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Hey folks,

I'm starting a search for a donor bike for my next project. Ideally it would be a non-running fairly complete bike, but would also consider anything from a running bike that needs lots of TLC, or a rolling chassis, or even a bare frame and matching engine. I'm in Phoenix, but I would travel to pick up the bike or pieces.

Any leads would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

Dale

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Missed by that much... (picture the tiny fore finger and thumb nearly pinched together... smile

I just picked up this long neglected '72 T120R Bonneville, having sat uncovered in a cellar since 1988 according to the last registration on the plate.
 
The previous owner is an acquaintance of mine, I would see him and he would tell me that he was thinking of getting the Bonnie going and I would encourage him to do just that.  I never offered to buy it from him, I recall offering to help but he never took me up on that. Well I met him at the local fish market a couple of weeks ago and he told me that he wanted to sell it... 

I went to have a peek at it and brought it home.  What a mess...  lots of stock stuff missing and non-stock bits.  He did have the head Completely rebuilt, new valves, keepers, guides, springs, seats, all of it.  I found the receipt from 1992 from the local Triumph engine guru. 

So, given that this poor old thing is not a candidate for a full restoration, at least by me, I am pondering which way to go with the recommissioning.   I am still in the throes of '78 T140V that I have been slowly restoring for a bit and going through every inch of the 750. Not yet done but gaining.

Leaning towards a minimalist roadster kinda ride with this 650 T120R...


[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]


[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]


Best of luck in your search Dale.
Rob

Last edited by Robert Dentico; 07/13/21 2:00 am.

"They told me I was gonna have to work for a livin' but all I wanna do is Ride" - Jackson Browne

Current:
'75 T-160 Trident, '78 T-140 V Bonneville, '72, T120R Bonneville, '71 T100R Daytona, '13 Electra Glide, a garage Full of Guzzis, '88 Honda Hawk GT, '84 RZ350 KR, '78 Yamaha XS650, 1969 Dalesman Trials etc. and a '73 MGB for good measure... smile
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Nice find Rob! Extra points for the rebuilt head! This is the sort of thing I'm looking for, although in '72 I'd want to be sure it's a later short-framed bike. (I know..."picky, picky, picky!") Thanks for sharing!

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Dale,
Yes, I was fairly excited to find the project, head being a bonus for sure.

Regarding the short-framed models, are you talking about the changes made to lower the rear by 1-1/2"...? Do you happen to know what was actually done to rework the rear frame section in an effort to lower the riding position besides the models with shorter Shocks.

I did find an interesting read about the lowering however, not lot of details.

Good luck in your search.

Best,
Rob


"They told me I was gonna have to work for a livin' but all I wanna do is Ride" - Jackson Browne

Current:
'75 T-160 Trident, '78 T-140 V Bonneville, '72, T120R Bonneville, '71 T100R Daytona, '13 Electra Glide, a garage Full of Guzzis, '88 Honda Hawk GT, '84 RZ350 KR, '78 Yamaha XS650, 1969 Dalesman Trials etc. and a '73 MGB for good measure... smile
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From classic-british-motorcycles.com, the frame changes began at frame #CG50414 and "required alterations to the Shocks, the seat, battery box, air filters, coil mounts, and side panels."

I think Gaylin has more info in his book on what mods were actually done to the frame itself. I seem to remember that primarily the seat rail was dropped so it connected to the backbone lower on the tube as it turned down toward the sump. Dropping the seat rail would also lower the upper shock mount of course.

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Hi Dale, I’ve had many OIF Triumph’s and I think the 73 is the best year. Still right side shift, and the height was lowered from the 72 Bonnie.


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Bob M.
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Hi Bob. I couldn't agree more. In addition to your observations, after '73 (and what '74 models there were) the T140 seemed to get more complicated and somewhat bloated-looking, trying to follow styling trends of the day I guess. Here are a couple pictures of my '73 project, which I (regrettably now) sold a few years ago. I owned the bike for 20 years before I decided to convert it into a more "modern" bike. Now I'm looking for another!

Cheers,

Dale

Screen Shot 2021-09-06 at 3.33.54 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2021-09-06 at 3.34.34 PM.jpg
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oh dale that's a great bike.....oh well..........


1972 Triumph T120
1968 BSA A65
1968 MGB Roadster
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta
1969 Honda Mini Trail
2004 Honda Shadow Aero
1949 Ferguson TE20 tractor
1975 yamaha xs650b
1972 Norton commando
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Beautiful


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Hi All, this is my first post here and I have to say that for me the 73-74 models were the best model years, in my book they have pretty much everything I want in a bike, and the photos above help confirm that.

I think with the introduction of the T140, Triumph addressed some of the changes they made with the introduction of the OIF bikes in 71, seat height as already mentioned, ignition switch moved to the front left bracket, more functional deeper mudguards that were now chrome plated and with proper brackets on the front one! Add the de-seamed petrol tank with the central ridge gone, an improved and stronger 5-speed gearbox, and a new front disc brake.

If I was to be really picky then I'd choose the 74 over a 73 as the rocker lids changed and a circlip added to the gearbox shaft. When Triumph introduced the T140 in 73 the T120V had to wait until 74 until it received all the improvements from the 73 T140 including the triplex primary chain.

I own a 74 T120V and as the very last of the long rod 650's it's my favorite, I'm currently rebuilding it at the moment the engine was in a sorry state when I got it, I hope to do a post on my progress.

Cheers John


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1972 BSA A65L
1974 Triumph T120V
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Hi Dale. I have a '76 Bonneville that I picked up a few years ago as a spare parts bike. It's probably about 95% complete, missing a few minor things. It may have been damaged somewhere along it's life, but I really don't know the history.

The bike rolls with a shimmy, like maybe the triple tree bearings were damaged. The engine has the Triumph logos stamped in the Serial number plate, but no Serial number. I think this may be a replacement engine that the dealer was supposed to stamp a new serial number. Compression seems to be very high, difficult for me to kick thru the compression stroke.

Not sure if this would be of interest to you in your search but thought I'd mention it to you. I can provide you more info if you're interested.

Best.

Gerry


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