Vintage Rider: 1964 Triton for Sale

1964 Triton L Side Rear

It’s interesting that a bastardized hybrid like the Triton could become such an iconic classic motorcycle. It’s an anecdotal observation, but it seems that engine swaps are more acceptable among the motorcycling fraternity than they are in the automotive world. Certainly, there are subcultures of swappers and hot-rodders putting all sorts of engine into cars, regardless of make or model. But they’re looked at a bit askance by more “cultured” enthusiasts… Not so much in the motorcycling world, it seems like. Maybe it’s that motorcycles are easier to work on, more modular. Or maybe it’s that the engines and parts are generally less durable, meaning owners are more likely to have replaced some or all of the original components through attrition…

1964 Triton R Side

The Triton used Triumph’s famous parallel-twin engine and Norton’s justifiably famous “featherbed” frame, combining what was considered to be each bike’s strongest feature and turning them into a high-performance motorcycle: virtually the only custom parts needed to build one were custom engine and transmission mounting plates. Although some established shops built, and continue to build these, many were built in sheds by your average Joe Enthusiast.

1964 Triton L Side Front

Power wasn’t an issue for Norton’s parallel-twin engine, in fact it actually had a bit of an advantage over the Triumph in stock form. But the long-stroke Norton engine was pushing what was considered at the time to be the limits of acceptable piston speed, and the more “square” Triumph engine was more durable by far, and could be easily tuned. The pre-unit construction of both bikes even made it easy to keep the Norton four-speed box that was considered the better choice of the two, although some used the Triumph transmission.

1964 Triton R Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1964 Triton for Sale

Good running motorcycle. Its been very reliable and has never given me issues or failed to get me to my destinations. It’s not perfect cosmetically, it’s not a show bike so if that’s what you want then this bike is not for you. Fiberglass tank is solid but paint has some scratches. Fiberglass oil tank is nice, and fiberglass seat is solid but leather cover has some scuffs here and there. The frame is a 1964 Norton Atlas, and powder coated, both front and back fenders are too for that Manx look. Both 19″ Rims and spokes are brand new, laced to a front TLS and rear brake. Avon tires are new too. Forks are rebuilt, new bushings and seals. Swing arm has copper bushings. The ’65 T100R Daytona unit engine has about 3000 miles since rebuilt, converted to single carb. The right side header has a weld due to hairline crack few years ago, it’s been solid since. I consider this bike my daily rider, it’s been garaged these last couple of years. Reason for selling..??.. Now a dad!

This Triton runs very well. The TLS brake does have the backing plate bracket that helps stop this bike well! 

1964 Triton Front Brake

If this were mine, I’d want to source a couple of appropriate Smiths gauges, and I understand that the “twin carburetor” configuration is the hot set-up, but I expect the single carb improves rideability. I’m also not clear on when the bike was originally built: was the recent work a refresh of a vintage Triton build, or was it a more recent conversion? Either way, the seller freely admits this is no show bike, and personally that’s how I like them. These will always need more attention than a modern machine, but it speaks volumes that the seller considers this a “daily rider.”

-tad

1964 Triton R Side Front

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5 Responses

  1. Bob says:

    Nice bike-but why put a 500cc motor in it when 650cc twin carb units are plentiful? This factor will affect price more than cosmetics.

  2. tad says:

    Seller says it’s from a ’65 T100R Daytona. That’s a 650cc, I think. I’m only surprised he didn’t fit a higher-performance twin-carb set up, although I’d guess the single-carb makes it more tractable on the road…

  3. Bob says:

    Tad, Tad, Tad, T100 were 500cc engines-and the only way to describe that carb is “dinky”. Again, it’s a nice machine but a 650cc would be the way to go or, as you suggest, with a twin carb 500cc head.
    Keep up the hard work, love the site!

    http://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-british-motorcycles/triumph-t100.aspx

  4. sr88 says:

    The 500 unit engine would work if it were a Daytona model thats built in ’70 and after. These have the upgrades that Triumph learned from racing in the AMA and European races. These models can be modded to produce good performance but dual carbs are necessary.
    The oil tank pipes look to be mounted to close to each other, they will just keep recirculating the same oil. The outlet pipe should be towards the bottom of the tank while the inlet should be mounted towards the top of the tank. I hope the outlet pipe has an extension to the center of the tank, or oil starvation during left hand corners.
    Last it appears the oil tank is built for a taller (longer stroke) engine such as a 650 Triumph or Norton 750 .
    Your going to have a hard time living that T100R Daytona statement down! LOL

  5. tad says:

    Jeez guys, cut me some slack! It’s not like I get it wrong all that often… As always guys, thanks for the input!