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1969 Triumph Bonneville - Alive Again!

posted May 24, 2013, 6:29 PM by Drew Bramham   [ updated May 24, 2013, 6:48 PM ]
Finally, after four or so years, I have it back together, my 1969 Triumph Bonneville.

It is still in need of some work, but the major stuff is all done.
I have powder coated the frame and 50 other little bits and pieces.  I installed low compression pistons.  Ya, I know most people will be saying, "What the hell!", but I am building it to be reliable and last a while.  With the low compression pistons, I can run the lowest grade fuels and still don't have to worry about detonation.  As well, the low compression pistons are a little easier on the rest of the engine.  I installed new valves, valve springs, and valve guides in the head, and new bearings, seals, and gaskets throughout the rest of the engine.  One of the biggest tasks was cleaning every little piece before it went back on.  Do you have any idea how slow and frustrating it is to clean the head and threads of a bike's worth of little nuts and bolts?... Brutal...

Still to do:
I wasn't going to paint the tank as I thought it had the original paint and was in decent condition, but after cleaning and polishing, it became apparent that it is not original, so it is now on the list of items to paint.  The side cover and oil tank have previously been badly repainted, so those will be getting done as well.  I was going to powder coat the chain guard, but it was in such bad shape, I left it out until I can source a new one to start with.  I need a new primary case cover.  The one on the engine has damage that had been welded up, but now I can't put the clutch adjusting plug in all the way, so it leaks whenever I drive it.  I'll have to get some new fork seals soon since I didn't realize how badly they leaked.  I need a new exhaust system, but the one on it is serviceable for now.  It is just rusty, leaky, and ugly. 

I am trying to decide if I should update it to an electronic ignition.  It sorta feels like cheating, but I am also looking to make it more reliable in general, so an electronic ignition would be a big step for that.  Tri-Spark has a nice looking ignition system that I have heard good things about.  The next item would be an electronic voltage regulator/rectifier.   Ah Lucas...  You make my life interesting.  I don't know if I want to change that.  =D

In case anyone noticed, the zener is mounted wrong in the picture.  I fixed it after the photo.  It should be mounted on top of the tab it bolts to, not under.