Tagged: Triton

Working Class Hero: 1958 Triton for Sale

1958 Triton L Side

One of my favorite things about motorcycles is the seeming endless ways there are to mix and match parts to create new machines. Chain drive and fairly simple frames mean that it’s no big deal to say, sling an RD400 motor into the old GS500E you have lying around. But while many of these creations are born of necessity or just to see if it can be done, the classic Triton was a very functional motorcycle that actually managed to achieve some legitimacy among the motorcycling community.

1958 Triton R Side Engine

The Triton was a hybrid that used a Triumph parallel-twin engine and the famously excellent-handling Norton “featherbed” frame to create a seriously nimble motorcycle with good power and endless tuning potential. It also happens to be the name of the half-man, half-fish son of Poseidon in Greek mythology, something that the motorcycling community has sadly not capitalized on.

1958 Triton Dash

The choice of a Triumph engine might seem odd at first. After all, in stock form, it was actually a bit more powerful than the Triumph. But the Norton’s longer-stroke engine had a much higher piston speed and was considered less reliable, and a wealth of performance parts and tuning expertise were available for the Triumph as well.

1958 Triton L Side Engine

Interestingly, the non-unit design of both bikes meant that either four-speed gearbox could be used, although the Norton’s was generally considered superior. Really, all it took to make a Triton was a couple of donor bikes and a set of engine/transmission mounting plates, so it wasn’t too difficult to build one if you were reasonably competent with a set of tools, and plenty of these were built then and are being built today, so “authenticity” is hard to define and hard to verify.

From the original eBay listing: 1958 Triton for Sale

Ultimate Cafe Racer

1958 Norton Featherbed frame (Model 88)

1971 Triumph T120R engine with 4 speed transmission.

  • Unity Special Equipe UNAX2 Polished aluminum, Lyta style, 3 Gallon Short Circuit fuel tank.
  • Unity Wideline oiltank w/ battery holder
  • Unity Wideline Seat
  • Unity Fiberglass Fenders
  • Gold Star Silencers
  • Converta Engine plates
  • 4 Leading shoe Brake hubs
  • Akront Rims laced by Hagon
  • Far too many parts to list them all. For more information please feel free to contact us with your inquiries. 
  • Clocks show 269 Miles. Actual mileage is unknown. 
  • Was acquired from a museum. Rides and sounds wonderful. 

1958 Triton R Side Rear

I don’t know all that much about Tritons, but I know enough to know that they naturally vary a bit from bike to bike, since there’s no such thing as a “factory” example. These really do take the best bits and incorporate them into one of the most beautiful bikes of the era: everything is on display here, and looks purposefully industrial, but hand-crafted and decorative at the same time… So far, bidding is very slow, with the Reserve Not Met at $5,000 which is obviously well below where I expect this to sell, but maybe someone will manage to scoop a bargain with this one…

-tad

1958 Triton L Side Riding

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

1964 Triton for Sale

1964 Triton L Side

I don’t often write up Triumphs here because they’re comparatively not all that rare. TriTONS, however, fit the bill and this 1964 example is exactly the kind of bike you’d want to buy: reluctant but knowledgeable seller, great pictures, extensive details on the bike, and several videos, one of which is a clearly narrated walk-around with cold start.

1964 Triton L Front

Tritons by nature are all custom-built and they vary in terms of quality depending on who put them together. An attempt to combine the reliable power of a Triumph engine with the sharp handling of a Norton “Featherbed” frame, these homebrews became a bit of a cottage industry for a while in the 60’s and 70’s, with many reputable shops assembling them. Parts between the two original machines can be mixed and matched, depending on the builder’s preferences, since the pre-unit gearboxes that featured on both give a bit of choice: some bikes used the Norton gearbox, others the Triumph.

1964 Triton Dash

While the resulting machine wasn’t necessarily much faster than the original Norton, it was definitely more reliable.

From the original eBay listing: 1964 Triton for Sale

This bike embodies the soul of vintage British racing motorcycles. From the days of early Isle of Man TT and hybrid experimental motorcycles.
This is an actual cafe racer! Not your neighbors CB360 with a seat pan kit.
First time ever listed on ebay. Here is your ONE time chance to own it. I will not relist it after this auction concludes.

1964 Triton Oil Tank

There’s a ton of information in the original listing, so make sure you take a look if this piques your interest. The walk-around video in particular is confidence-inspiring, and the shorter video of the bike revving gets the blood pumping. I’m not a big fan of the look of high-pipes in general, but you can’t argue with the sounds this one makes: to me, hotted-up Triumphs always sound like a pair of dirtbikes revving together, an appealingly playful sound that encourages you to annoy the traffic around you by blipping the throttle at stoplights…

1964 Triton R Tank

The seller claims this one won’t be offered again if it doesn’t sell, and there’s only a couple days left on this auction, so if you’re in the market for a nice British twin, move quickly!

-tad

1964 Triton R Side

Build your own Triton

A couple of days ago I pointed out this Great Triton offered up on eBay. Well like everyone else I started to think about how I could build myself a Triton. And looks like they have all the makings available on eBay right now.

The frame comes as part of this complete 1967 Norton Atlas project. The seller tells it like it is.

 This is a nice project for someone. 1968 Norton Atlas motorcycle . The bike rolls. The engine turns over and has compression, and the tranny shifts through the gears.It’s mostly complete. speedometer is missing. It appears to me that it was a runner when it was parked. This was in an indoor garage from a collection in private storage since the 1980’s.  I don’t see any significant crash damage on it. Brakes are drums. Engine number is 20/ 118345. frame # is 20/118370 .  Great candidate for an easy restoration. Feel free to ask any questions you have.

The Atlas frame was the world beating Featherbed frame which was such a dominate force, Norton was able to be competitive with a single cylinder engine that was originally designed in the 1920’s, through the 1960’s.

 

 

The engine comes from a different project, a 1967 Triumph Bonneville, but in much the same condition as the roller Norton. This is a Unit Engine and will be a little different build from the traditional Pre-Unit build, but there are resources out there to help you.

From the seller.

Here is a complete 1967 Triumph T120TT engine, along with a matching-number-but-seriously-chopperized frame and a Pennsylvania title with an issue. I shouldn’t have to tell you about the rarity and desirability of the TT model… the engine. As you can see in the pics, it’s not the prettiest thing. Back in the day (about 1970), the cases and head were painted black and all the covers chromed during the building of a fancy chopper. All that fanciness has deteriorated to the point that refinishing is in order.

Lets not kid ourselves. Restoring one motorcycle is time consuming, money consuming, space consuming, and soul consuming. Restoring two motorcycles  will also be a puzzle which will need twice as much research as  one motorcycle. But as you have seen with the end result, what a bike you would have in the end. Oh and all the extra parts that you can resell to fund your build. BB

1958 Triumph Triton

The great thing about the Internet is that you find things that you are not even looking for. This is the case with this 1958 Triumph Triton offered up on eBay now. I was minding my own business when another blog I follow said to go look at this bike (sound familiar?) so I went, and eye candy is really how to describe what was found.

 

 

Up for auction is this Triton race bike, built personally by Keith Martin, owner of Big D Cycle. The frame is a 1958 Dominator featherbed, and the motor a 650cc Triumph pre-unit. Only the best components were used to create this competition machine. It was intended for AHRMA’S classic 60’s 650 class, and other similar vintage road racing categories. This is a fully functional motorcycle; it only needs gas and oil. Currently it is drained of fluids and has been on display. The gas was made by Evan Wilcox, and is of the utmost quality. The stock primary drive has been removed in favor of a Bob Newby clutch and belt drive. The exhaust was handmade of stainless steel and is a one off. The front brake is an Oldani replica. The wheels are Excel 18’ shouldered aluminum front and rear. The ignition system is an electronic Boyer running off total loss. The oil tank is also the catch can, and a battery tray that accepts a Yuasa YTX5 battery. Rear brake is a Triumph conical type. The shocks are Works performance. Yes, Tritons have been done 896743948 times before; however this is an extremely nice Triton. It has only been on track one time, and then it was prepared for display. This bike was meticulously perfected by Keith himself, and is sure to bring a new owner much joy on the track, or on the street if converted to street legal status. This bike has a clearTexastitle. We will ship this motorcycle worldwide (except to the countries listed on our exclusion list, please click the shipping tab above this description for more information). We can handle domestic shipments; International shipping arrangements will be the responsibility of the winning bidder.

 

As you know if you are looking here the Triton was never manufactured, but it was born of a Norton Frame and a Triumph engine. Back in the day when you went to a wrecking yard to fix your bike, British enthusiast either went to the wrecker to get an engine for their blown Norton, or a frame for their poor handling Triumph. Those people looking to go faster on the cheap (really I’m sure it was never cheap) would get the best handling frame, the Norton Featherbed, and the engine with the most potential, a Triumph. What you got was a Triton.

The seller doesn’t give a lot of the finer details on the engine build, but what I can pick up from the pictures, shows a nice, put together bike. Dual Amals on what could be a Delta Bonneville head. Larger capacity oil tank with integrated battery tray. Twin Leading brake up front and vented rear brake. Beutifly turned engine plates, rear sets and Manx style seat and tank and reverse cone muffler.

We have seen a few Tritons here at CSBFS, but I believe that this 1958 Triton currently on offer may be in the running for the best ever. Go out and check out the large format pictures to get a really good idea of what is on offer. BB

1958 Dresda Triton

When motorcyclist in the 1960’s wanted the best bike for racing around the street, it was not one offered by a single manufacture, but parts from two makers. The Triton was born when you took a Triumph engine and put it into a Norton Featherbed frame. Usually these were put together in your own garage with parts that you would source from where ever you could. But there was Professional doing this, and they apparently where quite good, and offered up here on eBay is a Tritons made by Dresda.

From the seller

This is my 1958 Dresda Triton race bike with spares.The bike has the Norton Featherbed frame with a pre unit Triumph 650 engine that has been punched out to 750. The engine is very nicely modded with exceptional hardware. The bike was last gone over and raced in England and it was done to very high standards indeed. There is a long list of mods and special features and I invite you to call for details.

 

Dave Degens started racing and wrenching in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’ and is still going at it today. He is the man behind Dresda who wanted to go faster and did this by improving upon the Norton Featherbed frame with inspiration from Aermacchi frames. He was able to put together bikes that went on to win Endurance races such as the 24hrs of Barcelona in 1965 and 1970. And when the Japanese engines started to surpass what the British industry offered, he changed with the times, creating some very fast and well handling UJM.

From the seller

The bike comes with a nice race stand and all the spare bits pictured. All the spare parts are worthwhile and by no means junk. This is a high quality race bike suitable for display in your office as much as it is for going head to head on a track. Naturally, it should have new tires and a checking over before a race weekend, but it is very nice indeed and a worthy addition to your garage

 

When Classic racing became Vogue again in the 1980’s Dresda was still there making frames stronger and lighter then ever. Today you can get a replica of the bikes build to compete and win the Barcelona 24hr. They use the technology of today and apply it to the styling’s of the past. The seller lists this as a 1958 Triton but this could mean that it was made a year ago with a 1958 engine case. Because Dresda is currently making bikes to order it would help increase the value if the seller could tell us how long this Triton had been on the planet. But really weather it is 2 years old or 50, it is a great looking bike.

BB

The Triton

During the 1960s there were lots of young men who wanted to go fast on their motorcycles. They would take everything off that was not necessary, and if they had the skills and money, they would get the best components.

During this time the hottest engine available was the parallel twin from Triumph. In either 650cc or 750cc, you could buy cams, carbs and pistons to be the best on the block. The problem was that the frame offered for the Triumph fell lengths behind the race developed Norton frame. So the TRIumph engine founds its way into the norTON frame to become the TRITON.

When you are looking for one of these machines the best place to look is the center of the Empire, and that is were I found this Triton for sale.

The seller gives a break down

            Triton 750 based on a 1956 wideline frame with a 6T engine. The frame has been powder coated and is fitted with MP forks and BSA 2LS front brake. Alloy rims. Conical rear hub. NJB rear shocks. Manx seat and alloy petrol tank. 6T engine with 750 Morgo conversion, 9 stud fully gas flowed head and 32mm concentric carbs. Runs on un-leaded. Race cams with lightened timing gears. Lucas mag. AMC Norton gearbox with close ratio (understood to be Manx) gearset. Polished casings and alloy, stainless or chrome fixings. New Smiths instruments. All in all a well presented cafe racer in the traditional style with all the bits you would want to see

All the right “names” are included covering carbs, brakes, cams, gearbox and style.

So if you are looking for the blueprint for making the best offered in the 1960’s it wasn’t sold direct from the factory, it was gathered together by the individual who wanted to be the fastest.

BB

And I didn’t use the word Café once