2ahUKEwjLtq-CsLDwAhWB-ioKHQatAn4QMyhCegQIARBe

Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
M
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
Originally Posted by Jouko
Hi Mech,
I did not realize what was the culprit of the leak until I stripped the engine, and saw there is an opening between the case halves just above the mounting stud. This opening provides the engine oil to flow from the drive side to the timing side half of the case, from where it is being pumped back into the oil tank.

Thanks Jouko! That's certainly something to keep in mind if I cant find a more obvious cause for the leak.

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 476
Likes: 190
S
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 476
Likes: 190
Hi Mech,
Can you tell if it's been run since restoration? Sooty pipes, color on plugs, deposits on the piston crowns? If so, you should be safe with fresh oils and fuel, at least to see how it sounds and what might need doing next. It's a different story if it hasn't already been fired. There's no telling what you might find. I hear there've been instances of auction bikes sold without engine internals.

The dusty, matt finish bead blasted cases visible in your leak close-up bother me. If they weren't completely cleaned, the blast residue left inside will ruin your engine. The dull, flat finish tells me it wasn't cleaned well. I've seen it a few times.

Bottom line, auction vehicles are notorious for nice cosmetics and deficient everything else that can't be seen.

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,373
Likes: 37
D
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
D
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,373
Likes: 37
"auction vehicles are notorious for nice cosmetics and deficient everything else that can't be seen." So are most for sale bikes. We know not to trust a used car salesman. Used motorcycle are about as bad. My 72 was advertised as "Every nut, bolt and gasket has been replaced." Well 3 years and almost $10,000 later I can attest that to be true. The list of things I had to replace just to keep it running is too long to post here. Three engine rebuilds in 3 months is a sample. The last one I did myself and it was the one that worked. That was 35 years ago.
The 68 was advertised as "The closest you can get to museum quality." Yeah, except for the flat cams, the dried out cracked tires that had been coated with some kind of rubber restorer to hide the cracks. Damn near killed me on the first bend. And a whole laundry list of other things. Caveat emptor.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
1 member likes this: Stuart Kirk
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 476
Likes: 190
S
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 476
Likes: 190
Originally Posted by desco
The 68 was advertised as "The closest you can get to museum quality."...... Damn near killed me on the first bend. ........
I hear you. I've worked on enough "museum quality" cars to understand that it only means one thing. It looks good. And auction cars are mostly the same. Good eyeball means easy sale. Everything mechanical will be suspect.

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 398
Likes: 20
L
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
L
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 398
Likes: 20
You've gotten a lot of advice. All of it is good and some is better than others. I like the "make sure it has oil everywhere it should, pour oil down the valve adjuster caps, look in all the drain and filler holes and at every drain plug, make sure the tires and wheel bearings are safe, and go" approach. Really, it is either that, or a complete teardown now, which may not be necessary at all.

Just remember, the cardinal rule of reviving old bikes is, it stopped for a reason, and you will need to figure out if that reason has been fixed before you go much farther, so that should be your first thing to figure out once you get it running and ride it.

Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
M
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
Originally Posted by Stuart Kirk
Hi Mech,
Can you tell if it's been run since restoration? Sooty pipes, color on plugs, deposits on the piston crowns?

Hey Stuart - from the outside, no. The pipes are clean and the plugs are not new so I'm not sure if the color is from before or after a rebuild. My plan is to run a borescope down the plug holes and get a good look at the pistons, cylinder walls and hopefully the valves. This should give me a better idea on the path forward.

1 member likes this: MarksterTT

Moderated by  John Healy 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Job CycleBritish Cycle SupplyMorries PlaceKlempf British PartsPodtronicVintage MagazineBSA Unit SinglesBritBike SponsorBritish Tools & FastenersBritBike SponsorBritBike Sponsor






© 1996-2021 britbike.com
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5