Tagged: Bonneville

Tea with Hot Sauce: 1967 Triumph Bonneville with Tracy Bodywork

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy R Front

While this Triumph Bonneville with Tracy bodywork is really more dirt-track than actual sportbike, but it’s cool and rare enough I thought it was worth a post.

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy L Engine

During the wild-and-woolly 1960s and 1970s, body kits could be found for all kinds of cars and bikes and change your workaday VW Bug or UJM into something much more individual. Some were complete garbage, and some were of very high quality. Tracy Nelson’s Fiberglas Works’ were of the latter variety. Based out of Santa Cruz and inspired by Craig Vetter’s creations, Tracy designed one-piece bodywork that replaced heavy steel tanks, side panels, and seat with one-piece replacements that both lightened the bike and lowered its center of gravity.

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy Dash

When Tracy kits turn up, they tend to be decked out with wild period paintjobs or metal-flake custom insanity and are sometimes grafted on to home-brew choppers of dubious quality. This example keeps things simple and is a very appropriate baby blue that really shows off the bodywork to good effect.

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy Rear Suspension

From the original eBay listing: 1967 Triumph Bonneville with Tracy Bodywork for Sale

Built by: B & D Cycles Triumph Restorations of Clinton, WI.

Cosmetically in beautiful shape as well. 

Tracy body is solid and finished in high quality “Team Triumph” blue/white. Tank was properly lined to resist ethanol fuel damage to fiberglass.

Not many of these Tracy bodies survived the ’70s in this nice of condition… or at all.

Stored in a climate controlled environment and ridden on a fairly regular basis.

Numbers matching T120 frame and motor. TR6 head (had to be used to fit the Tracy body kit). 

Engine was completely rebuilt a couple of years ago. 

Bike has Clubman bars, Bates headlight and Mighty Mite electronics with capacitor.

Reverse magaphone mufflers, ’68 front wheel and brake assembly laced to a Borrani Shoulder rim.

Tires and tubes are excellent. 

Bike is ready to ride and enjoy right now. No worries.

VERY STRONG RUNNER!! PLENTY OF POWER!!

A VERY cool, clean and unusual bike for not a lot of money. 

You will NOT park next to someone on another Triumph like this… period. 

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy L Tank

The seller also helpfully includes a walk around tour and a cold startup video. With just a couple days left on the auction and a starting bid of $4,650, I’m surprised there’s been little interest so far. It looks this might go for far less than a similarly stock Bonneville and offers up a bit of American hot sauce to spice up your Brit-bike Earl Grey.

-tad

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy L Rear

On Rails: 1976 Honda CB750 Bonneville Salt Flat Record Holder

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat L Side

Well, this Honda CB750 probably doesn’t fall under our usual parameters for “sport bike” but it is most definitely a “race bike” and how could we possibly exclude a machine that has successfully

Even if it doesn’t have a front brake. Or rear shocks…

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Tank Detail

During the 1970’s and 1980’s the undisputed kings of the street and strip were the big four-cylinder bikes from Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Honda. Sure, Kawi’s two-stroke triples were entertainingly wild and punched well above their weight, but were hamstrung by typically peaky two-stroke powerbands, and the idle-to-redline shove of a no-replacement-for-displacement four made bikes like the CB750 the go-to choice for straight-line performance.

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat R Side Front

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Honda CB750 Bonneville Salt Flat Record Holder for Sale

Recently restored vintage record holder

Original built by Hollister & Cunningham

Drag raced in northern Nevada and northern Cali in the late 70’s

Restoration was done by me, mostly cosmetic. New aluminum “Excel” rims and stainless steel spokes laced to original hubs Paint on tank is original restored and re painted the tail section New cables, new chain, new tires. Restored and re painted the front fender Clean, rebuilt, and synchronized the carbs Flushed fluids from engine New fluids Hand build Mallory magneto RC Engineering 4 into 1 header No stater or rotor on left side of crank shaft After Boneville bike was drag raced in Northern Cal and Northern Nev Comes with the wheelie bar and stack of sprockets All documentation from Boneville Salt Flat records Bike starts and runs fine. Seriously fast!

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Plaque

I’m not sure what a buyer would do with this machine, since it’s not a practical day-to-day machine. While the Excel rims weren’t on the bike at the time of its record run, they look great, although I always get creeped out at the thought of riding a bike with no front brakes on the street…

But with a Buy It Now price of only $6,500 I’d bet you won’t find a world record holder machine for any cheaper!

-tad

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Engine1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Certificate

The Quest for Speed: 1955 Triumph Salt Flat Racer

1955 Triumph Salt Flats Racer R Side

This very cool 1955 Triumph Salt Flats racer looks set to conquer the place that gave the later Bonneville its name. With its bare-metal, hot-rod style and immaculate preparation, it looks lean and stripped down to the bare essentials needed for speed on the flats.

1955 Triumph Salt Flats Racer Tank

Every year, speed junkies gather at the Bonneville Salt Flats, a 40 square mile expanse of flat ground in Utah. The site of a prehistoric lake, the water is long gone, dried up to leave nothing but a seemingly endless expanse of white salt where nothing can grow.

1955 Triumph Salt Flats Racer Rear

The endless plain has no trees, no plants, no animals: nothing to crash into as you head toward the “double-ton” and beyond. Aside from a notorious lack of traction, it’s the perfect place for folks trying to eke out just a last little bit of speed across the disorientingly featureless expanse of the Flats as salt strips paint from fairings and fenders.

1955 Triumph Salt Flats Racer Carbs Installed

There are many modern and vintage classes for bikes, cars, and trucks at The Flats, and you’ll see everything from stock vehicles with openings taped over for better aero all the way up to famous, purpose-built, cigar-shaped streamliners with multiple engines that look more like rocketships than they do motorcycles and cars.

1955 Triumph Salt Flats Racer L Front

This example is far simpler, with a much more reasonable design brief: no front brake, bars down near the lower triple, a rigid rear, and just a thin sliver of padding for a seat, this purpose-built, unfaired machine is an elemental embodiment of the Quest for Speed.

1955 Triumph Salt Flats Racer R Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1955 Triumph Pre-Unit Race Bike for Sale

Engine rebuild by Franz & Grubb in LA to be raced in Bonneville:
Robbins pistons, Amal GP carbs, Morris magneto, 750cc …
This engine kills and is ready to get you a record.
Frame: by FactoryMetal Works, stretched, lowered first-rate build, Ceriani front forks.
Custom gas tank, custom oil tank, custom seat, by Wrecked Metals
Tarozzi foot pegs and grips, high speed tire and rims, disk brakes, Excel rims, RoadRider front tire,
lots of details for engine available for serious buyer
This bike is one-of-a-kind custom Salt Flats racer ready for 2015.

1955 Triumph Salt Flats Racer Badge

There are 5 days left on the auction and the Reserve Not Met at about $4,200. It’s hard to price something like this, since it’s obviously not in any way original, and the bike is obviously good for only one thing: top-speed runs across wide-open spaces. Although maybe it could be converted for some type of vintage drag racing? It does look similar to bikes like the famous Yellow Peril that were designed for straight-line speed contests.

1955 Triumph Salt Flats Racer Carbs

The craftsmanship looks top-notch, with prep so clean it looks like you could eat off the surfaces, and the photography highlights the bike’s sculptural quality and elegant design. I particularly love that shot looking into the carburetor bellmouths.

What’s this worth? No idea. Do I want it? I don’t know what I’d do with it. Park it up and just look at it? Start my own quest for speed at Bonneville? Maybe.

Do I like it? I sure do.

-tad

1955 Triumph Salt Flats Racer Transport

 

Marvelous Mutt: 1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph for Sale

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph L w Fairing

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, if you weren’t happy with the handling of your stock motorcycle, you could contact a number of different specialist frame companies for your racebike or road-legal custom. Among these, the name “Rickman” ranks among the very best, right up with Spondon and Egli, producing frames and bodywork for buyers who wanted something truly exotic.

Early on, they focused on offroad racing, but their catalog eventually encompassed roadracing and street bikes as well, starting with the engine and transmission from the Triumph Bonneville like this particular example.

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph R Rear

Rickman’s signature frames were constructed from lightweight, nickel-plated tubes that provided a stiff foundation for improved suspension, and many featured internal oil-passages that replaced oil tanks and coolers. The completed hybrids were amusingly named “Metisse,” French for “mongrel.”

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph L Front

For the most part, the company produced kits instead of complete motorcycles, supplying frames and bodywork: engines, transmissions, wheels, and electrics not included. A wide variety of engines were fitted snuggly into Rickman frames over the years, but Japanese big-bore machines featured heavily in their later output. Like Bimota, they recognized that the handling of these machines could be improved, and the resulting bikes featured the best of both worlds: Japanese engineering and reliability combined with British innovation to create fast, nimble, and rare bikes that could compete on road or track.

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1968 Rickman Metisse Road Racer for Sale

The condition of this machine is highly original, un-restored, and preserved, having covered 828 miles since new. All of the numbers are factory correct and original. It is the 650 cc engine. The gearbox is also original to the machine. This Norton is completely original and has never been apart. I am the third owner from new, the first long-time owner being the legendary female motorcycle trailblazer Barbara Lee Weber of Chicago. It is in preserved, original, and almost showroom new condition.

The paint is the original red and is nearly flawless. The original decals are still applied to the gas tank. The plastic sidecovers are in excellent condition and are not in need of any type of repair.  

All of the original accessories, including the headlight and very hard to find tail light, are in operational condition and in excellent original condition.

The Rickman Triumph on the road is very easy to handle, and rides down the road very tight, with no shakes, shimmies, or rattles. It shifts and accelerates smoothly and holds the road as it should.  

There is absolutely NOTHING that needs to be done to this machine to ride it occasionally and enjoy it as a showpiece. Unlike other machines for sale on the internet, this one is ready to ride and not in need of any expensive service once you get it home.  

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph Engine Detail

There’s a ton of additional information, original documentation, and photographs over on eBay, so pop on over for a look. Bidding is pretty active on this one, with five days left and the Reserve Not Met at $9,100. If you’re looking for a Rickman, this is a very nice, unrestored example of their original road bike with as detailed a history as you’re ever likely to find.

-tad

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph R No Fairing

The End of the Line: 1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS for Sale

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS Full Left

Reader Jess pointed out this Triumph Bonneville TSS the other day, so I thought I’d write it up for you all. A bit of a forgotten bike from the early 1980’s, it highlights both the best and the worst of what Triumph had to offer at the time. It’s also a fascinating snapshot of the state of the industry, and it was also the very last motorcycle Triumph produced until their rebirth in the Bloor Era.

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS L Tank

It may seem like a cop-out that smaller manufacturers like Triumph, Ducati, and Moto Guzzi have relied on nostalgia in recent years for at least a good part of their appeal. But for the most part, these companies really are the scrappy innovators, struggling in the face of the overwhelming onslaught of much larger manufacturers, who can bring far greater weight of resources and engineering might to bear on problems. Still reeling from the sudden Japanese onslaught of the late 1960’s, the smaller European manufacturers were forced to improvise and introduce less expensive, creative solutions to stay competitive.

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS SpeedoJPG

But work-arounds like Norton’s Isolastic frame will only get you so far, and Triumph knew it was going to lose the Horsepower Wars if it didn’t apply some real muscle to the problem: simply going with bigger pistons to boost performance was going to lead to increased vibration issues, and there’s a practical limit to just how big you can make your cylinders and valves before you run into problems with fueling.

Introduced in 1982 with an electric starter to compliment the traditional kick, the TSS featured a Weslake-derived 8-valve head originally designed for racing. Limited resources prevented a full-redesign of the engine, so the Weslake head basically bolted-onto a revised bottom end. It wasn’t a dual overhead cam engine, but used forked, pushrod-actuated rockers to operate two valves apiece for vastly improved breathing.

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS Engine

These improved pushrods were now supported by head castings, making the whole assembly stiffer and more oil-tight to improve reliability. Extensive use of aluminum reduced the weight of the 748cc engine overall, and a much stiffer crankshaft significantly reduced vibration, allowing for a wide, smooth spread of power that peaked at a claimed 59hp and allowed a top speed of almost 125mph. The machine also featured five-spoke alloy wheels as well as an option for dual Lockheed disc brakes up front, providing a complete spectrum of performance improvements.

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS for Sale

Garage find, rare 1983 TSS with low mileage. I bought this bike 10 years ago and rode it 3 times. Its been stored in my garage the entire time. I rode it 1 year ago and everything worked fine. I need to sell it soon for several reasons and have not had time to get a battery and try to start the bike. I have NO reason to believe that it would not start and run fine. The previous owner was a Rolls Royce technician and took very good care of the bike. If you are an enthusiast, you know that they only made about 185 of these for the United States. I hate to part with it but I must. It will not be a projest, just a battery, fresh gas and TLC.

The electric starter worked but grinded just like many do and is not recommended based on the poor design. The tank is original paint and looks great. The frame and all features are in very good original condition. If you have any questions please email. If you have offer, please keep them reasonable. I would rather keep it than give it away.

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS L SideUnfortunately, while the design itself was sound, manufacturing problems plagued production and the new heads leaked oil badly, casting a dark shadow over the bike. Traditional oil-drips aside, the improved performance was not nearly enough to compete with bikes from Honda, who introduced their revolutionary V4 Interceptor that same year, and the two bikes are at such opposite ends of the spectrum it’s hardly fair to compare them. A total of 438 bikes were built before production ended in 1983, with even fewer making it to the US.

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS L Side1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS Side Panel

But as with so many machines of the era, what was “outdated” then is often considered “classic” now. Unfortunately, a design that bridged the 1970’s and 1980’s still looks pretty clunky to me, more like some Honda twin aping an older Triumph than a classic in its own right.

But while styling may not have been Triumph’s best, it is very rare, and certainly noteworthy for being the end of the line for the original Triumph. In addition, if you do get a good, non-leaking example, performance should be pretty impressive for a 750 twin.

-tad

 1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS L Side Front

None More Blue: 1979 Triumph Bonneville Cafe Racer

1979 Triumph Bonneville L Side

I wanted to break up the weird, Italian trend a bit, although it will be back tomorrow with another Guzzi I’ve never actually seen for sale before…

I don’t often post up Triumph Bonnevilles here, since they seem sort of common for a site with “rare” in the title. They did sell quite a few of them over the years and, while they pretty much epitomize “classic bike” for many people, I think they’re a little too obvious most of the time.

But then something like this comes along. “It’s like: how much more blue could this be. And the answer is: none. None more blue.”

1979 Triumph Bonneville R Side Engine

The Triumph Bonneville was a very popular and long-lived machine, made from 1959 until 1983. The original “T120” was powered by a 650cc parallel twin, with an updated 724cc [“750”] model introduced in the early 1970’s and designated the “T140” that featured disc brakes and a left-side shift to comply with US regulations.

This very, very blue Triumph Bonneville may not be to everyone’s taste, but the listing includes some nice “under construction” photos, which I always appreciate: there are more pictures of the build than of the completed bike.

1979 Triumph Bonneville Electrics

From the original eBay listing:

The engine was completely stripped down, the cases split and everything was cleaned and inspected. Every single bearing was replaced as were all the seals. The head was completely rebuilt with new valve guides, valves and springs. Small repairs were made to the cases where some of the threads had been stripped. Gear box was completely stripped down, a new main shaft put in and several worn gears replaced. The engine was rebuilt by Bob Wolf of Arbutus, MD. The barrels and pistons are .006 over and crank, pistons and con rods were sent to “House of Balance” here in Baltimore for balancing. It has all new clutch plates and a new stator.

The battery is a light weight lithium model from Shorei and it and all main electrics are under the seat with a metal plate welded into the frame to hold them. No fuses are used instead there are a set of circuit breakers. The seat is secured to the frame using the same method as on a Norton Commando which makes seat removal a simple one minute job should you need to access the electrics. There are two incredibly loud horns mounted under the seat so you won’t have any trouble alerting the cage drivers to your presence! A new electronic ignition from Boyer has replaced the points.

The bike uses new digital instruments from Acewell as I wanted to try to do a blend of old and new. The old style Lockheed brakes have been replaced with modern Nissin four pot calipers and the lines are new as well, of course. The front forks were completely stripped down and rebuilt with a mixture of new and used parts.

The rims are powder coated to match the bike and both hubs were rebuilt with new bearings and the wheels were laced and tuned with stainless steel spokes by an experienced wheel builder here in Baltimore.

The unusual rearset set up and foot pegs are off a Yamaha R6 and a slight mod had to be made in the kick start to allow for this. The tank is an old British spec steel tank, increasingly rare here in the US and it has been sealed inside with Carswell tank sealer and powder coated on the outside.

1979 Triumph Bonneville Rear Wheel

I definitely appreciate the upgraded brakes and, although I think the digital dash looks out of place, it was clearly a very intentional choice since the builder took so much care with the rest of the build. I’d certainly imagine it’s far more accurate than any old cable-driven, Smiths gauge is likely to be, although you can probably shift an old twin like this by ear, making a tach more of an accessory that a necessity.

1979 Triumph Bonneville Tank

This isn’t the most polished bike: some of those connectors on the coil look like they could use a bit more time and attention and the wires and cables on the front end could definitely be cleaned up. But this looks more like a labor of love than a high-dollar toy, and I really like it. So all-in-all, a very distinctive ride. That price though: it’s a bit of an ouch. The seller mentions that he doesn’t expect to get back everything he’s invested, but a very specific creation like this needs to find a very specific buyer, one who appreciates the vision the builder had when putting it together.

It’s far from a restoration, and nothing like original, but this resto-mod is a pretty cool machine. I’d say it could use some attention to the details, but nothing you couldn’t attend to on weekends, a bit at a time, and nothing that will keep the bike off the road for long.

-tad

1979 Triumph Bonneville L Tail

A good time for buying a Bonneville in the Northwest

I am always looking at Craigslist from Vancouver BC down to San Francisco CA for potential Fly and ride purchases that will never happen. This week seems to be the time to buy a later Classic Triumph, with prices range from a high at $11,000 and a low of  $3000.

Fist offering in 1959 the Bonneville was a celebration of the efforts of California Triumph Dealers going land speed racing in Utah. The 650cc engine had been around since the early 1950’s but was given a boost with twin carbs and a hotter cam. First build as a pre-unit, by 1963 the engine and transmission were joined into one unit. Frame changes were made through development, and oil was eventually stored within the frame in the later years. Performance numbers for the 649cc were 46bhp at 6,700rpm and a top speed of 115mph, enough to win the Isle of Man Production class in 1967 and 1969. Triumph sales peaked in 1967 when they sold 28,000 Bonneville’s in the US.

 This 1970 Bonneville in white is has been listed over the last couple months and it a very good looking bike in White. The seller states that it has had a complete restoration and looks very good in both the paint and the shiny parts.

This 1972 Bonneville comes in a mustard yellow with the later square styled tank. The high bars could be original because that was the style that was popular in the early 70’s. Its not as clean as the White bike and is priced accordingly.

Here is an earlier 1969 Bonneville in Red. It also claims to be fully restored and the pictures are not as close up as the white one, but looks clean.

This is another Bonneville, also in mustard yellow, but personally I like the off setting black. This claims to be in original condition with 7200 miles on the odometer having spent the last 25 years in a dealer showroom.

The oldest is this 1967 Bonneville, and this one has the sporty “R” in the name. Again another complete restoration in 2008 with only 245 miles since then.

All of these are in good looking order, with all the parts in all the right places.  The winter time has always been a good time to look for a motorcycle, but I am suprised at the quality and options that are available in such a small area. So if you are willing to fly and buy, makesure that you bring your rain gear because it is raining around Seattle right now.  BB

Back from Bonneville

You can see pictures on the internet and read peoples tails about the salt flats at Bonneville, but until you drive your rental car off the pavement and onto the salt the true size and expanse can never fully be understood. I finally understood Sunday morning as I followed everyone down the road to where the pavement ended and the salt began. You instantly know why this is the place where you come to go fast, you will run out of speed before you run out of salt.

I was invited to crew for Kevin Brooks, the Owner of Brooks Motor Works, who was racing 2 pre-1955 BMW’s. On Saturday he had raced down the salt in his 1955 BMW Sidecar at 94mph and was able to back that up on Sunday mornings return run and break his own record. The bad thing is that within the last 100 yards of his record run we found out later that the intake valve touched the piston and likely the exhaust valve, and with no back up cylinder heads, the sidecar would have to sit happy with a record.  But this allowed us to concentrate on getting the 1954 R68 replica up over 103 mph to increase Kevin’s own Vintage Production record.

As many of you know getting a carbureted motorcycle to go fast is not the easiest thing to do. It is made even more difficult when the rules in which the bike is running, Vintage Production Push-rod, says that the motorcycle must look exactly like it left the factory. So velocity stacks, open megaphone exhaust, clip-on bars and rear-sets are out. Changes that can be made: cam, high compression piston, and internal modifications to a stock carburetor. The secret to making these run fast together is always in getting the right combination of air and fuel into the motor. Because the salt are at a high altitude you never have enough air and running lean can kill.

The first couple of runs were hindered by the gear box that was filled with extra neutrals. Barbara, the fearless pilot and Kevin’s wife, was unable to get the transmission to cooperate. So after the first day of runs, it was time to switch to the back up gear box and go back at it.

Back out to the line-up it was time to change main jets and make a run. Not there yet. Back to the line-up, change the mail jets again, and out for another run. Not there yet. Back in the line-up, change the jets and go for another run. You see a pattern here? We all felt lucky because a BMW does not hide the carburetors under a gas tank, or behind plastic, so you only have to stand in the hot trailer for about 10 minutes.  

Because of this thing called work, I was only able to be out on the salt until Wednesday morning before my 12 hour drive home. When I left,  the bike was getting faster, but not yet over 100mph. For the rest of the week Kevin will be out there, on the Salt trying.

I recommend to everyone to try to get out to the salt. Better yet find someone who you can help go fast and get the second best view of the racing. So for those owners of 1955 or older Matchless G9, Norton ES2 or DB34 Gold Star (don’t try to sneak in a DBD head), I say get the safety wire out, and your leathers ready and go. It only takes money and time, which we all have lots of. BB

Bonneville Speed Week

I saw a bumper sticker that said: Buddhist go to Tibet, Motor Heads go to Bonneville. Well said! I am taking this to heart and heading to Bonneville Salt Flats for Speed Week. I am going to crew a current record holder in Vintage Production Motorcycle class and hopefully we will come back with a new record.

You can follow along at the SCTA web page, and last year the landracing.com linked audio from the Salt.

It was great last year sitting at work listening to the sound of engines heading down the salt coming from my computer. This year will be a little different, and a lot louder. BB

1963 Triumph T120 Bonneville

“Attention Collectors” is how the seller starts discribing this Triumph Bonneville offered now on eBay. I think more then just collectors should be interested in this bike, specifically anyone who is into classic motorcycles, any brand, any model. The reason being is that this bike is one of the Classic Classics, the best of the best.

By 1959 Edward Turner had left a huge mark on the British motorcycle industry, and the T120 was going to be his last effort for Triumph (he continued to “work” during retirement.) Based on the parallel twin that he made famous and had become omnipresent, the 650cc was an evolution of the T110 Tiger. It was given a name to celebrate the efforts of Johnny Allen at Bonneville in getting a Triumph engine to go 193.3mph in 1955 and 214.17 mph in 1956.  Though a legal battle raged between Triumph and the FIM over recognition of the records, the press generated was able to drive the sale of the Triumph Bonneville in the US, enought so to sell 28,000 Bonnevilles in 1968 alone.

 From the seller

            ATTENTION COLLECTORS ! If you are looking for a museum quality bike to show or ride then this will be the nicest 1963 650 Bonneville T120 that you’ll see on eBay for a long, long while. ( Especially judging by what’s currently on there 🙂 ). As you probably already know this stunning bike is the first year of the unit construction Bonneville and still shares a few parts with the last of the legendary pre-unit Bonnies such as chronometric instruments and forks. This matching numbers bike runs perfectly and has a whopping 856 miles since restoration. Cadmium plating on all original hardware including spokes. It’s currently fitted with the original “Made In England” Dunlops but if you intend to ride it more than show it I would recommend new tires.

The seller states that the pictures tell the rest, and they do show a well detailed motorcycle, one that could show, but will it go?

Following in the tradition of giving the potential top speed in the name (T100 100mph, T110 110mph) you could expect that the T120 would have a top speed of 120mph, but test from the time give a top speed of 115mph. But as the records set at Bonneville show, there was room for improvement, and in 1960 the Bonneville got a new twin Carburetor cylinder head to help open up that potential. When first design the engine and transmission were separate (pre-unit) this 1963 T120 is the first year in which the engine and transmission were case together, giving a Unit construction. This plus a redesign in the frame crated a stiffer and more stable bike, making it safer to explore the speed available.

This looks like a bike that could go into a museum as a representation of the 1960 motorcycle. But why? I will always have a hard time seeing a motorcycle as anything other then something to enjoy with the engine running and the wheels turning.

BB