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…
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.
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.
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!
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.”